Category Archives: Cruising

Cruising in Brittany

Rob Williams took his boat, Shorehugger, with his family to Quiberon Bay in Brittany in August 2017.
In August he wrote from Quiberon Bay where Admiral Hawke prevented an invasion and sent two pictures taken by Lara.
I’ve been dilatory in posting them but maybe now is a good time to encourage you to make similar, even if less ambitious plans for 2018!


In the first picture you can see the Ecole Nationale de Voile people having a race in the background – in the second Rob is chatting to a cuttle-fisherman who was 53 just like Shorehugger. They were often coming in from their boats when Rob picked up the kids from the beach for a sail.

English Raid Three

English Raid Three (ER3) which is the latest venture of Penny Davies is a title which would have been applicable to her Caledonian Canal epic last year. But the  ER3 which three GSC DB are tackling (Hazy Daze with Harriet, Widgeon with Penny and Isis with Jane and James) is based on the East Coast near Harwich. Details below: –
*The Third English Raid 1st  to 5th August 2012

Dear Raiders

This note is being mailed to all those who have sent a deposit to confirm

interest in this years Raid, to keep you informed of progress.

*The Programme looks as follows (as at end May) changes in bold*

*Wednesday 1st: HW 12 noon*

Launch Woolverstone between 9am and 3 pm; sail round to Shotley Marina to
get sorted. *If you arrive too late to launch at Woolverstone, it is
possible to drive down to Shotley and launch off the beach, then entering
the marina via the lock. Probably not favourite, though.*

There is all tide access in and out of Shotley.

Supper at Shipwreck Bar (in Shotley Marina)

Trailer parking available at Woolverstone; Campsite ½ mile from Shotley

Kit transported by van or own cars to campsite

*Thursday 2nd: HW 12.40*

a.m.:Down Stour to Manningtree, maybe via Holbrook creek or Wrabness

Haul up on beach, packed lunch at Stour SC.

p.m.: to Harwich, Moor at town Quay. *Visit to Lightship LV18*, then fish &
chips at Harwich & Dovercourt SC.

Back to Shotley Marina before dusk.

*Friday 3rd: HW 13.20* – this is the day most susceptible to the weather,
Plan A being:

a.m.:Early(ish) start to Walton Backwaters

Picnic lunch at Stone Point, and exploration (think Swallows & Amazons!) in

p.m.: Back to Shotley Marina,

*Plan B will likely be Landguard Fort and Levington*

Supper Bristol Arms in Shotley

*Saturday 4th: HW 14.00*

a.m.:Up Orwell to Ipswich

Lunch at Orwell YC

p.m.: Back down to Woolverstone (haul out by 1700 for leavers) or into
Royal Harwich YC marina for people sailing Sunday.

Camp moves to Woolverstone if desired (or can stay at Shotley campsite).

Walk along river to Pin Mill for supper and prizegiving at Pin Mill SC

*Sunday 5th: *

a.m.:Breakfast @ Royal Harwich YC for campers

Free sailing

p.m.: haul out at Woolverstone

*Accommodation and charging*

The basic cost of the Raid this year, for those who want to camp or sleep

on their own boats, is a maximum of *£190 per person*. This includes
launching fees, moorings Wednesday-Saturday nights inclusive, camp-site
fees, rig parking, use of our minibus service, and supper, breakfasts and
lunches Wednesday night to Sunday mid-day. If you aren’t going to use all
the meals, talk to us and we will make adjustments where our costs are

The costs for those organising their own accommodation will be a maximum
of *£130 per person. *This includes everything except the camping fees and

I have said these are maximum amounts – *I have done some squeezing and

reduced the costs by £30 per head since my first estimate.*

*Boats likely to come*

Currently 25 confirmed.


A number of people have expressed interest in crewing. If any of you are
short of crew, please let me know

Any comments or queries, please let me know

*Moray MacPhail*

Please click  link below to send me an email about ER3

Moray MacPhail

or phone* 01394 380390 *working hours

or c/o Classic Marine

Unit 15 Martlesham Creek Ind Park

Sandy Lane

Woodbridge IP12 4SD

How to install a dayboat mooring


I have a YW dayboat in Croatia and now have permission to put in a mooring here for my boat. I’ve had a look online and there is a lot of conflicting advice, although this may be due to differing conditions.

I have a few questions below, if anyone can advise me that would be great. It will not be a swinging mooring – there will be a buoy to tie up to and then the other end of the boat will be tied to the shore. There is essentially zero tide here.

Q1) Should I;

a) sink an anchor as a permanent mooring

b) sink a block instead

c) sink an anchor with a smaller block on the same chain/rope

Q2) I understand the benefits (density) of using iron/granite over concrete but practically concrete is probably the only option here. What size of concrete block should I use? The local guy I spoke to just said fill an old car tyre and that should be enough but that doesn’t seem big enough to me.

Q3) Do I need to put reinforcing bar in the concrete block?

Q4) Most of the mooring failures I read about cite shackles as the culprit. What is the best way of connecting the ground chain to the block/anchor?

Q5) What is the minimum length of ground chain and rope I should use up to the buoy?

Q6) Infrastructure is very limited here so I am probably going to have to transport the block from the shore to the mooring point (about 20metres) using my dayboat. I’m probably going to cast a series of concrete blocks with holes in the centre and then chain them together in the shallows, as otherwise I won’t be able to move a single block. Any ideas on how to sling/lift the blocks in the shallows and then lower them in a controlled manner would be helpful.

I dived down today to look at the way my neighbours boats are moored and they differ – one uses a large block and the other uses two ropes, one connected to a grapple anchor via a block and the other one went too deep for me to see. The first one is a motor boat which is slightly larger than the dayboat and the second one is a sailing boat with a small cabin, bigger again than the motor boat.

I’ve done some sketches below of the situation as well which might help. I reckon block C for the motor boat is a cube 50cm in all directions.









Caledonian Canal cruise

Message from Penny Davies of Gravesend SC
Hi all,
lunatics from Gravesend SC led by Penny, are planning a DB cruise along the Caledonian canal, starting aprox 22nd July 2011. We are intending to tow the boats to the western end of the canal to the start. (aprox 500 miles ) Other club members, friends family etc, might be camping, bed and breakfasting or bare boat chartering along the route.
The canal is large and has no mast lowering to contend with.
Please let any DB enthusiasts know and ask them to let me have their email so that I can keep them informed of our plans.
This cruise is in its infancy and the dates have been planned to allow plenty of time to return south for DB Nationals.
I hope that lots of people will be interestd, and if all goes to plan we should get some good publicity.