Category Archives: blog

Report on the Christmas ‘Jolly’ – December 2013

The Christmas ‘Jolly’ event took place in weather conditions that you would never believe possible in December—particularly given the gale condition earlier in the week.  The writer wore gloves for less than five minutes over the whole weekend!

Following a social get together in The Ketch Rigger on the Friday evening, three yachts set sail in sunshine with a good wind on Saturday. We followed a competitive course that kept us busy with lots of tacks and gybes, whilst at the same time trying to solve a 25 question quiz based on pounds, shillings and pence, together with some Cockney rhyming slang. We finished at Cowes mid-afternoon. Congratulations to Mike Griffiths, Hazall Bagnall, Roy Demery, Andrew Hemphrey, Roy Cullers, Allan Goodfellow and Chris Webber on Loxley B who crossed the finish first. We motored up the Medina and moored at The Folly Inn in time to see the sunset, finish off the quiz and meet up with Alan and Lynne Franklin who had sailed up earlier, ready to join us for the evening celebrations.

The Tenacious Buchaneers, (Brendan Hanvey, Derek Underwood, Roy Evans, Steve Hamilton and David Bartlett), didn’t get the quiz until they moored at The Folly, but their wisdom shone through and they completed it in record time.

There were twenty one of us eating the meal at The Folly in the evening. The quality and quantity of the food was excellent, as indeed was the company and it was great to meet up with so many old friends. When it got to the stage where the other tables were being used as dance floors, we made our excuses and slipped back to our yachts for a nightcap.

We woke up to another perfect day for sailing and sailed round to Osborne Bay, where we anchored for lunch before returning in stronger winds to the Hamble.

Mick C

Report on Tallships Challenger Long Weekend Cruise 13-16 June 1013

The crew assembled at Gunwharf Quays Marina at 11 AM on Thursday 13 June for an eagerly anticipated long-weekend voyage on Tallships’ Challenger 4.  After selecting a bunk, everyone was introduced to the boat.  Below deck we were introduced to the sail locker, the heads (with gimbles), the skipper and mate’s cabins, the galley, saloon, nav station and mess deck.    On deck we were introduced to a variety of colored halyards and other lines as well as the winches and the safety equipment.   After a weather brief we learnt that going Cross-channel our destination would need to be Weymouth and Poole  After lunch we retrieved the Yankee III Foresail and the staysail from the sail locker, and hanked them on ready for use before slipping our moorings and heading out into the Solent bound for Cowes which was to be our destination for the first night.

The first challenge was to get the mainsail up.  Then came the Yankee and Staysail.  We quickly discovered that everything was at least 5 times heavier than the equivalent on the size of yacht that we are used to. It was hard work but you would have enjoyed it I am sure.  We didn’t cross the channel in the end as the weather was not ideal for that but Cowes, Weymouth and Poole were a good substitute as it turned out most people just wanted the ‘big boat’ experience.  We encountered a full range of weather and used every sail except storm sail and the kites. The website has a link to a video compilation that gives a good flavour of the sailing we encountered.  We ate well too

Hazards from Portable Generators

We don’t normally encounter portable generators on BTOSC events but you sail on a boat with one you would be advised to read the MAIB’s latest Safety Bulletin issued following the carbon monoxide poisoning on board the Bayliner 285 motor cruiser Arniston in Windermere, Cumbria on 1 April 2013, resulting in two fatalities.

The same hazard would also apply in the event of damage to the exhaust for any inboard engine.


Sailing Programme for 2013

Members that attended the Christmas Jolly will have seen the draft Sailing Programme for 2013 and have started planning in detail for some of these events.

  • The Forthcoming Events page on the right hand side of this website only lists events where the dates are confirmed.
  • If you can’t see an event to suit you, then let the committee know.   The committee will do its best to help you find a crew and skipper but you may need to co-ordinate the event yourself.

Book now for Christmas Jolly Weekend Fri 30 Nov – 2 Dec 2012

Christmas is coming so it’s time to book your places for the BTOSC Christmas Jolly which is to be held this year at a new venue – The Master Builder at Bucklers Hard. The price per berth is £135 which includes your berth, a 3 course dinner and hopfully some sailing too.

Xmas Jolly Menu 2012

Event Payment Instructions

 If you would like to take part please:

1. Let me know on this email address

2. Make your payment of the full amount to as per the attached instructions. Please also let Roy & me know when you have done so.

3. Contact Sue Tolson on with your menu choices.

There is an option for you and/or family members to attend the meal only without the sailing weekend. If you would like to do this then please let us know.

Many Thanks

Hazel Bagnall, BTOSC Cruising Secretary 07710 070624

report on a Cruise to the Scilly Isles (2012)

Steve Webber reports on this cruise to the Scillies 3-10 August (2012)

Lunch-time on a sunny Friday seemed like a good omen when four of us – skipper Nigel Watsham, Mike Griffiths, Roy Cullers and myself Steve Webber – assembled at Queen Anne’s Battery in Plymouth.  A leisurely lunch in the bar while waiting for the boat, Ocean Whisper – a Sunfast 37 – to be prepared was marred only by a torrential downpour. But by hand-over, the sun was out again.

Then it was off in a SWly F4 for a quick familiarisation sail to Newton Ferrers. Interesting approach using two sets of leading marks to negotiate the dog-leg. Tied up on a pontoon for the night, electing to eat on board rather than get the dinghy out.

Next morning, with the continuing SWly, we sailed out to the Eddystone lighthouse, then turned to head towards Falmouth. Sailing close-hauled on the port tack gave us the heading we needed, and we were able to settle back and relax for the next 30nm, watching the downpours happening all around us but never on us. Engine on and sails down as we headed up to Mylor, only for the engine alarm to go off as we were within sight of the yacht haven. An anxious half-hour sailing around on the jenny while we failed to find out why there was no cooling water coming through. Having decided that now it had cooled we could run it for long enough to get into the marina, it promptly decided to work normally.

A day of mixed sailing and motor-sailing with distant views of St. Michael’s Mount as we crossed Mounts Bay brought us to Penzance dock. Rafted up next to a much larger yacht which turned out to be operated single-handed by a 76 year-old. Just time to shin up the quay ladder, dash to the shops and replenish the beer supplies.

The forecast was for continuing S-SWly F4-5, so the decision was made to go for it. Out to Wolf Rock, then another long port tack, pausing only to put the 1st reef in, brought us in sight of the Scilly Isles. Wisely, the skipper decided to put the engine on early – no water again. An hour spent dismantling the inlet filter and impeller to no avail, then at the third time of asking it worked. Into Hugh Town harbour and pick up a mooring buoy, inflate the dinghy, and into town. Managed to find a restaurant with a free table before the deadline of 9pm, and enjoyed a welcome steak to celebrate our arrival.

A dodgy engine and manual anchor was agreed to make the option of exploring more of the islands unwise, so next day we headed back. While piloting the channel to clear the islands, we passed a tall ship on its way in – made us grateful that our rigging wasn’t quite so high. On a broad reach with a following moderate sea and occasional F6, we made good progress – the prize for speed going to the skipper who briefly achieved 9.94 knots with the 1st reef in. Into Falmouth and raft up for the night.

Off to Fowey on a calm sea with no wind in time for a cream tea and a glass or two of wine, then dine on board. Next day back to Plymouth, again mirror sea, no wind and sunny. A prize was offered for the first person to spot a yacht motor-sailing with a cone up, but of the many we passed, not one (including ourselves!) were conscientious enough to comply. We obviously passed the quick inspection by a naval patrol vessel as they didn’t board us, so back into QAB and relax.

An interesting week: several brief sightings of fins – possibly porpoises, enough light-houses to lose count, some drama and even some good sailing. But don’t assume that because an engine looks brand new and has just been serviced that it’s going to work!

All in all, very pleased to have made it to the Scilly Isles.

Quotes of the week:

Nigel – boats are better when you’re sat on a patio with a glass of wine.

Roy – you always do what the skipper says.

Report on the BTOSC Spring Rally & AGM

Mick Curran reports as follows on the BTOSC Spring Rally and AGM weekend:

Despite some of us being keen to sail to the Isle of Wight on the Friday evening, the decision was made to stay and eat at the Ketch Rigger. This turned out to be an excellent choice because a large table was prepared for us which made it easy for new members to get to know everyone. There was lots of laughter and we headed of to our bunks looking forward to a great day sailing.

The conditions in the morning  were better than expected and the three BTOSC chartered yachts headed out into a number of yachts that were racing and cruising out on the Solent. We sailed in company – initially towards Portsmouth and Gilkicker Point.  When the wind eased a challenge was set to be first to the Needles. There was still enough wind and with a calm sea, we all had a great sail before mooring in Lymington for the AGM. This took place in the magnificent Royal Lymington Sailing Club which has a grand view over the Solent from a balcony, although with the cold weather, the seawater pool looked far from inviting. The evening was chilly for the time of year so it was a good thing that Sue, our Social Secretary, had booked us indoor tables at the Mayflower for our traditional evening meal, where we can select our choices from the extensive menu. The evening was another successful social event.

The following morning we sailed around the Solent with a good wind which allowed us to practice our skills before having lunch up the Bealieu river and returning to the Hamble later in the afternoon.

If any of the other crews wish to add to this report or have any suitable photos of the event, please advise  James Savage.