Every year we get letters and calls from people who would like to come sailing but are a little bit worried about whether they will let the side down or whether it might all be a bit too much for them.
We decided to put together this page to try to address some of these common questions.
This is a fairly frequent question to which the usual reply is "it's not about age", if you can climb a 6 foot ladder (from the dinghy to the deck) then you will be fine.
We do not require anyone to have experience to come sailing with us. We often go to sea with novice crews, they are not novices when they return! In a typical cruise we will have a mix of people who have sailed before, often people who have only sailed on Corryvreckan, and others who have never sailed before. Von and I will sail the yacht quite happily with any group and even experienced sailors will need to learn the specific way that Corryvreckan likes to be sailed. When sailing there are jobs for everyone, experienced or not, and the way we sail evolves along with the growing skills and confidence of the crew.
Where we go will depend on the wind and tide, the weather forecast and other factors. We have a "wish list" of places we would like to take you on your cruise. These will depend on our general direction of travel and we usually manage to achieve most of them.
There are hundreds of stunning anchorages which we usually have all to ourselves, even in high summer.
If you tell the skipper at the beginning of the cruise that you might like to visit a particular place then he will try to accommodate you, but it may not be possible, owing to the wind and tides and other factors.
Check out our "Anchorages" page to see a few of the possible destinations.
We get many guests who come on their own for a variety of reasons. It is quite rare for there not to be two or three folk who are coming as individuals on any cruise. It is never a problem. If you are on your own and the boat is not full you may get a cabin to yourself. Otherwise you will share a cabin with another single of the same sex.
Corryvreckan is a big stable boat and has a much easier movement than smaller boats, but that said, people can still feel queasy in some sea states. The skipper will do his best to keep things comfortable, but if you are caught out we ask you to let us know, we have a range of techniques to make you more comfortable.
No one will ever be asked to do anything they are not happy with, for example working out on the foredeck in a big sea can be a major rush to some, but an object of terror to others, so you will not be asked to do anything unless you would like to. There are usually more than enough volunteers. Sailing is essentially teamwork and there are lots of important jobs to be done in the Cockpit to keep the foredeck crew safe and happy while they are working with the sails.
On Corryvreckan our aim is to Sail and the sails will go up whenever there is enough wind. We have occasional days when the wind does not serve for some, or all of the time. The skipper will reluctantly switch on the engine when we get 0.0 Knots registered on the log. There will be times, particularly at the end of the day, when we will motor to our anchorage, as the wind tends to die away in the evening, but be assured that if there is a wind, we will be sailing, and our destination may well change as a result.
It may seem hard to believe but to some folk the idea of sailing evokes a vision of being wet and cold with the toilet halfway up the wall, and that is a view, but it is not one we recognise on Corryvreckan. Our Yacht is big and stable and we do not believe in the dramatic "tippy tippy" (aka heeling) you might see on film. It may make for good film, but is not efficient sailing. To sailors one gets the excitement and satisfaction of harnessing the power of the elements to drive the Yacht to her destination. That this can be achieved through skilled sail management, without excessive heel, is all the more satisfactory.
To the non sailor we aim to offer an experience of gliding effortlessly through the spectacular scenery of the Western Isles in comfort and safety. There is nothing quite like it.
With four almost grown up kids of our own we understand very well some of the issues. Unaccompanied Youngsters should be over 18, and with one or more parents around 14 works well on a mixed cruise. If you and friends would like to hire the whole boat, then we are very happy for you to bring all the kids of any age, and we can have a special adventure. Last year we had a treasure hunt which was teriffic fun.
The younger kids, whose attention span for scenery is limited, tend to gravitate to the galley where Von will get them making bread or pizza or other culinary delights! There is a range of games aboard which will also keep the youngsters entertained.
Von is a professional Chef and is well used to providing meals for many different preferences. For technical reasons kosher and halal is not possible but as long as you give us plenty of warning, we should be able to accommodate the minority dietary requirements.
One of the problems that crops up is when the "Meat Eaters" want to get stuck into Von's special Veggie dishes!
Chris is a fully qualified Commercial Skipper with over 25 years of sailing experience. The Yacht is fully compliant with the Code of Practice required by the Marine and Coastguard Agency and is inspected annually. Furthermore Chris and Von are aboard as well and have a healthy respect for what could go wrong. We have rules on safety which we enforce rigorously. So you need have no concerns on that score. We aim to take you close to the edge of your comfort zone, but not beyond!