Welcome to the March 2020 issue of Yachting Monthly, on sale 30 January

Winter may still have us in her grips, but cracks are beginning to appear. Having abandoned Pasque on the hard over winter (poor, neglected thing, I am sorry) while the mundane tasks of household DIY hold dominion, glimmers of hope are now beginning to appear. I’ve been making decisions about when to launch, how to sort out those roller-furling bearings that needed attention last year, and where the boat’s mooring will be. She is forcing her way back into the daylight of consciousness, demanding attention.

These early preparations bring a whispered excitement of full-blown summer – downwind drifting, beach barbecues, swimming from the boat and all. Oh for watching the coast roll by with sails spread wide in the golden light of evening.

Of course, running isn’t always quite so idyllic. With the wind dead astern, the boat can pick up a nasty corkscrewing roll, the sails slat and crack with stomach churning force as the boat speeds and slows over the waves, and the threat of an accidental gybe lurks in each impending gust. Knowing how to keep the boat moving, stable and on course in these conditions is an art in itself, one honed by those sailing downwind for 2,700 miles across the Atlantic. We can all learn from their experience – coastal cruiser and ocean-crosser alike.

If the summer still feels too far off, and daydreams of white sandy beaches and waterside tavernas are more appealing, this is the perfect time of year to book your charter getaway. Have a look at our charter special to peruse a smörgåsbord of options, and pick up a few tips to make the most of your holiday.

Theo Stocker


Yachting Monthly