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Boats & Yachts


Q: Am I sailing? Am I sailing? Home again, cross the sea?
A: No not yet, but you can be with our magnificent range of sailing experiences.
Q: Will I be the skipper?
A: You can dub yourself anything you wish, but you will be experiencing the basics of boat-based manoeuvring alongside a highly qualified crew and some fellow mariners.
Q: So other people will be there?
A: Yes, you will be alongside other boat-based thrillseekers, but everyone will have a go at all the yachting fun.
Q: So what will be on the agenda?
A: It depends which experience you go for, but it will involve various aspects of sailing the boat from steering to raising the sails and working on the foredeck.
Q: That all sounds a bit of a palaver?
A: You are under no obligation to shimmy up any masts or anything like that. If you wish, you can just relax on the deck and watch the watery world go by.
Q: And the boats? Are they inflatable?
A: No they are proper boats. Some of them have circumnavigated the globe several times. They are vessels along the lines of the Whitbread 60 Blueprint or the Clipper 60 Taeping.
Q: That is some right good boats. I’ve always fancied a bit of ‘winter boating’, is that a thing?
A: I don’t think so. This is a seasonal experience, so check the details of the experience to see when it takes place. The skipper reserves the right to curtail the boaty goodness on safety grounds if the weather becomes a bit dodgy. If that happens your date will be rescheduled. If in any doubt please call the centre before departing for your experience.
Q: I have seasickness so severe that I can’t even wash my face. Is that an issue?
A: Yes. If you suffer from seasickness, this is probably the last thing you want to do. Unless you are testing out your new, high-powered seasickness medicine. Plus, this is a ‘hands on’ experience, you will be doing some moving and pulling of ropes, so if you suffer from any conditions that might prevent that, just contact us and we’ll let you know if this experience is suitable for you.

Fun Facts

  • 1. The first Olympic Yachting Regatta, at the 1900 Paris Games, was only announced months before it was due to start, so only 42 boats competed. Less of a regatta and more of a ‘casual boat gathering’.
  • 2. Beijing had to remove over 1 million tonnes of algae from the Olympic sailing course just a month before the 2008 games, after a giant outbreak left huge areas covered in the green stuff. Couldn’t they have just created a new event? I would have loved to have seen ‘competitive algae racing’.
  • 3. Seasickness is caused by a disturbance in our brain. Our eyes see the world as still, but our other sensory organs register the movement of the ship. Bloody organs, they are always up to no good.
  • 4. The Maersk Triple E container ship is the biggest vessel in the world, measuring a whopping quarter-of-a-mile long, 195ft wide and 240ft high. In Jaws when he said, ‘We’re gonna need a bigger boat’ was he thinking of this?
  • 5. The term ‘yacht’ originated from the Dutch word ‘jacht’ meaning ‘hunt’. It was originally defined as a light fast sailing vessel used by the Dutch navy to pursue pirates. So when you see all those anti-pirating messages at the start of your DVDs, you better take note, or the Dutch navy will be after you.
  • 6. The proposed ‘Streets of Monaco’ yacht, if constructed, will be one of the largest and most expensive vessels ever. With an estimated cost of $1.1billion, it will feature onboard reproductions of iconic areas from its city-state namesake. I didn’t think you could put a price on taste, but I guess it’s $1.1 billion.
  • 7. Owned by Royal Caribbean, the world’s largest cruise ships are the sister vessels MS Oasis of the Seas and MS Allure of the Seas. They are 16 decks high and can carry over 6,000 passengers. No, it’s Oasis and Blur, not Oasis and Allure.
  • 8.A lifeboat drill was scheduled to take place on board the Titanic, the day it hit the iceberg. However, for an unknown reason, Captain Smith cancelled it. Probably something to do with that dastardly Billy Zane.
  • 9. Nominated for fourteen Academy Awards, Titanic won eleven, including the awards for Best Picture and Best Director, tying Ben Hur for most Oscars won by a single film. Though as neither of them feature a foul-mouthed, wise-cracking Granny who likes to rap, I haven’t seen them.
  • 10. A container ship travels across the oceans the equivalent of three-quarters of the way to the moon and back every year. But it doesn’t actually go to the moon as they don’t need novelty Meerkat dolls, Jeggings and fake dog poo.