Essential details for Summer Cruise 2021

General domestics

Normally we make pillows, sleeping bags and club Oilskins available to make travelling and packing easier. But after Covid we have taken off everything like this, to reduce the infection risk. One sleeping bag is onboard for thermal first aid use.

If this is a serious problem to any of your crew we could make special arrangements on an named individual basis so please find out from your crew if there is any need.

Handover time was discussed on the Zoom call some months back and there was a large majority in favour of 6pm on the Saturday. Adjacent skippers can of course discuss and agree a different time between themselves and their crew. First and last weeks have different finish days and  times on each cruise.

Covid in particular

This news went out late April to all members. We have trialled the testing regime over the season so far.

Vaccinations and Lateral Flow Tests for increased safety and confidence
Members are encouraged to take up vaccinations against COVID for the protection of themselves and other crew members, but we recognise that this is not yet open to everyone.  In any case being vaccinated is not believed to totally eliminate the chance of an individual carrying and potentially spreading the virus.  As the government has now made lateral flow tests readily available and suggests bi-weekly testing, the club proposes that all crew members should carry out a Lateral Flow test, within the last 24 hours of meeting other crew members.  This is irrespective of whether or not they have been vaccinated.  Naturally if you are unfortunate enough to test positive you must not come to the boat (and cancellation fees will be waived).

If there are members who are not willing to do this, they should discuss this at an early stage with the skipper, who may if necessary, in consultation with other crew,  decide that they should not be invited onto the crew.  We of course hope and anticipate that everyone will regard this measure as a sensible addition to our COVID Safety precautions.

These Lateral Flow tests are freely available (at no cost) from government sources by post or for collection. See for example  https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests or from local test centres and some chemists.  In an extended trip testing bi-weekly during the trip is recommended.  Please procure your own tests in time for your planned trips.


Travel options will determine exactly what time crew need to leave the boat on the Saturday and it is up to each boat to work it out to best suit everyone. Many members are established experts but here are some suggestions.

  • Train, with advanced booking discounts as available
  • Car, share or individual
  • One way hire car
  • Adding a driver to a personal car insurance so that one crew can drive a car out and a different crew drive it back (obviously easier when members live close to each other)

West Country

Marinas in all of the West Country expect to be busy, so some phoning around for your next destination within the weeks could also be essential. Trevor’s report from last year may be useful. https://phoenixyachtclub.co.uk/news/6971/

Note to Tony Riley, John Halliday and Tom Lynch, I have not investigated Plymouth options this year but previously Mayflower was preferred. https://www.mayflowermarina.co.uk/

Falmouth has a choice of marinas in principle but in detail

https://www.premiermarinas.com/Marina-Berth-Options was our first choice for a change over port but is not accepting visitor bookings for summer 2021 since they expect to be too full

https://www.portpendennis.co.uk/ has never taken visitor bookings but has very rarely needed to turn anyone away, but expects to be very busy

https://www.falmouthhaven.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/FH_VisGuide2021-amendments-V4-Final.pdf Falmouth Town quay is dredged to 2m but the surrounding mud banks are only 1m draft above CD so it will be considerably tidally limited on access for RelaX with a draft of 2.2m.

https://www.mylor.com/ Mylor is my personal preference, for our week 3return. It is about 5miles by taxi from the train or Falmouth town. They are accepting bookings for Friday and Saturday nights. Car shuffles are viable between the town and Mylor if Relax arrived elsewhere. It now has walk ashore pontoons but still has plenty of moorings (also for visitors) which are half the price. The depth is 2m.

We have booked all our handovers at Mylor after skipper discussions for both Friday and Saturday nights. The skippers have a copy of their email confirmation.

Charts and books

Imray C10 Western English Channel Feb 2020

Imray 2400 West Country chart Atlas Apr 19 –

Imray 2300 Dorset and Devon Atlas Jan19 –


Isles of Scilly -Graham Adam Jan 20  – onboard Relax

We have Shell channel pilot and West Country cruising onboard both boats

East coast

Our destination yacht harbour of Suffolk yacht Harbour at Levington expects to be busy but has no problem with spaces. Judith willl provide them with skipper names and dates, when skippers know what they need.

https://www.syharbour.co.uk/  Lots of car parking spaces but a taxi away from Ipswich station (~10miles)

The manager requests us to book however, with boat name and (mobile) telephone number so they can check a few days beforehand.

So please consider if you wish to book for the Friday night as well as the Saturday. Richard & Judith will not book Friday automatically,  since there are many nice destinations a sheltered short passage away to go to instead and then get in for lunchtime on the Saturday. But it depends on the transport plans for both you and your crew.


We have ordered new charts and a pilot book

Imray C12 Eastern English Channel Feb 2020

Book: East Coast Pilot Part Number: PIL0030 Edition: 2019      ISBN: 9781846239533

Thames Estuary C1

Dover Straits C8

Suffolk and Essex rivers pack 2000

We also have a club North Sea Passage Pilot (an excellent book for everything but the Thames Estuary sandbanks which can change every year)

https://app.box.com/s/b16cd81tej7735yyxq9grokydjafrav1 I have updated this East Coast mini guide

We have not bought the book (sand banks change so often) https://www.crossingthethamesestuary.com/ but the principles still apply.

As the charts are current the updates to them (nearly all very minor) can be found in pdf form from Imray.

Shelter and ventilation

RelaX has a good long spray hood which we tend to leave down because it needs careful handling, but it is worth learning how to use it. In the rear port locker under the fenders is a fitted over-boom cockpit cover which will keep the sun and most of the rain off for sitting outside and eating. It overlaps with the spray hood and allows the cabin to be open and well ventilated overnight.

Quartette has a bimini which is mounted on the frame at the back and there is a piece to zip into the spray hood. This piece can be found behind one of the saloon cushions (look carefully it walks). The first time this is used it will need WD-40 to lubricate the zip and a pair of plyers to apply adequate force plus some leaning on the sprayhood to help things to meet. The hatch can be left open and the boards out for improved ventilation below.

Happy planning!

Best regards,

Judith Hankey

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