Advice needed for flotilla newbie please.

Phill

Member
Joined
3 Sep 2004
Messages
920
Location
Surrey/Kent borders
Visit site
We have decided to have take a flotilla sailing holiday (our first), possibly during August and need a bit of advice on destination and boat type/size.
We have three kids between 9 and 14 and our only experience is RYA 1/2 some years ago on Dart 18's. I have also crewed a friends 29 footer from Brighton to Eastbourne and back.(big deal!! but we all start somewhere)
I think we are looking for easy sailing with shortish passages and a good social side as I am trying to encourage the rest of the family to enjoy sailing.
We don't want to make a mistake with this hoilday and would welcome all input and advice.
 

Gin

Active member
Joined
17 Apr 2005
Messages
2,845
Location
Bromley,Kent
Visit site
My input is a bit of a curate's egg I'm afraid but here goes.

Souther Ionian - relatively cheap, compared to Caribbean etc, but little wind (May) pm and hardly anything at all am.

Blisteringly hot (May) and the two of us on a Cobra 28ft chased the genoa shadow around the deck to get out of the sun.

Plenty of short passages of a couple of hours and always a taverna at the end.

BUT one thing of which I am certain, and August must be hotter than May, is that we were one of only two boats with only two crew AND we were the only two boats who had a sufficient supply of water for drinking washing and tea making etc. There is little spare water on the islands.

The boats with 4 crew got by, by going without showers which when you are hot and sticky is a nice thing to be able to indulge in.

The two boats with a full 6 crew had a miserable time eking out their water supplies

BTW this was 20 years ago but since the islands are timeless I doubt much has changed
 

chrisgee

Member
Joined
15 Feb 2005
Messages
755
Location
Bath
Visit site
Agree about the Ionian -- Sailing Holidays seem to be the one thought most highly of --I have met loads of their customers over the years who all seem to have a great time.
/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif
 

Adrian

Member
Joined
8 Jun 2001
Messages
838
Location
Me Midlands, Boat Port Grimaud SOF
www.kydproducts.co.uk
I was in your position a few years ago, we chose Sailing Holidays, a smallish company based mainly in the eastern Med. Don’t worry about experience, there were people on our flot that had almost no sailing experience at all! I would recommend one of their Ionian flots because of lightish winds and plenty of places to stop. We had a fantastic holiday, our kids (5 & 9 at the time) loved it, there were loads of kids on our Flotilla who all got on famously.
If you phone SH they will tell you the age and sex of the other children already booked on the flotilla. Take water pistols there is usually a mass shoot up at some point!
Be warned though, its difficult to go back to an “ordinary” holiday after 2 weeks sailing!
 

ThereAndBack

New member
Joined
2 Apr 2006
Messages
492
Location
Durham
Visit site
All the foregoing is (IMO) good advice.

After SWMBO was somewhat unnerved while sailing with friends (as in, well I've tried it and I won't be trying it again) I thought our sailing days were over. Fortunately, she stumbled across the Neilsen website and was sufficiently reassured to have another go.

We did a Neilson villa/flotilla in May 2004. Four days of training in the first (ashore) week and then a week on a Beneteau 331. Most of the people on the flotilla were, like us, first timers and everyone managed very well.

We went back the following year (again Neilson) and this time trained for and passed our ICCs. If anything, we enjoyed this flotilla even more.

You will find you will already have more experience than many of the people there - some had never even been on board a yacht before.

We did not encounter one dissatisfied customer - in fact, just the opposite - the euphoria at our first overnight stop was unbelievable. I have never seen so many satisfied-looking people.

Remember, you are going to pay a lot of money for your holiday and you should expect it to be well worth paying for. We certainly felt it was - and great fun.

I could fill pages about this but, if you would like more info, have a look at www.neilson.co.uk. If you want more of our opinions on this, you are welcome to PM me.

Have a great time (you will).

Alan
 

Achillesheel

Well-known member
Joined
31 Dec 2004
Messages
1,325
Location
Boat; Falmouth, Home: Gloucestershire
Visit site
I agree with all the above; the Southern Ionian gives glorious scenery and benign weather. I have been in July, when it was hot, obviously, but the breeze while sailing keeps you cooler. We found the wind conveniently dropped about lunchtime, so the boat drifted quietly while we ate, and then it picked up again for us to resume the (shortish, usually) passage to the next port.

I have been twice with Sailing Holidays, and they are very helpful, boats are in good nick, people are friendly; I have also been with Neilson but prefer Sailing Hols.

We did Croatia year before last, and loved it; the winds are stronger, sailing a bit more challenging; we are going again this year and I can't wait!

Its a fabulous holiday, and as has been said, if you have a smattering of sailing experience, you'll be fine.
 

sailbadthesinner

New member
Joined
3 May 2002
Messages
3,398
Location
Midlands
Visit site
Ionian known as gentleman's sailing areas as 2-3 in the morning good breeze in the afternoon for sail then dies overnight so no worries on the hook.
Flotilla sailing is not all short passages but generally you should be okay.Ionian can be windy i have been a few times and been in three proper storms but they are usually well forecast so that is not an issue.

The last flot i did which was just wife and myself was honeymoon and was actually lovely. enough sailing to be fun not too much that we were knackered. We had also forgotten woute how beautiful it is.
generally flotilla lead crew are the last to leave and first to arrive so they can motor it in four hours or so albeit sometimes with better prop. So the worst you will have is five hours or so on the motor.

August i have not been that time of year as as;
A) can be hellish hot. Juen is pretty wearm in a ycht out there and have notr fancied going any later.
B) Friend went to fiskardo 2 years ago and said you could walk across the bay without touching the oggin. so to get a good space you had to be in by 2Pm.

Sailing holidays have a good reputation i have not used them but have come across them in harbours and people are happy. They did have an older smaller fleet jag 27s i think adn as we wanted bigger boats we tended to use sunsail.
I have no complaints about sunsail
My first flot was as a student on a benny oceanis 350 with 3 cuioples. it was tight but we were young and didn't care although the nesher ones did stay in a hotel last night of the flot.
The lead crew will provide lots of help but you may have to pay if you end up having a skipper foem more than a day or two, ask before you go.

Heat and comfort will be the main issues. ity will be hot and cramped and so long as the crew donot mind roughing it its the best holidasy around IMHO ( lets face it some people regard inability to use a hairdryer as a departure from civilisation too far) so long as you aree sure you can all get along without much privacy ( which teenagers may need more than you) you will be fine. The social side si good too if you like that. The kids will lose out here a bit if there are njo other kids on the flot, but in august the chance is increased.

I would reccomend with teenagers you do a week club and week flotilla
some reasons
Tennagers will have riot at a club
you can work on your yachtinig skills for a couple of days on the day boat while they play in dinghies etc.
You get used to the sun for a week rather than thrown into yacht where there is no shade some days unless you can sit below uin the heat aflotat which some people cannot do.
You also meet people at the club who may doing the flot adn can decide who you want alongside and whose boat you want at the other end of the raft.

But august will be pricey and may as has been said aleready been booked
my mates doing 2 weeks in august with 4 kids all under 10 and that is about 12K.

GO for it would be my advice
take lots of suncream hardly any clothes, you wont wear them all
hat gloves and insect repellent and some nice coffee for the boat
you're away
oh the water pitsols are an ace idea
 

Davy_S

Well-known member
Joined
31 Jan 2003
Messages
10,777
Location
in limbo at the mo.
Visit site
The water situation is much improved now, although Paxos still has shortages later in in the summer, plus the water there can taste salty as the water table drops and seawater enters the sternas. Hot showers are available at a lot of tavernas for a couple of euros.
August will be HOT and busy, temperatures will be above 40C some days, it is vital for children to drink lots of water. You will enjoy the Ionian if you can stand the heat! /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif
 

sailbadthesinner

New member
Joined
3 May 2002
Messages
3,398
Location
Midlands
Visit site
yes sorry
had to rush it out without scanning as had to join a conference call
am v important person you know

well i was in this case as i was required to somehow dig us out the brown stuff.

i hope it is not all garbled nonsense

certainly made more sense than my conference call
 

kharley

New member
Joined
7 Apr 2006
Messages
23
Visit site
Went to Ionian twice last year with Sailing Holidays May and October
Highly recommended they are much better than others we have been with
No conection with the company just happy customer
Beware though enjoyed the boats so much have just blown £50k on our own
 

tudorsailor

Well-known member
Joined
12 Jun 2005
Messages
2,741
Location
London
zebahdy.blogspot.co.uk
You need to decide what you can afford. Our first experience was a learning flotilla with Sunsail in the Ionian. One week on shore included a (very) basic yacht handling course. Second week was on a 40foot Beneteau. Smaller yachts are easier to handle - a bit- but for teenagers you might appreciate a bot more room that a 40 foot gives. Ionian sailing is no/light wind in the monring and sometimes too much wind in the afternoon.

Our next holiday was in the BVIs. Not much more expensive as off season for the Caribean. Wind is much more predicatable. It may be worth asking Sunsail if they have the same learning flotilla based at Antigua. That would certainly convert the family.

You may have left it too late to get a flotilla place in school holidays

TudorDoc
 

kcrane

Active member
Joined
13 Jul 2005
Messages
1,933
Location
Cheltenham
Visit site
Ionian a good call. Before buying our own boat we were quite happy with Sunsail, year after year after year. Also thought Croatia was easy sailing, out of Dubrovnik.

Where ever you go the sailing is straightforward versus mooring, but on a flotilla there are loads of people to help, especially the lead crew, so rarely a problem. Kids will love it. Enjoy.
 

duncan

Active member
Joined
16 May 2001
Messages
9,443
Location
Home mid Kent - Boat @ Poole
Visit site
good luck wherever you end up - we made the same call this year for the first time and have ended up with a couple of weeks in mid August at the Northern Sporades; our aims pretty much matched yours word for word! JHR from here is there with an overlapping week as well. Ionian also looked a good option to me.
 
Top