Lovesail Member Blogs

lovesail member blogs

Lovesail Member Blogs

Quite of few of the Lovesail members are prolific writers, here are a few of the blog posts that have been added recently:

Catalina Aftermath….and women who fix sh*t by sailingsideways

Great trip to Two Harbors on Catalina Island. Now, whenever you use your ( or I use mine) boat and take it out for a day or two there is always a fix-it list upon return. So mine is:

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Winter Crewing Posts 2018

Winter Crewing Posts 2018

winter crewing posts 2018

Here are a few of the winter crewing posts 2018 that have been submitted by the Lovesail members.  To find out more about an individual crewing post just log into your Lovesail account and click on the crewing section.  If you are not a member yet, come and have a look at our friendly sailing community.

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Southampton Boat Show 2018

Southampton Boat Show 2018 – Celebrating 50 Years on the Water

This year the Southampton Boat Show 2018 will celebrate 50 years of boating festivities.  The show runs from Friday 14th September until Sunday 23rd September and, as usual, will be located at the Mayflower Park venue as it has been for the last 50 years.

Show Marina

So what’s to see this year?  Well one of Europe’s largest show marinas with 2km of pontoons, with space for more than 330 sailing and motor craft.  Step aboard beautiful sailing yachts and tall ships, or book a free “Try a Boat” experience.

The Hairy Bikers

Si King and Dave Myers, the Hairy Bikers, will be opening the show and then attending the show on 22nd September demonstrating their culinary skills.


With around 700 exhibitors from the marine industry showing their wares over the 10 days, there is plenty to see in 3 purpose-built undercover halls, and outside stalls around the show site.

Discount Code

This year YachtingMonthly magazine are advertising a ticket offer of 2 standard any day tickets for £26, available until 13th September 2018.  The advanced purchase price of a standard any day ticket is normally £21 each.  Just use code YM26 when using the official Southampton Boat Show online ticketing facility.

How to Find the Show

The Southampton Boat Show 2018 is situated at Mayflower Park, Town Quay, Southampton, SO14 1AQ.  There is ample parking near the show if you are driving, but it can get very busy so arrive early.  Try and use the West Quay Multi Story Car Park, normally £5 for the whole day (check out Parkopedia).  Avoid the West Quay Podium Car Park (very expensive) and also any NCP car park as they tend to hike the price for the duration of the show.  Southampton Central Station is within 10 minutes walk of the show, as is the National Express Coach Station.

southampton boat show 2018

sailing dating

Sailing Opportunities June 2018

Sailing Opportunites June 2018

Here are a few of the sailing opportunities for June 2018 that some of the members have posted on the Lovesail site.  Log into your account for more details.  If you are not a member of Lovesail then please come and have a look, we have full memberships starting at £22/$30 per month and a Lifetime membership for £52/$70 (one off payment), not many dating sites offer this.  We don’t connect to other dating sites so you are guaranteed a global database of thousands of sailing enthusiasts.

Oyster UK to Med

Sailing an Oyster 61 from the UK to the Med, departing 7 July 2018. Legs something like: Tyne to Southampton; Brest; La Corunna; Porto; Villamoura; Benalmadena; Almerimar; etc.

Flexible joining and departing, as you like. Likely stops are going to be close to Easyjet airports to make it easy to come and go.

The boat is well found and comfortable. The cruise would be a good way to pick up experience and miles. Plus the sun will shine!

Scillies Cruise

Am planning to sail down to The Scillies and back from Poole in August 2018, probably leaving on 8 August. May also go from Scillies to France if time and weather permit. Have 1 crew coming and room for 1 more. My boat is a Westerly Storm 33. Seaworthy and quite quick. Message me for more information.

New England sailing

Looking to connect with more New England sailors. I sail out of Winthrop and could take out small groups.

Aegean, Greece

I co-own a boat in the Aegean – she is a Hanse 350 – a few years old now, but still quick and easy to sail. I have a 2 week slot Sunday 1st July to 15th July. I am offering the opportunity to sail the magical islands of Greece for not cost (other than your own expenses). If you have time free for a super cruise from Zea marina (near Pireaus/Athens) where the handover will take place to Aegina, Hydra and possibly beyond, please let me know.

Sea of Cortez Late July 2018

I am a 59 year old retired American attorney. Thirty years ago I sailed from Texas to Florida and into the Bahamas. I swore I would once again liveaboard. It has taken awhile but now I am in Mazatlan Mexico the proud owner of a 2007 Hunter 38. It will go into the yard soon to install A/C, bow thruster and a generator.

By the end of July I hope to untie the lines and head for La Paz and the islands off the west coast of Baja – truly incredibly beautiful.

I am in search of a lady, a bloke or a couple to share the journey for a bit or more. Who know whats next the Panama Canal and Caribbean may beckon.

Sailing experience a definite plus but a willing attitude and easy demeanor are equally if not more essential. Not looking for financial assistance or a sharing of vessel costs.

Sailing opportunities June 2018

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London Boat Show Cancelled

London Boat Show Cancelled

As many of you will now be aware, the London Boat Show 2019 has been cancelled.  Whether this is going to be a permanent fixture still remains to be seen but it was not a shock to many in the Marine industry.

I have been attending the London Boat Show since 2011, only since owning Lovesail.  Up to that point it was not on my radar.  I had attended the Southampton Boat Show before but I live not far from the city so that was a given.  In the seven years I have been visiting the London Boat Show there has been discontent among the visitors and exhibitors alike.  I made it a habit to ask everyone I met at the show, both visitors and exhibitors what their thoughts were about it.

Visitors have been far from happy for some time.  The London Boat Show used to be run from Earls Court and was a popular venue.  The move to Excel had to be the main reason for their unhappiness.  Earls Court is central and easy to get to.  Once you had visited the show you were free to pop into “town”.  This was especially important if you had travelled far.  It was a weekend away, a treat, something to look forward to.   Excel by comparison is over in Docklands, a hassle of a tube ride which takes 30 minutes from Waterloo station.  Nothing much else would compel you to visit Docklands, the city airport?  Beckton Sewage Works?!  It’s a bleak place in January.  This coupled with the stark exhibition halls, lack of atmosphere and sky-high prices in the on-site eateries, it’s no wonder ticket sales struggled.

“……The place is inaccessible, soulless, dreary, small”

Exhibitors were complaining too.  A nightmare to get to and not much to do in the evenings if you were staying locally for the duration of the show.  The timing though, was the big problem.  The London Boat Show falls just before the much bigger and better Boot Show in Düsseldorf, quite a feat for the London exhibitors to pack up and be in Germany in time for the Boot.   The Boot is a must diary date for anyone serious in creating connections in the marine industry.

Many reasons were cited for the move, the need for water, better infrastructure, Sunseeker had insisted!  Only a select few will know the real reasons but if it was to display the boats in water, why were the docks empty?

Southampton Boat Show by comparison is huge, with a purpose-built marina to house the boats, the vibrant city of Southampton within striking distance and good road and rail links.  If you are there from afar,  you can make a short break and visit the Isle of Wight too, capital of sailing.

“In Southampton you’ve got movement of the sea, the wind in the rigging and you can imagine getting on board and casting off there and then”

I for one hope the London Boat Show does not return.  There must be a need for a boat show for our Northern countrymen with plenty of brilliant venues to choose from.

A close friend summed up the London Boat Show rather succinctly, “…..that London venue is ****. The place is inaccessible, soulless, dreary, small etc etc. Manky modern docks not a good place to showcase beautiful yachts and boats. There’s no emotion down there, no spirit of adventure. As for boats being displayed in the exhibition hall……aaarrggghhhhh! Ghastly.   In Southampton you’ve got movement of the sea, the wind in the rigging and you can imagine getting on board and casting off there and then”.

london boat show cancelled


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Lifting a Boat

Lifting a Boat

Lifting a boat is a task that comes round periodically, often from the Autumn onwards.  However, for those who have not done it before it may be a bit of a mystery.  Here is an explanation and some tips.

Lifting a boat may be required for a number of reasons e.g. for storage ashore, for cleaning, for movement onto road transport or trailers or for launching.  Often lift-outs will occur at your home port or club and your choice will be limited to what’s available. Types of lift will vary between e.g. floating, freestanding, mobile, four or eight posts and overhead.  Your boat’s dimensions length and beam, as well as her weight, will be the determining factors as to whether the lift is suitable – so make sure you know them accurately.  Always play cautious and ensure that the lift capabilities will comfortably match your craft.

lifting a boat

A medium-sized mobile cable lift utilizing slings

Get some local advice as to the suitability and quality of your lift out service and then book it.  Rates will depend upon what you want.  A seasonal lift out onto a harbour hard-standing is often calculated per metre per day/week and maybe discounted if you have paid marina fees.  A temporary lift out to enable a quick hull clean or a keel or rudder check following a grounding may be charged by the hour.  Either way, ensure you enquire with your service provider what preparation they want you to carry out e.g. they may wish you to secure or remove your anchor and/or rail items such as outboards and replace through-hull fittings like transducers with blanks.

lifting a boat

Preparing the yacht on the waiting dock before lift out

Some lifts will utilize cradles with bunks lined with pulley like rollers on bearings.  Some will utilize slings attached to cables that are connected to pulleys and crane-like winches.  You should know your lift out points on the hull (check your yacht manufacturers manual) ideally they should be marked.  However, the marina lift out staff may need to adjust depending upon your centre of gravity affected by what you have onboard and where.  It’s important to discuss things between the onboard crew and the lift operators often shore-side.  Having a plan of how the lift will take place, and agreeing on hand signals and actions as well as planning the ‘what-ifs’ are clearly important when using any lift-out machinery.

lifting a boat

Lift out points marked


Lifting a boat

Slings are positioned under the cable hoist by lift-out staff

If it’s a club lift you will likely be required to give it a spray down to wash off slime, dirt and saltwater from the frame, cables and pulleys.  Don’t forget a spritzer of lubricant to reduce friction and keep the weather or saltwater off the moving parts.

Good luck with your yacht lift!

Lifting a boat

The yacht is lifted out to reveal her undersides.

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Autumn Crewing Posts 2017

Autumn Crewing Posts 2017

As the summer seasons draws to a close, there are some Autumn Crewing Posts 2017 from the members that might pique your interest.

Looking for experienced AMEL 54 crew member

I am finalizing the purchase of an AMEL 54 currently located in NEW CALEDONIA.
Looking for an experienced AMEL 54 crew member in the area to:
A. do a pre-survey inspection
B. join during the survey(s) & sea trial(s)
C. help prepare her for live aboard sailing as she has not been used for 1 year (but has been taken care of)
D. possibly available for sailing arnd NEW CAL.
This would start late December 2017 possibly (but unlikely) earlier.
Thank you.

Sydney to Melbourne

Presently looking for a crew to join me on a delivery trip NSW (Newport) to VIC (Geelong) Departing Sunday 8/10/17 on my newly acquired yacht. Some Passage making and Navigational watch experience desirable.

Autumn sailing, Brittany

I’ll be cruising around Brittany the last week September, first half of October if anyone fancies a sail during this time. Pretty relaxed day sailing with no fixed agenda on a well equipped 36′ Jeanneau, stopping in marinas most nights. Not too fussed about experience as long as you’re happy to be involved in sailing the boat.
Get in touch for details.

Northwest Passage

Currently Organizing 2 boats and crew to sail through the Canadian Arctic Northwest Passage.
Currently have a Hans Christian 43T Ketch and looking for another group and boat that would like to join this expedition.
Leaving from Denmark to Vancouver BC and Seattle, WA
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Ensign Etiquette

Ensign etiquette derives from UK flag etiquette.  It is a combination of law or ‘what you must do’ and maritime tradition i.e. expectations of behaviour within the sea-faring community.  On a vessel the most senior position for a flag is reserved for the Ensign – this is as close to the stern of the vessel as possible.  It is the largest flag and it indicates the vessel’s nationality.

In British maritime law, an ensign is to be flown to designate a British vessel, either military or civilian. The ‘red duster’ or Red Ensign has been in use for British civil and merchant shipping since 1707.  It is a red flag with the Union Flag in the upper left area (next to the staff) known as a canton.

ensign etiquette

Prior to conventions being adopted a variety of different coloured ensigns with varying designs existed for England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland, as well as the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand and many other dependencies. In the U.K. a White Ensign is flown by Royal Naval ships.

ensign etiquette

A Blue Ensign is flown from various other military boats, affiliated clubs or official boats.  Additionally, permission is given for some ensigns to be ‘defaced’ with emblems on the right-hand side of the Ensign, this area is known as the ‘fly’.

ensign etiquette

Maritime heritage prevents the use of the Union Flag (primarily a land flag) as an ensign on civilian craft – only military craft may do so and there are detailed rules and conventions about when this might be.  In the 17th Century Charles, I ordered the Union Flag to be restricted to His Majesty’s ships “upon pain of Our high displeasure”.  This was because merchant mariners used to display it nefariously to avoid paying harbour duties by passing themselves off as Royal vessels.

A UK registered vessel should wear the national maritime flag, the Red Ensign unless entitled to wear a special ensign.  Wearing anything other than an authorised ensign is a violation of British and International Law. A UK flagged vessel must wear her ensign as required by the Merchant Shipping Act, this includes when entering or leaving a foreign port and on-demand. It is recommended that the Ensign is worn at all times in daylight, especially when near to or in sight of land or another vessel.  In port, it is a tradition that the Ensign is taken down at sunset and raised at 0800 hours the next morning.  These originally naval traditions are still accompanied by the respective ceremony of ‘sunset’ and ‘colours’.

A courtesy flag (or courtesy ensign) is flown by a visiting ship in foreign waters as a token of respect.  A courtesy flag is often a small (i.e. smaller than the ship’s own national ensign) national maritime flag of the host country.  Most countries use their national flag at sea and it is therefore not uncommon to see a foreign visitor flying a Union Jack as a courtesy flag when visiting UK waters.  This is wrong; the correct flag is always a Red Ensign.  There is no legal requirement to fly an alternative courtesy flag; it is a courtesy that acknowledges that the vessel will respect the laws and sovereignty of that country.  However, if one is not flown or it is tatty or faded, it may cause grave offence and in some countries can lead to a fine.  A courtesy flag is customarily worn at the foremasthead of multi-masted vessels, the dockside yardarm or crosstree of the mast of single-masted vessels, while the house flag would be outboard.  It may be flown from the jackstaff of vessels without masts.


1. “British Ensign”. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 31 December 2016. Web 05 January 2017.
2. “Maritime Flag”. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 3 January 2017. Web 05 January 2017.
3. “Flag Etiquette”. Royal Yachting Association website Web 05 January 2017.

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Squalls – What are they?

Look out – there’s a squall coming your way!  Squalls can occur in any hemisphere as a sharp and sudden increase in wind speed. They’re often associated with oncoming changes in the weather like rain showers or thunderstorms and can also occur before snowstorms. Squalls provide a sustained increase in wind speed but may also have gusts of higher speeds within them.

The origin of the word ‘squall’ is not known however one theory is that it is related to the old Norse word ‘skvala’ to squeal.1 The World Metrological Organization definition of a squall requires the wind to increase a minimum of 8 m/s and to attain a top speed of a minimum of 11 m/s and must last at least one minute.


Squalls – What to do

So what should you do if you’ve kept an eye on your weather but you still get caught in squally conditions? Here are some suggestions:

Stay out of the way – If you can find a safe harbour or coastline that will shelter you from the worst then stay there or get there. But be careful if you are trying to outrun the oncoming storm – staying in deep water may be a safer option if you cannot guarantee to avoid the shallows (they may get choppy) – no yachtsman wants to get caught on a lee shore. In difficult conditions, it is also sensible to avoid natural hazards, tricky navigation and complex passages.

Secure your yacht – Close and batten hatches, reduce or strike sails, secure your dinghy on deck, ensure your topsides are neat and tidy, note your position and your navigation plan. If you’ve made it to a safe anchoring spot ensure your anchor is dug in and let out the extra chain. Consider your swinging circle. Fix your wheel or tiller in the centre so that your boat does not swing unnecessarily.

If you believe that an electrical storm is approaching i.e. you experience thunder or lightning, go below if possible. Put on your shoes, stay low but never lie down and avoid touching metal, if possible unplug your electronics. Lower antennas. Stay out of the water.2

If no electrical storm is coming you might consider getting the most experienced boat handler to gently motor forward into the wind in order to take the pressure off the anchor. If the rain or sea spray is driving into your face consider wearing swimming goggles.

Maintain station – If you’re at sea – you might choose to motor slowly forward head to wind and tackle waves at an angle of 200 – but avoid presenting the stern of the boat to the wind which then risks swamping and also avoid presenting the side of the boat which could risk broaching or capsizing. To maintain the control you may need to throttle up the face of steep waves and once over the wave slow down to allow the wave to pass beneath you. This may assist you in avoiding slamming into the waves or hitting the trough on the other side. Motor sailing is possible with small amounts of sail and may assist to steady the boat. Consider reefing your sails or using storm sails.

Heave-To – Consider your sea room and visibility first and only if there is no danger from other shipping and there is sufficient space to allow a gentle drift downwind can you heave to. By backing the jib whilst it is sheeted on the opposite tack and holding the rudder on the opposite lock to the backed sheet the yacht will drift gradually downwind at a very slow speed. But don’t wait until you have to do it, practice heaving-to in calm weather.


1 From “Squall” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 11 Jul. 2016. Web. 26 Aug.
2 Tips adapted from: is a global online dating and social networking site for sailing enthusiasts.  Join to meet fellow like-minded souls and adventurous sailors.