Yachting Season Off To A Flying Start In Scilly

boats in harbour 2St Mary’s Harbourmaster says it’s been one of the best starts to the sailing season on the islands in years.

Dale Clark says 77 yachts visited in April. While he admits these figures are small compared to some mainland destinations, it’s still the best April in four years, he says.

He’s been surprised by such a positive start and feels if the weather is good this year, it could be “a record breaker,” not just for visiting pleasure boats but also Scillonian and cruise ship passengers.

But he says the conditions are the key to getting sailors to the islands.

Last year there were a lot of Dutch visitors, mainly because of favourable Easterly winds that brought them down the channel for about a month.

And Dale says the numbers of Irish sailors has been steadily rising too.

A group of clubs from the Republic have been promising to bring a fleet over for several years, but each time it gets cancelled because of poor weather, says Dale.

Many sailors coming here are repeat visitors who have been several times, but the Harbour Team are keen to get more first timers to the islands.

They’ve been increasing the islands’ profile in the popular yachting magazines and are trying to dispel the myth that Scilly is a difficult or dangerous destination to sail to.

Dale says while some experience is needed, modern navigation technology means most sailors should have nothing to fear and will be able to reach here and explore safely.

His team also offers advice on safe anchorage as well as trying to encourage yachtsmen to move away from St Mary’s to sample the off-islands during their stay.

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