Club news & other items of general boating interest.

Members wishing to comment on any item of news should use the Club's Discussion Forum

  • 26 Nov 2018 06:29 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    How Advanced are Solar Panels?

    Alex Thomson, based in Gosport, intends to race around the world without using fossil fuels.   In association with Oceanvolt, his team is building a brand new ‘HUGO BOSS’ for the Vendee Globe 2020-21.   An electric motor & batteries, charged by solar panels, will provide all the power necessary for onboard communication, navigation, water-making and autopilot.

    Solar panels, located across the deck, will deliver all the boat’s energy needs - even when crossing the Southern Ocean in significantly restricted sunlight.

    Technology marches on!

  • 16 Nov 2018 10:36 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Following a transit of the North West Passage, Steve Brown will cover two expeditions to South Georgia & Antarctica in 2017-18.

    Wed 20 March 2019 1900 hrs at CA House, London.

    Amid amazing scenery, Steve & his team on a 60’ schooner encounter storms, blizzards, dense sea ice and recover from a potentially catastrophic grounding.  Steve will give an impression of what sailing in these challenging cruising grounds is really like.

    To attend this talk, click Book Events and pay on the door.   Any problems with booking please call or email Jeremy on 020 7537 2828/

    Tickets priced at £4 for CA members & £7 for non-members.

  • 05 Nov 2018 23:08 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    A Leap Forward?

    Accidental drowning after slipping through the guard rail and being towed face-down at the end of a two-metre tether has been the subject of considerable debate.

    In response to this problem TeamO Marine developed a ‘BackTow’ lifejacket that towed face-up, receiving widespread acclaim in 2013 for innovation.

    An ‘A-frame’ clips as standard to a front loop on the harness and runs up the lifejacket to a point behind the neck.   It releases manually under load, similar to that of a parachute ripcord.

    Working with Crewsaver and Artemis AC, TeamO Marine have developed an improved ‘MkII BackTow’ including a personal AIS pocket and optional AutoLock Tether (“a seatbelt for the sea”).    AutoLock’s lightweight reel self-adjusts tether length when moving around the deck.   Any fall is immediately arrested, after which the pressure is eased and the reel starts working again.    

    BackTow MkII lifejackets with optional AutoLock are due out by autumn 2018.
    See TeamO.

  • 29 Oct 2018 12:17 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    New 24 Hour Distance Record

    Alex Thomson (one of our top British Skippers) and his crew have now officially broken the 24hr distance world record, set earlier this year, in a 60ft monohull.  

    Sailing ‘HUGO BOSS’, an IMOCA 60 race boat based in Haslar Marina-Gosport, Alex travelled 539.71 nM over 24 hours at an average speed of 22.49 knots, ratified last week by the World Sailing Speed Record Council.

  • 21 Oct 2018 13:43 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    It’s slow demise?

    Red diesel is taxed at a lower VAT rate (5%) for domestic purposes (heating, charging batteries, hot water, refrigeration etc) but at the full rate (20%) for propulsion - fuel duty already being included in the pump price (- got it?!).

    To best comply with the full rate for propulsion, UK leisure boats have been declaring a voluntary 60/40 split between the different tax rates (i.e. 60% used for propulsion & 40% for domestics) - agreed across the board with HMRC.   However, a 20/80 (e.g. ‘live-aboards’) or any other split is possible if it can be justified.

    EU rules say a "fiscal marker" (red dye in the UK, green dye in Ireland etc.) must be present in diesel not taxed at the full rate.  In May 2013 the EU Commission formally requested the UK to amend its legislation and ensure that “private pleasure boats, such as luxury yachts, can no longer buy lower taxed fuel intended for fishing boats".   HMRC challenged this request as being ‘impractical’ and so the Commission referred the case to the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

    The ECJ has now concluded (17th Oct, Case 503/17) that diesel taxed at the full rate (i.e. for propulsion) should not be marked because it undermines the purpose of the marker and it has dismissed HMRC’s view that this is impractical.

    No deadline has been set for when the necessary adjustments to accommodate this ruling must be made.  

    But what about the effects of Brexit?

    Watch this space!

  • 16 Oct 2018 09:45 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Cowes Harbour Commission has launched a competition to inspire an iconic new ‘welcome landmark‘ for installation on the recently built 350m long detached breakwater.   Isle of Wight students, aged 14-18 years, will design a piece of artwork or sculpture to reflect the port’s maritime past including it's renowned sailing reputation and a "vision for the future.”

    Closing date for entries is 11th January 2019.   Designs will be judged by Alan Titchmarsh, novelist Louise Giblin, sculptor Paul Armfield and Cowes HM Captain Stuart McIntosh.

  • 09 Oct 2018 12:46 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    'One and All'

    Previously owned by GCCC past-Commodore Tony Atkins (2015-17), 'One and All' is lying 3rd in the Golden Globe 2018 single-handed non-stop around-the-world yacht race.   Approaching Cape Leeuwin and skippered by Uku Randmaa of Estonia, 'One and All' is 3500 miles behind the leader 'Matmur', skippered by Jean-Luc van den Heede of France.   Susie Goodall of Great Britain in 'DHL Starlight' is lying 4th, just 430 miles behind 'One and All'.   All four leading boats are of Rustler 36 design & build.

    With just 8 boats remaining out of 18 starters, the ‘YB Races’ live-tracker app can be downloaded for free or the latest news can be followed at

    This 50th anniversary of the original Sunday Times GGR recognises Robin Knox-Johnston's lone finish in 1969 as the first ever person to sail non-stop alone around the world and limits aids to navigation to those of that historical era.

    RK-J will be 'in conversation' at the Guildford Book Festival on Friday 12th October (6.30-7.30pm) and talking about his latest autobiographical book 'Running Free' .   Tickets are available at £15.00 pp online at

  • 07 Oct 2018 16:26 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Have a good look around the Club website and familiarise yourself with what’s available. Here are a few reminders ...

    News - keep an eye on the Home page 'News box' for items of general interest. If you can contribute anything useful then please contact

    Rally reports - read about what you did or didn’t miss on the season’s rallies.

    Photos - (members only) share your sailing photos with other members, including photos from the Summer Cruise.

    Rally Programme - see what’s coming up by visiting the Home page, or the Sailing events page for a full season’s description.

    Rally attendances - (members only) keep up to date with the season's rally attendance list, who's been where and who’s in line for a Club trophy.

    Winter Talks -see what’s coming up by visiting the Home page, or the Winter talks page for a full description.

    Forums & Posts - (members only) you can post and comment on topics on the Discussion forum, you can reply to posts on the Stowaway Register forum and on both you can subscribe to receive update emails. On the others you can just post and make comments.

    Your 'Profile' - (members only) please update your details by logging in and clicking on your name at the top LH side of any webpage.

    Contact for any other things you would like to see included.

  • 23 Sep 2018 10:04 | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Robin Knox-Johnston in Conversation: Running Free

    On Friday 12 October at 6:30 pm Robin Knox-Johnston is presenting his new autobiography at the Guildford Book Festival.

    He talks about his life including that remarkable voyage, where he was the only sailor to finish the race, and a second solo circumnavigation of the globe in 2007, at the age of 68. He also reveals how he spied for the British Government.

    For full details and booking -

  • 17 Sep 2018 19:09 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    MAIB (Marine Accident Investigation Branch) has reported on the failure of a batch of rescue throw bags.  To ensure that a throw bag rescue line is ‘fit for purpose’ it is recommended that:-

    ● The entire length should be examined for joins or other discontinuities by feeling along the line with bare hands to identify rough patches or lumps and, if any are found, the line should be removed from service and the supplier informed.

    ● Knots, splices or other methods of securing the ends of the rescue line should also be checked for integrity.

    ● Throw bags should be exercised at regular intervals to ensure the line deploys freely when required.  Full details are available on the following link:-

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