About us

The BTOSC is a small but long established ‘virtual’ yacht club.   

  • We organise a programme of sailing events every year and communicate with our membership by email. 
  • The majority of our events start and finish in the Solent and we organise cruises elsewhere too.  
  • We have have a number of Approved Skippers – all of whom are experienced RYA qualified Yachmaster Offshore or Yachtmaster Coastal skippers.  We charter whatever yachts we need for our events. 
To find out more about BTOSC and our Sailing Programme please explore the menu at the top of the page. 
 

Current Status.  Club sailing activities are currently still suspended.  However, we now have a Skippers Refresher event booked to ensure that our skippers are back up to speed before we run any formal events.  Our AGM is scheduled for 15 May and we have an outline programme for the rest of 2021.  We are considering adding other events so please keep your eye out for announcements on this.   

Yachts are likely to be in high demand this summer since more people will be holidaying in the UK so please book early.

Note that for the BBQ Weekend and for the Xmas Jolly, at least one yacht will have one or two additional days on the water. 

A Return to Sailing

The BTOSC Committee met on 25 Feb to review the latest situation. As you will all know the Government has now published a roadmap of indicative (no-earlier than) dates for the lifting of restrictions and guidance is now available from the RYA for each stage.

Having reviewed the guidance from the RYA the committee has decided that the 2021 BTOSC Sailing Programme should remain suspended until 21 June. By then all restrictions should have been lifted and we hope that members will once again be keen to sail.

In the meantime, we have a virtual AGM scheduled for 15 May. We will also be scheduling some refresher sessions prior to our first event. These sessions are aimed principally at BTOSC Approved Skippers.

In view of the late start to the season we are considering an extended south coast cruise in Sep leading up to a later BBQ than normal. Demand for yachts is expected to be at a premium once we restart so please sign up for events as soon as you are able to do so.

Report on a passage to Southsea Marina (2019)

The BBQ Weekend is one of the highlights of the BTOSC Sailing Programme. In Sep, for the first time, we chartered both Sea Essay and Freyja from Channel Sailing Division and East Coast Division of the CSSA as well Viola from Hamble Point Yacht Charters.

Freyja was chartered for 3 days from 1200 Thursday 13 Sep until 1800 on the Sunday. We took her over at Hornet Services Sailing Club. The outline itinerary for the event was:

Thurs PM: Hornet to Southsea Marina (Langstone Harbour)

Fri: Passage to Newtown River, Cowes or Beaulieu

Sat: Passage to Lymington for Annual BTOSC BBQ

Sun: Return passage to Hornet

This report covers Thurs 12 Sep – our passage to Southsea Marina.

Before embarking on the 8NM passage to Southsea Marina in Langstone Harbour we took the opportunity to do some boat handling practice north of Burrow Island in Portsmouth Harbour itself.

Continue reading Report on a passage to Southsea Marina (2019)

Membership benefits

The benefits of BTOSC membership are:-

  • A varied programme of events every year
  • Cruising, racing and training events at a sensible price
  • A non-profit organization with low overheads
  • The club underwrites the security deposit for charters for club events
  • Opportunities for aspiring skippers to become Club Skippers 
  • Members may also be able to benefit from discounts provided by charter companies we deal with 
  • We have a website available to all and occasional newsletters to members
  • We offer the members the opportunity to organise club events
  • Increase the network of other sailors they have access to

Report on BTOSC Spring Rally & AGM Weekend (2019)

We had three yachts out for our Spring Rally weekend (3rd Event of the year). Once again one yacht (Freyja) was pre-booked for an extended weekend based out of Hornet SSC. The other two, Apaloosa and Viola, were chartered from Hamble Point Yacht Charters. Several members also joined the AGM and meal on foot.

All yachts converged on the central Solent on Saturday evening for our AGM, prize giving and an excellent rally supper at Hornet.

We had some rain on the Friday and Sunday but otherwise the weather was mainly mild and warm with light winds.

Moorings at Itchenor

For the record, Frejya”s 3.5 day itinerary was as follows:

  • Thurs PM: Portshouth Harbour (Hornet SSC) to Itchenor (Chichester Hbr). Excellent meal at the Ship
  • Fri: Itchenor to Hornet then to The Folly Inn (Cowes)
  • Sat: Cowes to Bembridge. 3 hrs ashore then to Hornet
  • Sun: Hornet to Langstone Harbour then back to Hornet
  • Overall Mileage 75 nm
  • Wind Max 21 kts  


Report on Skippers Refresher (2019)

Six club skippers, MG, NW, JS, CJ, ID & RD, descended on Hamble on 22 Mar 2019 for the Annual BTOSC Skipper”s Refresher.

Friday: An 18.30 briefing followed by a night passage from Hamble to East Cowes with each skipper taking turns different sections of the passage provided good material for later discussion and feedback. Discussions on a variety of skippering topics followed. Sharing of lessons learned and generally putting the world to rights over supper: Pasta bolognaise, garlic bread and the obligatory cheese board.

Saturday: Boat handling on Medina River in tidal conditions in and around East Cowes and at the Training pontoon near the Folly. Lunch – Beaulieu. Overnight at Lymington Yacht Haven. Reacquainted ourselves with the Ship.

This bookable BBQ Area found in Lymington Yacht Haven could prove useful

Sunday: Lymington BBQ Area Reconnaissance. Man-over-board techniques off Beaulieu. Lunch anchored off Calshot.


Lunch anchored in 3 m with Luttrells Tower in line with Fawley Chimney.

FYI – This tower which sleeps 4 and can be booked is owned by the Landmark trust. For further into see:
https://www.landmarktrust.org.uk/search-and-book/properties/luttrells-tower-11322#Overview

Report on Xmas Jolly (2018)

I am sure that just thinking about the Christmas Jolly makes some people shudder. However, once again we were not disappointed either by the weather or the level of enthusiasm and support from members.

We chartered three yachts for this event. Appaloosa was booked for the weekend. Sea Essay for the Fri, Sat and Sun and Viola for Sat, Sun and Monday. Our pre-booked Christmas meal was on the Sat night in Hythe.

Continue reading Report on Xmas Jolly (2018)

Report on Channel Islands Adventure (2018)

This Channel Island Adventure was in May 2018

Outbound Passage

We gathered on Sea Essay moored in Mercury Marina during the Friday afternoon/evening, but with the Hurst Tidal Gate open 22:00 – 02:00, or 10:00 – 14:00 on the Saturday, an evening meal ashore and early departure was the preferred option.  After an excellent breakfast of the hoof we made Hurst by 10:30 and then turned leftish by Fairway Buoy for Guernsey on a good downwind sail. Roy D had done the detailed navigation planning and routing via Casquets Light then South of Guernsey was preferred as arrival was expected to be in darkness.

After an on-board meal of boiled gammon, new potatoes & green beans we approached “Watch Time”. However at 22:00 an Imminent 40+kt wind warning with hail made us rethink. Roy D  stayed up for both watches as did Mike G. For safety and comfort we motored the rest of the way to St Peter Port. The crew that actually did sleep reported the engine noise was soothing.

St Peter Port – Guernsey

In the event neither 40+kt winds nor hail put in an appearance and we approached St Peter Port from the South just before 06:00. We moored at the Visitors Waiting Pontoon awaiting the HM instructions, then rafting alongside a very large, very green, carbon fibre shrouds, and unknown manufacturer German yacht! Made sure we did not hit it!!

At low tide we marveled at the height of the reinforced Victoria Marina sill.

The rest of the day was spent at leisure (or sleeping). We replenished some victuals as Alderney was expected to be closed on the Bank Holiday and then ate ashore with a wonderful view over Victoria Marina.

Passage to Alderney

Monday saw another early departure along Little Russel towards Alderney. Circumnavigating anticlockwise we made Braye with a 4kt tide trying to make us miss the entrance. While moored to one of

the many visitor buoys we asked the question “Is this number 19 or 61?” as both appeared to be marked on it.  We went ashore by water taxi (operated by an antipodean) and sampled the atmosphere of the Alderney Performing Arts Festival followed by a walk inland via an old Northern Line Train, a different Post Box and some

liquid refreshment in St Anne. Returning to the boat we ate again on-board trying to reduce the hoard of on-board food.

Passage to Poole

We had yet another early departure Tuesday morning, heading for Poole. We played an interesting game of miss the TSS traffic – lots of red flashing AIS targets but no near misses. During the passage the strong West going tide made us consider Weymouth as an option for the evening but this was discounted after the re-calculated Poole ETA was well before Closing Time. At Poole we had a very good Thai meal with accompanying beverages.

Sea Essay at Poole Quay Yacht Haven

Pool to Yarmouth

The penultimate day saw some reduced visibility for the trip to Yarmouth via Poole Bay, the North Chanel and Hurst Narrows. The whole crew opted for a final meal ashore rather than the emergency meal which lives to see another sail/day. From Yarmouth we sailed East up the West Solent with a light wind behind us. This gave us some gybing practise – some of it planned.

Yarmouth to Hamble

On the last leg, going North from Cowes to the West of the Bramble Bank, the topside crew saw a very large container ship in Southampton Water. Not completely sure if it was “coming” or “going”, we inquired of the below navigation people what it was doing. “No vessel there” came the reply. Again we asked the question because the Mark One Eye-Ball surely wasn’t mistaken. Again came the reply “No vessel there”. After one further round of this humorous exchange the topside crew went below to change the range setting of the plotter/AIS to reveal a large Red Flashing target. A lesson for all of us when using AIS.

We reached Mercury Marina shortly after this and prepared the yacht for the next incoming crew. Overall this was a very enjoyable cruise; many thanks to all the crew, especially Roy D.

Many thanks to the Skipper, Mike Griffiths for this report.

Crew: Roy Demery; Roy Cullers; Nigel Wiltshire; Jonathan Peters; Phil Edwards

Report on Spring Rally / AGM Weekend (2018)

The BTOSC Spring Rally is an annual event during which we also hold our AGM.  In May 2017 we offered members a three-day charter on one of the yachts.  Following on from the success of that, this year (2018) the plan was for at least 2 yachts to be chartered for 3 days.   In another change from arrangements in previous years we chose Hornet Services Sailing Club as a venue for the AGM meeting and dinner. Continue reading Report on Spring Rally / AGM Weekend (2018)

Report on Skippers’ Refresher (2018)

The original plan to hold the Skippers’  Refesher in March had to be cancelled due to forecast gales and blizzard conditions.

Not wishing to be beaten we re-convened a month or so later on a Atlas a Halberg Rassy 34 chartered out of Hornet.

As usual, the objectives were to dust off the cobwebs after the winter; practice essential skippering skills such as mooring, boat handling and MOB.  Here we are successfully lassoing a buoy in the confines of Portsmouth Harbour before sailing to Chichester Harbour and Northney Marina where the last leg requires a precision approach to avoid shallows either side of the narrow approach channel.

Next morning we explored the area around the  marina and discovered a BBQ area that could perhaps be useful in future years.  We then practiced boat handling skills and tested out a number of short-handed berthing techniques that did not lend themselves to photographs before exploring other areas of the harbour.

First stop was a visit to the Emsworth Visitors pontoon which was quickly followed by an opportunity to calibrate our very erratic depth gauge over a gentle but unplanned lunch stop while we waited for the flood tide to work its magic.  We then took the opportunity to familiarise ourselves with visitor moorings at Itchenor before heading back to Portsmouth.

Over the weekend we were also able to share a number of experiences and ideas and to familiarize each other with a number of less frequently visited moorings, anchorages and marinas.

We were also able to get the lie of the land at Hornet Services Sailing Club where we would be berthed during the AGM Spring Rally.

Many thanks to all the skippers who could make this rescheduled event.  It was a most worthwhile weekend.

James Savage

Chairman BTOSC

Subscribe to the BTOSC Calendar

Did you know that you can subscribe to the Calendar on this website.  The Calendar is linked to the Events database so by subscribing you will receive updates when any changes are made to forthcoming events.

If you have a Google account then:

To subscribe or receiving these emails, you will need to log in to https://www.google.com/calendar/

The calendar that you need to subscribe using Google Calendar or even MS Outlook is:

http://www.btosc.co.uk/?eme_ical=public

Report on Round the Island Race (2017)

The annual Round the Island Race took place over the weekend. The BTOSC entry was Fleur de lis chartered from Fairview Sailing.

The event was skippered by Les Nicholls. The crew comprised James, Andrew, John, Mike Steve, Kevin M and Kevin S.
The weather forecast was NW3/4 and we had an early start.

It was a very different race to last year although  no-less exhausting for some reason.

We finished with an Elapsed Time of 09:34:22 and a Corrected Time of 09:23:27.

We did very well in comparison to the other yachts in Fairview’s matched fleet coming 3rd out of 16 that were entered.  C’EST SI BON was the fastest Fairview yacht finishing only 5 minutes before us.

Within our Class 6B we were 8th out of 29; within ISC Group 6 we were 38th out of 101 and out of all ISC rated yachts we were 309 out of 611 finishers, +38 RTD etc = 649 all told.

 

John Kelly (tactician) has now analyzed our performance.  He reports that:

  • We made a good start, along with the other leading 6B boats.
  • Start to Needles was a reach. We all took similar tracks keeping midstream in the west flowing tide, so I guess the 4 min advantage that C’EST SI BON had on us at the Needles was down to boat speed. We had a similar advantage on MINTAKA. It’s not worth trying to compare with different boats types on a single point of sailing.
  • Needles to St Cats was a broad reach/run – cruising chute deployed by all. Some like us kept in for the decreased tide, and some went straight and deep. I can’t see a clear advantage either way looking at the tracks. But what worked well for C’EST SI BON, 15 mins faster than us on the leg, was a hybrid, going wide initially (to get clear wind?), and in close after Atheridge Ledge to get the back eddy in the tide. (I’d love to know if they managed to get their cruising chute flying when going downwind, and, if so, how).
  • St Cats to Bembridge Ledge cardinal was a fine reach (genoa, not chute). We all took similar tracks, and there were just small differences in leg time.
  • Bembridge to finish was a beat into the tide. We did well, making up a lot of the 20 min advantage that C’EST SI BON had at the cardinal mark. We stayed in close to shallow water around Ryde and onward, but not aggressively so, preferring to minimise tacks.
  • C’EST SI BON, along with HADAWAY, went across the channel to cheat the tide on the mainland side. 4th place HADAWAY was nearly up with 2nd place DODGER at Bembridge, but lost about 10 mins on the beat. So this didn’t work for either of them

 

Report on Spring Rally / AGM Weekend (2017)

For the AGM weekend the weather and tides were favourable and we all enjoyed some good sailing and some healthy competition.

We chartered three yachts this year.  Rudeknot2, Empowered and Sea Essay.  Sea Essay was chartered for three days 11-14 May whilst the other two yachts were chartered for two.  On Sea Essay we had a brief passage to Cowes for the Thursday evening. On the Friday we had a passage to  explore Bembridge and Chichester before returning to Cowes.  On Saturday we  visited New Town Creek en-route to Yarmouth.  On the Sunday we returned to Hamble via Lymington and Bucklers Hard.  Our GPS track is shown below.

Just a quick reminder that our next event is the Round the Island Race.  The details for BTOSC crew are here.

Also for those who haven’t booked ahead, please make sure you have the BBQ weekend and Christmas Jolly in your diary and pay your deposits now.

Kind regards,

James Savage (Chairman)

 

BTOSC runs sailing events throughout the year