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ADEN TO EGYPT: HOSTILE WATERS PART II SAILING TODAY

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CONTENTS

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OCTOBER 2012 ISSUE186

CRUISING 72 ADEN TO EGYPT

In this second part of Jason Lawrence’s Indian Ocean odyssey, gunfire on the streets encourages him to beat a hasty retreat.

80 MY MARINA: EASTBOURNE

Toby Heppell investigates this popular passage port in East Sussex.

86 CRUISING CUISINE

Julian Kimberley reveals a fuel efficient method for rustling up a chicken, leek and bacon braise.

SEAMANSHIP

80

88 SWINGING MOORINGS PART I

James Pearson introduces the mainsail approach; the best way to pick up a mooring under sail upwind.

PRACTICAL 94 ESSENTIAL TOOLS

Some of the specialist planes a hands-on boat owner should be familiar with.

96 STUFFING BOX

Did you know it’s possible to change your prop shaft stuffing box while still afloat?

100 Q&AS

Nick Vass answers your questions on Proof of VAT, Volvo hour meters and mooring ‘off grid’.

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12 OLD PULTENEY WHISKY

Time to pick up that pen. The Editor’s favourite letter each month earns a bottle of Scotch.

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EDITORIAL TEAM EDITOR JAKE FRITH 01489 585213 jake.frith@sailingtoday.co.uk NEWS AND FEATURES TOBY HEPPELL 01489 585203 toby.heppell@sailingtoday.co.uk TECHNICAL CONSULTANT DUNCAN KENT duncan.kent@sailingtoday.co.uk COLUMNISTS COLIN JARMAN colin.jarman@sailingtoday.co.uk NICK VASS nick.vass@sailingtoday.co.uk RICHARD FALK ANDY CUNNINGHAM FEATURE WRITERS JASON LAWRENCE DAVID PARKER JAMES PEARSON JON NEEVES IEUAN DAVIES

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ADEN TO EGYPT: HOSTILE WATERS PART II SAILING TODAY

BACK ISSUES

• MY MARINA: EASTBOURNE

ISLAND PACKET 460 READY-MADE LIVEABOARD SOLUTION?

NEW LOOK SAME GREAT TASTE!

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USED

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T

SEVENTEEN AGAIN

he old maxim of the smaller and cheaper the boat; the greater the fun, has always been something that I’ve only tentatively agreed with. While I’ve had my fair share of smaller, cheaper boats, they were all in my relative youth, which can rather skew things. For most of my 20s I owned a 22 footer, which took me on some interesting passages around the coasts of Britain, France and Spain. But was the pleasure we had from that boat due to the fact that it was small, or was the main factor our youth? With some trepidation I recently accompanied a neighbour on a Sunday evening trip to have a look at the Leisure 17 he had purchased on eBay last winter. He’d taken the wise decision of making his purchase in Christmas week (surely everybody now knows that boats, motorcycles and convertible cars are all half price when it’s snowing?). However, the ‘e’ word had made me quake as some real scrap boats find their way onto this popular auction site. I needn’t have worried, as the boat came with a month old four stroke outboard, nearly new sails and was as

clean and original as a new pin. Almost to prove my point the nice engine had been listed on eBay in the spring, achieving a value, minus costs that rendered his total boat outlay just £20. Our trip to look at her soon became a ‘let’s just rig up and see how she sails’. Darkness had descended as we left the mooring and headed out of the Hamble, and the building excitement of bobbing about in the central Solent in pitch blackness in a £20 boat soon got the better of us. In that madness that comes over folk on a summer Sunday evening when they should be at home with their family or mentally preparing for work, we began to wonder if we would be able to get to Cowes for last orders. Doing 2.5 knots isn’t so boring if you are mere inches from the water and fast ferries keep plunging out of the darkness. Of course there are downsides to £20 boats, not least is the fact that it took what felt like weeks to cross the Solent, but the overall fun factor provided by the unplanned nature of the trip and the comedy price and size of the boat made it a pretty illuminating evening’s diversion.

Jake Frith

OCTOBER 2012 05

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Gear & equipmenT

ST reviews the latest bunkside reading.

books & Apps. pacific OdySSey

Author: GwendA Cornell Publisher: AdlArd Coles nAutiCAl PriCe: £14.99

First published in 1985, Pacific Odyssey details the adventures of author (and wife of Arc founder Jimmy cornell), Gwenda cornell and her family as they extensively cruise through the Pacific Islands. Although published some 22 years ago this re-released version includes a brand new epilogue. the epilogue itself has a Facebook based story (bang up-todate no?) and the confession the author has added nothing else despite having returned some 20 years later and having cruised extensively since. the story itself is a curious mix of melancholic pinning for the islands and islanders themselves, the triumphs and failings of looking after a family over the course of a many years’ cruising (on which subject cornell has another book) and cruising information guide. the book, for many, will be a glimpse into an unknown world and for that, there may be some interest. Indeed I have long wanted to visit the Pacific Islands and much of the description here was thrilling, perhaps the more so for it’s 1970s timeframe, when the world felt a bigger and more curious place. even with this

personal interest it failed to hold my attention fully and I found myself growing tired over time. TH

Our favOuriTe biT: “I greeted some Islanders with a cheery, ‘Vive la France!’, only to be received with cold, stony stares. Jimmy, hearing my faux pas, quickly added in a loud voice, ‘Vive la Polynesie.’”

ST verdicT: An interesting book in many respects, the family’s story is certainly an interesting and unique one. Perhaps this is a book to be dipped into over a stretch of time rather than devoured in one go.

iSleS Of THe nOrTH Author: iAn MitChell Publisher: birlin PriCe: £9.95

Despite appearances this is not really a sailing book but a polemic against centrally organised conservation and specifically the rSPb. Many of the characters unearthed by Mitchell are interesting – in some cases jaw-dropping. Sadly his approach is so one-sided it is hard to believe much of anything stated. In addition to this, the writing is frequently tortuously longwinded and rambling. All this is a shame as the subject matter, if approached with a more even hand, is interesting and there are problems to be explored all round. TH

Our favOuriTe biT: “So why do we get the message that there’s no fish? It’s the scientists, they don’t have a clue what they’re doing.” (Take that, scientists)

ST verdicT: If you have a pathological hatred of the RSPB in particular, go ahead and read this. If a pointlessly one sided, emotionally affected diatribe is not your thing, read something else. Anything else.

THe nOrTHWeST paSSaGe – a pOrTraiT and Guide Author: tonY soPer Publisher: brAdt PriCe: £14.99

bradt are well known for their travel guides, although I will say at the outset this is not a yachtsman’s guide. Despite the best efforts of global warming, the stampede of private yachts transiting this iconic route has not yet taken off. Indeed, at the time of writing at the end of the 2011 season only 114 vessels of any kind had made a successful complete transit. For the few months each year the route is not icebound there are now a handful of expedition ships making their way through. this, then is the principal audience for the book: cruise ship passengers. In its time, trying to make the first transit of the Northwest passage was something akin to landing on the moon, and was considered the key to future prosperity for the nation that first worked out a way through.

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booK reViews

cruiSinG ireland Author: MiKe bAlMForth And norMAn KeAn Publisher: irish CruisinG Club PubliCAtions PriCe: £29.95

Let us be clear at the off in stating what cruising Ireland is not - an in depth almanac or piece of essential cruising literature. For this purpose there are a great many titles already available, including the companion publications to this tome - Icc Sailing Directions: South and West coasts of Ireland and east and North coasts of Ireland. What this book sets out to do, is to provide local knowledge with regards almost all the possible stopping points around Ireland. Impressively authors, balmforth and Kean manage to achieve this goal. each small section contains

overviews of the coastal passage sailing, local restaurants and things of interest. It feels akin to having a very knowledgeable friend with you. I have no particular experience of cruising Ireland nor plans to sail round it. even so, I found myself drawn in by the joys of doing my own mental circumnavigation of the emerald Isle, learning about why there is a robinson crusoe restaurant in Kinsale or how the name for a type of boat local to Donegal is a corruption of trondheim. I was, in short, strangely enthralled. TH

Our favOuriTe biT: “it is often said…the nickname of the British Conservative party derives…from Tory Island. A tempting thought but not so.” (Case closed).

ST verdicT: A well put together read, covering a huge number of locations and services. It is, perhaps a little sparse on detail in places but as an added extra to your cruising library, well worth it.

THe GreaT dayS Of Sail

this, for me, formed the most enticing part of the book as it’s a well researched and authoritative guide to all the various attempts that took place over some 500 years to discover and establish this route. background established, having taken a third of the book, we are introduced to some of the places, ports, peoples, flora and fauna that we could encounter when following the route. It finishes with a fascinating list of all the successful transits, this serves to show how attainable this once near impossible passage has become, with transits made last year in a 7.6m trimaran and an 8.2m monohull. JF

Our favOuriTe biT: ‘When wee came neere the shore, wee found white beares of a monstruous bignesse: we being desirous of fresh victual and the sport, began to assault them.’- John Davies, 1583

ST verdicT: While part of me thinks non-indigenous humans should keep well out of the world’s few remaining wastelands this book represents a worthwhile introduction and overview of what could become the next extreme passage for cruisers.

Classic Choice

Author: Andrew shewAn Publisher: VArious PriCe: FroM 40P

Anyone who feels handling a yacht can be a trying experience should definitely have a read of this. The author, Captain Andrew Shewan, commanded a clipper ship and this collection of reminisces underlines how much the modern sailor has lost in skill and seamanship. Shewan was master of a clipper which raced home from China loaded with tea throughout the 1870’s. Speed was of the essence and Shewan’s remarkable accounts offer a unique insight into a world of masterful seamanship now long gone. The book is a fascinating historical document, engagingly written by a man who had a clear affection for his trade. His portraits of some of the captains he served under are drily comic, while he deals with dramatic accounts of the pirate infested, reef studded China seas with admirable sang froid. SJ

Our favOuriTe biT: ‘There was every prospect of a dirty night and for the next 48 hours I remained on deck. The glass was painfully low, the wind a dead muzzler. It made me realise that a masters berth was not the bed of roses my youthful fancy had painted it.’

ST verdicT: A unique insight into how people coped in a time before in-mast furling and hydraulic winches.

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Gear & equipment

group test With ever more electrical and electronic kit being fitted to the average cruising yacht today, battery banks are expanding by the minute, making proper power management a priority. Duncan Kent looks at some of the devices designed to take the strain out of your power problems…

2 1

3 uSeFuL COntaCtS Barden UK Ltd (Victron) 01489 570770 www.barden-ukshop.com Marathon Leisure (Blue Seas) 023 92 311150 www.marathonleisure.com Merlin Equipment 01202 697979 www.merlinequipment.com Marine Superstore (BEP) 023 9221 9433 www.marinesuperstore.com Sterling Power 01905 771 771 www.sterling-power.com Sure Power (Adverc) 01902 380494 www.adverc.co.uk Vetus Ltd 023 8045 4507 www.vetus-shop.com

4

1:Stirling Prosplit R - £129.00 2: Merlin Smartbank - £159.98 3: Vetus Battery Splitter - £198.00 4: Mastervolt Battery Mate IG - £225

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GROUP TEST

BatterY iSOLatOrS

a

s soon as you have more than one battery on your boat you create an isolation dilemma – how do you connect them together to charge them from one source (the engine alternator, say), but separate them in use? As you would never usually want to use the start battery for anything other than starting the engine, you need to find some way of isolating it from the service battery when it isn’t being charged.

manuaL BatterY iSOLatOrS

When multiple batteries were first introduced the simple answer to this problem was the rotating four-position isolator switch (Off – batt 1 – batt 2 – both) that allowed you to use either battery in isolation, or connect them together for charging. this method works, but requires human intervention and a good memory! You have to turn it to 1 (Start) to fire up the engine, and then when it’s running switch it to both (1+2) to charge both banks. then, when you kill the donkey and start sailing you need to turn it to 2, so the start

battery doesn’t discharge with the service bank. the cycle then has to be repeated when you start the engine to motor onto your mooring. the both position can also be used for emergency starting, should the start battery be flat. Manual switching, then, is both tedious and likely to fail when the skipper has other more important things to do and as battery installations have grown larger and more complex, a method of automatically isolating them has become a necessity. Over the past two decades several methods have been devised.

One of the first, and simplest automatic devices invented to isolate batteries was the diode isolator (aka - charge splitter or battery combiner), which is still available and fitted today in some production boats – usually for simplicity, cost and safety. A diode is a semi-conductor component that allows electrical current to flow in one direction only. A diode charge splitter is simply a unit containing some heavy-

duty diodes that allow the charge from the alternator to feed into more than one battery simultaneously, but isolates them from each other once charging has ceased to prevent current flowing between them. Diodes have their drawbacks, however. Firstly, they have an internal resistance that creates a voltage drop of between 0.75-1.0V as the current travels through them, reducing the charge level at the batteries. Sometimes adjustments must be made to the regulator to overcome this – especially if a battery-sensed smart regulator is incorporated into the alternator charge circuit. Standard-fit alternatorsensed regulators won’t ‘see’ the problem, however, so the batteries can often not reach full charge. the second problem with a diode splitter is that there is no way to disconnect the start battery from the charge circuit when it is fully charged. because it is has thinner plates and usually requires much less charging than the service bank, it can gas itself dry (creating a risk of explosion), leading to permanent damage.

connects it to the smaller start battery, it can almost instantly drag the latter down below its lower threshold – at which point the relay disconnects. being isolated again the start bank then recovers, the VSr makes… and so on. this can cause the relay to ‘chatter’ – ie., switch on and off rapidly – slowing the recharging of the service bank and damaging the relay contacts. Most makers now build in a slight delay between it reaching the threshold and the VSr making, to help overcome this problem. Secondly, a relay consumes power (usually 150-200mA) when it is ‘made’. While this isn’t a problem when charging from the engine alternator, it can be if a smallish solar panel is being used to recharge the start battery when the engine isn’t running. Sometimes, in low-light conditions, the VSr can consume more power than the panel is emitting! VSrs can be single or dual sensing – ie., can look for a voltage rise on just the

start battery, or both. this can be useful if you only have a single output charger on the service battery, or you have a ‘combi’ charger/inverter installed that only charges the service bank due to its wiring. One very important factor to consider when installing an isolating relay of any sort is its maximum current capacity, which needs to be equal or greater than the highest domestic load you are ever likely to put onto the service bank (or the same or greater value as the in-line main battery fuse). Otherwise, if the latter is deeply discharged and you fire up a power-hungry device such as a windlass or inverter, much of the current will be initially derived from the start battery and alternator, conducted through the VSr contacts, until the starter battery drops below the lower threshold and disconnects. For this reason the relay must be capable of carrying the full current draw of any heavy consumer device. Any less could destroy the relay and create a serious fire hazard.

DiODe iSOLatOrS

proDuCts reLaY-BaSeD iSOLatOrS A popular alternative to diodes are relays, which can usually be ignition or voltage sensed. Ignition Sensed relays (ISr) ‘make’ (close) when the engine ignition key is turned on, which is fine for motorboats, but not ideal for sailing yachts. A basic Voltage Sensed relay (VSr), however, only makes when it senses a voltage above a pre-set upper threshold. this means start and service batteries can be kept isolated, with all the charge from the alternator initially going to the start battery until the threshold is reached, at which point the relay closes, connecting the batteries together for simultaneous charging. As soon as the engine is switched off and the start battery voltage drops below the lower threshold (usually 12.8V), the VSr ‘breaks’ and isolates the two battery banks again. Although this sounds like the ideal solution, there can also be a couple of problems with a VSr. Firstly, if your service bank is deeply discharged when the VSr

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islAnD pAcKet 460

The US-built Island Packet 460 is designed and built for serious bluewater cruising, with top quality gear and a massively strong rig and hull. duncan Kent reports. Florida-built Island Packet yachts are solidly constructed, bluewater cruising boats with a high-level inventory and top specification. Designed by Bob Johnson to fulfil the demands of liveaboards, they provide all the comforts of home, and ensure her crew are kept safe during ocean passages. Her interior reflects the knowledge of folk who have spent extended periods on board yachts and know what the problems of living aboard in all conditions can be. Not only is the accommodation spacious, bright and well appointed, but items such as the tankage, plumbing, electrics and wiring have been refined over 25 years and are now presented in the most fastidious detail. The boats brim with reassuring innovation. easy access fuel filters, high-energy alternators, under-sole tanks and a sturdy handhold wherever one is needed, go to show the people who produce these veritable ‘ocean Land Rovers’ know what they’re on about. Not the same as the centre-cockpit IP465, the 460 has a totally new hull and deck – although she retains the trusty IP trademark cutter rig with Hoyt boomed staysail. She is shoal draft thanks to her full-length encapsulated keel and her rudder hangs on a lower pintle on the keel, protecting her prop from debris. She also sports a slightly more generous sail plan than the 465. The construction is meticulous. A hand laid up, woven tri-axial composite is rolled onto a highly osmosis-resistant PolyClad2 gelcoat below the waterline, and an ultra high-gloss Durashield gelcoat above, using pressure-fed vinylester resins in an infusion system to ensure accurate saturation. The manufacturers claim this method creates a very strong and durable hull. The keel is part of the hull lay-up, thereby encapsulating her lead and iron ballast and eliminating keel bolt risks. A PolyCore foam sandwich is used in the decks for lightness and good sound insulation, and hull and deck are throughbolted and glued. Unlike modern performance cruisers her hull is well raked at the bows for a soft entry into waves. Above the waterline she has high topsides and a relatively narrow beam. Her coachroof is low and very traditional in design, but the result is a tidy look that could never go out of fashion. Overall I felt she has a purposeful, bluewater demeanour.

ISLAND PACKET 460

PHOtOs: rOd leWis

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CAN BE OPERATED WITH ONE HAND – EVEN WITH YOUR TEETH! DUNCAN KENT

SEPTEMBER 2012

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cruising Suez Canal

Middle East

EGYPT

Suez Aden Maldives

Port Ghalib Yanbu Al Bahr

SUDAN

SAUDI ARABIA

Khor el-Marob

Jeddah

Marsa Inkeifel Al Lith

R E

Suakin

Al Qunfudhah

D S

Trinkitat

Al Hudaydah

E A

Khor Narawat

ERITREA

Massawa Howakil Bay

Al Hudaydah Sadla

YEMAN Aden

Bab el Mendep

ETHIOPIA

Djibouti

Gulf of Aden

Leaving Aden through the Bab el Mandeb strait and on up to Port Ghalib.

rriving in Aden in late February 2011, I felt elated. Having crossed the Arabian sea without incident, I was looking forward to some rest and security before heading up the Red Sea and on to Egypt. There were two other boats at anchor, but on inspection it looked like they had been left by their owners and were both in quite a sorry state. I was to be on my own, a sole boat and singlehander in a country just stirring to the beat of the ‘Arab Spring’.

chores I checked in with customs and immigration, who retained my passport, and in return issued me a transit pass. I had a few jobs to do, as well as the usual fuels and laundry, so set off with a driver in search of the usual US Dollars, SIM cards and lunch. I sorted out a price with Whalid, and off we went in his rather dusty old car. Heading up into town we found a bank that dispensed USD as well as Yemeni Rials. “Ahh, no USD available.” That was going to be the story of the day. After trying a number of ATMs we finally went to the Bank of Yemen, and secured 1,000USD

PEGASUS LOA LWL Beam Draft Displacement Sail Area Cutter Designer Launched

Atlantic 46LR Catamaran 14.73m 48ft 4in 14.32m 47ft 7.87m 25ft 10in 0.86m to 2.08m 2ft 10in to 6ft 10in 6,350m 14,000 Lbs 125sqm 1,350sqft Chris White 1997

from the manager. Clearly USD were being withheld from the locals, but at least I had some operating cash. After a trip to the supermarket and lunch I returned to Pegasus, alone at anchor off the customs wharf. Not a bad first day. Tomorrow would bring some maintenance and sorting the laundry and diesel. I had plenty of water and with the fresh supplies and money, was well on my way to being able to get going again.

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Aden to egypt

hostIle waters In last month’s PIrate Passage cruIsIng story Jason lawrence successfully made safe landfall In aden. In thIs second Part the ‘arab sPrIng’ Is gatherIng momentum by the day and cruIsIng yachts are becomIng thIn on the ground. PhotoS: JASon LAwREnCE

Main: Pegasus taking rest along the wall at Port Ghalib. Right: Jason and Amanda.

That evening I walked the 200m back to the restaurant and ate a few shawarma while chatting with a Yemeni. Over tea I asked about the current situation and was surprised to hear 16 people had been shot over the past two weeks. I had heard the students marching and protesting and seen many different uniforms, everyone with a Kalashnikov, but had no idea that there was already blood on the streets. There were a number of jobs I needed

to do before setting off up the Red Sea. I could expect some windy conditions with short, steep seas and some hard windward sailing. I wanted to make sure Pegasus was ready and on inspection of the rig found two loose shackles, vindicating my efforts. I also had to start servicing the winches, a laborious job, but not done often. I spent a lovely morning scrubbing winch parts in diesel and re-greasing, and by afternoon had completed the four most important

winches. In the afternoon, Whalid and I put the laundry in and arranged to pick up diesel the following day, Friday. That evening I returned to the restaurant and after ordering food started chatting to another Yemeni English speaker. We talked about vague politics, the situation, unemployment and the unrest. I left for home before sundown. Sitting in the cockpit I could hear the student protests and some small arms fire and was OctOber 2012 73

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MYMARINA

The main, Inner Harbour.

SOVEREIGN HARBOUR EASTBOURNE, EAST SUSSEX

WE HAVE A LOOK ROUND EASTBOURNE’S SOVEREIGN HARBOUR MARINA AND GET THE LOCALS LOW-DOWN ON WHERE TO GO.

N

estled between Brighton and Hastings on the edge of the South Downs, and just a few minutes East of Eastbourne, Sovereign Harbour Marina provides a perfect stopping point for those making their way along the South Coast as well as an ideal base for forays to northern Europe. The Victorian seaside town of Eastbourne is, these days, often viewed as an older retirement community, and is certainly much quieter than its rowdy neighbour to the west, Brighton. To some extent for the visiting yachtsman, this is an advantage. Indeed this, coupled with the marina lying just out of town, projects a rather sleepy, restful feel to the area. Though there are a number of restaurants and cafes, the chatter as you walk past these is easy and relaxed as opposed to buzzy excitement.

Complementing the unhurried nature of the town. Eastbourne is nestled in the heart of the South Downs and a short hop towards the countryside can see visitors ambling through very picturesque spots. As an extra incentive, the cliffs to the west of the town – including the infamous Beachy Head – shelter the area from a great deal of foul weather. These features have contributed to Eastbourne being referenced as the ‘sunniest place in Great Britain’. Whether or not this is the case there is certainly plenty of sunshine on the south coast and if you catch a good day, a walk along the three-mile promenade is a pleasure. Along the way you can stop off at Eastbourne Pier, home to some of the tackier attractions often seen in abundance in British seaside holiday towns. Due to a protective law relating to the

front of the promenade and the allowable facades there, these attractions, thankfully, encroach no further. There are also a number of interesting cycle rides to do and even the two Martello towers on the shore have puppet and military museums in them – though they are not combined, we hasten to add. For those not in the mood to venture too far from the boat, most everything you need is available dockside at the marina. There is also the ‘Sovereign Harbour Retail Park’ within a couple of minutes walk from the marina itself, which contains a large ASDA, cash point, post office, multiplex cinema and yet more pubs and restaurants. Eastbourne Sovereign Harbour is a huge place and it is this size that allows them to make the promise they will never turn any visitor away.

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SOVEREIGN HARBOUR

There are four separate sections to the harbour complex.

Restaurants of all types abound.

The marina site is extensive.

BERTHING AND FACILITIES

A WARM WELCOME DAWN AND PETER TINDALL INVITED US ABOARD THEIR BAVARIA 32 FREEDOM TO GIVE US THE INSIDE-GUIDE TO THIS MARINA AND ITS WEALTH OF FACILITIES. “It’s lovely here, and because we kept the boat here from early on, we have watched the marina grow,” Dawn Tindall extols. “It is funny looking back when none of these buildings were here and now it is so much bigger.” This is probably a rarity - people growing with a marina - and gives some indication of just how new Sovereign is, springing into existence in 1993 and expanding steadily ever since. Before they became resident in Eastbourne, Peter and Dawn Tindall owned a small trailer-sailer but it was not long before they felt the lure of blue water and quickly began the search for a suitable replacement. They settled on Freedom, and have spent seven happy years cruising and fettling her. Their selection was made on a variety of factors but one of the key considerations was her size. “We see so many larger boats in marinas just shoved up against a wall or something because there is nowhere to put them,” Peter

explains. “This is a great size for the two of us to sail and we never have any problems getting into marinas or getting a berth.” Peter and Dawn originally berthed Freedom at Brighton marina but chose to move locations after a weekend visit to Eastbourne. Being based in Sandy Cross meant keeping their boat at either marina leaves them a similar distance to travel. The couple selected Eastbourne for a range of factors. They are particularly complementary of the staff who are, evidently, friendly, helpful and always on-hand. Additionally the lock entrance is a benefit in terms of safety, they feel. “The marina staff meets everyone as they lock-in so they know exactly who is in the marina at any given time. You don’t end up with boats just motoring in with the possibility of going unnoticed,” Dawn confides. When I arrive it is clear Freedom is their pride and joy, sparkling in the sunlight. The sparkling nature of their steed is slightly

Contact: 01323470099 or got to www.premiermarinas.co.uk Facilities: Including water, electric, gas, holding tank pump out, launderette, weather forecast etc. Fuel: 24hr fuel station – gas available from reception. Repairs: Fully serviced boatyard on site Lift-Out: 50 tonne travel lift, and separate small 2 tonne crane for engines etc. Charges are examples; contact Premier Marinas for a personal quote Annual berthing charges: £223.60p/m Seasonal: From £283.38p/m Weekly: £2.65p/m

down to luck, however. “We have had the hosepipe ban for ages now,” Peter explains. “So it wasn’t until that was lifted yesterday I was really able to come down and fully clean her.” The pair obviously enjoy their spot and seem more than happy to chat about the place and the people. If their reaction is anything like most berth holders, Sovereign Harbour is doing a very good job indeed. OCTOBER 2012 81

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