Category Archives: News

Update – 8 Feb 2021

Sea Essay has been out of the water at Hamble Point since the 7th December but due to the ongoing situation Jeff’s Yacht Husband team have been unable to gather to carry out any of the below waterline tasks (primarily inspection and anti-fouling). Whilst Colin Smith and Andy Rankine have made regular visits to the boat and carried out what tasks the two of them can, the majority of jobs require the whole team. At this time March 8th looks like the earliest opportunity that lockdown will be eased enough to let work commence although we will have to wait for Boris'”Road Map” for confirmation.

There will then be a wait for a re-launch slot, hopefully well before the only booking so far available to us on the 19th April (with Hamble Point being the only lift-out facilities MDL now offer there are 3 marinas worth of vessels in the queue). Once back in the water the majority of lay-up tasks can be completed, e.g. have hull scratches and marks professionally repaired, refit sails and other equipment that have been removed for servicing, deep clean, test sail and obtain the annual Small Commercial Vessel Code of Practice certificate.

This all obviously means that the early part of our published sailing programme particularly in March is likely to be cancelled. We do hold out some hope that the events towards the end of April may be able to go ahead but a lot has got to go right for them to happen.


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.

Sailing experiences post-lockdown

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

Solent (Jul)

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)

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)

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.

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:

Wanted – A volunteer to help update this website

Website Author and Administrator is a proposed new role for CSD. It will involve working with the Webmaster and the Programme Sub-Committee to keep the CSD website and CSD facebook group up-to-date.

This website is currently produced using WordPress, a web-based tool for creating and managing blogs and other types of website.

  • Experience in similar roles would be useful but is not a pre-requisite.
  • Access to a computer with Windows 10 or MAC OS and internet connectivity is likely to be essential. Some updates can be done using a smartphone or tablet.
  • Familiarity with posting messages on facebook and other internet forums or blogs is highly desirable.
  • This role would provide an opportunity for a volunteer to contribute to the club and to gain knowledge and experience in the following:
    • How the club operates
    • Use of WordPress & other related tools
    • Information management
    • Website management
    • Aspects of IT security
    • Publicity / Marketing

This is not a time consuming role as we do not often receive more than two time-sensitive requests to updates the website each month. However, we are short of people with the necessary skills to make the most of the website and we would like more volunteers to be able to carry out such updates.

If you are interested in discussing this opportunity please complete the form below or contact the Webmaster though other channels.

CSD Facebook Group

This is a shameless plug for our  Facebook Group. As of today, we have 177 members and it has been quietly growing during lockdown.

There is a button that can be used to invite other CSD/CSSA members you know to join too.

Please use the facebook group to share memories and experiences on board and keep in touch with other members.

Finally, if you haven’t already done so please visit and ‘like’ the CSSA facebook page. This helps spread the word about our parent organisations.

Wanted – Photos and video

We are always looking for new material and photos for the website.

Were you one of the lucky ones who managed a sail before lockdown? Do you have any photos?

Did you sail on Sea Essay in previous years? If so, please do share any photos or video or written reports / comments on events you have been on.

Please get in touch if you have any material that may be of use.

James Savage – email