Cruising in Scotland
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Sail training and mile building on Longbow
A yacht charter with Ted Warren aboard Longbow offers you the chance to
- sail aboard one of the larger charter yachts in Scotland;
- experience the thrill of sailing at over 8 knots;
- improve your sailing skills with tuition from a Yachtmaster and experienced teacher;
- take all the pleasure while the owner/skipper does the chores and maintenance;
- enjoy comfort and space below decks, and a hot shower after a hard day's sailing;
- and finally... relax in the evenings while Ted prepares a tasty meal.
Frequently Asked Questions
Comments from a guest in 2001
Longbow Cruising invites you to sail one of the largest charter yachts on the West Coast of Scotland. Experienced sailors and novices alike enjoy sailing Longbow because her powerful, well-balanced rig is easily controlled by the light and sensitive helm. The skipper is an experienced sailor and teacher and offers instruction in sailing, seamanship and navigation to whatever level you require.
Longbow is a Bowman 57 cutter-rigged sloop, often reaches speeds of 8 knots or above, and her robust and sea-kindly build means she can take rough weather in her stride if required. With the increased speed that comes from such size and power, even in light winds, you can explore widely amongst the fantastic passages and anchorages that the West Coast has to offer.
Longbow's inventory includes cruising chute (asymmetric spinnaker), radar, 120hp engine, separate 12kW generator, electric anchor windlass, powerful autohelm, fridge, freezer and 240V electricity. As part of her adherence to DTi regulations, she also carries a full set of lifejackets and harnesses and has either one or two liferafts according to the number of guests. There is more information about her layout on the yacht page.
Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to FAQ
- Why should we have a skipper?
Few yachts the size of Longbow are ever chartered 'bareboat': handing a yacht this size at close quarters (e.g. bringing her into a marina) can be quite different to a 35' boat. However, there are many advantages of having a skipper: Ted not only knows just how to manoeuvre Longbow in tight spaces but also does all the chores and maintenance that a sophisticated yacht requires and prepares all the meals. You are then free to relax and simply enjoy the sailing! As part of a lifetime of sailing, Ted also has over 13 years' experience of Scottish waters and can recommend the best anchorages and exciting passages.
- What qualifications does the skipper have?
Ted consolidated his long experience of sailing by taking the Professional Crew and Skipper Training course at the UK Sailing Academy, which regularly provides professional sailors for superyachts all over the world. His qualifications thus include a commercially-endorsed RYA Offshore Yachtmaster (theory and practical), Ocean Yachtmaster Theory, the Maritime and Coastal Agency's medical care certificate and RYA radio, radar, diesel engine and sea survival certificates. He has sailed with family, schoolchildren and Royal Navy cadets as well as charter guests. He has cruised his own boat in the UK, Ireland, France, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark and Norway.
- Does the skipper always take the wheel while we just help?
Not unless you particularly prefer it that way. As soon as possible, Ted will invite you to take the wheel and provide whatever guidance you need. He takes a great pleasure in watching people grow in confidence and enjoy the feel of sailing the boat. Obviously some weather conditions are more challenging than others, so in some circumstances he may need to take over, but whenever possible he will get you involved.
- Can I come by myself?
You can come by yourself and join other people or book the whole boat for your own group. It is not necessary to fill the whole boat to ensure exclusive use. If you wish to join others, we will try to put together a group of people with similar aims for their cruise so that everyone's needs can be met. We can also let you know which cruises currently have availability for extra guests and what type of cruise they are likely to be.
- How far can we go?
Longbow has a Category 2 DTi coding, which means her stability and equipment have been checked and she can go up to 60 miles from a 'safe haven'. This puts Ireland and the outer Hebrides within reach, and even St Kilda if the weather is suitable. Cruises often centre on Mull, Jura and the Small Isles, and Skye is only a little further away. Destinations depend on the weather, your experience and the amount of sailing you want to do: the skipper's decisions are based on his vast experience and are final.
- Can we go racing in Longbow?
Yes you can, but you must discuss this with the skipper in advance as an additional insurance premium may be necessary. At all times your safety and that of the yacht are Ted's paramount concern and his decisions about participation, routes and tactics are final. See the links page for details of some events that may interest you, including the famous Scottish Islands Peaks Race. There is of course no restriction on watching your progress against other boats sailing the same way, but the racing tactics must surrender to courtesy!
- Can we get RYA qualifications during our charter?
Ted can instruct to RYA Coastal Skipper level, but Longbow is simply too large for her to become a RYA Teaching Establishment, so he cannot award RYA certificates. While she is a delight to handle under sail, in tight quarters such as a marina she is not suitable for practising boat handling. However, Ted can sign your logbook as you build the sea miles you will need to apply for RYA examinations, and the skills you will learn will stand you in good stead on any vessel from dinghies upwards. On a yacht charter you will get personal, customised attention that may be harder to find at a large sailing school.
- Can we be taught navigation?
Yes, certainly. By holding a RYA Ocean Yachtmaster Theory certificate, Ted has demonstrated his skill at navigation from dead reckoning and the sextant to GPS and radar. The cockpit table has a perspex cover so the chart can be easily available for consultation. Ted can show you how to plot your position and course, identify navigational marks as you go along, consider the tides and handle other aspects of navigation.
There is a GPS repeater in the cockpit that relays the position, speed, distance to go etc from the main unit at the chart table. In the evenings, if you wish, you can discuss the sailing and navigation theory over coffee after a satisfying meal.
- How much of the time would be spent sailing?
The simple answer is 'as much or as little as you would like'. Guests on cruises specifically designed for sail training tend to want to sail for most of the day, with perhaps a break for lunch, but generally by about 6pm Longbow is anchored and the evening meal on the way. Before you book you can discuss your requirements in detail, so that if you are not booking the whole boat, you should be matched with people with roughly similar aims.
- How much would I have to participate?
Ted can sail Longbow singlehanded if needs be, so you will never be forced to join in with the sailing. Ted recognises that everyone is different and some guests may wish to enjoy the cruise in a more passive capacity. Your level of participation is thus entirely up to you but he will try to give you opportunities to take part in a variety of sailing and navigational activites so that you find some that you enjoy.
- How old/young/fit would I have to be?
At the time of booking you will be asked to confirm that you are reasonably agile: living aboard Longbow requires the ability to climb a few steps of a steep ladder and move around the deck safely. However, this does not mean you have to be particularly fit or totally able-bodied. Please raise any special needs you have as early as possible, so that Ted can advise you as to the best way to enjoy time at sea. Our oldest guest so far has been 81!
Ted may require young children to wear lifejackets and/or harnesses at all times when on deck for their own safety.
- Is there any way I can persuade my family to come too?
There are many couples and families in which one member is very keen and the others have yet to be persuaded that sailing is the right setting for a holiday. Longbow offers comfort and space, the freedom from struggling to cook or clean in an unfamiliar environment, and a large, sea-kindly yacht that gives a great sense of safety and seaworthiness. Balancing sailing time with time at anchor, messing around in the dinghy or walks ashore may help to give everyone a holiday they enjoy. There is more information about family holidays elsewhere.
One of our guests in 2001, Martin Stern, encouraged us to quote the comments he wrote in Longbow's guest book:
"If you are a passionate sailor but don't own a boat, you are faced with all sorts of problems. Sailing your own yacht will face you with not only the high expected costs but with unexpected ones, which may be large. Sailing this way has been compared to the sensation you get when standing under a cold shower tearing up twenty pound notes. Bareboat charter leaves you with skills at best too little practised amid
the vagaries of weather, crew and the unforeseen. Joining a skippered cruise in a small yacht crammed to
capacity to keep the fee down is liable to face you with five close companions you can't get away from for a week: you'll probably grow fond of four of them, but the fifth…
[Longbow has] taken a refreshing and thoughtful approach which provides the answer. Provided, that is, that you realise that you get what you pay for, and that if you "do it yourself" it will cost more anyway. Actually, having made the decision to join a Longbow cruise, you will, judging by our experience, end up getting a lot more than you paid for. Ted does what he does because he is totally dedicated to the things he believes in, which include good sailing and outstanding teaching.
Try the experience: I think you'll want to repeat it."
Cruising in Scotland
Email the skipper
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