Bluewater Open Boat Weekend set to inspire offshore sailors
16th and 17th May 2015, Lymington UK
08 May 2015
Over 100 aspiring bluewater cruisers are set to attend World Cruising Club's second annual Bluewater Open Boat Weekend hosted at Berthon Marina in Lymington on 16-17 May. They will have the opportunity to climb aboard a variety of ocean sailing boats, mingle with experienced cruisers and get expert advice to help set sail with the right boat, training, and equipment. Designed to make visitors think about all aspects of living the bluewater dream, the two day free to attend event combines a boatshow, seminar and sailor rendezvous all in one.
During the weekend a selection of bluewater boats will be open for viewing, hosted by experienced offshore sailors, all of whom have sailed transatlantic or further afield. Mad Fish, a Moody S38, will be hosted for the weekend by owner Russell Hawkins who completed an Atlantic circuit in 2012 with his young family. They left the UK in August before taking part in the ARC and after cruising the Caribbean for the season, returned to the UK with the ARC Europe 2013 via Bermuda and the Azores.
With over 21,000nm under her keel, Bowman 42 Indra is a tried and tested bluewater cruiser. The comfortable ocean going yacht is currently owned by Graham Searle, who joined ARC 2010 and ARC 2013 and cruised the Caribbean with her extensively.
Moody 47 Low Profile is a true ARC veteran having sailed in the rally five times since 1996. Her owner Hamish Mallin last sailed in ARC 2013 with friends, before cruising the Caribbean and returning to the UK via Bermuda and the Azores. Not a fan of British winters, Hamish is contemplating another ARC crossing with Low Profile possibly preceded by a trip to the Mediterranean.
Owners Ged & Anne Lydiate are close to finishing a refit of their 1992 Bill Dixon designed Premier 41, Magnetic Attraction in preparation for embarking on their own offshore adventure next year. Work done since purchasing the steel-hulled offshore cruiser includes new standing rigging, new batteries and upgrades to the electrical and electronics systems and repainting. Having attended World Cruising Club's Ocean Cruising Seminar as part of their preparations, Ged & Anne are keen to share their experiences of their own preparations to date with other prospective bluewater cruisers.
In addition to these boats a selection from the Berthon Brokerage Collection will be open for inspection. From a shorthanded cruiser stalwart Contessa 32 named Eymet to the luxury and round the world specification of Discovery 55 Sylvia, visitors to the Bluewater Open Boat weekend will be to compare boats to suit all budgets and design preferences. Included amongst the Berthon Collection is Saltwhistle III, a Hallberg Rassy 42F sailed by husband and wife team Tony and Rachelle. Their own sailing itinerary included ARC 2011 and Caribbean cruising, before heading to the US East coast and making extensive use of the Intracoastal Waterway. Sailing primarily double handed, Tony commented about what they looked for when purchasing a boat with their bluewater aspirations in mind, "We bought Saltwhistle because the class of boat has a great bluewater cruising reputation - good passage makers rather than speed machines. We particularly wanted a centre-cockpit boat for the security and in a size range the two of us could handle."
During the weekend other boats from the Berthon Collection are available to view on request, as well as a chance to explore the boat yard facilities offering all aspects of yacht refit and refurbishment.
Also afloat, Broadblue Catamarans will be displaying their Broadblue Rapier 550 for those considering cruising on board a multihull. The design was shortlisted for European yacht of the year 2015 brings together a combination of high performance, high specification and radical new design.
Balancing out the dockside chat will be a series of seminar presentations and discussions about how to embark on the bluewater dream. On Saturday topics including Rallies & Routes: what, where, when and how, Training for Cruising, Bluewater Cruising Techniques will serve to inspire those planning their adventures. Sunday's sessions will cover practical steps to achieve the dream such as What to look for in a Bluewater Boat, Refitting for Bluewater Cruising and Sails & Rigging Seminar.
Representatives from leading marine companies including Hamble School of Yachting, Professional Yacht Deliveries, Seldon, Elvstrom Sails, Fischer-Panda, Watt & Sea and Mob Mat will also be available to advise on equipping boats and crew for offshore adventures.
The two-day event is free to attend but visitors will need to pre-register beforehand. The flexible programme means people are welcome to attend for a few hours or the whole weekend with those wanting to get more out of the experience able to attend an optional social event on the Saturday night.
Information and registration at http://tinyurl.com/wcc-openboat-2015