Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Battle for Southern Africa

Ready to rumble!!

In the left corner, wearing blue skies,  we have Spring, light weight champion of the breeze and in the right corner, wearing drizzle grey,we have Winter, heavy weight champion of the frost.  They are battling it out for the main title of Season of Southern Africa.  Winter threw the first punch, hitting Spring hard in the stomach.  Spring stepped back covering his face.  

The pounding continues and it looks like spring is going down in the third round.  No wait, he is hitting back hard with a sunny sky hook to Winters chill, Spring still has some fight left. Winter is struggling to keep on its feet, while Spring is throwing sunny skies right, left and centre.  Winter hits back with a snow storm to Spring's upper jaw. Spring staggers back.

Will this be it for Spring? 
It feels like a battle for dominance between Spring and Winter in False bay these days.  Just as we pack away our oil skins and get out our caps and sunblock, winter strikes again.  This morning I woke up to snow capped mountains and white capped waves on the sea.  

It is mid spring and we actually haven't even been able to have one week without rain or occasional snow. I was shivering this morning at my computer will sipping a cup of hot tea and my mind wondered of to the days when I was crazy enough to go sailing in temperatures near freezing.
That got my mind going again on all the ways we tried to keep warm at sea.  No matter how warm you are dressed,in oils skins and fleece the works,  the wind blowing over the Atlantic in winter cuts through everything.  So we have resorted not to only warm our selves from the outside against the chill, but also from the inside.

Brofee - Cuppa Joe with a dash of brandy

Their is always the boring and old time favourite, Cup-a-Soup.  But this just works in the ads on telly.  The local favourite is called a Brofee or Policeman Coffee.  That is sweat coffee with a dash or two of brandy.  Another favourite in South African waters is, well there's no particular name for it, so lets call it a warm me up shot.  This consists of one part sherry and one part whiskey taken either straight for the two bottles or mixed in a mug as a shot.  This one is not advised in a race scenario, since you might forget all about the race and go to the local pub instead. That is all I can remember.  Any suggestions that doesn't involve alcohol for keeping the winter chill out while at office, send them my way.  Back to the match.

Come on Spring!!! Get in there. Fly like a butterfly, sting like a bee!!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Heads - The history

Many people don't understand Nautical terms. It must be very confusing for people to hear that the boats front is called the Bow and the back is called the stern. And they will hear it if they ever make the beginners mistake of saying right side and left side instead of Starboard and Port. So many of the land lubbers must wonder what a sailor is doing when he is heading down below to visit the heads.

It is probably best to start explaining the terms to them by referring to the origin of the word. If not they may think that the reason the word Heads is used for a marine toilet is because the space is so small and cramp that with the yacht rocking you regularly hit your head. That is true, but not the real reason for the name HEADS

In the older days the square riggers had limited technology and space. The "out-house" was situated on the side of the bow of the boat. Since they used the term of head for the bow of the boat, it became common to say:"I am going to the Heads"

The reason for putting the heads on the side of the boat was very simple:
  • Square rigs sail down wind, so putting the heads at the bow, would let the foul smell be blown off the ship instead of into the Captains beard
  • At the bow the ship is narrower that the stern, so all human waste would fall directly into the water and no need for appointing a janitor
Next time you have a few novices onboard, tell then the story before you say:"I'm off to the heads"

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Words of the Old Salts

The olden age of sailing the high seas in search of new continents and new faster routes to India, brought forth an era of experimenting with new boat design. And with that a new language evolved. Modern civilization forgot about this prehistoric dialect called Nautical Terms

I am very interested in all the terms that was used in that forgotten era. Most of them has disappeared over the ages and most of us have no clue into what they meant. I will post a new forgotten word and its description every week so we can revive the language and walk into a bar and start a conversation like. Something like this: I just saw a
Bargue through my Spy glass and have they got a big Donkey Boiler on their deck. I wonder if their Boatswain knows how to use it.

The word for this week:

No, its not what you used to call a sailor that lost an eye in a battle.

It is actually a round block of wood with three holes that is used to receive a shroud or stay and to adjust tension in the standing rigging.

So remeber this word for when you stubble into an old salt at the club again.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Eco Sailor

Lately I have been thinking a lot about boating and especially all the negative effects it has on the environment. Sailing out of the harbour these days you really see how polluted our waters are. Oil floating on top and just beneath the surface you see old crisp packets floating, a reminder of that last big party someone had on the water.

Even the anti foaling kills the environment, bit by bit it suffocates the small marine life and other plankton in the ocean. Where are we going to be in a few decades from know. Dried up oceans, a big waste land in the middle of Table Bay where we once used to sped our days sailing? Or will it be a win situation for sailors the world over and a loss to humanity, when the earth turns into one big water theme park like in Water world?

Recently I was surfing the net, looking for Eco friendly boating sites when I came across a site The Green Blue. I was very impressed by all the work they have put into the site and all the different information they have on what your sailing/boating is doing to mother earth. There are dozens of solution to everyday questions we have on how we can improve our boating and become more Eco friendly.

Do you think you are an Eco friendly sailor? Think again and go visit the site:

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Where do we come from?

Why are some of us land lubbers and some seafarers?

Since I was a little boy, I always felt the need to either be on the water or in the water. Where did this obsession come from?

When I was older I learned that my grandfather used to build and sail his own dinghies. Never spending one minute of his holiday to far from water or his little boats. He particularly liked the Sprog Dinghy and sailed in numerous regattas.

Could this be genetic? I don't think so, because my father don't like anything to do with water. He is in seventh heaven when he is sitting in his 4x4 somewhere in a desert. Even with my friend Tillerman it is not true. He spends most of his time on his Laser, but his son is more interested in fishing than sailing.

Could the place where we crew up have something to do with it? Again, I don't think so, because I grew up in Namakwaland which is a semi desert area.

Maybe it could be something from our childhood. I found a picture the other day of my 1st birthday. That was decades back There I was sitting on the floor, my face full of icing. I was dressed in one of those cliche Baby Sailor outfits and in front of me was a cake in the shape of a yacht. ~Could this be the birth of this sailor?

I still would like to think that sailing is a genetic inheritance and the true reason for my sailing obsession.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Extreme Laser Sailing

After all these years I though one designs, especially laser was boring and something the local chess club would sail.

That was, until I came across this clip a few years back. I actually forgot about it, until I saw it on youtube again the past weekend.

Surfing with a Laser

Here is another clip of a few guys that like to have fun in the surf

Now I just need to find someone else's laser to do this with. Tillerman, can I borrow yours?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

No Sailing

As I look at my blogging friend Tillerman's blog, I see I am not the only one not getting out there for a sail. Maybe there is just no wind in Rode Island

There are articles on things to do in Rhode Island, his sons fishing and he even had time to write a piece about me and my blog. What is up Tillerman?

I wonder if his laser might not be developing some abandonment issues.

Friday, July 17, 2009

I found it!!!

I found it, my new boat that is. Yes, can you believe it.. After all the search I found it in a Sailing ad. It is a Weta 14' Trimaran. Just what I need; fun, fast and can be launched through the surf. That is until I saw the price tag, a whopping ZAR100 000 per Weta.

Weta in action

I don’t know bout you, but that is a bit pricey for me. Especially working in the NGO (charity) sector. Maybe I should start a NGO called "Sailing Catch 22 boat fund."

So back to the drawing board, it still looks like a Hobi 16 for me and my Fiance and an Extra dinghy for single handed sailing.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Quote of the Week

I pitty people who don't drink. They get up in the morning and thats the best they are going to feel the entire day ~ Frank Sinatra

Thursday, July 9, 2009

News Review

All of us need to find our Sailing news fix some how everyday. Be it Sailing Anarchy or another site. Here is a review of a few site I like to visit formy daily fix.

Sailing Anarchy

A very interesting news website that focus more on the Fun & Interesting side of sailing news than long reports of regatta results, etc. I love the site, giving you a quick overview of what happened world wide and loads of cool sailing photos. The big plus is that it is updated daily


An Australian sailing news website. More a blog site on the local (Australian) sailing news than a global news site. One downside is that they don’t update regularly

Yachts & Yachting

A true Sailing News Site with Reports on regattas and other news of sailing right over the globe. They even have reports on what changing in the racing rules, legislation, etc. One down side ii that they are to focused on the news and fail to bring the fun side to the party.

These are three of my favorite sites for daily sailing news. What is your fix?

Monday, July 6, 2009

Winter's bad cousin

Winter is still with us in Cape Town , but today its cousin came to visit. I woke up this morning with a sniffle in the nose and scratch in the throat. ~ I hate you cousin flu!

I thought I would make this winter without a visit from the flu bug, but I was wrong. Murphy's law will always have the last say.

Time to catch up on whats going on in the world of sailing, reading Tillerman and Sailing Anarchy

So I cuddle up with a cup of steaming soup and wrapped in a blanket I play Virtual Skipper and dream of sunny days to come.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


I see everybodies been writing for Tillerman's writing project. In true South African fashion I am two months late with my list.

List: What to do in winter

1. Marathon dvd session:
White Squall; Perfect Storm; Morning Light
2. Snuggle up in front of the fire place with the latest edition of SA Sailing
3. Try and finish your model yacht you have been building for a while.
4. Play
Virtual Skipper 5 and actually win the America's cup with out a hearing

Mmmm, now I wonder if the new Virtual Skipper will have an option for protest and court hearings?

5. Refurbish your dinghy and get saw & GRP dust in you eyes.
6. Have a Saterday off to go wine tasting with Friends
7. Go to the gym and get inshape for the new season
8. Forget all of the above and pour youself a tall glass of whiskey and light a cigar

Come on what are you waiting for? Pour yourself one

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


I have come across this interesting ad while looking at different ways to make sailing more Eco-Friendly.

Hope you enjoy it.

Friday, April 24, 2009


I am a Hypocrite. Calling myself a sailor and here I stand in the middle of April, just before the winter starts in South Africa and I haven't sailed in over a year.

Since my last sailing adventure I made a conscience decision: Never to sail for a fool or Tyrant again. They are all and the same, Barking and swearing like a snarling demented dog from the underworld. Foaming at the mouth and spitting as they shout commands to the bow form their dry and safe kennel at the Helm.

" Untangle that spinnaker you worthless excuse of a seaweed, my granny can do that faster while baking cookies!"

If you sail for a fool, you soon come to the conclusion that the only fool on the boat can be anyone except the skipper....even if he slips, looses his glasses overboard and are going full speed ahead towards the breakwater.

All plans to purchase a yacht has failed since there is no space left in the marinas to give her a soft little bed in the Atlantic ocean. The idea of a dinghy or Kite surf is starting to pop up maybe someday soon the Hypocrite will be no more.

I must say that I miss sailing a lot. I feel like a fish out of water, but I will not jump in again under the growling bark of another Top Dog.

Monkey Business

Election day is almost worse that the other time of the year we dread, giving in our Tax returns. Wednesday we had our election day and according to the newspapers everything ran smoothly. That is until the day after the elections.

Reports came in of IEC officials driving around with market ballots in their boot for a certain party that is known for trying everything in its power to rig the assumed fair elections. Ballots boxes went missing and reappearing filled with who knows. Even few voting stations were caught with there pants down by not having enough ballot papers. Fair election?

In South Africa the Politics work a bit different. Politicians are not a proud breed down in South Africa and they revert to dancing and signing along to catchy music to rally in the votes. Even the distribution of food and other goodies are seen as getting more votes.

Gladly I can say the Circus has left the town and won’t be coming around for the next three years.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Art of Sailng

Almost every week on the news you hear of some "sail machine" breaking the sailing speed record. Macquarie Innovations broke the record this week with a top speed of 54.23 kn0ts (100km/h) and an average of 50.43knots in a 500m stretch of water at Sandy Point.

Can one call this sailing? What happened to the Sailor, canvas sails and the art of sailing. These boats don't resemble a sailboat. It looks more like something out of a Mad Max film or Kevin Costner's career sinker, Water World. Now don't get me wrong, I am all for new inventions, better technology and breaking records. But where do one draw the line.

How can one put these "Sail machines" in the same class as a sailboat? They are all about aerodynamics, the latest technology and lightest materials. Just build to go down a straight line in order to get a break a record. No more is the man, the artist, a factor only the machine.

In this pursuit what happened to looking at tell tales, trimming the sheet on your mail and flying the spinnaker in the most effective way? What happened to outsmarting your opponent by just catching a header before the rest of the fleet?

Why would one like to scream down a line in a machine build to go straight when you can outsmart and out run your opponent around the cans in a race. Is it all the fault of the big corporations trying to beat their foe with there latest technology? Maybe it is the humans nature to be competitive, no matter what art form they destroy.

Call me old fashioned or not, but I still believe in the Art of sailing where man is still major factor.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Gone is the North West er that gently blew wind into my sails to nudge me across the ocean. Gone is the days of hanging round the yacht club, staring endlessly at the ocean. Gone is the days of sleeping late and working from home. Gone is the days of waiting till late morning so I can miss all the traffic.

Back is the howling South Easter that rattles my rigging and pushes me to the edge, just waiting for my yacht to broach. Back is the days of sitting in traffic for 2h30 hours a day. Back is the early to rise to beat the worst part of traffic, arriving at work just in time to make the morning meeting.

I started this week at Heart of Healing based in the center of Cape Town city. I will be running one of their projects, Charity Wines. We raise funds for different charities in the wine lands, including funds for children with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.

As soon as the dust has settled and the traffic noise has died down, I will be able to blog again.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Two sides of the same coin

I just came across this, an interactive guide to the racing rules for 2009 - 2012. It has everything from narrated learning guide to animations and quizzes. Rules Master really thought of everything in this nifty little package. You can own it for only $75.90 and start sailing your best race yet.

For those who don't want to spend all their hard earned cash or their last little bit of pension money, there is Uncle Al's . You can download PDF files with all the rules and pictures explaining more than you'll ever remember on the water.

These two are truly Two Sides of the Same Coin. Racing Rules is up to date with technology, featuring boats and gear we use today. With Uncle Al's you will get pictures that looks like it was taken from an amateurs home movie while filming the Lochness monster or from local regatta.

Racing Rules vs Uncle Al's

Either one will give you the the complete set of rules you need to be competitive. I personally use Uncle Al's, but if South Africa's currency was stronger I would definitely have Rules Master shipped to me within a 48 hours.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Fires Blazing

Fires ripped through Australia, left thousands of people homeless and hundreds of acres burned down. It seems South Africa isn't far behind. Fires have been blazing in the Western Cape for almost a month now. The couple of heat waves we had the last few weeks are not helping the Fireman's effort to control the blaze.

Fires Raging in Jonkershoek

It started in Stellenbosch and Somerset West, just a few kilometers from my home. Lourensford and Vergelegen, two well known wine farms in the region has been struck by the fire and lost some of their 2009 Harvest. Last week, fires started in Paarl as well and dozens of houses and two school was under threat of going up in smoke. The Jonkershoek Nature reserve, in Stellenbosch, is still burning after the first fires started a month back.

Fires Raging in Jonkershoek

I cant help but wonder what this will do to global warming, all this CO2 released into the atmosphere. According to Sky Climate Watch it will definitely have a negative influence and measures must be taken to prevent future fires raging on for weeks at end.

One cant help but wonder if this is natures way of turning a new leaf or simply arsonists.

Pictures form a local Africans news paper : Die Burger

Monday, March 9, 2009

Decisions Decisions

Since I changed jobs and industries a while back, I am no longer able to do keel boat racing. This left me with a difficult decision.

Which sailing dinghy should I buy? What will I use it for? Where to store it? Tillerman will try and persuade me to buy a laser, because it is simplistic, an Olympic class and very competitive. But what if I want to do a little bit of double handed sailing?

Then Tim will try and persuade me to buy a Enterprise. You can comfortably sail around on the lake, race and take the family out for a little bit of adventure. It has pretty blue sails and are very stable. But what if I want to sail alone?

What if....What if...What if?

People would think I am an old lady struggling to make up my mind over which color serviettes to buy for a tea party. So I made a list of what I want in a dinghy.

1. Must be able to launch it from the beach - Hobie/Laser
2. Must be able to sail it on my own and with Rozanne - ?
3. Must be able to store it in my garage - No Hobie will fit - Enterprise/Laser/Finn
4. Must be a competitive class in South Africa - Enterprise/Laser/Finn/Hobie

So I drew my finale conclusion:
I must have two Dinghies. A laser/Finn for when I want to launch from the beach and sail alone and an Enterprise or Laser2 for when I want to take Rozanne along.

Any suggestions?

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Hot as hell

It's Saterday today and I'm nowhere near water. I'm sitting at the Wine Cellar in Rawsonville. Some would think this is the ideal way to spend a Saterday, surrounded with vineyards and wine.

It is 36˚C (98˚F) in the shade outside, not any sign of wind. My air con kicked the bucket yesterday and I'm sweating as if I just ran the Boston marathon in high heels. Conditions like these makes it easy to day dream of sand boarding in the dessert, but difficult to daydream about sailing. I wish I could be out on the water.

Maybe I should whack on some sunscreen, sit uncomfortably on the edge of my chair and put the desk fan on high. And just for effect I must get a colleague to splash water in my face and move the desk fan every 5 minutes so that it seems I am tacking and gybing. Maybe that will get me daydreaming about sailing today.

Now where can I find a willing colleague?

Friday, March 6, 2009

Handicapped System

If you are french, they call it the System Handicap Nationale and if you are Swedish it is called Leading Yard Stick or LYS for short. In South Africa we call it The Unfair System. Sailors all over the world think their handicap system are unfair. I like to call it the Handicapped System.

According to my knowledge, which is sometimes limited, a handicap rating can be calculated by either two principles.

1. Observing actual performance and then creating a handicap

2. Measurements taken and formulas used to predict performance

This is according to an article by Jim Teeter : Yacht Racing Handicap System. These are two very different views. The first takes actual race results and base their handicap system on that. The second takes in account all the physical attributes of a boat (weight, length, sail area, etc)
These systems are then used to give boats the same equal opportunity of winning.

I have one big problem with both these systems, one major factor in boa speed is not taken in to account. The major factor being you, the sailor. Take Tillerman , he sails a Laser and competes with people half his age. They are younger, more agile and more fit than him, but they have the same rating. On his blog he complains of not winning races, even though he sailed his hardest and best race. Is this fair?

Another example is when I started sailing, the yacht had a 0.95 rating and we were all beginner sailors. We always ended up in the end of the pack, dead last. Now, two years later the yacht is still on a 0.95 rating, but an experienced crew is sailing her. We take home the medals almost every week. Could that one factor make such a difference, I think so.

A skipper I once sailed under recommend that we don't give the system the boot, but adopt a golf handicap system. Still keeping the current rating, but bring the skipper and crew into the equation as well.

Basic golf handicap is calculated as follows, add your 10 best scores of 20 and then you can determine where you are on the handicap system. With each new game, you enter your result and your handicap get recalculated again. With this system you can still stay competitive even if you just started out.

By doing this beginners and seasoned sailors can race against each other competitively. Each regatta you can test your own ability and that of your boat.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Idiot or Novice?

I remember my first sail. Ooh, how that changed my life from a landlubber to a sea going maniac.
I grew up in the middle of South Africa. No water mass big enough to go sailing on. My contact with water sports was paddling with my canoe on the almost non existing river in the Olifants Valley or over a long weekends going water skiing with friends.

Living in a small town everybody knows everybody and I knew of an old Sonnet Dinghy standing in someones backyard rotting away. So I had it looking like new again with a nice thick glossy layer of epoxy. Now, I didn't know a thing about sailing, less about rigging a dinghy. I got my hands on a sailing book from the library. I think the book was older than me. Read every little thing in there, from righting your dinghy to sail adjustment. Weird thing I could not figure out was why they were talking about apparent wind. According to the book you need to have the sail set this way for this angle to the wind, etc.

So I set of for the a piece of water large enough for the "Art of Sailing". Rigged my dinghy and was launching it just as the wind started to pickup. In the dinghy and off I went. Sail adjustment was easy, but awfully wrong. In the book they just told you what apparent wind was and that you should sail to the angle of the wind.

So clever me was watching the wind sock at the clubhouse for direction, sailing and adjusting my sails to True Wind. Idiot!! Needles to say the dinghy didn't perform like the previous owner described it: It shoots off like a Rocket.

I enjoyed myself so much that I transformed into a sailor for life. Next chance I got I went to the city to buy myself the Complete Sailing Manual, I needed to know more about my new obsession. When I learned that you should sail on apparent wind, I shot off like a rocket.

Idiot? I believe novice.

P.S. Not me in the picture

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Sea Monsters - Fact or Fiction

I remember my first off shore race. Fresh out of Sailing school, with my skipper ticket in hand, I boarded a Bavaria 36 for the Mikonos Off Shore Regatta. Foul Weather gear and all the gadgets a young student could afford. The race there was uneventful with 0 wind. 90% of the fleet hoisting the iron sail and the old diesels purred up the coast to Mykonos. at 8pm the evening we entered the Harbor and looked for our mooring.

The next days bay racing was a different story, winds up to 35knts. Exhausted but still in good spirit the crew and skipper decided to head out to sea as the sun started to set over the horizon. We wanted to anchor at Dassen Island for the evening, only 20 miles away. As we rounded Jutten island the fog set in and so the ocean was starting to play tricks on us.

We were motoring in 35 m of water, 2miles form the coast line. Suddenly the echo sounder's alarm sounded, depth from keel to ocean floor read 2m. Skipper and crew alike started to question the instruments and their own knowledge of the ocean. Out popped a school of Dolphins at the bow and the echo alarm stopped.

Weird how ones mind starts to play tricks on you as the fog rolls in and night creeps nearer. With visibility down to zero, so did our speed. We were doing 3knts, crawling slowly towards the Island and a safe anchorage. In the fog eerie sounds seem to come from nowhere as you can hear whispers on the wind, yachts and trawlers a like sound their fog horns and somewhere in the distance a scream.

That scream was from our own bow. I think it sounded like TORPEDO! But that cant be, we aren't in hostile waters. I make my way to the bow only to see green streaks in the sea darting for our bow. Just as we brace ourselves for impact out jumps a friendly illuminant dolphin covered in phosphor. One of the most remarkable things I've ever seen. They were darting to our bow and jumping for 20 min before we entered house bay at Dassen Island, our anchorage. Relieved and exhausted 1am in the morning the entire crew stood at the stern and wrote their name on the phospor coverd sea.

Out came the bottle of sherry and tales of sea monsters and torpedoes.

Do sea monsters exist, our is it just a bottle of sherry and our imagination?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

How do you drink Red Wine at sea?

There is nothing more rewarding after a days sail than to uncork a bottle of red wine and enjoy at sea while watching the sunset over the horizon.

That is until you hit an unsuspected wave and spill a few drops of wine on the teak deck. The skipper in his color coded sailing gear just left civilization and starts swearing like a sailor in a cheap remake of Moby Dick.
Out comes the bleach and other chemicals and gone is the tranquil sunset and glass of well bodied wine. One would believe some sorry fool was killed and we are desperately trying to get rid of the blood stains before entering port. The crew is on their knees scrubbing the floor like slaves on an old square rig while the captain is at the helm shouting and swearing, cursing the winds. All on deck have forgotten about the wine and out comes the bottle of cheap sherry that is passed from sailor to sailor to Captain.

So how do one drink red wine at sea? Should we rather take swigs out of the bottle or maybe get ourselves some of those German beer mugs with the lid? Maybe we should cover the cockpit floor with bleach or other chemicals before we pop the cork.

For now I will have a goblet of luscious red wine, even if it means mutiny.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Where are all the Sailors?

Sitting in my car looking at the ocean, I wonder where all the sailors are......

Today is one of those perfect days, we get so few of them these days. Either the wind is howling or its raining in mid summer. You could not ask for a better day for sailing, flat seas with a nice steady breeze . . . perfect.

Yet, where are all the sailors???

The yacht club is only 2km away and not a single piece of cloth is to be seen on the water. For some reason yachties think that sailing is reserved for Wednesday night regattas and weekends. Now dinghy and Hobie sailors take every opportunity they get to be out on the water, why is this? Maybe because you only need two sailors? Maybe because less prep is involved? Maybe because they have youth on their side? OR maybe they don't need to have high power jobs and big overdrafts to finance their passion like the yacht owners do.

Yet, where are all the sailors??

People need to work during the week to earn money for new rigging, blocks and mooring costs. I get it, but if I look at the members at the club, mostly they are elderly folk now on retirement, surely they can use the perfect day in the week for sailing? Or do they need crew? Or maybe they are not up to the challenge anymore?

Yet, where are all the sailors?

Here lies the CATCH 22 of Sailing:

Buy the big yacht with all the trimmings, but need the big power job with the long hours to pay the bank = No Sailing

Retire Early after your successful career and buy the yacht of your dreams, but need crew to help sail the yacht, who is still at work = Again No Sailing

Are we all doomed to stay dinghy sailors forever?