Roll on spring! ...the editor's welcome to the latest issue of Yachting Monthly

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.