Day 16 - West Country Cruise

The end is nigh. Fleet boats return to their home berths

motorboat owner news

Sunday 15th July

It was the last morning of the cruise, and a bright, clear and very still one it was too. As crews surfaced everyone was soon gathering on the pontoon saying their goodbyes. Control Boat, T L Sea was the first to slip and departed Portland Harbour, before holding station at the second waypoint for one final fleet photoshoot in the morning sunshine.

Left behind at Portland Marina was Broom 395, Dacelo who were heading off to their home berth at Weymouth Marina later. Hythe-based Parker 800 Moonshadow was also leaving later in the day and Bavaria S450 Coupe, Weeks Away were staying on a few more days at Portland.

At sea, conditions were once again superb with dolphins spotted by some. Once off the distinctive cliffs of Durlston (near Swanage), Windy Scirocco 33, About Time peeled away from fleet. Owners Bill and Karen were heading for the anchorage at Studland Bay for some bacon butties, while they waited for the tide at their home berth at Christchurch.

With a few knots of spring tide underneath them, soon the fleet was entering the Needles Fairway. At the last waypoint, at the rather tidal-turbulent Hurst Narrows, crews were soon saying their goodbyes and signing off with control boat, T L Sea on the VHF.

Once all the Solent-based boats had logged safe arrivals with control boat T L Sea, making best use of the east-going tide and the mill-pond conditions, the Essex-based Sealine S28 continued on out of the Solent and onto Brighton and then Dover to refuel, before stopping overnight at Ramsgate, logging 178 miles in one day. By the afternoon of the next day boat was back on its home berth.

It has been a fantastic two weeks for boating and the weather could not have been better. Old friends were reunited and new friends met too, all sharing some very special and magical boating memories. Upon asking crews what their favourite port was, two common answers were given. It seems many had a real soft spot for the tranquil Mylor, but it was stunningly beautiful Fowey that came out on top. Until next time, happy boating.

PHOTO: Fairline Phantom 38 Portunas and Princess V39 Gîte off the Beaulieu River, western Solent


Day 15 - West Country Cruise

The MBO Fleet move to Portland Marina

motorboat owner news

Saturday 14th July

Crews awoke to a bright, very still morning in the Salcombe Bag. All was quiet and very calm with the sound of a cockerel in the distance. At 7am the boats bound for Brixham departed and an hour later the rest of the MBO fleet snaked out of the colourful and spectacular Salcombe Harbour.

Conditions were superb. Seas were flat, with a barely negligible wind. Running towards Start Point, the high cliffs topped with lush green fields looked stunning and the sea sparkled in the morning sunshine.

Dolphins were spotted while crossing the millpond-like Lyme Bay. However, a rather ominous grey mist lie ahead and, upon nearing Portland Bill, the fleet was enveloped by localised band of fog. Giving visibility no less than 1 mile, boats were able to continue on at a good, slowed pace and upon turning north, passing the east side of the Bill, skies cleared and the landscape was basked in sunshine again.

Triumphantly the fleet entered historic Portland Harbour and headed towards Portland Marina, the last official overnight stop of the West Country Cruise. By 1pm the fleet was assembled along the southern side of S pontoon leaving an afternoon to explore. A nice hot shower was on the agenda for many with crews traipsing across the impressive, huge marina to the facilities. Keen walkers, Penny and Steve of Gîte walked to Tout Quarry where they discovered 38 fascinating sculptures carved out of Portland stone. The friendly marina staff came around to the boats delivering ice creams to all the participants, a blessing in the scorching conditions.

At his last briefing, Cruise Leader Neale, detailed the return passage to the Solent. The fleet will depart at 7am to make best use of the tides through the Needles channel and Solent.

PHOTO: Sealine S38 Jazzbo & Princess V39 Gîte


Day 14 - West Country

A day of rest in Salcombe

motorboat owner news

Friday 13th July

There was a lazy lie in for the MBO fleet at Salcombe, a rest day for exploration and relaxation lie ahead. After yesterday’s saga with the Salcombe fuel barge it was still necessary for some to refuel, control boat TLSea included, and, in the strong tide, three boats untied from the rafted fleet and refuelled.

Those who had in-built generators were suffering from the weed being carried up and down with the strong tide. Generator raw water filters were getting clogged with the weed and shutting down, with one ‘all-electric’ boats impeller breaking. Unfortunately a replacement could not be found in Salcombe’s only chandlery, but the crew onboard were supplied with kettles of boiling water and power from portable generators for the rest of their stay.

The town of Salcombe was busy in the sunshine and with many sales in its boaty boutiques, such as Henri Lloyd and Joules, crews hit the shops.

In the sunny calm conditions, a couple of fleet boats departed Salcombe today. Sealine F42/5 Tipzee Turtle left for Brixham to fuel, before moving on to Torquay to visit relatives. Parker 800 Weekend, Moonshadow also moved to Brixham in search of parts for non-functioning sea toilet, which not something that you can really be without whilst on a non-walk-ashore visitor pontoon in the Bag at Salcombe.

In the evening Neale detailed the next day’s move to Portland Marina. The majority of the fleet will be departing at 8am, with several fleet boats leaving earlier, at 7am, and diverting into MDL’s Brixham Marina for fuel, before rejoining the fleet at Portland. After the briefing many had dinner reservations and were carried off by Salcombe Harbour Taxi into town.

PHOTO: MBO fleet in the Bag at Salcombe


Day 13 - West Country

The fleet make the move to Salcombe in the most stunning sea conditions

motorboat owner news

Thursday 12th July

The leisurely afternoon departure allowed crews to explore their surroundings for a bit longer. The crews from Gîte, Portunas and Just The Tonic ventured upstream by dinghy to 'That Cafe at the Quay' at Mixtow for breakfast. Others took the opportunity to get into town for one last look around, use facilities and to top up with fresh baked goods and pasties for lunch.

During the morning, Neale was helping the owners of Bavaria 450 Weeks Away with their non-functioning generator, the diagnosis being a faulty fuel pump. The boat will leave Fowey for Plymouth in search of new batteries, the part and catch up with the fleet at Portland Marina.

Before long crews were making preparations for the passage. The crew of sportscruiser, Windy Scirocco, About Time were taking their full canopy off. There was no need for Neale to assess the sea conditions for this passage, outside were flat seas and a clear blue skies, it was superb. 1pm came and one by one the fleet passed by the sun-drenched colourful facade of the town and it's rocky fortified entrance, out to sea.

Despite some sea mist in the distance, upon exiting Fowey, the fleets destination was in sight, the Salcombe peninsula could be seen on the horizon. Once again MBO Claire was travelling aboard the fastest boat of the fleet, Princess V39 Gîte, kindly the owners Penny and Steve allow her to be first in to provide fuel and berthing instructions. The fleet dodged many badly marked fishing pots on route, some were oil cans and others were buoys being dragged beneath the surface by the tide.

As the beautiful peninsula drew closer it got cooler for those travelling with canopies down, with many reaching for extra layers. As with the westbound passage, a mist once again shrouded the high cliffs, and under a now cloudy the fleet boats crossed Salcombes notorious Bar and snake up the entrance in mirror conditions. The harbour was very busy with a large sail racing fleet darting in and out of the many swinging moorings.

Much to MBO Claire's dismay, and despite being informed of the fleets arrival, the idependantly run Salcombe Harbour fuel barge allowed one fleet boat to fuel before promptly closing. Salcombe has always being a vital spot for fuelling (should the weather change) before the passage home to the Solent, sadly this will force many to divert into Brixham before heading across Lyme Bay and on to the next stop of Portland Marina.

The fleet was assembled in rafts on the visitor pontoon in The Bag. Soon tenders were being launched, Harbour Taxis were being hailed and crews were off exploring the town.

By late afternoon the fleet was basking in hot sunshine. Everyone enjoyed peaceful tranquil evening in the Bag. In the windless conditions you could only hear the sheep bleeting on the surrounding hill sides. It was stunning.

PHOTO: Broom 395 Dacelo and Sealine SC35 Muddy Duck


Day 12 - West Country

Fowey is on the horizon for the fleet

motorboat owner news

Wednesday 11th July

Crews awoke to a blanket of fog shrouding Falmouth harbour. A quick check of the NCI Fowey webcam, and luckily the fog appeared to be localised. At 6am visibility had improved in the harbour and the Control Boat, T L Sea slipped and proceeded out of Falmouth Harbour to have a look at the sea conditions. Around 45 minutes later, Cruise Leader, Neale reported flat conditions between Falmouth and Fowey. It was a go.

With a few last minute top ups of water, the fleet was underway between 7-7:15am. Overhead the now overcast sky looked threatening but the conditions were absolutely flat. The fleet encountered a lot of pot markers on passage, some well-marked, so less so, but everyone was also keeping their eyes peeled for dolphins.

By 8am the first boat, Princess V39 Gîte was entering Fowey Harbour. The fleet had been allocated visitor pontoons 1 and 2, and berths were found on the pontoons, with a couple of boats fuelling at the Fuel Slip on the Polruan side when the tide allowed.

With everyone settled on the pontoons, offering spectacular views of the town, it was time to explore. Tenders were launched and water taxis were called. With the sun finally making an appearance, crews were able to see Fowey in all its picturesque splendour. Paul and Jane of Sea Jade took a car to visit nearby Polkerris and had lunch at Sams beach cafe.

At 4pm the fleet was re-joined by the three larger Isle of Scilly boats who also had fantastically flat passage. At the evening briefing Neale detailed the next passage to Salcombe. An afternoon departure at 1pm will give crews a bit more exploration time in Fowey, and sea conditions permitting, the fleet will be arriving at Salcombe (moorings in The Bag) from 3pm onwards.

After the briefing the MBO team had organised a pontoon party and barbecue. A whole host of barbecues were fired up with everything from sausages, burgers to steaks cooked up and devoured. Football fans were also kept in the with the World Cup, England v’s Croatia, action with a television set up on the back of T L Sea. It was a lovely evening with the harbour sparkling in the sunshine.

PHOTO: Strike a pose. Mamma Mia-esque photo of the ladies on the bathing platform of Sealine C48 Just the Tonic


Day 11 - West Country

The fleet spend a bonus night in Falmouth

motorboat owner news

Tuesday 10th July

Overnight a Force 6 caused the boats at Mylor and Port Pendennis in Falmouth to buffet. By daybreak the wind had dropped only ever so slightly, and when T L Sea departed on its reconnaissance mission at midday, the sea conditions in the waters outside of the harbour were far from suitable for a passage to Fowey. Cruise Leader, Neale, aboard the Sealine S28, reported steep waves which had prevented him from powering up over 9 knots. On arrival back in port the fleet was stood down for the time being. The forecast was for the wind to drop, so the plan was for T L Sea to go out again mid-afternoon to check the sea conditions. Despite the overcast skies, crews took the opportunity to venture off and explore the town what could be one last time.

T L Sea departed the harbour again at 3pm. Inside the harbour the wind was dropping off nicely and the sun was breaking through, but unfortunately the sea conditions had not improved, consequently the passage to Fowey was called off. So the fleet would spend an extra night in Falmouth. The two boats at Mylor, Sea Jade and Jazzbo, were really happy with the decision to stay in such a beautiful place, and the rest at Port Pendennis were already making dinner arrangements for their bonus night.

Weather permitting, the plan for tomorrow is for the fleet to depart on masse at 7am. Water tanks were topped up and electrical items were charged up in preparation for being out on the mid-river pontoons at Fowey. The three larger boats at Tresco (Isles of Scilly), Tipzee Turtle, Weeks Away and Just the Tonic, are hoping to rejoin the MBO fleet for the one night at Fowey.

PHOTO: Mike from Moonshadow with Tim and Tally from Portunas


Day 10 - West Country

Crews enjoy a rest day exploring Falmouth with some making a break for the Isles of Scilly

motorboat owner news

Monday 9th July

There was another warm and bright start for crews. It was a fantastic day to explore, shop and stock up ships stores.

In the morning cruise leader, Neale, received word from Mylor Yacht Harbour and the three larger boats of the fleet, that they would be making for the Isles of Scilly and St Marys today. Crews updated Neale later saying that it had been too bouncy and exposed at St Marys, and that they had moved to buoys on the eastern side of Tresco, where it was more settled. The boats intend to re-join the fleet at Salcombe.

Two loads of washing was on the agenda for the MBO team. Claire and Neale came directly from their home berth in Essex, leaving Wednesday 26th June, aboard Sealine S28 T L Sea, clocking up around 320 miles so far.

At 12:30 Annie from Moonshadow had organised a tour of the Falmouth RNLI station. Eleven crew members from the fleet boats, Portunas, Gîte, Dacelo, Moonshadow and T L Sea were shown, by an enthusiastic guide, around the station and over its two boats, a £3m 42-tonne Severn-class all weather lifeboat and a 32-know B-class Atlantic 75 inshore lifeboat powered by twin 75hp Yamaha outboards. The tour of the Severn class lifeboat left many wide-eyed and several got to sit in the helm seat, which was likened to the helm position of the Starship Enterprise. The wheelhouse has suspended seats that each occupant dials in their weight for the seats to operate. The boat also has a 12-person casualty area with no windows below the wheelhouse floor and a portable diesel pump that can be dispatched for instances of taking on water. When the tour had finished and whilst the crews were exploring the RNLI shop, a shout went out and soon the crew were racing towards the station, donning their heavy gear and powering off in the inshore lifeboat.

Karen and Bill of About Time walked about 8 miles from Port Pendennis Marina to the beautiful white-sandy beaches at Maenporth. Stopping off on the way for lunch at a café and a refreshing swim.

Cruise leader Neale was helping fix the generator aboard Broom 425 Jomima. The generator will no doubt be needed at the next two ports, where there will be no electric available on the visitor. Neale was able to fit the necessary part fitted, which was delivered to Weymouth, so it was now up and running.

The cruise is now into the second week and the fleet will now make its way east, back along the West Country coast towards the Solent. The next stop east will be Fowey, where the fleet will take up position on one of the mid-river visitor pontoons. These have no electric or water, so it will be a case of charging up all vital bits of equipment and topping up water tanks for the 2-night stay. The plan is for a radio announcement at 12 midday, with a view of boats departing on the 20-mile passage at 12:30pm.

PHOTO: Crew tour aboard the Severn-class Falmouth Lifeboat


Day 9 - West Country

Isle of Scilly passage is cancelled but this leaves plenty of time to explore Falmouth and its beautiful estuary

motorboat owner news

Sunday 8th July

An eerie damp mist shrouded Mylor in the early hours of the morning. Unfortunately the weather prognosis was not good for the passage to the Isles of Scilly. With the wind picking up in the early hours to a NNE Force 5-6, showing at the Lizard and Lands End, the passage for the 7 boats going was cancelled. A stiffening north-north-east wind is something you wish to avoid in the low lying islands. It was of course disappointing for crews and the team over this middle weekend, but it left a couple of days to explore the beautiful Falmouth Estuary.

What with Mylor Yacht Harbour expecting a large fleet of Swallows today, the MBO team set about finding out what crews wanted to do. Moving to one of the marinas near town was the preference for most, but being a hot and sunny Sunday this could prove tough. There was some space available in Falmouth Haven found almost immediately and a couple of boats moved around there, enabling them to start their exploration of the town early on. Several of the larger boats wished to remain at Mylor and these would be condensed down on the visitor E pontoon where they could stay for one or the two full days/nights.

The adventurous crews aboard Fairline Phantom 38, Portunas and Parker 800, Moonshadow set out to explore the estuary in the stunning hot Sunday weather. Moonshadow anchored in the tranquil quiet of the upper reaches, while Portunas anchored at St Mawes where they would stay overnight. From Mylor, the crew of Sealine C28 Just the Tonic took their tender up to the sun-drenched and rather popular 13th century waterside pub, the Pandora Inn for a spot of lunch.

Meanwhile another berth was secured at on Port Pendennis long alongside A pontoon, which soon lead to 4, then 7 berths for fleet boats rafted, this was thanks to the departure of a rather large 46-metre superyacht built at the Port Pendennis Shipyard next door.

With the town just a matter of yards away with the lure of Cornish pasties, cream teas and boat-ique shop sales on in the high street, crews were soon off exploring the town. But boy was it hot.

The harbour was busy in the summer sunshine and what with the north wind, the rafts at Pendennis were buffeting gently. Everyone is looking forward to a lie in and another full day of exploration in Falmouth tomorrow. If there is space, a few of the boats at Mylor will be joining the rest at Pendennis tomorrow.

PHOTOS: Split ends. 7 boats at Port Pendennis Marina


Day 8 - West Country

The fleet make a stunning and strategic move to Falmouth

motorboat owner news

Saturday 7th July

Crews awoke to a beautifully bright and still start at Plymouth Yacht Haven. At 7am Cruise Leader Neale announced that it was a go for the passage to Falmouth, and soon after the fleet began to snake out into Plymouth Sound and out to sea, with control boat T L Sea bringing up the rear.

Upon exiting past the breakwater the first boats to leave encountered a pod of 30 or so Common Dolphins and slowed to watch them. It was an incredible sight, but to the annoyance of crews, the dolphins proved quite elusive to capture on camera.

With the sun glinting off the turquoise-coloured calm waters, the fleet made its way towards Falmouth. In the superbly flat conditions, the temptation to ‘open up’ was there for many, and boats such as Windy 33 Scirocco About Time were unleashed at 30 knots, albeit momentary.

Soon the Falmouth entrance was in sight with the Saint Anthony Lighthouse to the east and the mound topped with Pendennis Castle to the west. The fleet proceeded to fuel before making its way to be assembled in rafts on the visitors E pontoon at the rather beautiful Mylor Yacht Harbour. The marina was bathed in sunshine, it was very hot.

For many was a good opportunity to launch their tenders and explore their new surroundings. For some the heat was unbearable and the temptation of the water was too much, with several lifejacketed crewmembers swimming off the bathing platform of the boats. Crews also ventured off to the local village and store at Mylor Bridge for supplies. The crew from About Time were lucky enough to be chauffeured back to Mylor Yacht Harbour with their supplies by the very kind store owner in his Mercedes convertible.

In the evening a briefing was held on the pontoon which was followed by a pontoon party. Tomorrow, weather permitting, the plan is for 7 fleet boats to make the 60-mile passage the Isles of Scilly and St Marys. The other boats will remain in Falmouth and explore the area. The Scilly fleet will be departing from 7am.

PHOTO: Fleet boats Broom 425 Jomima, Parker 800 Weekend Moonshadow and Broom 39 Dacelo.


Day 7 - West Country Cruise

Crews enjoy a rest day at Plymouth Yacht Haven with a dinghy safari and gin distillery tour

motorboat owner news

Friday 6th July

A fun and not-so early start awaited crews this morning, as the MBO team had organised a breakfast dinghy safari upstream to Plymouth Yacht Haven’s sister site, Yacht Haven Quay with its nautically-themed café, the Mess Room. At 9am a line of dinghies assembled in the marina in the sunshine and those who did not have a dinghy, or less able, boarded MBO Control Boat, T L Sea for the very short 0.8nm passage upstream. There was a high ratio of Torqeedo electric engines in the dinghy fleet, with four 1003 travel outboards fitted.

Tying up to the outer pontoons, crews received a very warm welcome at the Yacht Haven Quay drystack and sat up on the Mess Room’s roof terrace in the sunshine devouring a yummy breakfast (a full English for most).

Exploration of Plymouth’s sights and the Barbican was on the agenda In the afternoon. In addition, Tally of fleet boat Portunas had organised a group tour at the Plymouth Gin distillery at 3:30pm. On the tour crews learned about the history of the distillery, the botanicals that are used to make it and, at the end, were able to taste two of the products, the original 20% proof Plymouth Gin and its Sloe Gin. The distillery produces 33,000 litres of gin a week, 40 weeks of the year. It was £6 per person and this includes a G&T or miniature from the bar at the end.

With the necessary Volvo Penta part delivered, Cruise Leader Neale fixed Tipzee Turtle at Queen Annes Battery marina, ready for the passage tomorrow.

Tomorrow morning the fleet will make for Falmouth. The plan is for a 7:30am departure to make use of the tide again.

PHOTO: Group photo at Yacht Haven Quay for the dinghy safari


Day 6 - West Country Cruise

The MBO fleet make Plymouth

motorboat owner news

Thursday 5th July

At 5:45am, just as the sun was rising above the Brixham breakwater, MBO Control boat T L Sea slipped its berth to assess the conditions for the mornings passage to Plymouth. An hour later Neale reported smooth conditions up to Start Point with some residual swell around the point towards the mouth of the Salcombe Estuary. He also reported seeing a dolphin in the fantastic conditions. It was a ‘go’ and by 7am fleet boats were filing out of the harbour breakwater bound for Plymouth.

In the sunshine the fleet rounded Berry Head in incredibly smooth conditions with the crew on Princess V39 Gîte spotting a porpoise. Travelling towards Start Point the coastline was a pretty patchwork of green coloured of fields and places such as Slapton and Hall Sands were easily identified. By the Start Point lighthouse the fleet were beginning to encounter the sloppy swell that Neale had described. With only slight adjustment down of speed needed, it was short lived. Once off Salcombe, the swell had subsided and an eerie blanket of cloud shrouded the cliffs to the west of the entrance. This remained the case for the journey across the bay towards Plymouth, with crews just able to make out the shape of the high and undulating coastline.

Whilst off Salcombe the crew on Sealine F42/5 Tipzee Turtle reported a problem of water entering the engine room. The problem has diagnosed as a split hose, so the particular engine was shut down and the boat proceeded on on one engine at 7 knots shepherded by control boat T L Sea.

Soon enough the mighty Plymouth breakwater came into view in the now bright sunshine. By 9am, one by one boats entered Plymouth Sound and were heading east up the River Plym to Plymouth Yacht Haven. Fuel was on the agenda for most, with boats fuelling at the Yacht Haven and also at Queen Annes Battery. Soon all the fleet was tied up at the Yacht Haven. Tipzee Turtle, escorted by Neale aboard T L Sea, made their way into Queen Annes Battery where there is a Volvo Penta dealership. Shortly afterwards, the part needed was ordered for the next day.

The 40-mile passage had been fantastic and crews had the rest of the day to explore new surroundings. Many chose to chill out on their boats, while others took the regular-running Mount Batten Ferry over to the Barbican for exploration and sustenance.

The fleet will spend two nights at Plymouth Yacht Haven before moving on, weather permitting, to Falmouth. Tomorrow being a rest day, the MBO crew have organised a dinghy safari up to Yacht Haven Quay (Plymouth’s drystack) and its nautically-themed, Mess Room café for breakfast.

PHOTO: Sealine C48 Just the Tonic


Day 5 - West Country Cruise

The fleet make the Devonshire fishing harbour of Brixham

motorboat owner news

Wednesday 4th July

There was an early alarm call aboard MBO Control Boat T L Sea and by 04:30am Neale had slipped and was heading out of the harbour to assess the sea conditions for the 50-mile passage to Brixham. An hour later he had made good progress, rounding Portland Bill and was heading across Lyme Bay. With some residual chop traveling south past Portland, Lyme Bay was flatter by compassion and the call was a ‘go’. Tide plays a crucial part for this particular passage and Neale timed it so there was favourable tide all the way.

By 6am most boats had departed Weymouth Harbour and were dodging the lobster pots passing the historic Portland Harbour. The rising sun was casting beautiful colours on the coastline.

As the fleet made its way steadily across Lyme Bay, clouds gathered overhead making it quite a gloomy passage with sloppy following seas and some rain. By 8:30am boats were beginning to file into the rather wet Brixham harbour, with Claire and the marina staff directing to berths and taking lines.

It had been a long gloomy morning but luckily by midday the sun was breaking through and crews were able to see Brixham at its best. Many ventured off into town while others walked east to take in the scenery at Berry Head. Penny and Steve of Gîte discovered the fascinating Brixham museum which they highly recommended. With a bewildering choice of fish and chips establishments in the Brixham, you can guess what was on the lunch and dinner menu for most today. Bill and Karen walked around the headland to the little anchorage (with ice cream shop) of Churston.

To get back on schedule, the fleet will spend one night in Brixham and will depart to Plymouth tomorrow where it will spend two nights. It will be another early departure which will see boats arriving in Plymouth between 9-10am.

PHOTO: Fleet boats departing the Weymouth Harbour pierheads


Day 4 - West Country Cruise

The fleet remain in Weymouth for another night due to weather

motorboat owner news

Tuesday 3rd July

The MBO fleet was awoken early morning by a strong easterly wind blowing into Weymouth harbour. The water clopped against hulls, boats buffeted, fenders squeaked and ropes tugged. A grey start to the day followed but despite the gloom crews were out making the most of what may be their last morning in Weymouth.

However, with no sign of the wind relenting, and a reported Force 5s gusting 6s at Brixham Marina itself, the planned early afternoon passage to Brixham, was called off. The fleet would remain in Weymouth for another night and look at the next tidal window to get around Portland Bill and across Lyme Bay. 

By late afternoon the wind was gradually dropping off as predicted and the sun made a welcome appearance. At 6:30pm Cruise Leader, Neale detailed plans for an early morning departure to Brixham. Weather and sea conditions permitting, boats will be departing from 6am. In readiness, Weymouth Marina berth holder and MBO cruise participant boat, Broom 395 Dacelo, departed through Weymouth’s lifting bridge, bound for sister Dean & Reddyhoff marina, Portland. Tomorrow it will join the MBO fleet for the first time for the passage to Brixham.

Later that evening, with England winning on penalties in their World Cup knockout game against Columbia, a wave of cheers and celebrations could be heard across the illuminated harbour. Soon after it was followed by a short-lived but heavy rain shower. After an exhausting football game for those who watched, alarms were set and crews turned in for a much quieter night in Weymouth Harbour.

PHOTO: Broom 39kl Dacelo departing Weymouth Harbour


Day 3 - West Country Cruise

A day of rest and refuelling for the fleet

motorboat owner news

Monday 2nd July

Today was a day to rest and refuel at Weymouth. From 8am onwards, one by one boats slipped out from their rafts and proceeded further along the quayside to refuel from the arranged Quayside Fuels tanker.

In the hot sunny conditions, many crews took the opportunity, around the refuelling, to explore the town, its picturesque harbour and hit the shops. Weymouth beach was also on the agenda for many too, particular those with dogs onboard and proved perfect for cooling off. Penny and Steve of Princess V39, Gîte, walked to the Lodmoor RSPB bird sanctuary, which can be found at the northern end of Weymouth beach. Bill and Karen from Windy 33 Scirocco, About Time walked the Nothe Fort peninsula towards Portland and followed the disused railway line, the Rodwell Trail, back to Weymouth. Fleet boat Parker 800 Weekend, Moonshadow proceeded around into Portland Harbour and the Portland Sailing Academy, where owner Mike had arranged a lift out for a quick hull scrub in preparation for the next passage.

At 6:30 a briefing was held on the pontoon and here Neale detailed the next move to Brixham. If the weather allows, the plan is for boats to depart Weymouth Harbour from 1pm onwards. After the briefing crews were welcomed onboard fleet boat, Sealine C48 Just The Tonic for gin tasting. Owner, Darryl is a gin connoisseur and carries a variety of gins in bottles of all shapes and sizes.

PHOTO: Briefing and Gin tasting next to Sealine C48 Just the Tonic


Day 2 - West Country Cruise

Boats arrive at first port of call, Weymouth

motorboat owner news

Sunday 1st July

There was sunny and rather humid day ahead for crews in Lymington Yacht Haven. In the morning a large gathering of Ferraris was causing quite a spectacle at the 600-berth marina.

Today, weather permitting the fleet would make its first stop, Weymouth. Just before midday, Sealine S28 T L Sea, skippered by Neale Byart, slipped and headed out to assess the conditions for the passage. An hour later the call was a go and boats began to snake out of the Lymington River and into the western Solent. Under slightly cloudy, overcast skies the boats filed out of the flat Needles fairway and across Poole Bay towards Weymouth.

Three hours later boats were arriving in Weymouth Harbour and being arranged into four rafts along the visitor pontoons at Custom House Quay, leaving crews the rest of afternoon to explore. Tomorrow is a rest day in Weymouth, so a day for more exploration, but there is also a fuel tanker coming in the morning to refuel the fleet.


Day 1 - West Country Cruise

Crews gather at Lymington

motorboat owner news

Saturday 30th June

Today marked the start of the Motorboat Owner West Country Cruise, with participant boats gathering throughout the day in the western Solent, at Lymington Yacht Haven, ready for an inaugural briefing this evening. Weather permitting, the two-week cruise will take in ports along the Dorset, Devon and Cornish coasts, and potentially the Isles of Scilly over the middle weekend. Tomorrow, the fleet will move to its first stop, Weymouth, where it will assemble on Custom House Quay.

Participant boats:

About Time Windy Scirocco

Dacelo Broom 39 KL

Gîte Princess V39

Jazzbo Sealine S38

Jomima Broom 425

Juniper Fairline Targa 44GT

Just The Tonic Sealine C48

Moonshadow Parker 800 Weekend

Muddy Duck Sealine SC35

Portunas Fairline Phantom 38

Sea Jade Jeanneau Prestige 32

Tipzee Turtle Sealine F42/5

T L Sea Sealine S28

Weeks Away Bavaria S450 Coupe


PHOTO - Cruise Leader & MBO Editor, Neale Byart, addresses crews at the start-of-cruise briefing


Something for the Weekend

8th, 9th and 10th June

motorboat owner news

The Poole Harbour Boat Show is running from Friday 8th to 10th of June. The three-day free-entry show, now in its fourth year, is set to be an ‘extravaganza’ that will transform Poole Quay and showcase motorboats, tall ships, marine equipment, watersports gear and clothing. Running in association with Sunseeker, the event is organised by the Poole Harbour Commissioners and will occupy the waterfront at Poole Quay and marina pontoons at Poole Quay Boat Haven. There will be a full programme of entertainment on offer, including live music on the ‘Sunseeker Sessions’ stage, ‘Try a Boat’ taster sessions and on-the-water demonstrations. The show opening day (Friday) will be concluding with a firework display, starting at dusk. Claimed to be the ‘biggest ever free boat show on the south coast’, it attracted an estimated 30,000 visitors in 2017. Exhibitors include the RNLI, Yamaha and Raymarine, with motorboats on display from Offshore Powerboats, Princess, Ideal Boat, Bates Wharf, TBS Boats and Clipper Marine, including the new Nimbus W9. The show will open 10am-6pm on Friday 8th-Sunday 10th June. For further details visit

Burton Waters is holding its first Boating Festival this Saturday. Held the Burton Waters Marina in Lincoln, the event will take place between 12 midday and 5pm and will offer a programme of events, such as a rowing competition, marina boat trips, live music, a lifejacket clinic, a boat jumble, rope tying, a man overboard demo and a charity raffle. There will also be stalls selling food , marine equipment and services, including the RYA, RNLI, Yamaha and the Burton Waters Boat Club. There will also be a selection of new and used boats to browse. For more details visit the festival page on the website.

If you are looking for boating bits, it is the Arun Boat Jumble this Sunday. The event, opening at 10am, is being held along Beach Road at the Sussex harbour of Littlehampton. Adult admission is £2.50 and accompanied children are free.

Have a lovely weekend.


Something for the Weekend

2nd & 3rd June

motorboat owner news

The 3-day Beale Park Boat and Outdoor Show runs from Friday-Sunday. Held on a lake at the 30-acre Thames-side wildlife park, Beale Park, there will be stalls selling marine equipment and services, several wooden boatbuilders and new motorboats on display, from exhibitors such as Val Wyatt Marine. Event features include a display of classic boats and a vintage car show. There will also be food and drink available, and an educational area families, where they can learn how to tie knots, make a sail, make a model boat, and learn about navigation and maritime history. The show will be open between 10am-6pm on Friday and Saturday, and 10am-5pm on Sunday. Adult entry (17 years upwards) is £8 online and £10 on the door, with free entry for children aged 16 and under. You can see footage of last years event via YouTube and you will find more information about the event at

On the Great Ouse in Cambridgeshire, Tingdene’s Hartford Marina will be hosting an Open Weekend. The event will feature new and used boats for sale, a Gin & Fizz Bar, hot and cold food, bouncy castles and a display of classic boats. Entrance is free and the event runs from 10am-4pm each day. For directions and details of boats for sale visit the marina website.

In Essex it is the 2-day, free-entry Brightlingsea Regatta. There will be a waterfront fireworks display on Saturday night, paddle boarding, kayaking and try-a-boat sessions for power boats and sailing boats, model boat racing, food stalls and live music. There will also be competitions, novelty balloons, duck racing, entertainers, face painting and games for children. The local boatyard and motorboat distributor, Morgan Marine will be participating in the event and welcoming visitors to browse its chandlery and view boats for sale. For more information about the regatta visit the website,

Have a great weekend

PHOTO: Beale Park Boat & Outdoor Show


New self-service fuel berth at Eastbourne marina

Fuel berth upgrade works being carried out in June at Sovereign Marina

motorboat owner news

In early June 2018, Sovereign Harbour’s fuel berth is being upgraded, with the aim of giving boaters the ability to ‘pay-at-pump’. The upgrade, costing in the region of £150k, will see the fuel berth (selling unleaded and diesel) close on 4th June for 10 days, until 14th June, to enable works to take place. During this closure, Premier Marinas has arranged for a Gas Oil (Marine Diesel) tanker to attend the marina (located adjacent to A/B/C pontoons) between 8am-1pm on Monday, Wednesday and Friday each week of the closure. Visitors and berthholders will need to book a slot and note that there will be a minimum order of 400 litres per fuel sale. The new self-service system will accept credit cards, with automated red fuel fobs supplied to berthholders.


London Boat Show 2019 cancelled

British Marine announce that there will be no 2019 London Boat Show

motorboat owner news

Press statement in full:

Statement regarding London Boat Show 2019

British Marine, which organises and owns the London Boat Show, has announced that the 2019 Show, due to run at ExCeL London from 9-13 January 2019, will not take place.

This decision was made after independent research by exhibition experts, Zing Insights, showed there was insufficient support from a large proportion of the marine industry to the London Boat Show with its current format, duration and location. 

In the last three weeks, Zing Insights has carried out personal interviews with over 67% of exhibitors. This revealed that whilst a number of marine companies supported the change to a five day Show, finding it preferable to a 10 day Show, a large number of key exhibitors were not prepared to commit to exhibiting to a five day Show at ExCeL in January 2019.

Visitor research also showed that consumer satisfaction of the 2018 Show was below acceptable industry standards. Visitor satisfaction was centred on the content of the Show and specifically on the number and diversity of sailing and power boats exhibited. The research results showed a year-on-year decline in audience satisfaction which would continue to fall if the Show proceeded in the same formatand continued to fail to satisfy visitor expectations.

Zing’s research findings were endorsed by British Marine’s exhibition sales staff who, despite intensive sales efforts, reported that aninsufficient number of signed contracts of commitment to the 2019 Show had been returned. This was particularly significant amongst boat builders and boat retailers. Lack of signed contracts from this sector also affected confidence from other potential exhibitors, further reducing confirmed sign ups within the deadline. 

Sales activity and support for the London Boat Show is in contrast with British Marine’s Southampton Boat Show, which attracts close to 500 exhibitors and more than 106,000 visitors and has the support of title sponsor 2018 event is significantly ahead in terms of ticket sales and exhibitor sign ups compared to this time last Southampton Boat Show 2018, running over 10 days from 14-23 September, celebrates its 50th year with a host of special events and activities taking place.

The British Marine Boat Show team are now able to put all their focus on ensuring Southampton Boat Show2018 is the most successful to date. British Marine is in talks with relevant landlords to increase the footprint of the Show to meet exhibitor demands, both on the land and on the marina. New and exciting content for the Show includes additional features, alongside new displays and attractions. 

“The decision to put the London Boat Show on hold is naturally very disappointing for the British marine industry,” said David Pougher, President of British Marine, “but British Marine and its Board of Directors has a responsibility to its members and we cannot commit to running a Show which is clearly forecasted in its current format to be commercially unviable and will not meet customer satisfaction levels. By contrast, Southampton Boat Show produces a positive contribution to the industry, is well supported by exhibitors and visitors alike and is a highly successful event and we are now able to put all our energy, expertise and enthusiasm into this event.”

British Marine says making the decision to put the London Boat Show on hold now for 2019 enables the organisation to look at alternative options. “We are very aware that many companies in the marine industry look at a sales activity such as the London Boat Show in January as an excellent way to kick start the year, but times change and we must do the same in order to offer events which are affordable, accessible, welcomed and supported by the industry and its customers, and are financially viable for all involved.  This is now the task for the British Marine team, its Board, its members and valued advisors to seek new opportunities to support our industry,” concluded David Pougher.