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Yacht Delivery - The First Hurdles.

Updated: Apr 6, 2023

By Jeff Leigh-Jones Halcyon Yachts Deliveries

Yacht deliveries for me are fulfilling, but they are also hard graft. Getting to a stage of joyful reflection requires rising to the many difficulties sailing brings. I’d like the opinion of others on the most basic challenges, but personally, I think they can be whittled down to two: Sleep, and Company.

Sleep on a Yacht

Days 1-3 I find are always the hardest, sleep-wise. Our circadian rhythms are knocked right out of whack doing watches, and the heavy soporific pull into unconsciousness never tugs harder than the cacophony of clangs and lurches on my alertness. ‘You have to be tired to sleep on a yacht’ one seasick crew once said to me, simply and quite defeatedly.

It’s tiring indeed, at first and after 3 days we cease to function properly. My most trialled sleep positions are either sausage-like - wedged into a crevice behind a lee cloth with bags or cushions, and a pair of shoes to support my lolling head. Or, ballerina-like - face down, one knee pulled up high and arms spread, bent at the elbow for maximum stability against the roll. An hour or two’s sleep a night is pretty standard initially.

How are we compensating for this on Vanguard?

  • At Jeff's request we have fitted substantial aluminum "D Rings" into the aft shelter and flybridge roof. Slinging hammocks is now possible for those unable to "bunk it" yet still needing sleep - sausage-like.

  • We have also fitted DMS Magnusmaster folding stabiliser's that will take the majority of roll out of perception at least at speeds over 3 knots. There is a slight energy penalty for this though at 240VAC 6 amps, it's not significant given the installed power capacity.

Company on a Yacht

Secondly, company is half the reason we put ourselves to the test all the time!

  • Who are these people I’m sailing with?

  • Who am I relying on, eating with, hot bunking with?

  • What makes them tick?

  • Will we get along?

There are these boundaries to see through, and boundaries in myself I must lower in order to gel. Usually, similar paths in life or ambitions led us to be together on a yacht, and so there’s plenty to talk about. But time at sea has a knack of opening up the bowls of one's quieter thoughts. Interestingly, and vitally, I find it is here we become a team. No amount of sunny days compensate for the bleak reality of an indifferent crew.

How are we compensating for this on Vanguard?

Read also: Build Vanguard

  • They say 3 is a crowd, though its a welcome one when sailing short handed. We will initially sail Vanguard with a trial crew of 5 including the family and 2 crew members. Once trials are over we will reduce to 4 then our stable 3 with everyone more relaxed knowing their roles and responsibilities.

  • Our youngest son, Rhys will be homeschooled throughout. Anyone with sailing experience and a scientific or artistic speciality wishing to join us for short durations would be most welcome!

Once our drowsy brain cells are firing again and the crew are tight as a monkey's fist, we can hit all other challenges sharply, creatively and together. It is so rewarding when a company becomes a team but you have to go through the mill to get there.

Jeff Leigh-Jones - Halcyon Yacht Deliveries

P.S. I remember on my first trip to sea in 1977, at anchor off Montevideo waiting to enter the River Plate to load grain. Liverpool crew with an old Bosun name of George. Tough as nails was George as I later found out. Anyhow, I asked if he had been there before, "yes son, 1938" I did say he was old. Do you have any tips for me, yep, seasickness, Pernot and Banana, kind of works. Keep the banana down and you live on it for a day or two, throw up and it just tastes of aniseed, much better than the alternative. It works by the way. Chris Leigh-Jones (Jeff's Dad)

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