“Five Go Sailing” – Day One

by PowerSail contributor, Stephen West.

Kingfisher is a semi-custom Hanse 548, built in 2018. In this blog we take a group of four novice sailors on five-day cruise. This is Day One… 

We all met onboard Kingfisher in her home marina, Ocean Village, ready for a five-day trip in and around The Solent. One competent crew and three novices, all keen to learn as much as possible and get stuck in! We’d been in touch before they joined with a few handy hints to help them on their way.

Assembly after fresh croissants and coffee, cabin allocation (each with its own shower and toilet) and time for an introduction to Kingfisher, in the form of a comprehensive briefing. What equipment do we have onboard (pretty much everything!), where is it – and how to use the essentials; this was followed by a comprehensive “what to do in an emergency” session including what constitutes an emergency (and no ladies, that doesn’t include running out of prosecco!).

Some of the more serious activities out of the way, lifejackets fitted and worn we began to mark the homework they’d been set before they came aboard. I’m not sure how many ways there are not to tie a bowline, but our girls tried them all! Throwing a line caused the most mirth – and nearly raised a woman overboard situation before we’d even left the pontoon…

The inshore forecast gave us the promise of a steady south-westerly breeze and a slight sea state, perfect for our trip to Lymington. Leaving the marina just before lunchtime under motor, by the time we reached Fawley the crew had settled enough to put sail out. Kingfisher makes that an easy task – electric winches (just press a button!), furling jib (small sail!) and an in-mast furling main sail (the BIG one!). Fully deployed that gives a splendid 130 square metres of sail.

With our competent crew on the helm keeping us on a steady course, the other ladies each allocated a winch, and another on lookout the sails were set for a very gentle cruise in a cloudless until the landmark “Jack in the Basket” signalled that the entrance to Lymington was upon us.

Very competent crew on the helm

Reluctantly bringing the sail back in and returning to motor we made it into Lymington Yacht Haven and its excellent facilities in time to spruce up for the first crew meal – tonight in The Haven, with a view out over the marina to Yarmouth. Reflecting on a perfect start to their voyage the crew were buzzing (the wine helped!) with new skills and excited for tomorrow…

Kingfisher at Lymington Yacht Haven

Be sure to check back soon to hear the rest of the “Five go sailing” trip diary…