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Metropolitan Police Sailing Club
Clubline: 020 8643 4292        Email: mpsc@hotmail.co.uk                  Internet:  www.mpsc.uk.com

Dateline: 16-07-2014

From Phil Onslow:

Dear All

Well the sun is shining and the forecast is good although not sure about whether there’s enough wind for some.

We’ve lots of information below about training and chartering for yachts and rib but can I highlight the clubs need for members to contribute to the running of the club. It’s often the younger and active members who most accurately reflect how the club needs to move forwards and we don’t want a group of has-beens running things for us. Please see below for further details but we need you to step up and help our fine club move forward into the future. We give members some wonderful opportunities and that can only continue with your help and cooperation.

As usual, further details can be gained on our internet site or on the clubline.

Your Club Needs You
We’re still looking for some volunteers to assist with the running of the club. You don’t need any special skills (other than plain common sense) but a number of our directors and assistants have been in post for a number of years and are now looking to more on and I’m sure we all offer our thanks and wish them well. There are a number of opportunities but I’d highlight a couple of roles.

The treasurers role sounds daunting and time consuming but it’s not really as John Bailey and myself do much of the legwork. You don’t need any accountancy training as we also employ professional accountants. Think of yourself as the glue that holds all the bits together.

Our Cruising Director is an important role putting together our annual cruising programme and having a strong input to the makeup of our yachts. All our posts have support from myself, John Bailey and our Operations Team and support posts to ensure that the work is manageable. It’s important that the strategy of the club is supported by active members and we welcome new blood. If you are able to assist or want to talk more about what is involved then email our club address, speak to John Bailey who is our General Manager on 01590 623 356 or contact Mike Wise direct on 07880 781539. He is away on his yacht for the next 2 weeks though but after that I’m sure he’d be happy to speak.

Yacht Charter
There are still vacancies for yacht charter but generally, the sooner you book, the more likely you are to get the boat and dates that your require. Even our most expensive yacht at peak season is only £520 for a weekend making a cost per person of just over £100. To charter you need a Day Skipper practical qualification and a radio qualification. A second competent person is required, but they don’t have to have any formal qualifications. We’re not in the business of making you jump through hoops to charter, we want you to get out onto the water safely and enjoyably. If you want help or advice about where to go or what to do then do get in touch and we can discuss your requirements with you.

RIB Charter
Our rib use has seen a significant improvement this year and of course the fine weather so far has been a real bonus. As well as that, the average cost fuel for a day’s charter is far less than our previous rib making it affordable for families and groups. We can take up to 6 people which can make it a very reasonably priced day out. All you need is a level 2 certificate and a radio qualification.

Practical Training – Day Skipper and Competent Crew
We still have a few vacancies on our 5 day practical courses which form the backbone of our training programme. The Competent Crew is suitable for those with little or no sailing experience and rather does what it says on the tin and teaches you to be a competent crew member on an offshore yacht. The Day Skipper practical teaches you the basics of how to skipper a yacht and is the minimum requirement for chartering our boats. You need to have completed the shorebased course and have some sailing experience so that tacking and gybing is not a surprise. It’s hard work but great fun.

Practical Training – Day Skipper Refresher
We’ve arranged a new Day Skipper refresher course. This will be ideal for those who have completed their course but want to brush up on their skills or those who want just a bit more instruction generally. The dates are 14th to 16th September and the cost is £125.

Practical Training – Exam Prep
One of the great things about sailing is that there is no UK mandatory license requirements and to many the freedom of the sea and being able to sail unrestricted is very important. In this country our excellent safety record is greatly due to the enormous amount of voluntary training undertaken by leisure yachtsmen and women. The gold standard is the yachtmaster and there is great personal pride for those who achieve it. To do so, you need to be examined by an RYA examiner and most people do a 5 day preparation course leading up to the assessment.

We have scheduled a course and exam for the week beginning Sunday 21st September and this is suitable for you if you are considering the Yachtmaster Offshore or the Yachtmaster Coastal (Formerly Coastal Skipper. Only the name has changed) . If you’re interested in this course and exam then do give the clubline a ring and I can explain more. These qualifications often form the foundations for those who are looking to operate commercially at some stage in the future.

Day Skipper Shorebased Courses
Our evening classes will be run on Tuesday evenings from 6.30pm at NSY commencing on Tuesday 23rd September. There will be one weekend of working required and this will enable us to complete the course in December. This is a course in basic navigation and seamanship suitable for beginners and those with some sailing experience. The cost of the course is £235 which includes a course pack and a day’s sailing at the end of the course.

We will also be running two intensive courses at Hamble and the dates for these will be posted on the internet site shortly. The cost of this course including accommodation is £285.

Yachtmaster Shorebased
This is a more advanced course and generally students should have completed the Day Skipper shorebased course or have extensive yachting or racing experience. The course will be run on Wednesday evenings commencing…………… and one weekend of working will be required. The cost of the course is £235.

SRC Radio
We are able to offer the SRC radio course as an online course which you can complete at home at times suitable to yourself and it can also be completed in bite sized chunks rather than having to devote a full day. A face to face exam is still required but dates for these are arranged regularly and we can usually make arrangements at short notice to suit.

We also offer a number of other online courses

Essential Navigation and Seamanship
This is particularly suitable for rib users, fisherman, divers etc. who don’t necessarily need to know about points of sail and other detail necessary for those who are looking to go offshore.. It can be run as a 2 day course in the classroom but as an online course it is again divided up into sections which can be completed at your leisure at times to suit. The cost of the course is just £89 which includes a course back.

Professional Practices and Responsibilities (PPR) and CEVNI
The PPR course is the professional qualification required for anyone who wants to have their qualification endorsed for commercial use and work within the industry. The cost of this course is £20

The CEVNI is the inland Waterways endorsement to the International Certificate of Competence (ICC) and is a requirement in many of the waterways of Europe. The cost of this course is £20.

Online Booking System
All our yacht or rib charters and course or cruise bookings can be confirmed no using our online facility which is hosted on a secure server so that we can take credit and debit cards. There is a 2.5% charge for credit cards but debit cards are free. You can still pay by internet banking, in fact this is our preferred method, but please remember to put the reverence on as described in the online booking form. Hopefully all this will make confirming a lot easier for members.

I hope you all manage to get lost of sailing and the weather stays fine for you.

Phil

 

Dateline: 11-06-2014

From Phil Onslow:

Dear All

The sailing season is in full swing now and having just spent 9 days in the West Country and Isles of Scilly, and 4 days in Majorca I can’t wait to get out on the water again.

We’ve still some places on our courses both for the yachts and rib and don’t forget the yacht and rib charter as well. It’s often possible to book at short notice and all the booking forms can now be done online. I knew we’d reach the 21st century some time .

Practical Day Skipper and Competent Crew Courses
The competent Crew course is suitable for novices and those with little experience sailing, whilst the Day Skipper takes those who have done some sailing and have the required knowledge on to the level necessary to skipper a boat for yourself. If you’re not sure which course is for you then don’t hesitate to give us a ring on the clubline. We currently have a couple of vacancies on courses for the following dates which both start at 5pm on the Sunday evening and finish around 3 – 4pm on the Friday. The course fee of £380 includes all food, fuel, safety equipment, waterproofs and on-board accommodation.

6th to 11th July

20th to 25th July

Practical RIB Courses
To charter our rib, you only need a 2 day level 2 course and a radio certificate (see below re this) and the world, well the Solent at least) is your oyster. On a summers day, it makes a great day out for a group of friends and family and with our current rib this is much more affordable as it’s quite economical.

We’ve currently got spaces on 10th and 11th July, 26th and 27th July and 4th and 5th August.

The cost of the course is £210.

Yachtmaster Offshore or Yachtmaster Coastal Exam
We’re running an exam prep course for anyone interested in yachtmaster offshore or coastal. The course is 21st to 26th September and is followed by the exam which takes one or 2 days depending on the number of students. At £440 (plus exam fee) it represents great value as a route to achieve what is after all the gold standard of yachting.

It’s always best to speak to us if you’re interested in doing this so that we can make sure you’ve got the necessary miles and experience, so if you’re thinking of it then give us a ring.

Online Courses
We offer a range of online courses including:-

Essential Navigation

SRC Radio

Professional Practices and Responsibilities (PPR)

CEVNI

The great thing about these is that you can do them whenever you want and you don’t have to do the whole course in one sitting. They’re geared to fit around your needs.

The Essential Navigation is highly recommended for rib users, those who go diving and those who go fishing. It focusses on the essential knowledge that you need to keep safe and know where you are.

The SRC radio is a once in a lifetime qualification which you will need to take out any yacht or rib and with the current GMDSS setup it’s an important safety factor.

For those who want to do any commercial sailing, the PPR course is now a requirement for commercial operations and is divided into a series of modules to guide you through the legal nightmare of requirements which seem to be taking over nowadays.

The CEVNI is the European regulation which is operated on many of the European waterways and is a requirement in some countries including France, Netherlands and others.

Online Information Facebook and Twitter
We’re just updating some of the information on the internet site so don’t forget to check that regularly. There’s even a version that is suitable for your smartphone and why not like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to get the latest availability and last minute deals sent to you.

I’m off to enjoy the sunshine now.

Good Sailing

Phil

 

Dateline: 14-05-2014

From Phil Onslow:

Dear All

Well by the end of the week summer will definitely be here and I’ll shortly be off to the Isles of Scilly to enjoy it (hopefully).

Most of our cruises have been quite popular this year and the early bookers have definitely gained. Some we’ve been able to put on extra yachts for but sadly a few people have been disappointed. Early booking makes it so much easier for the club to provide those services that members want.

There are places on our Competent Crew and Day Skipper practical courses with the dates shown on the internet site and for those who may be thinking of taking their coastal or yachtmaster offshore assessment we have a course running later this year and we like the names on the doors so to speak early for this.

As always we try to put everything on our internet site but we also have Facebook and Twitter so don’t forget to like us or watch us on those to get the earliest information.

There’s a great opportunity for someone to join a group of officers from Kent who are looking for a skipper. See below for further details. There’s also information about rib and yacht training or charter, some online training and online booking.

Sailing Opportunity
David Lavender from Kent has chartered two boats for a week’s sailing 1st to 6th June. Last year I hear that a good time was had by all so he’s planned a trip again this year. For medical reasons, the skipper on one of the yachts is not now able to go and he is looking for someone to skipper. The yacht charter is paid for and the cost is just a contribution of £80 towards food etc. Sounds like a good deal. If you are a coastal or yachtmaster offshore and are able and willing to help (and enjoy yourself into the bargain) then give him a ring on 07980 683383.

Practical Training – Yachts
We’ve our normal schedule of Day Skipper and Competent Crew courses running this year with dates on the site. The cost of £380 for the summer courses is great and includes food, fuel and moorings so your only expense is alcohol. If we paid for that, I’m sure we’d be bankrupt very quickly.

The Competent Crew is suited to a novice or someone with little sailing experience and to a great extent, it does what it says on the tin and gets you to a standard where you are competent to crew an offshore yacht.

The Day Skipper teaches you how to skipper a yacht so you need to be able to sail and have either completed the Day Skipper shorebased course or have equivalent knowledge.

Practical Training – RIB
The new rib purchased last year has been generally popular and most importantly reliable. It travels at over 40knots if you can hang on so you can get anywhere almost before you’ve left. Fuel efficiency is much improved over the previous engine so it makes for a great and affordable day out. All you need to use it is a level 2 certificate and a radio certificate. The level 2 course is just 2 days and costs £210. All the safety equipment is provided. See below for radio course information.

For those looking at developing their rib skills there is also an intermediate course on 6th and 7th September which teaches you about slightly longer passages.

Shorebased Training
Our shorebased classes tend to be scheduled for the off peak times so aren’t running during the summer but there are some online training courses which are very useful. The great thing about these is that you can do them from home at times to suit you and as they usually come in a series of modules, you can work them in around other commitments.

The SRC Radio course is now available online. This requires a face to face exam at the conclusion but that is easily arranged often during an evening. The cost at £120 is excellent value as the exam part of it is £60 which is included in the price. To enrol, just send a booking form in and we’ll give you a link to the course. It’s a requirement for all those who charter our rib and yachts and lasts a lifetime.

We also offer ‘Essential Navigation and Seamanship’ online. This is particularly useful for those who use ribs and other small craft including those who go diving or fishing.

Professional Practices and Responsibilities is a new course and is mandatory for anyone who is looking to work in the commercial field. We offer it for just £20 to club members.

For those who want to go boating abroad particularly on the inland waters of Europe, a CEVNI qualification is often needed and we provide this as an online facility for you as well.

All these courses will be the same no matter where you go. I do like to think that we can offer them cheaply to members and also provide full support.

Course Bookings
We’ve dragged our heels a little but hopefully our online booking facility for charters, courses and cruises is now up and running. Once you’ve reserved your place by phone, just complete the form online and avoid the need for snail mail……’at last’ I hear some of you say. Our preferred method of payment for these is online banking but you can pay securely using a debit or credit card and although there is a small surcharge for credit cards, debit cards are still surcharge free.

Also don’t forget that your family and often friends are able to join you on courses and cruises – we like to make our sailing opportunities as inclusive as possible.

Yacht and Rib Charter
Our yacht and rib charter dates are shown on our internet site. Those who book earliest will likely get the best choice of dates. As outlined above, once reserved by phone, the confirmation can be done online.

Good Sailing

Phil
 

 

 

Dateline: 24-04-2014

From Phil Onslow:

Dear All

Just a quick mail to highlight a few opportunities some of which are time sensitive. As always further details are available on our internet site or get in touch using the club email or dedicated phone line.

Vice Commodores Rally
This really takes place over the early May Bank Holiday weekend from 5pm on Friday 2nd May to 4pm on Monday 5th May. I know that our Vice Commodore has put a lot of time and effort into organising this and there are a number of members attending with their yachts. Sadly places on the club yachts have not been taken up. Now we don’t often discount things as we keep our prices as low as we are able anyway but we’re offering you a deal.

Day Skipper or Competent Crew Practical Courses
We still have a couple of places on the course 11th to 16th May for Day Skipper or Competent Crew. This costs £380 and includes all food, fuel and mooring. The Competent Crew is suitable for a beginner or novice and the Day Skipper is suitable for those who have learned to sail and have either done the Day Skipper shorebased course or have equivalent knowledge.


Director Vacancies
We are a club with around 1200 members, 3 offshore yachts, a rib and some dinghies and are managed by a small team of directors. It has been said that some have been in post since Methuselah was a baby but I couldn’t possibly comment. What is clear is that the grey hairs are becoming more apparent and some are looking to move on in the near future and we need members to step up to replace them. It may be that you’re not able to take on a full directors roll but can help in some way. If you can, or want to chat through some options then please get in touch so that we can continue to move forward as a thriving and successful members club.

Rib Courses and Charter
Our rib is being used more so far this year and the current model is far more reliable than the previous one. Fuel economy is significantly better so you don’t now have to tow your own oil rig behind.

Many of the scheduled courses are full but we do have a place on the level 2 on 9th and 10th June and also a place on the intermediate course on 15th and 16th May.

Charter Booking
As always, our charter availability dates are shown on the internet so the sun is shining, why not pick up that phone or tap on that keyboard and book a yacht for the summer….well perhaps not all the summer but I’m sure you get the idea.

Good Sailing

Phil

 

Dateline: 07-03-2014

From Phil Onslow:

Dear All

I do like this time of year. The sun starts to shine and before the end of the month, the clocks will change so it’s all quite positive. Our boats are in the water and a big thank you to those who helped out with the work on them during the winter.

I’ve included below some details of things which are due in the near future and would particularly highlight the Vice Commodores Rally which is always a top event.

We have a wonderful club with some fantastic boats, great people, and some skilled and experienced sailors and teachers. It’s fair to say that some of those who have in general managed the club magnificently over the years are now rapidly approaching their sell by date and we do need to plan for the future and need your help. It would be such a shame if the fantastic framework we currently have isn’t supported in the future so give serious consideration about volunteering to help and see the message below about a new treasurer and other roles. Your help will be really appreciated. If not able to take one of the key roles, some administrative or organisational help is always well received.

As always do contact us if you want any further information

CRUISES
We’ve had a good response to most of our cruises and interest is healthy especially later in the season so if you’re interested in these get in quick or they may be full. We do have some space on the following which in the past have proved popular and great fun.

Early Bird – You’ll have to get in quick as it takes place 28th to 30th March and costs just £99 which isn’t bad for 2 days sailing. The list will close shortly so don’t miss out. It’s only £99.

Easter Cruise – So how are you spending Easter. This is slightly longer cruise and gives an opportunity to build a few miles as well as have a great time. Poole or Weymouth are achievable subject to weather and as Easter is late this year, we’re hoping for something a bit warmer.

Vice Commodores Rally – This is usually one of the corner stones of our programme as it gives opportunity to boat owners and other members to get together and judging by some of the photos I’ve seen from previous years is usually a party from start to finish. If you’re a boat owner or just want a place on one of our yachts with a skipper then do get in touch on our clubline. Mike Wise our Vice Commodore is the organiser and will undoubtedly be leading the flotilla in his own yacht. Be ready to dispense passing honours.

SHOREBASED TRAINING
Diesel Engine Course
On 23rd March we have a diesel engine course at Hamble. This one day course isn’t trying to turn you into a mechanic overnight but the greatest proportion of calls to the RNLI from yachts are due to mechanical failure and in most cases, there is a simple fix of a filter or air lock which can be cured in minutes, It’s based partly in the classroom but partly around our own diesel engine where you’ll be able to get your hands dirty, but don’t worry, you can wash them afterwards. The cost is just £60 which includes the RYA pack.

SRC Radio Online
Whether you’re into ribs or yachts, the chances are you’ll need to use a radio and it’s a legal requirement that you have a licence to do so. It’s all very easy and flexible now as there’s no requirement to listen to a boring instructor dressed in an anorak or two (that could be me) droning on about gain and squelch. You can sign up with us to do the course wholly online and then it’s a short examination to get the certificate.

The cost of £120 for the course and exam has been kept as low as possible. Most schools quote a figure of around £100 for the course only and the exam is an extra £60! Our package offer of £120 covers the course with full support, the RYA book and an exam on a convenient date, and you can do it all at a time and speed to suit yourself.

Essential Navigation and Seamanship
The RYA seem to be putting more of their training online and this course covers the essentials needed to navigate and is particularly suited to those who use a rib or who go fishing or diving. As with all our online courses there is a support available to you and you can do it when your time permits. The cost including the RYA pack is just £89.

Professional Practice and Responsibilities
Those who may be looking to work within the sailing industry, either teaching, delivery or skippered cruises, this course is a legal requirement. Because we se it as an important developmental opportunity to our members, we offer this course, which will be the same wherever you go, for just £20.

PRACTICAL TRAINING
Practical Training – Competent Crew and Day Skipper
Our popular Day Skipper and Competent Crew courses are starting to fill, but we have vacancies on 6th to 11th April and 11th to 16th May, The cost of our courses is £380 which includes all food, fuel and moorings, all safety equipment and the use of our club waterproofs. The April course comes within our early season discount scheme so is even better value at £350.

Practical Training – Exam Prep Course
We’ve an exam prep course running in September and these courses require an element of preparation and the booking of an examiner. If anyone is interested in taking their Yachtmaster Coastal or Yachtmaster Offshore then do book early. We’re always happy to discuss your requirements before committing to this.

Cruising Instructor Course & Future Instructors
We’re running a cruising instructor course during September. This is to train those who are currently yachtmasters and who want to develop their skills on the practical training side. The scheme has recently changed and this represents an outstanding opportunity to gain the qualification at very little cost.

One of our strengths over the years has been the quality of our sailing instruction and this has cascaded down through the club starting long before I joined. We aim to identify members who are Yachtmaster Coastal and above and develop them within our training scheme with a view to becoming the instructors of the future. If you are interested in this activity then do let me know and we can discuss what’s needed in more detail.

Rib Training and Charter
Our level 2 rib courses start in April and we have vacancies on 12th & 13th April and 16th & 17th April. For other dates see internet site. These courses are run on our new rib which on a good day can do 45knots (provided you can hold on). Completion of this course and the above mentioned radio course qualifies you to take the rib out yourself. Why not give it a go. Unlike the last rib which had a 2 stroke engine and used so much fuel you needed to take an oil well with you, the new one has a 4 stroke engine which has been very well received by those who have chartered, particularly in relation to the low the fuel consumption.

You Can be Better Informed
We’re working towards keeping you better informed with our improvements to the internet site but to get the best from us we do urge you to watch us on Twitter and like us on Facebook. It’s a very easy process and if you go to our site, there are links at the top of the page to make it happen. Even I managed it!

Your Club Needs You
At our AGM next November several current members of our Executive Management Committee, the 8 directors of our club, have indicated that they will be standing down due to retirement and other personal reasons. Our club constitution requires that these must be Full members and at least half of the directors should be serving MPS officers or staff. We need to identify successors in these vitally important roles to plan and manage the future of our club.

One of the roles will be that of Club Treasurer, where the current postholder, John Oldham, is happy to remain as Assistant Treasurer to assist for as long as it takes the new Treasurer to take over the reins. The club uses Sage online accounting and some knowledge of spreadsheets etc. will be useful in this role but advanced accountancy skills are certainly not required.

The Exec currently meets 8 times per year for board meetings and, dependent on role, there will be some planning and other responsibilities, but nothing too onerous, and there will be plenty of support and advice available from our two managers and other directors.

If you think you can give some of your time to help ensure the future of our fantastic club or wish to find out more please contact Mike Wise our Vice-Commodore or John Bailey our General Manager or mpsc@hotmail.co.uk

Credit Cards and Future Developments
At the last directors meeting, a decision was taken to make a 2.5% charge for credit card payments. Existing bookings will not be affected but future bookings will have the small charge applied. There is no charge for debit cards and always remember that our preferred method of payment is by online banking and every form has information about how to do this….and it is free!!!

We’re just in the process of introducing an online booking system which we hope will simplify the process of booking charter, courses or cruises. More on this next month.

Good Sailing

Phil

 

Dateline: 04-02-2014

From Phil Onslow:

Dear All

Well blink and you’ve missed January. Was Christmas really over a month ago. The season will soon be upon us and just maybe we’ll have a good summer. What isn’t a maybe is that we’ve some great opportunities to sail whether you want to improve your skills or do a bit of cruising on one of our skippered cruises or take a private charter.

We’ve also some great support courses so have a look below and see if anything takes your fancy and as ever don’t forget to check our web page regularly and also look at my comments about Facebook and Twitter below.

Forthcoming Cruises
I’ve just had a fantastic weekend away. It was a bit windy at times but the boats can take that. If I’m honest the sail home in the sun on Sunday wasn’t ok…….it was magnificent. So why not think about one of our early cruises. Our Early Bird Cruise is 28th to 30th March and we usually get a good turnout on this and 2 or 3 yachts have a great time. At just £99 for the weekend, that’s great value.

Easter is later this year and I look back on some of the fantastic times I’ve had sailing over Easter. I’ll certainly be on the water this year. We’ve a cruise organised that will let you have a great time and will probably do a trip outside the Solent to Poole or Weymouth so an excellent opportunity to build a few miles and gain some more experience of real sailing.

As usual our Vice Commodore is holding his rally over the early may bank holiday and this is a truly memorable event. So much so that I daren’t put the photos on the site. The VC in his pirate gear is a sight to behold but you have to be there. You can book places on our club yachts but it’s also an opportunity for those who have boats to join in the fun. Contact Mike Wise for further details.

Practical Training
We’ve our usual programme of practical and shorebased courses as shown on our internet site. In particular there’s still one place on the first Day Skipper/ Competent Crew course from 6th to 11th April which qualifies for our discounted rate of £350. We’ve also a Coastal Skipper non assessed in June and that’s a great development for those who have completed their Day Skipper and want to progress. Contact the clubline to book.

Shorebased Training
This is scaling down as we approach spring but there is still capacity on our shorebased Day Skipper course from 26th to 30th April and one place on the early course 12th to 16th April.

Following requests from members, we’ve also arranged a diesel engine course for 23rd March at Hamble. This is a great opportunity to get hands on and see how easy it is to solve some of those minor engine problems that can otherwise spoil our sailing.

Our online SRC radio course is easy to complete and booking couldn’t be simpler. Just send in your booking form with the course fee and we’ll send you the link to login.

We now offer a number of online courses including Professional Practices and Responsibilities, CEVNI and Essential Navigation. The latter is great for rib users to improve their navigation and pilotage and build confidence and you can do it from the comfort of your own front room (or wherever your computer is situated).

Rib Charter and Training
Although currently hibernating under a canvas cover our new rib will emerge from this chrysalis state during March and reincarnate into a fast mean machine that uses far less fuel that our last rib. To use her, you need to have completed a 2 day Level 2 practical course and an SRC radio which can be completed online.

Club Internet
We’ve spent lots of time and energy improving our web site over the last 6 months and there’s still lots more to come. All our booking forms are there for you to download, complete and email to us although if you are one of these people who pay by cheque, we’re happy for you to continue but you won’t get the cheque down the phone line. For us internet banking is the preferred payment method but we try to please everyone.

What’s not got off the ground is our forum. With so many members this could be a wonderful means of communication and bringing the club together. You can give feedback to the committee about what you think, highlight articles for sale or look to find crew. Tell us what you think of the new rib or what yacht we ought to get next. Should it be bigger or smaller. We’d love to hear about your sailing experiences or those great little restaurants that you find on your travels or even the ones to avoid!

Using it is easy. Go on to the Forum page and click on the registration link to get your username and password. Once logged in you can click on the news item and make a comment about any of the existing topics or create a topic of your own for you and others to feed into. We need a few people to start the ball rolling by putting some comments and topics there and I’m sure it will engender some lively chat and ideas. It is your club! I may just put a little tale of my recent weekend sailing but rest assured that the names will be changed to protect the innocent!!

Facebook and Twitter
With our busy lives it’s sometimes a struggle to keep up to date with what’s going on and I speak to may disappointed people who’ve missed out on courses and cruises that they wanted to do. Apparently many young and dynamic people use things called Facebook and Twitter and do things called tweets to keep in touch. Now I know that the sailing club is old, in fact it was formed more than 50 years ago, but despite that, we have Facebook pages and Twitter feeds so you don’t have to wait for my boring monthly message. Just ‘like’ us on Facebook (see, I know all the jargon) or follow us on Twitter and then when things become available you’ll be the first to know. What’s even better is that I thought nothing’s free in life but apparently this is.

On the front page of the site you can like us on Facebook or follow us on twitter and both of these will give you more up to date information about what’s going on.

Yacht Charter
Some have already booked their private charter for the season. If you’re looking to plan something then do get in early and give yourself the best chance of your preferred dates. The availability is on the internet site as well as the booking form. Get in for an early season sail using the off peak rates and save yourself some money!

Dinghy Day at Island Barn Reservoir Sailing Club . . .

On Saturday, 28th June, 2014 from 9.30am

As you are no doubt aware the MPSC is an affiliated member of Island Barn Reservoir Sailing Club (www.islandbarn.org.uk) where we store our two ‘Vision’ Sailing Dinghies. This year we are holding a Dinghy Day where you and your family can come along, rent a Dinghy and do some messing about on the water. We will introduce you to Dinghy Sailing and for the more adventurous of you we will organise some racing in the afternoon

We are not restricted to MPSC boats. I have arranged rental of the IBRSC Fleet which includes, Visions, Toppers and Lasers for those of you who want to be adventurous.

There is a bar and food will be available so if you fancy coming along email me your details and I will put you on the list. I need to know numbers so please ensure you let me know that you are coming. The address of the club is Ray Road, West Molesey, Surrey KT8 2LF.

Cost for boat rental is £10 per family per day.

Nick Mason
Rear Commodore Dinghies and Racing MPSC
Nick.Mason@met.police.uk

Finally a big thank you to those who have already attended working parties and those who are scheduled to come and help on future dates.

Good Sailing

Phil
 

Dateline: 02-01-2014

From Phil Onslow:

Dear All

Well a new year dawns upon us with new challenges and things to do. The days are already getting longer so at this time of year I’m always optimistic and looking forward to the new season. We’ve lots of activities for you to consider to stop you staying at home fretting.

I’ve copied below some of the details of our early season activities but as always have a look at our website for full details. We did have some problems with it and set up a temporary site but I’m pleased to say that we’re up and running on new servers and things are looking good.

Details of discounted London Boat Show tickets are here.

Read about our new online training programme. You can do some of your training including SRC radio and Essential Navigation without going into the classroom now.

Remember that all out courses, cruises and charter are on a first come first served basis so get your name down for what you want early which also helps us to tailor our programme to meet the wishes of club members.

New Membership Categories
Following on from the vote at the AGM, the directors have agreed to allow the following to become members of the MPSC



· Other Emergency Services (Fire, Ambulance & Coastguard)

· Other law enforcement services (National Crime Agency)

· Nominated Yacht Clubs (Hamble River Sailing Club and RAF Yacht Club have been nominated)

· Bona fide extended family and friends


Procedures for these to join are just being drawn up and will be published shortly and the necessary forms available on the internet site.


SRC Radio – Online Training
From 2nd January, we have recognition from the RYA to deliver the SRC radio course online. This means that once registered you can take the course at your own speed and at a time suitable for you and even break it down to bite sized sessions.

There is still an exam at the end which will have to be done face to face and the even worse news is that the exam cost has risen from £30 to £60. We can offer you the course and exam for £120 which is a great deal. Most schools I’ve seen are pricing the course at around £100 with the exam fee on top so if you do go on the internet and compare, make sure you are comparing course and exam not just the exam. I’ve not found any school offering cheaper – let me know if you find one!

Online Training
As well as the SRC radio course, we are able to offer the following courses/exams online.

· Essential Navigation and Seamanship - Great for rib drivers, fishermen (or should it be fisherpersons) and divers.

· Professional Practices and Responsibilities (PPR) – a requirement for those who want to operate commercially.

· CEVNI – the European inland waterways regulations that are necessary in some European waters

See the training pages of the internet site for further details.

Radar Course
We don’t run many of these but have scheduled one for January at NSY. There’s so much more to radar than most people realise and it’s an important safety feature and not just in fog. There is an argument for saying that you need to know how to operate it to comply with the collision regulations but I just think it’s a most enlightening and useful course.

Date 19th January. Cost £65

First Aid Course
Most of us live in an environment where we can call for an ambulance and it will arrive in minutes. Not so on a yacht and this course is there to cater for first aid when at sea. It’s a requirement for anyone who wants to take a certificate of competence (Yachtmaster etc.) as the job qualification doesn’t cover you.

Date 1st February. Cost £65

Day Skipper Shorebased Course
Our evening classes are finished until September but we have vacancies on our intensive course running from 26th to 30th April. The cost of this course is £285 which includes your course pack, accommodation and a day’s sailing.

Coastal Skipper/Yachtmaster Shorebased
This is a more advanced course suitable for the experienced sailor and you should have theory knowledge up to the level of Day Skipper before you start the course. We’re running it over 3 weekends on 1st, 2nd, 15th, 16th Feb and 1st , 2nd March at NSY. The cost of the course including RYA pack is £220.

Competent Crew or Day Skipper Practical
We have our usual programme of 5 day competent crew and Day Skipper courses. These all start at 5pm on Sunday evenings and finish on the following Friday. The course includes all food on board, all mooring fees and fuel. Students also have free use of the clubs waterproofs for the course so the price really is an all-in figure.

The cost of these courses is £350 for April and £380 from May onwards. I have a few places on the April dates if anyone wants to save a few quid.

Yachtmaster Ocean – Shorebased
These courses come around about as frequently as a blue moon, but fortunately there is one this year. Yachtmaster Ocean that is. I can’t guarantee a blue moon. The scheduled dates are 9th, 22nd, 23rd Feb and 9th, 23rd March.

If you are interested in doing this course but cannot make the dates then do let me know as an alternative may be available.

Training Modules
We’ve 2 training modules scheduled for next year and these are usually quite popular.

From 13th to 15th April we’re running a close quarters boat handling course. This is ideal for those who want to build up a bit of berthing and unberthing expertise and improve their confidence.

From 8th to 10th June, we’re running a Day Skipper Refresher. This is good for those who may have completed their course but want to brush up on their skills before they charter.

Both of these courses are great fun, and very informative and are priced at £135

They were fully booked and a couple of people have been turned away but we hope to run 2 boats now for these courses so do get onto us if you’re still interested

So You Wannabe an Instructor???
During 2014 we will be running a course for members who want to be Cruising Instructors and teach Day Skipper and Competent Crew courses. The cost will be subsidised by the club and dates will be arranged to suit. You need to hold a Yachtmaster Offshore qualification, be commercially endorsed and hold a sea survival qualification as well. If you are interested contact the club line and we can discuss the course and requirements with you.

Sea Survival
This is the course which we hope we’ll never need but can save one’s life. You’ll learn about the principle of surviving if the worst happens, get a most informative insight into lifejackets and harnesses, life rafts and how to deal with them. Better to learn now than wait till you need to. The course includes a 2 hour practical session in the water that I can assure you will be very memorable. You’ll also get to set off some flares which is also an experience worth having.

Date 5th April. Cost £85

Cruises – Early Bird Cruise
We’ve put together a comprehensive cruising programme for 2014 with some old favourites and some new adventures. Personally I like the cross channel by traditional means where you turn the instruments off and see if you can find Cherbourg but that’s later in the year. The following are the early season cruises.

Early Bird Cruise – 28th to 30th March - £99

Easter – 17th to 21st April - £195

Vice Commodores Rally – 2nd to 5th May - £155

Members with their own boats are encouraged to join the VC Rally which is hosted by Mike Wise our Vice Commodore (the clue is in the name) and is always excellent fun.

See internet site for further details of these and other club cruises.

Facebook and Twitter
Apparently young people communicate by something called Facebook and Twitter. Well it seems we’re a young club so have opened accounts with these. You can find our Facebook by searching MPSC and for twitter it’s @mpsailingclub. It seems that if you ‘like’ our Facebook and ‘follow’ our tweets, you’ll get all the latest information about what’s happening. My question is, if I get a Facebook and Twitter account, does that make me a young person?

Winter Working Parties
As usual at this time of year, we need your help to work on the boats so that they are all in tip top condition when the 2014 season starts. No skills are necessary and we provide you with lunch and if I haven’t sold it to you already, we also give you a small discount on future course, cruise or charter. The working party dates are:- Saturday 18th January, Saturday 8th February, Saturday 22nd February and Saturday 1st March so if available, let me know by email or on the clubline.

Subscriptions
Our subscriptions have been at the same level for around 4 years now but to keep us financially viable we have had to increase them. The good news is that the increase is just 25p per month.

Discounted Boat Show Tickets
Once again through the assistance of John Goode, we are able to offer tickets for the London Boat Show at a special discounted rate for club members. Details of the offer are contained on our web site.

Rib Charter and Courses
Our rib which was only purchased last year and about which we’ve had very positive feedback is currently laid up for the winter and will be put back into service during March. Good news is that most who have used her find her significantly more economical with fuel than the previous model. Details of her charter availability and course dates are on the site and bookings can be taken.

I think that’s about it for now. I hope you all had a great new year, have recovered or on the mend form the weeks festivities and are looking forward to 2014 as much as me.

Good Sailing

Phil


 


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