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Metropolitan Police Sailing Club
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Dateline: 06-03-2015

From Phil Onslow:

Dear All

Well I’m told that 1st March marks the start of spring and that being the case there’s lots to look forward to on the sailing and powerboating front. We have forthcoming opportunities in the training, cruising and charter front which are outlined below and there are also items in relation to working parties (yes we still need you) a new Vice Commodore and we’re looking for feedback about a possible change in how we operate a rib/powerboat. So please do give us your views on this.

Further details are shown on our internet site and there are the usual means of contacting the club by phone or email shown below.

Vice Commodores Rally
From 8th to 10th May we will be holding our Vice Commodores Rally. This is the best opportunity for boat owners and other members to get together sailing. Boat owners should contact Mike Wise to let him know that they are coming and places may be booked on our club yachts at £110 per person through the club line. We hope to get all three yachts going. There is a barbeque on the Friday evening and a crew meal at HMS Hornet in Portsmouth on the Saturday. This should be a really good weekend as we’ve not been to HMS Hornet before.

West Country Cruise
The longer cruises start in May with the following opportunities

15th to 22nd May - Hamble to Plymouth - £365

31st May to 7th June – Plymouth to Dartmouth – £365

7th to 12th June – Dartmouth to Hamble - £260

These cruises are a wonderful opportunity to build some miles, do some sailing away from the Solent where the boat is normally based and explore some wonderful harbours in Devon and Cornwall.

Round the Island Race
This is a unique event with around 1800 yachts taking part in the annual race around the Isle of Wight. If you’re not into racing then don’t be put off as in addition to the regular racing yachts, there is an enormous entry from ordinary cruising yachtsmen and women who enter the race for the spectacle and prestige. We need to get bookings early on this one so please reserve your place as soon as possible. The race is on Saturday 27th June, but the event starts from a club perspective at 5pm on Friday 26th June and the cost is just £140. Why not give it a go – I bet you won’t regret it. There is of course the internal club trophy for the Commodores Cup which is awarded to the first MPSC yacht.

Practical Training
RYA Day Skipper or Competent Crew

We still have places on our courses for Day Skipper or Competent Crew on the following dates:-

12th to 17th April

26th April to 1st May

17th to 22nd May

The competent Crew course is suitable for novices or those with little experience who want to learn things the proper way at the start and the Day Skipper if the first course which teaches you how to take charge of a yacht. If you’ve any questions about which is the right course for you then please give us a ring or get in touch by email.

Two Day Sail Training Modules
We’re running the following modules:-

6th to 8th April – Close Quarters Boat Handling

8th to 10th June – Day Skipper Refresher

10th to 12th June – Day Skipper Refresher

These courses are designed to complement the RYA Scheme, the close quarters course focusses on giving you the confidence to get in and out of your marina or other berth and also a bit of close quarters sailing.

The Day Skipper refresher is geared towards giving those who have completed the course but want a bit more practice at some of the skills and is ideal for those who just want to build up their confidence and ability a bit more before they charter.

The cost of each module is £135

Shorebased and Online Training
Day Skipper Shorebased
There are vacancies on our intensive Day Skipper course from 18th to 22nd April. This is an elementary course in basic seamanship, navigation and meteorology suitable for beginners and people with little experience in yachts. The course is run over 5 days in our Hamble classroom and the price of £295 includes the RYA pack including software plotter, charts and tables and a day’s free sailing at the end of the course.

SRC Radio – Essential Navigation and Seamanship – Professional Practices and Responsibilities - CEVNI
These courses are run online and can be completed from the comfort of your own home at times suitable to you. In particular, the SRC Radio is essential if you want to charter our rib or yacht (or indeed anyone else’s) and is also an important safety factor when cruising with others. See internet site for further details.

Sea Survival Course
This is a course which teaches skills we all hope never to need but it is a vitally important course. You will learn how to survive in the event of you having to take to the life raft and as well as a 2 hour spell in the swimming pool, you also get a hands on opportunity to let off flares. The course costs just £90 and is being held on Sunday 10th May at our classroom in Hamble.

Diesel Engine
You don’t have to aspire to be a mechanic to do this course. Amongst other things, it teaches a few of the basic points of how you can get your diesel engine working by diagnosing some simple faults. The course is being run from our classroom at Hamble and costs £65.

Yacht Charter
We’re finishing the winter refit of our yachts at the moment and we’re keen to keep them well maintained during the coming season. Our charter availability is shown on our internet site and bookings can now be done online so there is no need for tiresome paperwork. I always say that those who can plan their sailing get more from the club and certainly you have a greater chance of securing the dates you want if you book early. Our charter rates are very competitive and we only ask for a Day Skipper qualification from the charterer.

We keep our rib out of the water and under cover for the winter which we hope will prolong it’s life in the long term. It is however being brought out of hibernation on 23rd March and is then available for private charter.

Once again we’re running a full schedule of powerboat courses from level 2 to advanced. Level 2 is an entry level course, suitable for those with little or no previous experience. Once completed and with the addition of the SRC radio, you are then able to charter the rib and take your own family or guests.

RIB or Small Motor Boat
The directors are currently looking at whether a rib is the right vessel for the club and would a similar sized motor boat have greater appeal.

The rib is pretty all weather and can do over 40knots when running properly, but it’s specification is far above what is required for our level 2 courses and once you’ve blasted around the Solent a few times can lose its appeal. It has few creature comforts.

A small motor boat can have a cabin, heads, gas burner and probably sleep 2 people, maybe 2 children as well. It can be used for day trips as is the case with the current rib, or for occasional weekends and also has the advantage of a small cabin when it rains. It would not have the same performance and would probably do around 20 knots but even so, anywhere is the Solent can be reached within the hour.

At the moment, we’re just canvassing views about whether you feel the motor boat is something you are more likely to use, or whether the dedicated fast rib is more appropriate. Please feel free to email us with your thoughts.

Vice Commodore Wanted!!
Mike Wise our Vice Commodore has asked me to publish the following:-

Dear Members and Friends

After much soul searching and with a heavy heart I have to inform you that 2015 will be my last year as Vice Commodore.

Having been a Director for the last ten years, five of which are as VC I now believe the time is right for me to stand down. This decision has not been taken lightly but I believe that this is the right time for a fresh pair of hands to take the helm and move the Club into a new era.

I would ask all of you to seriously consider taking on this role. It may look onerous but in fact, you will be working with an enthusiastic and committed Executive Committee, two very able ‘deputies’ in John and Phil and a wonderful Ops team it is a real pleasure and privilege. If it helps in your decision making I would be more than happy to act as a ‘deputy’ for 2016 to help you in whatever way I could. I will be also taking some extended leave during September 2015 so if any of you wanted to take on the role I would be happy to stand aside before then to give you some lead in time before the AGM.

If any of you would like a no obligation chat then please feel free to ring me.

With my best wishes


Working Parties
A big thank you to those who have helped our yacht working parties over the winter. We’re still looking for people to assist on two dates to work on the yachts and the rib. The dates are

Saturday 7th March (yes that is this weekend)

Saturday 14th March

If you’re able to assist, please contact us on the clubline.

Good Sailing



Dateline: 12-02-2015

From Phil Onslow:

Dear All

Believe it or not, spring is just around the corner – I hope it is anyway as it’s been very cold for me after spending some time in the tropics. (Please hold the tears back.)

We’ve lots of great cruising this year and there’s lots of work in place to keep the yachts in tip top condition. Sadly we were not successful in our bid to the MPAA to fund a new yacht so we’re into seriously refurbishing what we’ve got. It helps us so much if you can book your places early as we can match supply to demand so please help us in this respect if you can.

Please have a look at the undermentioned topics especially the ones on working parties, Facebook and Twitter.

All courses, cruises and charter bookings can now be confirmed online from our internet site and payment by internet banking or through our secure server by credit or debit card so what could be easier..

Practical Courses
We’ve space on our practical courses for the following dates:-

12th to 17th April

26th April to 1st May

17th to 22nd May

The Competent Crew course is suitable for those who have little or no sailing experience and is a great opportunity to learn sailing first hand by doing it under the watchful eye of a qualified instructor.

The Day Skipper is suitable for those with some sailing experience who have either completed the shorebased course or have equivalent knowledge and skills learned through sailing.

The courses run from 5pm on the Sunday evening till 4pm on the Friday afternoon and accommodation is on the yacht. If you have any queries about which course is right for you, give us a ring and we’ll talk it through with you in more detail. Whichever you choose, I’m sure you’ll have a great time on the water and come back more knowledgeable than you went.

Day Skipper Shorebased
We are running the last of the close season shorebased Day Skipper courses from 18th to 22nd April with a day’s free sailing on 23rd which is optional. The course is based at our Hamble classroom and the course fee of £295 includes the RYA pack, software plotter and accommodation during the course.

Diesel Engine
We seem to rely so much on our engine nowadays and sometimes a small fault can cause us undue problems and stress. The RYA diesel engine course gives you a hands on look at some of the common faults which can occur and most importantly how to diagnose and rectify them. You don’t need any specific pre course knowledge and you won’t be an all singing all dancing mechanic at the end, but you will have more confidence and ability to tackle those minor faults that can otherwise spoil your sailing enjoyment. Date 12th April. Cost £65

RYA Online Courses
We can run the following courses online:-

SRC Radio

Essential Navigation

PPR (Professional Practice and Responsibilities)


We have an active cruising programme this year with a mixture of long and short cruises and an opportunity to sail away from the Solent. Chartering yachts is only available to qualified members and you can only so so many training courses, but the cruises are open to everyone and should be our cornerstone activity to enjoy sailing. There are spaces on the following cruises:-

Early Bird – This is a 2 day weekend cruise within the Solent and is an ideal way to start the season. All three yachts are set aside for the cruise but there is one place left. The cruise runs from 5pm on Friday 27th March till 4pm on Sunday 29th March and the cost is just £99

Vice Commodores Rally - This is a once a year opportunity for members and boat owners to get together. We have three club yachts and members are able to come along with their yachts and we cruise in company around the Solent. In the past this has been held over the early May bank holiday but we’ve moved it to the weekend after now so it will run from 5pm on Friday 8th May till Sunday 10th May. The cost for those wanting a berth on a club yacht will be £110. In the past this has been a really enjoyable weekend and I’m sure it will once again this year. I could publish photos from previous years but I’m afraid they’d never get through the censors.

Hamble to Plymouth – An excellent opportunity to cruise outside the Solent and do a bit of mile building as well. There are some lovely and enchanting harbours on the Dorset and Devon coast and this strikes a balance between passage making but still having the time to visit and enjoy some lovely places on the way. Dates 15th to 22nd May. Cost £365

Plymouth to Dartmouth – This is just a short hop along the coast but above all it offers time in the West Country to explore some of the delightful Devon and Cornish towns and harbours. It’s a delightful place to sail in fact I’m spending a week there myself. Dates 31st May to 7th June. Cost £356

Dartmouth to Hamble – Another chance for some mile building and a crossing of Lyme Bay. The final leg of the West Country Cruises returns to Hamble. Dates are 7th to 12th June although there is scope to extend this slightly if it suits the skipper and crew. Cost £260

Round the Island Race – This is one of the highlights of the sailing calendar and attracts interest from international sailors and part time cruisers alike. It is one of the biggest races in the world although for many, the racing is less serious and whilst some experience is desirable, it is suitable for all levels and skills. If we can get all three yachts filled, there is the added incentive of the Commodores Cup which is awarded to the first MPSC yacht. The race is on Saturday 27th June but crews need to be there from 5pm on the Friday. There is usually a barbeque on the Saturday evening and a fun time is had by all. Cost £150

Twitter and Facebook
We’re trying to embrace modern technology and keep members better informed. To that end we have Facebook and Twitter accounts which we hope to make fuller use of from now on. To get the best out of them, we need you to like the Facebook and receive the Twitter feeds. You can do both by going to our internet site and clicking on the respective links. Read below for further details of how this could be to your advantage.

Charter Deals
It’s such a shame when the boats are at their mooring so we’re looking to entice you out on the water a little more. Whether we should have to is up for debate but the deal is this. From time to time, we will publish dates which will be short notice charters but we will discount them by 20%. They will be put on the web site but also fed to you through Twitter and Facebook (see above). Keep your ears, eyes and monitor alert for further details but most of all, monitor our Facebook and Twitter.

Working Parties
We had a great working party last Sunday but we are now approaching a key time in the maintenance programme when we need to complete the work and get the kit back on the boats. No special skills are required so please help is you can. Despite it being a working party, we usually have a fun time. Dates we need volunteers are :-

21st February
28th February
7th March
14th March

Please help if you can. Email us or phone the clubline so that we know you’re coming or you may not get anything to eat or drink.

Cruising Instructor Course
We’re always on the lookout for new instructors and are hoping to run a Cruising Instructor Course later this year. To qualify, you must hold an RYA Yachtmaster Offshore qualification which is commercially endorsed. We’re looking at holding the course later in the year probably around September but dates can be set to suit provided we get sufficient students. The price has not yet been fixed but in the past it has been heavily subsidised provided those students are suitable and available to assist future club courses and cruises. If you are interested contact the clubline or email to register your interest.

Club Mooring
Due to unforeseen circumstances, we may have a berth available on our club pontoon starting 1st April. No this isn’t an April fool. It would suit a yacht up to about 34ft. If you may be interested then contact John Bailey on 01590 623356.

Good Sailing and Fair Winds



Dateline: 22-01-2015

From Phil Onslow:

Dear All

Well I’m back from my Atlantic travels and have to say that after nearly 3 months in the tropics, winter isn’t very easy to get used to. Please hold back the tears of sympathy though.

Now is an important time for the club as we have some new directors in post after the AGM and a new programme for the year ahead which I hope you will support. I’ve highlighted below some of the more timely activities but as usual see the internet site for further details or phone or email us.

Before that starts however, we have to finish our winter maintenance on the yachts. As always we’re working to a tight schedule so please make every effort to assist. It’s a great way to get to know the boats and other club members and most who come down for the day, have a good time with fellow members.

Yacht Working Parties
As highlighted above, we do need your help on these. No special skills are required just a willingness to get stuck in. We’ve a schedule of maintenance planned for the season together with some commercial deep cleans as we strive to improve the yachts both operationally and cosmetically. If we start off below where we want to be, we’ll struggle all season so please help. We need people for this Saturday if you’re available. Other dates are-:

8th February
21st February
28th February
7th March
14th March

Training Courses

RYA Diesel Engine Course - Sunday 12th April 2015 - Only £65
An essential course for sailors of all levels, our RYA Diesel Engine Course is designed to give you an insight into how your engine works and how to look troubleshoot problems.
You will work on a working marine yacht engine alongside our experience instructor.
The course is held at our Broadway Base at Mercury Marina.

RYA Day Skipper Practical Courses - From only £355
The early season RYA Day Skipper Practical courses are filling up quickly, so please book early to get your dates.
The course is a five day and night on board experience to teach pilotage, navigation, seamanship and boat handling

RYA Level 2 Powerboat Course - From only £199
We still have a few spaces left on our low season courses, which is only £199.
The dates of these courses are 13th-14th April & 25th-26th April.
This two day entry course designed for the complete beginner to power boating.

RYA Day Skipper Shorebased Intensive Course - £295
The RYA Day Skipper Course is an elementary course that covers basic seamanship, navigation and meteorology and is suitable for beginners and students with little or no experience.
The intensive course covers the Day Skipper syllabus over 5 days in the classroom and leaves the 6th for a day’s free sailing for those that want it. Courses are held at Hamble and the price of £295 includes accommodation.

RYA Day Skipper Theory Evening Course - Starting 22nd September - Only £240
Our evening classes start on Tuesday 22nd September 2015 at NSY.
The RYA Day Skipper Course is an elementary course that covers basic seamanship, navigation and meteorology and is suitable for beginners and students with little or no experience.
They consist of twelve Tuesday evenings, (1830-2100) and one full weekend session, ending on the 15th December.
We run one per year and there are only eight spaces, so book early to avoid disappointment.
Please check the Training Pages of the club website for more details.

Club Cruising
We’ve a full programme of cruising this year including a number of legs in the West country and some cross channel passages as well as our usual programme of short, mainly weekend cruising in the Solent. Full details are on the Cruising page of our internet site but here are some of the early season ones

Early Bird Cruise
This is just a weekend in the Solent shaking out a few of those winter cobwebs and are usually very sociable with a t least 2 yachts. Suitable for beginners or those with lots of experience. All you need is a desire to have some fun and enjoy sailing. The cost is just £99 and the dates are 27th to 29th March.

Vice Commodore's Rally
This has been moved away from the early May bank holiday and shortened into two days. It’s a great event with an opportunity for boat owners to come along in their boats and join the fun. We also have a number of spaces on the club yachts. The dates are now 8th to 10th May and the cost just £110. This has been an exceptional cruise in the past and I hope you can support it again this year.

West Country Cruising
Its sometimes nice to get away from the same old places so this year, we’ve organised a number of sailing legs in the West Country. The start and finish dates and places are set and it’s up to the skipper and crew to decide how much time boozing and cruising they want to do and which of the lovely places they want to go. Details are as follows-:

Hamble to Plymouth – 15th to 22nd May
A good mile builder and opportunity to get out of the Solent andvisit some Dorset and Devon harbours.

Plymouth to Dartmouth – 31st May to 7th June
This isn’t far and it’s envisaged that the crew will push on to Falmouth and maybe even the Isles of Scilly, or maybe explore the many small coves and harbours of Cornwall. Either way, a delightful place to cruise.

Dartmouth to Hamble. 7th to 12th June
Another mile building opportunity with countless opportunities to stop on the way and do some real sailing outside the confines of the Solent.

Yacht Charter
Provided our winter works are completed on time, our yachts will be available for charter from 22nd March. I’ve had quite a few bookings already so of you want specific dates my advice is to get in early. Details of availability are shown on the internet site.

RIB Charter
The RIB is currently hibernating under her cover with the engine winterised and covered in cling film. We believe that with such low demand in the winter, it’s better to preserve it this way over the colder weather and preserve it in the long term. We hope to get a maintenance party together to give her a good spring clean before she goes into service. It will be available for use after 1st April, so it’s there if anyone wants it over Easter it is available to you.

Good Sailing



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