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Jim H 07-17-2011 03:18 PM

Three weeks sailing on South Central Coast of England
We're just back from about three weeks of sailing on the South/Central coast of England. It's been a less than great summer weather-wise here (with winds up to 40 knots on the weekends), so we took it easy and took time off from the boat when the forecast went iffy. We also spent more time enjoying individual places instead of hopping quickly from port to port.

Starting from Gosport, we spent several nights in the Newtown River, followed by a sail to Poole Harbour and anchoring behind Brownsea Island. After that, we sailed to Weymouth to spend four nights (a new destination for us). We then did a long 60 mile run home back to Gosport to miss some bad weather.

After a weekend break back in London, we sailed from Gosport to Chichester (and swung out around Nab Tower for fun) for several nights on a guest buoy at Itchenor, followed by several nights at a long-time favorite, the Folly Inn on the River Medina, Isle of Wight.

Last summer our cruising plans were cut short by work, so it was much fun and very rewarding to take a more leisurely trip this summer. Kids got to enjoy hiking and beaches and fishing and dining out. We got to enjoy honing our sailing skills and pretty much having a lot of time on the boat with no thrills or spills to speak of. Just a good time.

Full photo gallery:

Summer Sailing 2011

Here's a chart of our overall travels:

Son launching the dinghy from our Rival 34 at the Newtown River, Isle of Wight:

Wife sailing us to Poole Harbour:

Our children, reduced to heads:

Our Rival 34 at anchor behind Brownsea Island, Poole Harbour:

We wait for a bridge lift in downtown Weymouth:

Sunset at Itchenor, in Chichester Harbour

Low water at Chichester Harbour:

Night falls at the Folly Reach, Isle of Wight:

Wife driving us home from Isle of Wight to Gosport on our last morning:

Full photo gallery:

Summer Sailing 2011

I'm back to work for two weeks, and my family is off for a week in the Lake District. My brother is going to visit, so our next sail is for a week at the beginning of August. We'll go cross-channel if the mood strikes, maybe for a visit to Cherbourg. Otherwise, we might sail back to Weymouth, or maybe a stop beyond past Portland Bill, the "Cape Horn" of the South coast of England.

jrd22 07-17-2011 04:19 PM

Thanks for the write up and great pictures. Always fun to see where others call home.

Silvio 07-17-2011 04:30 PM

Excellent! Thanks for the great read and lovely pictures. Looks like you had a wonderful time.

mdbee 07-17-2011 06:00 PM

Great pictures. I have been watching some of Dylan's videos in HD of that area. I feel like I have been there.
Keep Turning Left

dylanwinter1 07-17-2011 08:04 PM

where is the vid

your son made a terrific vid about winter sailing

it was very well made

I do hope we get to see the summer one


tdw 07-18-2011 12:06 AM

Good stuff ... I'm sure I've said this to you before now but I have real soft spot for the Rivals ... if the weather works for you the Bill must be very tempting ...

Jim H 07-18-2011 08:28 AM


Originally Posted by dylanwinter1 (Post 751222)
where is the vid

your son made a terrific vid about winter sailing

it was very well made

I do hope we get to see the summer one


Hi, Dylan

I warned Doug several times during the trip that you would be expecting a new video from this trip. I even tried to bribe him with $20 of iTunes credit as a payment for the documentary. He did some filming, but his excuse is that he's tired from growing an inch in height every week. More that once during the trip, we found him looking like this:

Not to mention this:

and this:

However, I've shown him your post and now he feels really guilty. He's promised to do a full, tell-all video on our next trip at the start of August (for $20 in iTunes credit, of course).


Jim H 07-18-2011 11:56 AM


Originally Posted by tdw (Post 751298)
Good stuff ... I'm sure I've said this to you before now but I have real soft spot for the Rivals ... if the weather works for you the Bill must be very tempting ...

We are tempted by Portland Bill. Even for Anvil Point, we had to go about two miles offshore before crossing the race/overfall areas even when crossing with the tide. With Portland Bill, we may need to go six miles offshore.

As for Rivals, the longer we own the boat, the more we appreciate and enjoy it. When we were shopping for boats, the first several Rivals we saw we didn't like, because they were owner finished or hard used. The same was the case for the Camper Nicholsons. We weren't turned off by having a heavier boat or a longer fin keel.

We also seriously considered a Contessa 32, which have a serious following here in the UK. Aestheically, it is very hard to beat a Contessa 32-- she just looks right. However, having been on several, I just couldn't get over the interior having to fit two adults and two teenagers. The headroom and space just didn't seem to be there. Our Rival is only two feet longer, but she also felt more spacious overall.

A few things about Rivals in the UK:

1) They are surprisingly affordable (compared to Contessas and other boats). Somewhat rougher versions of our 34 show up for 20k.

2) They are very seaworthy-- even the 32 footers are commonly sailed across the Atlantic, even though the tankage isn't large.

3) They can sail remarkabily well, especially in moderate to strong winds. We can balance ours so she can sail hands-off the tiller when we have the sails and groove set right.

4) They are overbuilt in terms of strength-- the hulls are thick and have strong stringers along the length. As a result, however, they are heavy. Ours is 8.33 tons and has a SA/Disp of around 13.91. That said, I'm surprised by how we need to reef starting in around 18 knots of wind.

5) Like Pacific Seacrafts, they are much more narrow in design that most modern boats-- you're not going to fly far across the cabin, but you are going to have less living space below. I've even been on some Rival 41s, and they didn't seem that much more spacious below than our 34 in some ways.

6) They have learning curves-- if I am lucky, I can occasionally back straight up. Most times, it's a tight turn to starboard in reverse, and don't even think of backing to port in our boat. It's not going to happen. As a result, we have to be very specific when requesting guest berths-- starboard tie, back to starboard to leave.

7) They are respected, rugged and somewhat working class boats today. When I go on HRs and Najads and Malos, I think they are really nice, but our Rival is tough and has what it takes.

As we learn the boat more, the more I like it and its potential. I liked a Yachting Monthly article a couple of years ago that talked about restoring an older boat like ours for less than a new, lightweigth cruiser, and the advantages of having the stength and the sea-kindliness in the long run.


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