Trip on a Westerley GK29 starting 2009-07-23 in BSAAug09

Training trip Plymouth July 23 - 26 2009 – report by skipper Alan Howells

This was organised by request and the number deliberately kept small to offer lots of opportunity for practice. The yacht chartered was a Westerley GK29 kept at SaltashMap. The weekend charter runs from Thursday eve to Sunday eve.

As anticipated the yacht is kept on fore and aft moorings in the river and the owner brings it to the pontoon. Car park is public and free but well lit and overlooked by lots of new apartments and a fair number of cars are left there overnight so reasonably safe.

The yacht, though coded and used for an RYA sailing school, is very much an owner’s yacht in frequent use by the owner and her family. There are potentially five berths but I would say that four was a more reasonable number given the limited space below. Sailed very well and handled well under power with new Volvo engine. Very large new deck sweeping genny with an enormous overlap necessitating the leeward lookout lying flat to see under it. Yacht sits well in the water and is sea kindly.

We spent the first day doing lots of tacking gybing and sail trimming in Plymouth Sound anchoring twice in CawsandMap for meals. An attempt to sail to Fowey was abandoned after sailing out to near the Eddystone when it became apparent that it would turn into an endurance exercise into the fresh Southwesterly and we had had a long day. Spend night at anchor in Cawsand.

Nice windward sail to Fowey on the Saturday initially into the eye of the wind but it later backed enabling it to made in a single tack.

Forecast for Sunday was Southerly 5-6 occ 7 but we got Southeasterly 5 occ 6. Nice sail again with headsail rolled just to the point where it was not overlapping (which also improved the view forward) and later we put a reef in the main. Bit rough South of Rame but very comfortable none the less. Very fast passage. A couple of big reaches saw us behind the breakwater where we dropped the sails and motored to a buoy North of Drake’s Island for lunch.

Fuelled and watered at Mayflower before returning to Saltash where we were supposed to leave the yacht on the pontoon which is “always empty”. It was in fact occupied by a large yacht with a very much larger gin palace rafted out leaving the other space taken by a small yacht (smaller than ours) which was slightly tricky rafting. Having moored we were met by Arne (the most laid back character I have ever met) who asked us if we could moor to the fore and aft moorings in the river which we did in a screaming spring tide to be returned to the pontoon by Arne in his dinghy.


Saltash  50.4053,-4.2023
Weather at EGHD   13 kts from SW 17.0C, 1004mb Scattered Clouds
Cawsand  50.3319,-4.1894
Weather at EGDB   16 kts from SW 18C, 1005mb Scattered Clouds