Topic : Base at Batsons for Salcombe week

For various reasons, I'm thinking about keeping my boat at Batsons rather than Millbay for Salcombe week in July. What are the pitfalls ?

I imagine its quite hard to get out of the creek on a flood tide and easterly, conditions which would be easy at Millbay, but is there anything else to be aware of ?

How long does it take to get up to the start from Batsons?

Many Thanks, John

Posted: 02/04/2009 10:12:07
By: John B (3404)
I have always sailed from Batson, in other classes. On a light wind day, it can take 15 - 20 mins to the start line, unless you can get a tow. At times the slipway can get a little busy with power boates etc, but now they have the pontoon this helps. Advantages, no holes dug in the sand for you to fall into, better still no sand. It generally is more sheltered for rigging, than Millbay. Boat can be put back onto the trailer and tied down. There is a tap at the top of the slip for washing the boat down after each race (take your own hose). I cannot recall the cost but I think it is about £53.00. I am booked in for the week, as I do not do sand.

Posted: 02/04/2009 10:28:44
By: David G
After my experience last year I would mention a few disadvantages.  The channel is fairly narrow and is dredged, so the sides are steep to - as I found to my embarrassment.  Wind direction can make it quite tricky getting out into open water or returning to shore.  Other users, such as the South Sands Ferry, may make navigation more difficult.  If you don't have a lifting rudder, leaving and returning to the slip can be difficult - especially at low tide, when the high dock sides can shut off the wind or cause it to gust suddenly from an unexpected direction.

If you have a lifting rudder and are careful, the extra convenience of being on the "town" side can be an attraction, but you may need to be patient as you return to shore if there are a lot of other Merlins trying to land at the same time.

Posted: 02/04/2009 12:39:13
By: Mike Anslow
In previous years I have proved it possible to remove the transom of your boat with a fixed rudder within 6 feet of the mid-channel marker opposite the Salcombe.  The channel should be better dredged now but just be aware that at dead low water springs there is not a lot of depth and on occasion less than required for a Jon Turner fixed rudder!  It is very tempting to cut the corner opposite the Salcombe and go through the yawl moorings.  Only try this near high tide.

I am planning my next attempt at the Thompson Paddle for the summer, I have managed runner-up spot twice; I really feel this is the Salcombe trophy that should have my name engraved on it.

Posted: 02/04/2009 13:13:12
By: Andrew M

The Harbour Master noticed your tribulations last year and has taken pity!

The channel up to Batson has just been dredged and widened.

Apparently when they were doing the dredge all sorts of interesting things came up including a peice of timber that looked suspiciously Merlin transom shaped with the letters H--v-- S--t and numbers 3-11 on it. If the owner wants it back, I am sure the dredgers would't mind handing it over............

There were also lots of bits of white painted carbon with foam attached - any suggestions Mr Dalby!

Posted: 02/04/2009 13:20:13
By: John Murrell
This channel is now better looked after than it used to be, however if you try to go out side any of the channel markers you are risking running aground. Having said that the channel is not that restrictive, and for a class that has made it's home on many rivers, this should not cause too much of a problem.

Posted: 02/04/2009 13:26:36
By: David G
Thank you John, perhaps we should get it engraved and mounted and have it as a trophy for the best removal of a piece of boat or rig using only the force of the wind and blind incompetance?  Sorry I can't join you this weekend as Ellie's first production that she has designed is being staged in Cardiff.

Posted: 02/04/2009 13:42:52
By: Andrew M
I found Batson a suitable base for Salcombe Week. You need a paddle (maybe for propulsion, maybe for steering) but then I reckon everyone ought to carry one anyway.

The extra time it takes to sail out to the start area is offset by the time you can save walking to the ferry and crossing over etc.

Posted: 02/04/2009 21:50:50
By: Mags
Not to mention the cost on the Ferry, 2 people, twice a day, for six days, at I guess £1.00 a go = £24.00. Soon mounts up.

Posted: 03/04/2009 12:57:07
By: David G
Yes you could sail the week from Batson but why would you want to?
The rest of the fleet will be sunning themselves on the beach (this year we have booked a 2 week high with ultra light winds and blisteringly hot weather, with maybe the odd afternoon sea breeze).
Most especially those with children, make a day of it on the beach intermingled with the odd bit of race watching.
Lots of games on offer - volleyball, cricket, football ,boule or rounders etc. and of course the pre & post race analysis normally conducted leaning on somebodies Merlin.
If you think £24 is expensive wait till you try shopping in the Bakers, butchers & greengrocer !
Will think of you paddling up Batson Creek at low tide, trying to avoid powerboats and other out of control craft launching down the ramp, while I eat my post race doughnut on the beach.......

Posted: 03/04/2009 13:50:42
By: WP
There are pros and cons to both sides of course. I like the beach too, but for sheer convienience I personally choose Batson.

Not to mention no hassle with getting your trolley across - why do I always miss the SYC lift?

Posted: 03/04/2009 13:53:34
By: Mags
Also not to mention on the town side the sailing club, and bar with all that chilled drink on tap, and good food. Oh did I mention no sand in your boat.

Posted: 03/04/2009 14:11:09
By: David G


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