The four stages of being a yachtie in the Med

Scarily True… What stage are you at!?

The Swedish African

It was one of those conversations that had me in fits of laughter as Liverpudlian Ian — a self-professed, early STAGE THREE — gave me his frank ranking of yachties from one to four.

Basically, it’s an easy-to-navigate system that breaks down our yachtie lifetime into four stages from green dock walker (STAGE ONE) to veteran crew member (STAGE FOUR). It took Ian and his side-kicks Jamie and Beth a full winter and many beers to jot it all down.

Finally, when I heard it, I set to task and stress-tested their theory on a few mates in the yachting game. I was only met with the same joy and agreement I’d had when I first heard it. From captains and chefs to newbies and drunken dropouts — we all agreed.

And together we embellished Ian’s original theory to come up with the “Four Stages of Being a Yachtie.”

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R.I.P Peace Nelson Mandela (Invictus)

Invictus (Much loved by Madiba)

By William Ernest Henley,

Out of the night that covers me,
      Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
      For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
      I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
      My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
      Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
      Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
      How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
      I am the captain of my soul.

Wintering or Laying Up your yacht for the Winter

The list of potential jobs when laying up can obviously be very extensive, however if it’s approached with thorough thought and care you can be confident your yacht will be in a good condition when you arrive for your first sail of the spring

Here are some Important Jobs:

Standing Rigging:

  • Rig Check – Look for wear and tear, signs of corrosion, cracked tangs, worn/broken pins – Check sheaves, swages, split-pins, masthead lights  and spreader mounts.
  • Rinse moving parts with fresh water (Furling Drum, bottlescrews etc.)
  • Polish Stainless, this helps to isolate and combat corrosion and wear and tear.

Running Rigging:

  • Replace Halyards with messenger lines to prolong life.
  • Rinse and Soak all lines
  • Inspect all lines and mooring warps for chafe, label and stow in a ventilated location.


  • Rinse and dry all sails
  • Flake or roll up sails ready for storage aboard or  ashore


  • Change Engine Oil and Filter
  • Change Gearbox Oil
  • Spray Engine with WD40 and cover. This helps to reduce condensation.


  • Fill up Fuel tanks, also to reduce condensation.
  • Check and potentially replace primary and secondary filters.

Moisture and Mould Control:

  • Clean entire boat, above and below deck, salt attracts moisture. Dirt and     grease attract mould, so vacuum and     polish EVERYTHING.
  • Remove all food items, leave fridges and lockers and compartments open.


  • Empty freshwater tanks, sponge out.
  • Drain pumps, hoses, refrigeration and AC units.A 50/50 solution of anti-freeze can be pumped round to protect low points prior to this.
  • Flush heads with fairly liquid and cooking oil to lubricate. Disconnect seacocks and drain.
  • Flush holding tank and add appropriate cleaner.


  • Clean battery terminals, grease terminals with Vaseline.
  • Check Nav Lights and grease.

Visit the Thumbs Up Sailing Yacht Delivery official site for a full list laying up/wintering jobs. Or even get in touch with the team to discuss your requirements!


Holiday Sailing and Yacht Delivery Scotland

Yacht Delivery Scotland………. Reasons to get your yacht delivered to Scotland!

After a hectic and very successful season, the Thumbs Up Sailing Yacht Delivery Team decided to take… wait for it….


Personally I’ve done a lot of sailing in the Mediterranean, England and Caribbean. And to those of us lucky enough to sail for a living, most of us have! So being based in the North East we though what better opportunity to sample some of Scotland’s delights!
The resounding review from all was that is was quite literally the most breathe-taking and fun sailing holiday we had ever taken!
And here’s Why!

We drove up from Scarborough with our little Albacore Dinghy in tow. We headed up past Edinburgh and up to Grandtully for the night (Just short of Pitlochry, the gateway to the highlands, as described by a friend) We caught glimpses of the amazing scenery as we drove through the dusky evening. Excitement higher than ever, everyone desperate to get there and pour the first whiskey.
We all stepped out the car, unhooked the ‘Albi’ and took in a big breath of clean Scottish air. The sound of running water ever present. After a delicious pub dinner with beers, we went back to settle down for the evening with a whiskey mac.
After a good few whiskey mac’s, it wasn’t to be sleep on the agenda. But a little late night expedition to discover the whereabouts of the aforementioned running water.
It didn’t take the merry band long to stumble onto a fast flowing river cascading down. We took three steps back, and settled down next to it for another drink.

The next morning was another serene and clear day. With the length of Highlands and all the scenery that has to offer we set off nice and early. From then on, it seemed like every corner we came round was another even more spectacular view!

Excitement mounted as we turned North just short of the Skye Bridge towards Plockton. Our final destination nearing, the beach cottage at Craig Highland Farm.
We arrived to find our little cottage tucked up against the forest, right on the beach. Unfortunately, the there was a train track between the car parking and the cottage, so we had to row the dinghy under a bridge and round to the beach at high tide. It being such a nice day, we decided to pop a coat of varnish on her. Just get her looking pristine again!

What greeted us for our first sail, was typical of the Highlands…

Flat sea with lots of breeze!

It makes for great sailing, we could really focus on boat speed and trim. Without having to take waves into account, small adjustments to trim and setup showed obvious changes in boat speed.
We were really impressed with the Albacore! You get rewarded for your efforts, especially up wind, hiking hard helped us point surprisingly high! Also shifting our body weight made big differences in speed and handling. A couple of inches eitherway made big differences.

Empty Anchorages

Just a quick glance at the charts showed such a variety of ‘secret’ spots. With lots of options for shelter. Each new spot offering different scenery and wildlife. Glen’s, Loch’s, Waterfalls……..  Seals, Otters, Herons…….. Scotland has a lot to offer anyone with a thirst for nature.

Whiskey Distillery’s and Pubs

You can’t go up to Scotland, especially the Highlands and not enjoy their fine Whiskey’s and good local pub food. We had some excellent, down to earth and tasty seafood. The quality and freshness only rivaled by the reasonable prices.

Little hint. Whiskey mixed with Ginger Wine (Whiskey Mac) is an absolute winner for combating the weather!

The Caledonian Canal

The Caledonian Canal is a canal in Scotland that connects the Scottish east coast at Inverness with the west coast at Corpach near Fort William. It was constructed in the early nineteenth century by engineer Thomas Telford.
Only one third of the entire length is man-made, the rest being formed by Loch Dochfour, Loch Ness, Loch Oich, and Loch Lochy.
It provides a fantastic, incredibly scenic and unique shortcut. It can handle anything up to 45m in length and 10m in beam. So for the majority of us, that poses no problem!
You’ll find yourself very jealous of the lock keepers and the idyllic places they live.

And forget just how much the canal itself offers, the opportunity for cruising on the other coast has just as much if not more to offer!

The canal also offers us East Coast delivery skippers a quick route for getting owners yachts over to the west. Which luxury you don’t get down South.

So why not take your yacht up to Scotland? Contact Thumbs Up Sailing Yacht Delivery to discuss your requirements!