YawlI used to have a Salcombe Yawl. That was a while ago - before our son was born. Y132 wasn't the raciest of boats although she could compete in the SYC blue (second) fleet. But what it also gave us was the quiet freedom of the harbour. But with the arrival of the boy she was used very little. "Hold the baby whilst we jibe" was not the sort of phrase designed to ensure marital harmony. We sold her when he was one.


Salcombe harbour is magnificent. With more than five miles between Kingsbridge and the bar at the entrance it provides endless exploring, sumptuous marine life, at least 10 different beaches and access to some of the quietest and nicest pubs in the south west. Of course we've continued to enjoy these in the interim. But on a succession of work boats and dories and with the occasional foray in a Squib or a Soling on half day charter from the ICC. I rarely bring the cruiser down from Southampton nowadays as we're usually fully engaged entertaining at the house.

This year though I was determined to do a bit more sailing. I'm no longerWayfarin... embarrassed to admit that I've bought a Wayfarer. An elderly Mk 2 complete with the lunch locker. I never thought I'd be a Wayfarer sailor but times change. She cost less than a grand and we keep her on the beach at South Sands. So whenever I wanted to go sailing she was 10 minutes from the house. It's been a marvellous success. We were in Devon on and off for seven weeks over the summer and I was able to cruise up the estuary with my wife; take bundles of guests to the (otherwise inaccessible) beach at Starhole bay; lend her to our son so he could hang out around the beaches on the Portlemouth side and drift solo with a bottle of cool burgundy in South Pool creek. Hey! we even took her to the Milbrook Inn one lunchtime amongst all that motor traffic.

All in all I can't recommend wayfarin' enough...




Chris Smith, 05.10.2009 | More from Chris Smith’s blog