IT has been a long, hard winter but after months of battling with sub–zero conditions spring is finally here and with it come all the delights of the boating season: antifouling, mildew and peeling varnish. Sound appealing?
Maybe not, and it is therefore important to focus your mind on the joys of actually getting back out on the water and what better way to kick start your season than with the RYA Spring Muster for Power and Sail.
Taking place at Cowes Yacht Haven between Friday 23 and Sunday 25 April, this is the ideal opportunity to ease your way back in to your boat after the misery of a long winter layoff.
With Hamble School of Yachting and Sealine Sea School respectively running try sailing and try motorboating sessions, this is a perfect chance for battle hardened boaters to do the unthinkable and actually change sides for an hour.
This means that die hard yachtsmen and motorboaters can get a feel for how the other half live out on the water. Who knows, you might actually love the experience. This is another beauty of the muster; you don’t even need to have a boat to take part and there is ample opportunity to get out on the water.
If you do own a boat, however, all types and shapes and sizes are welcome: Last year there was everything from 40 foot yachts and Sunseekers, right through to a 25-foot Scorpion RIB. Yes, this is one of the few events where all those different cultures of boating get thrown into the mix and are given the opportunity to enjoy different types of boating.
The Muster is about far more than just trying out different types of boating: One of the most valuable aspects is the practical demonstrations from some of the big industry players.
Raymarine, ICOM, Ocean Safety, Mendez Marine and Sea Start will all be present to pass on some of their expertise and new to this muster will be an invaluable tutorial on servicing your lifejacket from Ocean Safety, Force 4 Chandlery will be on hand to discuss rig checks, Mendez Marine will take you out in a Rib to practically demonstrate AIS, while the RNLI will talk you through the finer points of towing with their ‘Tow or be towed’ presentation.
In addition, the RYA will be running free RYA Powerboat Level one courses over the weekend.
And one of the important aspects of the muster is the socialising. What better place to catch up with other boaters than at an event like this? The event is known for its friendly atmosphere, with hosts and guests all keen to swap stories.
This reaches a peak on Saturday evening when boaters retire to the opulent surroundings of the Royal London Yacht Club for an evening of revelry and good old fashioned salty yarns.
To book your place on the muster, you can download a booking form by going to www.rya.org.uk and post it to: RYA House, Ensign Way, Hamble, SO31 4YA.
If you want to find out more, you can email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 02380604233 for an information pack.