It is easy to forget the role our yachts have in our lives, and the memories they help forge. Theo Stocker introduces the December 2021 issue of Yachting Monthly

Unless you are one of the hardy souls planning to sail through the winter (I confess, this year I am not) the hearth side is probably more appealing than the quayside or boatyard.

Boats are hauled out, the evenings are dark, and energy must be summoned to brave the elements.

All is not lost for the intrepid sailor, however.

Much pleasure is still to be had from two vital winter activities – reminiscing and planning.

Flicking through my logbook (and the photos on my phone) this year brings back happy memories of windless days at anchor on a miraculously calm Jurassic Coast.

For Graham Snook, long-time Yachting Monthly staff member and contributor, he is looking back to 12 years of boat ownership, having recently sold Pixie (See page 60 from the latest issue)

A companion for a quarter of his life, a whole raft of experiences and adventures are wrapped up in saying goodbye.

It’s a poignant reminder of the role our boats play in our lives.

Continues below…

A yacht cruising as the sun sets on a English winter day

How to sail ALL winter

25 tips for keeping your boat prepped, your crew warm, and adventures flowing over winter

The recollections needn’t be serious.

We’d love to hear your confessions of close shaves that have you laughing or cringing, and offer absolution for your crimes (see page 98 of the latest issue).

There but for the grace of God go we all.

As for next season, the dreaming and planning starts now.

It’s worth reading Andy Du Port’s advice on securing for sea – badly stowed kit can cause serious problems when the weather gets lively – and a few simple modifications on your boat over winter might make it much more seaworthy (see page 36 of the latest issue).

Or maybe, you want to dream about sailing onto the ‘set’ of Star Wars at Ireland’s Skellig Michael, or bumping into Poldark’s Ross and Demelza on the rugged Cornish coast (see page 52 of the latest issue).

When there’s a fire in the hearth, there’s no limit to the adventures that await..