Yachting Monthly - - VIEW FROM THE HELM -

Enough of win­ter! It seems to be drag­ging on this year and I feel like I haven’t been on a boat for ages. Storms, win­ter flu, dark­ness when you go to work and when you get home – it’s te­dious. The hardier among us still have their boats on the wa­ter and doubt­less have been en­joy­ing clear, crisp sails on frigid wa­ters beau­ti­fully de­void of other boats. If so, I envy you.

For the time be­ing, I con­tent my­self with day­dreams fu­elled by the fre­quent­ing of boat shows. Large or small, boat shows are an ex­quis­ite tor­ture de­signed si­mul­ta­ne­ously to sink one into de­spair about one’s own bleakly land­locked sit­u­a­tion, and tan­ta­lise us with the prospect of warm-wa­ter hol­i­days, care­free mess­ing about in boats, and own­er­ship of the lat­est gleam­ing craft if only we could af­ford it.

The Lon­don Boat Show, newly con­densed to five days, had a sur­pris­ing buzz about it, with sev­eral new launches, a gag­gle of sail­ing celebri­ties and an ea­ger horde of city work­ers des­per­ate to plot their mar­itime es­cape. Then there was boot Düs­sel­dorf, the world’s largest in­door boat show. With 17 vast halls, you can spend days ogling gor­geous lit­tle wooden yachts, the lat­est sen­si­ble cruis­ers, or lux­u­ri­ous 60-foot­ers, not to men­tion the end­less ar­ray of giz­mos and gear. Just a short flight away, I can highly rec­om­mend it, and the Sch­wein­shaxe and beer you can en­joy in the old town af­ter­wards.

So that got me through Jan­uary, but now comes the plot­ting to get afloat in earnest. There are a host of ideas in this is­sue of YM. Gra­ham Snook has found some em­i­nently af­ford­able cruis­ers for first-time boat own­ers and I must ad­mit, I am more than tempted by one of them (p88). Dick Durham has taken the plunge and fi­nally bought the clas­sic boat he has han­kered after for 15 years (p54). But it’s re­ally the idea of set­ting sail across ocean wa­ter that has spurred on my day­dreams this month (p36). The idea of tak­ing an or­di­nary cruis­ing boat off­shore is full of in­tox­i­cat­ing pos­si­bil­ity – the hori­zon beck­ons. Per­haps you might be tempted to stretch your boat’s sea legs this sum­mer. I know I am – the ques­tion is to where? In the mean time, how­ever, roll on spring.

Yacht­ing Monthly Edi­tor

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