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Mark Earley (right) and members of the public during an open day

Beth Wyatt, Reporter
Monday, February 17, 2014
10:08 AM

Secretary June Hutson talks about the Havering Sailing Club.

Sailing

“The Havering Sailing Club was founded in the late 1950s by a group of teachers from Hullbridge. Their aim was to provide outdoor activities for schoolchildren, and in turn themselves, and the activity that became dominant was sailing.

“When the club’s lease at Hullbridge expired, it moved to Grangewaters, South Ockendon, before finally relocating to Stubbers in Upminster.

“Havering Sailing Club is a small, friendly, group which meets from March through to November.

“There are various club boats for members to use for a small fee.

Havering Sailing Club

Where: Stubbers Outdoor Pursuits Centre, Ockendon Road, Upminster

When: Saturdays during the March to November period, from 12pm to 6pm

Secretary: June Hutson

Contact: Call June Hutson on 01375 846153 or visit www.haveringsailingclub.org.uk

“Club members own many different classes of dinghy, so the handicap principle is applied to races, enabling each boat to participate on equal terms.

“Generally four races are held each Saturday. There is also a rescue boat which is on the water all afternoon and buoyancy jackets and helmets are available for use.

“Two week “Come and try” sessions for new people thinking of joining the club are offered for a charge of £20 and if these people join they get £10 of that back.

“Currently the fees are £75 per adult for each eight-month sailing season, with a person under the age of 18 paying £35.”

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    Luxury at sea highlights Miami boat shows

    From small kayaks to super yachts more than 150 feet long, boats have taken over land and water in downtown Miami and Miami Beach this week.

    The Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show Strictly Sail Miami and the 2014 Yacht Brokerage Show open Thursday and run through Monday, together displaying billions of dollars worth of watercraft and accessories.

    The Miami International Show takes up the entire Miami Beach Convention Center and Miami’s Sea Isle Marina Yachting Center while Strictly Sail occupies Miamarina at Bayside. The Yacht Brokerage Show lines the Indian Creek Waterway along Collins Avenue in Miami Beach from 41st to 52nd streets, and — new this year — displays its largest yachts at Miami Beach Marina.

    Here is a sampling of some of the products on display at the show sites:

    • Petrus II, Benetti Yachts, Yacht Brokerage Show, Collins Avenue, about $21 million.

    The new, 132-foot-long Benetti Classic Supreme super yacht, built in Italy, is making its U.S. debut here this week. With four decks and decorated in rich wood, marble and leather, it is designed for outdoor fun and luxury on long cruises in the open ocean. Among Petrus II’s outstanding features: not one, but two outdoor Jacuzzis, and an extendable terrace in the owner’s suite on the main deck that creates a private balcony. Its stern garage holds two water scooters. The yacht can sleep 10 passengers plus seven crew members. A perfect celebration gift to yourself if you should happen to hit all the Powerball numbers.

    • La Sella del Diavolo, Denison Yacht Sales, Yacht Brokerage Show, Miami Beach Marina, about $9.8 million.

    One of the largest sailing catamarans ever built, this 107-footer can cruise the oceans under diesel power or sail to a maximum of 13 knots with eight passengers and five crew. Built in 2011 by Italy’s NAC Shipyard, its 40-foot width allows plenty of outdoor party space, plus a luxurious indoor salon. The port hull is reserved for the crew whose members handle the sails from the fly bridge; the main deck and starboard hull are private for the owner and guests. Beneath the aft deck is a motorized dinghy for shore excursions. A bargain compared to the cost of having a boat this size custom-built.

    • Gunboat 60, Miamarina at Bayside, Pier C, base price $2.95 million.

    The Gunboat line of fast, light, spacious sailing catamarans has grown so popular that it has its own racing class at some U.S. regattas. Built entirely of carbon fiber with vacuum-infused epoxy resin and Corecell cores, the new Gunboat 60 can cruise at 18 knots and take long-distance voyages with minimal crew. The helmsman operates the mainsheet and centerboards with a push button and the PowerWave hybrid system combines electric and solar power to conserve fuel. Built to order, it can sleep eight passengers and two crew members, or however you want to set it up.

    • Helicat, Sea Isle Marina Yachting Center slip 610, Miami International Boat Show, about $80,000.

    Company owner Sandy Williamson of Tacoma, Wash. planned to display his new, eye-catching pleasure craft with its helicopter-style cockpit mounted on catamaran hulls at last October’s Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. But on a pre-show test run between Miami and Bimini, Bahamas, the Helicat sank in three- to five-foot seas, and Williamson and his crewmate had to be rescued by a U.S. Coast Guard swimmer. Some boat builders would have given up at that point, but Williamson re-designed the Helicat, strengthening the fiberglass hull and tripling the foam flotation.

    “We’ve done destructive testing of our boat, which not everyone does,” Williamson said.

    Now he says it’ll do 30 miles per hour safely in bumpy seas, burning five miles per gallon. Thrill ride, anyone?

    • Sea-Doo Spark, Miami Beach Convention Center booth D72, Miami International Boat Show, about $5,000.

    Aimed at families seeking inexpensive, on-water fun, this personal watercraft is designed to be light, fast and safe. Powered by the Rotax 900 HO ACE four-stroke engine, it can do up to 50 miles per hour and burns about 2½ gallons per hour at slower speeds. For enhanced safety, the Spark has what the company calls an “intelligent brake and reverse system” for quick stops and turns.

    The Spark can be configured to accommodate two or three riders and it can be personalized with colors and accessories, such as sun shades and storage bins.

    • Dungaroo, Sanitation Creations, Inc., Miami Beach Convention Center booth 4232, about $400.

    Aimed at the 17- to 30-foot pleasure boat market, the Dungaroo marine toilet needs no water, electricity, nor pump-outs and it is guaranteed odorless and easy to operate.

    Working like a Diaper Genie, it uses special anti-microbial bags to treat waste products that are flushed down by a foot pedal, and after about 30 uses, you tie the drawstrings on the bag and dispose of it in any waste receptacle.

    If anything breaks, company president Liz Morris promises she’ll replace it — mostly for free.

    Said Morris: “We want our customers to love every flush.”


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    Small Ships Go Where Big Ships Can Not, For The Most Part

    Cruise travelers sailing from North American ports often ask for something new, tired of the standard Eastern or Western Caribbean itineraries. The problem is that to get there takes a couple days sailing from most North American ports, pushing the limits of time available when on vacation. Still, the Southern Caribbean offers a variety of unique ports, often visited only by small to medium-sized ships. On a sailing of Star Clippers tall sailing ship Royal Clipper, we visited several of those unique islands.

    Barbados

    We embarked Royal Clipper in Barbados, a port visited frequently by big ships on a long Caribbean sailing from a North American port or one sailing round-trip San Juan, Puerto Rico. Flights into Bridgetown are frequent and getting to the port takes a 15-minute cab ride. Unique to Barbados are the Volcanic black sand beaches on the Atlantic side and a robust tourist trade from cruise and land travelers.

    St Lucia
    At St Lucia, our first port of call, we spent the day at Rodney Bay, a port we had visited once before on Seabourn Quest. Dropping anchor just off the coast, as we did on nearly all ports visited, Royal Clipper’s tender boats took passengers ashore in a triangular pattern, one that would be repeated on each call. The first stop was the island’s marina where passengers would find shopping and begin shore excursions. The next stop was the beach where the ship’s sports crew would be on hand with kayaks, sailboats and host watersports activities for those interested. The tender would then return to the ship and start the process all over again, stopping at each place about every 15 minutes.

    Dominica
    Sailing to Dominica, we first anchored off the coast at Cabrits, home to a national park and the first of two ports we would visit on the island. A unique element of Star Clippers operation, those on shore excursions are dropped off at one place then picked up at another, allowing more time at the destination rather than covering the same ground when returning to the ship later. This is also an element we commonly experienced on our Viking River cruises that allowed more quality time at the destination.

    Hiring a local driver, we went high up on the island to explore what was once an active volcano. Later, we would sail to Roseau, Dominica, stopping briefly to pick up passengers who had

    Antigua
    Our arrival in Antigua brought those on yachts and ashore out to see Royal Clipper arrive with sails fully deployed, something that would happen at every port we entered. Anchoring off Falmouth Harbour in Antiqua, we stayed for the day with the ship’s culinary crew preparing a beach barbecue while passengers enjoyed provided watersports.

    St Kitts
    In St Kitts, Royal Clipper first stopped in Basseterre, where Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas joined us in the early morning. Our stay was short, just two hours; enough time to disembark our passengers going on a shore excursion and allow a bit of shopping.

    From Basseterre, we sailed to South Friars Bay, also on St Kitts, for a day at the beach and to pick up those on shore excursions, which ended not far away. From South Friar’s Bay we could still see the profile of Independence of the Seas but were far removed from the hustle and bustle of the main port.

    Iles des Saintes
    Terre de Haut is a small French fishing village that we stopped by on the way to Martinique. Again operating the triangular tender pattern, we stopped at the marina first and found photo opportunities in all directions. The aroma of fresh baked bread led us to a French bakery where we enjoyed a warm baguette while we strolled the streets of the enchanting little town, also accessible by air.

    Martinique
    In Martinique, I was tempted to stay on the ship in an abundance of caution, due to widely-reported crime incidents involving visitors. Still, in port with Costa Magica, I watched from the deck of comparatively tiny Royal Clipper as many passengers made their way toward the city. Following some French-speaking guests from our ship into town, we found security police widely dispersed as well as easily located tour guides, eager to answer questions and point us in the right direction.

    Verdict: Martinique is safe to visit …as long as we stay in the tourist areas, like so many other destinations around the planet.

    Like our Royal Clipper 7-day sailing, other ships also sail round-trip from Southern Caribbean ports. Carnival Valor, for example, sails round trip from San Juan, stopping in Barbados, St Lucia and St Kitts as well as St Thomas and St Maarten. Look at longer sailings and we find Celebrity Cruises, Holland America Line and Princess Cruises heading to the Southern Caribbean on sailings of 10 or more nights.


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