Category Archives: News

2022 Sailing Programme

The Sailing programme has been updated once again:

Now that your new Dufour has been delivered the Yacht Husband team have started on their list of 60+ items whilst allowing the electronic systems to be installed, set up, tested and calibrated.  Further work includes compass swings, surveyors examinations, modifying the operating manuals, completing and submitting documentation for entry onto the UK Ships Register, preparing notes for and conducting short Axiom Multi Function Display courses and the familiarisation of Approved Skippers.  

It might be necessary to eat into some of the programmed sails in the latter half of May to accommodate them.  Hence the attached sail programme shows the Taster Days, Sea Time and Rob Stephens charter slightly greyed out to indicate that they could be under threat of truncation or cancellation.

Dufour 390 – Documents

Our brand new yacht, a Dufor 390, is now on here inaugural Summer Cruise.

Documentation such as the Operations Manual and Familiarization Guide is available to skippers through a new menu on this website underneath the ‘Sea Essay’ menu. The password for this page is available from the webmaster.


Dufour 390

 Further details

Training in 2022

What is the demand for CSD Training Courses?

Historically CSD have provided a training pathway from novice to RYA Yachtmaster. Following a change in RYA criteria for Recognised Training Centres we have been unable to offer the complete package in-house and require collaborations with external RTCs and instructors, these have had varying success.

We are now in a position to formalise an arrangement and have RYA Instructors who are prepared to put in the effort to make it happen if there is sufficient call for it among you.

So if you are contemplating any sailing training next year or further in the future, particularly Competent Crew, Day Skipper, Yachtmaster Coastal or Offshore, please contact our Training Organiser Andy Rankine ( as quickly as possible.

A West Country Cruise on Sea Essay

A report on a West Country Cruise on Sea Essay (18-26 June 2021)

I have been wanting to explore the West Country for several years and finally my stars aligned. After checking availability with a prospective mate and other crew, I took the plunge, booked the charter and time off work.

With the rule of 6 in force we sailed with 6 POB. All on board had experience and all but one had previously sailed on Sea Essay. Skipper and Mate had both attended a Skippers Refresher event organised by another club prior to this event.

Since we had heard that restaurants might be fully booked we victualed on the basis of eating on board on at least 4 evenings. This worked out very well in practice.


We took over Sea Essay at 1200 and slipped our lines around 1630 for a short passage from Mayflower Marina to Newton Ferrers on the River Yealm. When East of Drake’s Island we raised the main with the intention of sailing with one reef but encountered an issue with tangled reefing pennants. With this resolved we had an enjoyable beat until we made the leading line to Wembury Church. With the wind increasing we took in a reef and then in a light drizzle, we entered the River Yealm under engine. Met by HM near the visitors’ pontoon and allocated a residential mooring for the night.

Peaceful moorings on the River Yealm


Little to no wind – Carefully exited R Yealm after LW.  Passage to St Mawes, Famouth Marina and rafted at Falmouth Yacht Haven.  Ate ashore at the Pizza place on the foreshore.

St Mawes
The foreshore at Flushing


Inclement weather forecast. Spent day in Falmouth with some crew exploring the town and others visiting the Cornish National Maritime Museum.

Falmouth Yacht Haven – from the Cornwall National Maritime Museum


Passages under sail to the River Helford.

Then a passage towards Fowey.

Responded to a PAN PAN call from two dinghy sailors in a swamped dinghy.   Photo below is of the dinghy after a tow to Portscatho.

The RNLI arriving on scene
Passing Polruan

Our mooring for the night was on pontoon No 5


Topped up with water – Purchased Gas. The latter is only available at Mixtow Creek which is shallow at LW.

We then took in some of the coastline en-route towards Polpero which turned out to be a fantastic lunch stop.

Polpero – Not for the feint-hearted
Fore and aft mooring here for yachts either side of the entrance channel for the harbour. Local fishing boat had other ideas.

We then had an exhilarating downwind passage to Salcombe.

Sea Essay rafted outside of madness, on the pontoon in the Bag.


Took advantage of the Salcombe Yacht Club’s showers. Passage under engine to Burgh Island for lunch at anchor.

Passage under sail to Newton Ferrers.

Headland off Noss Mayo
Used leading lines and transits to enter the River Yealm.
We were unable to book and outside table but ate ashore at The Ship in Noss Mayo after using the tender to get ashore.

Issue with the Fwd heads – would not pump in water.

Symptoms were that “water did not come in and handle springs up if pushed down” Seacock was open. Flush lever was fully open already.
Clear inlet pipe was very dark. After disconnecting this pipe from the pump this marine growth was pulled out of the pipe. The remainder was blown back out through seacock using air pump.


Tidal Gate at LW in R Yealm at the Bar.  We then took the opportunity to for MOB Practice under sail and engine in Plymouth Sound and sailed to an anchorage at Cawsand. After an excellent salad lunch and with a moderate breeze we has an exhilarating sail, short tacking all the way up to Saltash to check our clearance under the bridges.

We then explored the R Lynher ….

A minesweeper moored on the River Lynher

before leaving two crew at the Mayflower marina and mooring in QAB. We ate ashore at the Murghai Restaurant close to QAB marina.


Collected cars from Mayflower. Scrubbed deck, cleaned, purchased spares, completed handover documentation.

DayDestination (Mileage)
SatPlymouth to Newton Ferrers 8 NM
SunNewton Ferrers to Falmouth 44 NM
Mondidn’t sail
TuesFalmouth to Helford then Fowey 40 NM
WedFowey to Polpero then Salcombe 39 NM
ThursSalcombe to Burgh Island then Newton Ferrers 19 NM
FriCawsand then Saltash then Plymouth QAB 26 NM

James Savage (Skipper)

Skippers Newsletter 2/21 *updated*

No one spotted my deliberate mistake in SNL 02/2021 in identifying the tap for the Aft (No.2) Water Tank.  It is in fact the top one on the manifold and is very obvious when you look at the arrangement of the pipework.  An update to the second skipper’s newsletter for 2021 has been sent to all regular skippers of Sea Essay.

For reference purposes these newsletters can also be viewed and downloaded from

Sailing experiences post-lockdown

Please write in (see form below) with your sailing experiences post-lockdown. Here are a few reports:

Solent (Jul 2020)

A word for any prospective sailors, certainly around the Solent, in the present environment you will need to book ahead for a berth. Marinas will not allow rafting. This has dramatically reduced the available berths at marinas. You will also need to book ahead (sometimes days in advance) for fuel, which also means you must get there at the appointed time. Anchoring in remote bays seems to be more common, so having a non-rusty anchor chain (we had to chop a metre off Sea Essay’s) and holding tank may prove invaluable.

Day sailing around the Fal (20-21 Jul 2020)

Boat hire operating from Mylor Marina with timed slots for arrival and departure but offering less boats. Not taking deposits on bookings this year. Usual covid warning signs everywhere. Witnessed all boats and life jackets being carefully sanitised with milton. Found the waters quieter than expected. No shortage of moorings in the Helford River for example. We were made welcome for a short stay on the visitors pontoons in Falmouth without booking ahead. One way system marked out on pontoons. No rafting allowed.

Charter out of Plymouth (19-24 Sep 2020)

Plymouth Yacht Haven and local facilities were operating as normally as one would expect including excellent showers but activity seemed very subdued.

Yealm (20 Sep) – As beautiful as usual. Managed to get the last berth on the pontoon at Newton Ferrers. No one rafting. Most moorings taken.

Dartmouth – Plenty of space on visitor’s pontoons. River quite busy. Some tourist trips eg Steam Train and Paddle steamer seemed to be running but town was quiet. Yacht clubs and marina not offering showers to visitors. Showers behind bandstand toilets.

Salcombe – Harbour almost deserted. One of three visiting yachts surrounded by available moorings. No sign of the Hbr Master.

CSD AGM – Highlights

  • AGM held on 28 Nov 2020 on Zoom. 37 members attended.
  • 2020 Sail Programme decimated reducing income to 25% of expected figure.
  • A tentative 2021 Programme published on website. We are not taking firm bookings at this time but expressions of interest (EOI) may be lodged with the sail Organisers.
  • 2021 Summer Cruise will go ahead but area dependent on CoVid and Brexit. Last year’s skippers to be offered first refusal but all may submit EOI.
  • CSD remains solvent due to CSSA not asking for boat loan repayment.
  • New boat delayed to end of 2021 if funds allow.2020 Committee re-elected so all contact details remain the same.
  • 7 Motions to amend the CSD Constitution agreed by meeting. 1 to 6 will be incorporated but No 7 (Membership) delayed to allow CSSA GC to discuss and ensure alignment with other offshore divisions.
  • Post-AGM Committee meeting:Agreed Zoom meeting went well and format may be retained for future meetings. Will consider CSD social gathering in lieu.
  • Boat Handling and Sail Trim courses to be combined into Boat Handling Under Sail and Power (experience shows that content is always dependent on weather).
  • Need to re-emphasise that Sea Times are for member’s to gain experience in all aspects of sail cruising.
  • Day Sails for members in addition to CSSC Taster Days and Group Day Sails to be considered, contact Day Sail Organiser if interested.

Two Skippers Newsletters published 30 Jul 2020

Approved Skippers have been sent the following in an Email earlier today. Below are links to SNL 02 and 03 of 2020 plus a new Close Down Checklist.

SNL 02 outlines the Covid-19 risk reduction procedures to be followed by crews on Sea Essay which the CSD Committee feel will allow the safe resumption of sailing.  These procedures do not preclude you carrying out any additional actions that you may feel will further reduce the risk of contamination.
At this time only charters and some group day sails are being considered as we await further developments in the control of the virus and corresponding government rules and guidance. 

SNL 03 covers a new reef 3 tack arrangement, the 1m shorter anchor cable and the stowage of brushes and dinghy oars.
The revised Close down Checklist emphasises the enhanced cleaning and disinfecting now required prior to handover.

All Skippers Newsletters are all available on the Skippers Page :

These are the two new SNLs and the new Closedown Checklist: