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UK, Lymington: Choosing for Offshore Cruising at the Bluewater Weekend

By WCC — last modified Apr 26, 2016 12:47 PM
More than just a boat show, more than a seminar, and more than simply a cruiser rendezvous; the Bluewater Weekend is a truly unique combination of all three and more still. Designed to encourage visitors to think about all aspects of living their bluewater dream, the Bluewater Weekend is a chance to view a wide range of offshore cruising boats to suit all budgets, and meet experts in refits, sails, rigging and boat equipment, all whilst mixing and chatting with experienced offshore cruisers in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. And it's FREE.

Published: 2016-04-24 23:00:00
Topics: Cruising Information , Equipment
Countries: United Kingdom

To be held 14 and 15 May 2016, Lymington UK

Rally organisers World Cruising Club, best known for the annual ARC - Atlantic Rally for Cruisers have joined together with leading offshore yacht broker Berthon International, to host a weekend of conversation about bluewater cruising at Berthon's Lymington UK base in May 2016. The two day event is free to attend, but prospective bluewater sailors will need to pre-register. During the weekend, a selection of fine examples of bluewater boats will be open for viewing, hosted by experienced offshore skippers, many of whom have sailed the ARC or around the world. Mix, mingle and chat about bluewater sailing that is the aim of the weekend.

Balancing out the dockside chat will be a series of seminar presentations and discussions about how to embark on your bluewater dream. Cruising skippers who have been there and done it, will be on hand to share their personal experience with the visitors in one-to-one chats and in group discussions. So if you have pondered about boat size versus wallet size; centre cockpit or aft cockpit; mono or multi, then these are the questions the Bluewater Weekend will discuss.

Whilst there may no easy answer to many of these questions, as any yacht club bar conversation will prove, by holding the discussion alongside a portfolio of varying sizes, types and styles of cruising boats, visitors can look, view and think about what might be right for launching their own bluewater dream.

The third annual Bluewater Weekend is hosted at the Berthon Marina, Lymington over the weekend of 14 and 15 May. Visitors can attend for either or both days and admittance is free. For those wanting to make the most of a delightful weekend in Lymington, there is an optional social event on the Saturday evening.

New to the programme in 2016, Rod Heikell, renowned cruising author and long-term live-aboard sailor will be joined by his wife Lu, to talk about their cruising life afloat. He is the acknowledged expert on sailing in the Mediterranean and his pilots have become invaluable to those sailing all over the world. Set to inspire and entertain, Rod and Lu will share highlights of their years exploring the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Pacific, SE Asia and Indian Ocean on board their 46ft boat Skylax.

For those setting sail with the ARC in 2016 or beyond, a special briefing session has been added to the seminar line up. The session will cover rally specific information including the route, ports, programme, and safety equipment requirements, led by World Cruising Club with previous ARC sailors on hand to share their own experiences.

Other seminar presentations delivered by topic experts will include tips on planning a refit; how to check your rigging; sail choice for offshore cruisers; and two discussion panels - what to look for in an offshore cruising boat, and bluewater cruising techniques, with former live-aboard ocean cruisers answering questions on aspects of the bluewater life.

Information and registration at

Provisional Seminar Programme

Rallies & Routes: what, where, when and how
Thinking about the ARC as your Launchpad to bluewater adventures, then this session will help you understand what is involved and how to begin your preparations.

Training for Cruising
Understand the key skills to you need to master for successful bluewater cruising.  We also take a look at the safety equipment you will need for crossing oceans with the ARC.

ARC Briefing
Aimed at those sailing the ARC in 2016, but open to all comers, the briefing will cover the route south, marinas, Las Palmas and St. Lucia programmes and a Q&A session.

Bluewater Cruising Techniques
Panel discussion with experienced bluewater cruisers, looking at techniques for cruising, equipment choices and how to set up a boat for the live-aboard life.

Our Cruising Life - Rod & Lu Heikell
Rod Heikell, renowned cruising author long-term live-aboard sailor will be joined by his wife Lu, to talk about their cruising life afloat. Highlights of the years exploring the Mediterranean and the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean, providing the inspiration for his popular pilot books and guides.

What to look for in a Bluewater Boat
A Question & Answer session with a panel of experienced bluewater cruisers and industry experts, with the focus on boat selections/preferences, budgets and usage.

Refitting for Bluewater
A presentation by Berthon refit manager Keith Harris on key aspects of refitting your boat to properly prepare it for bluewater cruising.

Sails & Rigging Seminar
What any aspiring bluewater cruiser needs to know about yacht rigging and sails selection. Join our panel of expert riggers and sailmakers for a virtual tour of yacht rigs; discussion of sail types and materials.

Yard Tours
Guided tours of the Berthon Boatyard running throughout the weekend.

Platinum Sponsors
Home Port for the Ocean Cruising Community
Bi-annual OCC Flying Fish Journal
Worldwide Port Officers

Over 200 boats and 1200 people take part in the ARC every year
2700 NM across the Atlantic from Gran Canaria to Saint Lucia
A rally for everyone; families, racers, couples, big boats and modest boats
Two weeks of pre-departure activities in Las Palmas
Welcomed in Saint Lucia with a rum punch and a chilled beer
Fantastic achievement - crossing an ocean on a small sailboat