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Cruising Arcachon: Exploring the basin by charter boat

Arcachon is an extraordinary inland sea on the French Biscay coast, 70 miles south of Royan and the mouth of the Gironde. The dead straight shore between Royan and Arcachon is one continuous golden beach backed by dunes and vast pine forests, a paradise for sun worshippers. The final approaches…

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Secondhand buyers guide: Best starter boats under £20,000

Starter boats are crucially important and arguably the most vital to get right. Choose wisely and you should have fun and a relatively trouble-free pathway into your new boating pastime. Get it wrong, however, and you will wonder why you ever bothered. (In fairness, getting it right also comes with…

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Welcome to the future: 5 futuristic yachts being built today

The 2019 Boot Düsseldorf show was awash with exciting new boats, brands and concept craft all claiming to represent the future of boating. Some were touting hybrid or pure electric drivetrains; others were offering radical new hull shapes, while yet another promised a completely fresh approach to its interior layout.…

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AIS B+ explained: How to see and be seen on the water

Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) may have originally been conceived as a collision avoidance system for commercial shipping but in recent years they have become a popular safety aid for leisure boats as well. Not only does AIS allow you to see and be seen, even when out of sight due…

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Secondhand buyers guide: Boats under £100,000

New boats become inexorably more expensive, but £100,000 can still buy you a very desirable secondhand boat. As ever with used boats, there’s a broad triangular trade-off between cost, age and size so if you fix one element (in this case the price) then the other two sides of the…

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10 idyllic island retreats to explore by boat

When cruising, I am always drawn towards small islands, where the feeling of being entirely surrounded by water is obvious as you glimpse the sea in all directions. Perhaps this attraction harks back to a childhood spent reading Enid Blyton’s Famous Five or Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons. In any case,…

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Beneteau Swift Trawler 47 boat test – 24 hours on board

A suspected mechanical malady meant that a recent passage home on my boat that would normally take 45 mins at 25 knots instead took almost three hours at 6 knots, and as we finally reached port we firmly agreed on one thing. Cruising at displacement speed for a change had…

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Hempel Silic One: Is this the future of antifouling?

As with many more experienced boat owners Harry and Vikki Metcalfe decided to make the switch from sail to power when the appeal of beating into the wind at an angle for hours on end began to lose its appeal. After years of cruising and racing a variety of sailing…

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VIDEO: Used Boat – Stevens 1375 AC VLET

Next time you’re at a boat show looking at a new boat and the smiling salesman assures you that you can choose whatever you want because ‘it’s a custom build’, try asking him for a little less draft, or for the boat to be nine inches shorter or for the…

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VIDEO: How To – Leave a berth using springs

However, it’s still a useful skill to have in your tool box if your thruster fails or the wind proves too strong for its limited power and duration. Before thrusters, driving ahead or astern against a spring or line was pretty much the norm for getting off a berth, particularly…

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Cruising Corsica: Top 20 reasons to explore the island

Corsica is probably Europe’s most spectacular island, a natural summer destination for Mediterranean boats. About 100 miles long, this unique French region has a high mountainous spine falling dramatically to the sea. Perfectly spaced harbours await you at the end of each day, when sea breezes die and a rosy…