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Sun Sail
Best Bites - Beaulieu
Thursday, 26 March 2015 09:57

Home to the Boat Jumble and Lord Montague's country seat, along with one of the few privately owned rivers in the UK.


Dry Gin For Cowes
(4 votes, average 4.75 out of 5)
Thursday, 26 March 2015 00:00


Cowes Week Ltd and Chilgrove Dry Gin have announced a new supporting sponsorship relationship for this year’s AAM Cowes Week, 8 - 15 August.

This is the first time a gin has been among the event’s supporting sponsors and, as the official gin, Chilgrove will be available at bars in the main marinas, on Cowes Parade and in local yacht clubs and bars.

Gin aficionados may also be interested to know that Chilgrove is the first ever English London dry gin to be distilled from grapes instead of cereal grain. It was launched in June last year and founder Christopher Beaumont-Hutchings says there is a very strong historical provenance for the grape base.


It is widely known that it was British mercenaries fighting in the Netherlands in the 1600s who found Dutch courage from a local spirit called ‘Jenever’ (Dutch for juniper) and, like any other travellers today, brought some back home with them. These supplies soon ran out and London gin-making was invented to replace it.

“It’s a lesser known fact,” says Christopher, “that Jenever was originally made using alcohol distilled from wine. The change to a cereal-base occurred as a result of a wine shortage in Holland driven by the significant effects a ‘little ice age’ (around the 1590s) had on European viticulture.”

Boutique premium gins have burgeoned over the last few years, many of them featuring in this column. There are over 50 from all parts of the country and I recently counted 22 gins on the shelf at my local Waitrose. The rationale for these new premium gins is always to create a better gin with ‘better’ quality spirit and a real taste difference.

Thursday, 26 March 2015 00:00

green1Young detectives solve the mystery of Paradise Harbour at this year’s RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show.

Did you know that there are three main different types of fingerprint – an arch, a whorl and a loop and that everyone has their own unique DNA print? Or did you know that the Chinese mitten crab (named after its furry claws and one of the worst invasive species here in the UK) first appeared in the Thames in the 1930s? Or that Wakame, another non-native species, is also known as Japanese kelp?

They might seem like random questions, but they provided much needed evidence and information to help hundreds of young visitors to this year’s RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show crack the show’s first ever fictional marine crime scene investigation into pollution in Paradise Harbour.

Visitors to previous RYA Dinghy Shows have been treated to live displays of the invasive non-native species ‘Killer Shrimp’ to promote ‘Check Clean Dry’ to stop the further spread of alien invaders. And in 2014, The Green Blue encouraged visitors to convert human kinetic energy into electrical energy in a 30 second burst of pedal power on static bikes.

This year The Green Blue’s interactive display featured four scenarios around marine litter, invasive non-native species, an oil spill and pollution from cleaning products that contain harmful chemicals.

Thursday, 26 February 2015 00:00


The RYA Safety Advisory Notice 2015 offers a simple digest of critical safety issues, including those that have arisen from incidents in the past year, compiled for the leisure boater.

Back in January visitors to the Royal Yachting Association stand at the 2015 CWM FX London Boat Show picked up the latest edition of the RYA Safety Advisory Notice. First launched at the 2014 show, the newly refreshed second edition focuses on six key topics: personal location devices, communication, lifejackets and lifejacket servicing, running aground, weather forecasts and effective planning.

It builds on the advice in the first edition, which covered the use of kill cords and prop guards, alcohol and boating, buoyancy aids and lifejackets, carbon monoxide poisoning and the proper registration of EPIRB and PLBs.

Know your knots
Thursday, 26 February 2015 00:00

Half_knotA reef knot is used for tying a rope round something or tying two ropes together (as long as they are the same thickness). The reef knot is traditionally used for tying reef points in a sail. (You put a reef in a sail to make it smaller in strong winds).

1. Start by forming a half knot…

  • Take the two end of a line, one in each hand
  • Cross the right hand working end over the left hand working end
  • Tuck it under and out to the left
  • Pull the two working ends to tighten or adjust to size
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