Lessons and discoveries...the editor's welcome to the latest issues of Yachting Monthly magazine

Welcome to the new-look Yachting Monthly!

I’m sure you won’t have missed the lick of paint we’ve given the magazine in this issue; a new cover, a new design inside and bigger and more pages.

You’ll also discover some new additions: Find Me a Boat compares four used boats and suggests the best one for a particular sailing goal; Pete Goss, made famous by his exploits in the Vendée Globe race, has joined the cruising fleet and is writing a column for YM as he sails;
A Long Weekend finds an idyllic location for a short cruise.

It’s still the same magazine, with many familiar features, so
 I hope you’ll find what you’re looking for easily enough, and that you enjoy reading it when you do.

Practical sailing skills remain
at the heart of the magazine, and this month, Simon Phillips has some eminently sensible advice for those of us who sail shorthanded.

One of my more sobering solo sails was on board Grace, the family’s Hallberg-Rassy 31. One beautiful winter afternoon, I set off from Gosport bound for Newtown Creek. I approached as darkness fell armed with chartplotter, a good search light, and confidence.

The problems began when I started the engine and dropped the sails. A figure of eight knot in one of the genoa sheets came undone and I didn’t noticed in the dark. The first I knew about it was when the engine groaned, coughed and stopped.

Forgetting that I had a perfectly serviceable anchor, I opted
 to try my luck running into the little harbour under a scrap of headsail. Aiming at a mooring buoy, I missed it but managed
to grab the last buoy in the line. Heart pounding and hands torn,
I had avoided a grounding, just.

Friends have since generously catalogued my many errors to me, but had I followed Simon’s advice to plan ahead, find a safe way of conducting a manoeuvre, and check my jib sheets (p40), I would have fared much better.

Coming across people who really know what they’re doing is one of the joys of editing a sailing magazine. Bringing this issue together has been an exciting process, and it has reminded me how just much there is to discover aboard the boats we sail and around our coast.

I hope you find the same in the following pages.