Sailing a la carte ... the editor's welcome to the March issue of Yachting Monthly

Choosing what to eat at a quayside restaurant can be hard enough, but the array of sailing vessels, and the seafaring that goes with them, is a veritable smörgåsbord for the would-be sailor, from spritsail barges and foiling moths to global races and coastal pottering.

There’s something for everyone, however, and whatever or wherever you sail, there is always more to discover. For a sailing starter, chartering is the perfect option – a low-commitment, highly enjoyable way of skippering your own boat to places the average tourist can only dream of, in a boat you might only dream of owning. Picking the perfect charter is one of the more alluring pastimes for this chilly time of year, and in lieu of the London Boat Show, we’ve rounded up the best experiences and advice on what to book and where to go (p66).

Scanning further down the menu, you might want to get your teeth into something with a bit more of a challenge – a transatlantic crossing perhaps? Having waved off the 2018 ARC fleet off from Las Palmas and met them at the end, they told us what their voyages were really like, what worked well for them, and what didn’t (p54). Even in prime tradewind conditions, for example, old-fashioned high-cut yankee headsails proved faster than sailing under spinnaker for some, which isn’t necessarily what you’d expect.

Of course, not all the menu options are so palatable. You might not choose the ‘sailing in fog’, but you don’t get to control everything at sea and if you know something like fog is a possibility, at least you can be ready for it (p43). After all, challenging conditions are all part of a healthy cruising diet and make the good bits all the sweeter.