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Dateline: 02-12-2011

From Phil Onslow:

Dear All,

Well it’s December and what a lovely autumn it’s been. I’m sure that those of you who undertook a bit of late sailing were happy with the generally warmer and dryer weather. It can’t last forever in fact I think we were close to snow at this time last year. Nevertheless there are things happening and can I highlight the need for volunteers for our working parties. We’ve details of Day Skipper Shorebased Classes, Yachtmaster Shorebased Classes, Cheap Boat Show Tickets and a couple of messages from Stuart Davis and Nick Mason who are two of our new directors.

Being an Olympic year, leave will be restricted for many during the events so I would urge you to get something sorted early. There is an opportunity for us to organise a cruise during the Olympic period but we need to commit to this within the next week and pay a significant upfront sum in mooring. The daily cost to moor will be in the region of £45 per person which adds considerably to our normal costs. If you would be interested in taking part in an Olympic cruise contact the clubline as soon as possible and in any case within the next 7 days

As usual, details of all our activities are shown on our internet site.

Internet:         Email:        Clubline: 020 8643 4292

Working Parties
An important factor in keeping our yachts available and reliable for members relates to the winter maintenance program. It keeps the cost of courses, charter and cruises down as well. We have working parties scheduled for the following dates and if anyone can help on any of the dates, please let us know, preferably in good time so we can schedule the tasks to the number of volunteers. You don’t need any special skills and we provide lunch for you and enter your name as potential crew for the Round the Island Race und unlike the majority of advertised draws, we have 4 boats worth of places to fill so you have a good chance of selection. Working Party dates are:-

7th January
14th January
21st January
28th January
4th February
11th February
18th February
25th and 26th February
3rd March

If you are able to help on any of these dates, please contact the clubline.

Day Skipper Shorebased Classes
We have a number of Day Skipper intensive shorebased classes arranged for the spring. These are held in our classroom at Hamble and accommodation is provided in a cabin or mobile home next door. Places are restricted on these courses and they are especially suitable for those of you who want to learn about navigation, safety and seamanship but can’t commit to a period of evening classes. The cost including accommodation is just £275 and the dates are as shown below.

17th to 21st March
31st March to 4th April
28th April to 2nd May

Yachtmaster Shorebased Classes
We have arranged a weekend Yachtmaster shorebased course to be held at NSY. You must be able to make all of the dates and they are

11th & 12th February, 25th & 26th February, 10th & 11th March.

To reserve your place, please contact the clubline.

Cruising Programme 2012
Our cruising programme for 2012 is now published on the internet site and available for booking. We start off with a short weekend at the end of March which is an ideal opportunity to blow out the cobwebs from the winter. We follow with Easter Cruise, Vice Commodores Rally and new this year is a Cross Channel we’ll be doing without any instruments except the compass. No GPS, definitely no plotter and also no log. I’m doing that one with Edward Piggin taking the other boat. I just hope we don’t miss France and end up on the north coast of Spain.

Our main cruise has legs to the channel Islands and back. It’s cut a little bit short as I’ve just learned that there’s some Olympics of something going on that may inhibit sailing so why not get something sorted early in the year. In fact we’ve a cruise to Weymouth in May so that we’re nowhere near the Olympics?

As usual we’ll be running our Cowes Week Fireworks cruise and a late cruise to finish the season.

Full details on the internet site and phone the clubline to book.

Boat Show Tickets
As in previous years, discounted tickets are available through our connection with John Goode. Full details of how to obtain your tickets are available on the news page of our internet site

RC Works - Tool Donation.
On the rare occasion that a defect occurs on one of our yachts there’s nothing more irritating than unearthing the tool box to find a screw driver for repairing a watch and one for tightening up the hinges on Tower Bridge and little else in between.

Tools on the boats do seem to have a short life span and if they’re not finding their way to Davy Jones Locker they slowly become unidentifiable balls of rust. During the winter months can I ask members, whilst spring cleaning their garages, donate any lonely unwanted tools and give them a new home and we can distribute amongst the yachts next year.

Obviously on the top of the list is both flat head and Phillips screwdrivers, Spanners (metric please), pliers, Adjustable pliers etc. etc…Even if they don’t work or may need sharpening please bring them along

A suitable box will be available for collection at the base

Many Thanks

Stuart Davis – Rear Commodore Works

Mentors Required
The club is very keen to support those who have recently passed their day skipper by helping them make their first charter. To do this we would like to compile a database of more experienced members who would be happy to support those taking one of the boats out for the first time. The role would not involve instruction nor would you take over the skipper’s role but instead mentor and support those giving confidence to them on their first charter. If you would be interested in getting involved and are at least a Day Skipper and are confident chartering on your own please e-mail If Peter is approached by a first time skipper looking for some support he can then send out a general e-mail to look for a volunteer.

RC Dinghies and Racing
At the last AGM, Nick Mason took over responsibility for dinghies and racing and he has produced an information sheet to introduce himself and his plans for the future which I have made available on the news page of our internet site. I know that he is keen to promote these activities and has plans to carry out some improvements to our dinghies at Netley to ensure that they are available for members’ use. He is organising a dinghy day in June which will be open to all members and their families and is looking to canvas further support for the programme of dinghy open events. The dates of our own Yacht Racing Regatta have been set for 8th and 9th October using the Sunsail fleet. An introduction from Nick and further details of his plans and events are available on our internet site and I would urge you to read his article.

Can I finish by wishing you all a very merry Christmas, a happy new year and good sailing in 2012

Kindest Regards



Dateline: 03-11-2011

From Phil Onslow:

Dear All,

Not long since I published last month’s news, but that was a bit late.

This month we have some items in relation to winter chartering discounts, our replacement yacht programme, AGM and club wet weathers. It’s also approaching that time when we need your help to volunteer your services to help us with our winter maintenance programme on the yachts.

As always, contact the clubline or email for full details.

Internet   Email        Clubline 020 8643 4292

Yacht Working Parties
Our yachts are being lifted on 1st December so we need as many people as possible for the preceding Saturday 26th November. If you are able to assist please give the clubline a ring. You don’t need any special skills – just the ability to help move the kit from the boats to the store.

Yacht Charter
Still a few opportunities to get some late season sailing in. Pride, our newest yacht, will be available throughout the winter months at the discounted rate of £100 per day or £250 for the weekend during December, Jan and Feb. The heater is magnificent and I know that as I was out last weekend. So it’s Christmas dinner on board then…..

Replacement Yacht
The following is a message from Mark Heath who is managing our yacht replacement programme:-

MPSC Members
We are due to replace one of our yachts in 2013 as part of our scheduled replacement programme. The Directors have made the decision to sell Sovereign and seek a replacement cruising yacht for the club.

The intention is to buy something a little bigger that will accommodate higher numbers of crew in reasonable comfort, if possible with three cabins.

There have been a number of debates at Directors meetings and the criteria for selection will focus on the following key principals - safety, build quality and residual value. The intention is to look at up to six different yacht makes from across the spectrum with the aforementioned requirements in mind. I have been in touch with a number of boat agents and yacht delivery for new boats seems to be averaging at four months from date of order. So there is no rush to decide.

There has also been debate as to whether we should look at the second hand market where boats lose a fair amount of value in the first three to five years of their life as a result of 20% VAT amongst other factors. This maybe a good option if we can find the right boat.

In the meantime I would appreciate your views either via email to the club Hotmail account or please discuss with any of the club Directors at the AGM.

I look forward to hearing from you

Details of our AGM are included below. Please make every effort to attend. This is your opportunity to learn what has been achieved in your club over the last 12 months and for those keen to book charter course and cruise dates, it is the first opportunity to make those bookings.

Details of availability and course prices will be available on the internet the week before the AGM. If you are intending to attend and book, you must pay the fee or deposit on the day to secure the booking and all will be done on a strictly first come, first served basis. The only exception to this will be members who are interested in chartering more than one yacht and as this is difficult sometimes in sorting suitable dates, we will consider multiple yacht bookings in the 5 days before the agm..

Details of the audited accounts for the last financial year are on the internet.

Note that there is a slight variation on the changes of director from the last circulation. We’d welcome some volunteers for some of our non exec posts including Social Secretary and intranet site manager. If you’re able to assist in any way with these or other posts, then please get back to us.

Wet Weathers
A recent audit of our wet weathers revealed that some had grown legs and walked. If you or your crew have accidentally removed or forgotten to return waterproofs we’d be grateful if this can be done as soon as possible please.

Contact Details
Finally my regular plea to keep us updated if you move, change phone numbers etc. also remember that when you retire, you can still retain your membership, in fact for many (and definitely for me) that’s an opportunity to go sailing even more. You have to ensure that your subs are continued as they are not transferred to your pension. We spend many hours chasing up members who have retired and the danger is that if your subs lapse then your membership does too. I try and send out an update at the beginning of every month so if you stop receiving them, it is possible that the grim reaper in the form of our membership secretary has done his work. All that is needed to continue is to set up a standing order using the form on the useful documents page of the web site or even do it online.

Good Sailing



Dateline: 18-10-2011

From Phil Onslow:

Dear All,

I hope lots of you were lucky enough to get out on the water over the last week or so and feast on the exceptional weather. I certainly did, but attention is now turning to our shorebased programme and plans for next year. Details of the AGM are shown below as well as some late training opportunities.

As always, contact the clubline or email for full details.

Yacht Charter
Still a few opportunities to get some late season sailing in. One of our yachts will be available throughout the winter months at discounted rates and can be booked at short notice. Most importantly, it has a wonderful heater.

Shorebased Classes
Due to a cancellation we have a space on one of our Day Skipper Intensive Shorebased Courses. The dates are 19th to 23rd November with an additional days free sailing on 24th if you are interested. The cost of the course is £270 which includes accommodation. Details of next years courses will be published shortly on our internet site.

We’re still looking to run a shorebased Yachtmaster course over weekends in the new year so if you’re interested and haven’t registered then please get onto the clubline and let us know.

SRC Radio
An additional SRC Radio course has been organised for 4th December at Tintagel House. See internet Shorebased page for details.

Advanced Rib Course
We are running an advanced rib course on 14th and 15th November and there is one place left. The cost is £210. These courses are few and far between so if you are interested then contact the clubline.


Details of our AGM are included below. Please make every effort to attend. This is your opportunity to learn what has been achieved in your club over the last 12 months and for those keen to book charter course and cruise dates, it is the first opportunity to make those bookings.

Details of the audited accounts for the last financial year will also be posted on the internet site shortly.

I’m just off to start my Christmas shopping (Trust me it won’t be long till we have to eat too much, drink too much and do all the things we swore last year we’d never do again)

Good Sailing



The Executive Management Committee hereby gives notice that the Annual General Meeting of Metropolitan Police Sailing Club Ltd. will be held on:

Monday, 14th November, 2011 at 6.00pm
in the 5th floor briefing room at New Scotland Yard.

The meeting will deal with the usual business of the presentation of annual accounts, review of the past year, plans for the future, election of directors, awards of life membership and club colours and any other business. Importantly it is also your opportunity to ask questions about the way the club is run by the directors and influence planning for the future.

At least seven days’ notice must be given in writing to the company secretary of motions to be included in the agenda of the annual general meeting or of persons wishing to stand for election to the Executive Management Committee.

At the AGM all MPSC directors are required to retire from office on the Executive Management Committee but all are eligible for re-election. At present it is the intention of all current directors to stand for re-election with the exception of Steve Coles (Rear Commodore House) and Peter Walker (Rear Commodore Dinghies & Racing), who will not be seeking re-election. Peter Cox (current Deputy Rear Commodore House) has been nominated as Rear Commodore House and Nick Mason has been nominated as Rear Commodore Dinghies & Racing. Both will stand for election at the AGM. If there are any other nominations they need to be notified in writing to the company secretary at least seven days before the AGM.

In order that answers can be properly researched it would be appreciated if any questions to be asked of the Executive Management Committee were also notified to the company secretary with at least seven days notice.

Any notification as above must be sent to the Company Secretary, John Bailey, on or by post to MPSC, PO Box 308, Brockenhurst, SO42 7XR

The minutes of the last AGM are available to view or download from the MPSC intranet site or our website on (on useful documents page). The club accounts to be presented at the meeting are also posted on the intranet and website as above. Members are encouraged to print their own copies of these documents to bring to the meeting, they will also be available at the meeting.

Following the AGM there will be a free buffet and cash bar available for you to meet informally with your fellow members. It will also be your first opportunity to book charters, practical courses and club cruises for next year, and to get your discounted Musto orders in for Christmas delivery.

Retired members attending and others requiring NSY visitors passes are requested to notify the Company Secretary as above at least 7 days prior to the meeting.


John Bailey                                           4th October 2011
MPSC Ltd. Company Secretary

Dateline: 28-07-2011

From Phil Onslow:

Dear All,

As we approach the busy holiday season our thoughts turn towards the autumn and the fresh challenges of our shorebased programme. Below are details of our programme for later in the year with further info on our web site.

I’ve also included a plea for people to update their details with us and details of cruising opportunities, non-executive committee posts, cheap Southampton Boat Show tickets as well as a few other items of interest.

Internet –                Email:                 Clubline: 020 8643 4292

Shorebased Courses
These courses are open to family and in some instances, we can accommodate friends.

Day Skipper – this is an elementary course in basic seamanship, navigation and meteorology, suitable for beginners and people with little experience in yachts. We offer this as an evening class which starts on Tuesday 20th September at 6.30pm at NSY and with a break for Christmas, will run till the end of March. I often receive enquiries from people who want to do these classes, but are worried about missing a few. We can usually come to some arrangement but discuss with us at the time of booking any problems you may have. The cost of the course is £220 and this includes practice charts, course notes, training almanac and a software plotter for your computer.

We can also run this course as a 5 day intensive course at Hamble. We have two dates scheduled and they are 8th to 12th October and 19th to 23rd November. These are a little more expensive at £270 but that includes your accommodation during the course.

Both these courses offer a day’s free sailing at the end of the course.
To reserve a place, contact our clubline

Coastal Skipper/Yachtmaster Offshore – A more advanced course in navigation and meteorology, suitable for students who have already completed the elementary course. Or who have a background of cruising or offshore racing experience. The course is definitely not suitable for beginners. This would be a perfect follow on for those students who have completed the Day Skipper shorebased.

We run this course as an evening class held at NSY on Wednesday evenings commencing Wednesday 21st September and the cost is £200.

Occasionally we run this course over a series of weekends but this is subject to there being sufficient demand. If you are interested in doing the course but are unable to commit to the evening classes then register your interest in a weekend course.

SRC Radio
It is a requirement of our rib and yacht charter booking that you hold a marine radio licence. That aside it is a matter of both safety and common sense that you have this qualification. It is a 1 day course and lasts a lifetime. The cost of the course is £55 although there is an additional fee of £30 which has to be paid to the RYA at the end of the course for the issue of your certificate. Next course Sunday 25th September 2011

Practical Courses - Competent Crew and Day Skipper
Still a few vacancies on these courses towards the end of the year with 1 place on 18th to 23rd September, 2 places on 9th to 14th October and 3 places on 16th to 23rd October. If you want to do one of these courses but can’t make the dates, still get in touch as we do maintain a waiting list.

Practical Courses – Sail Trim and Spinnaker Module
This is run by Roger Glass and is an excellent course to learn or improve your knowledge of spinnakers. You’ll have to book fast though as it scheduled for 24th to 26th August and the cost is £125

Practical Courses – Creek Crawling Module
I run this one myself and have scheduled the dates to coincide with a particularly high tide. It’s an opportunity to explore some of those places we rarely get to . Last year we went to Keyhaven Yacht Club. Have a look at that on a chart. Dates are 28th to 30th September

Club Cruises
We still have some space on 3 of our cruises.

Bournemouth Airshow Cruise – runs from 17th to 21st August and the cost is £200.
Newcomers Cruises – run from 12th to 14th September and 14th to 16th September and the cost is £99.
Fireworks Cruise – runs from 4th to 6th November. The cost is £99 and is a wonderful way to finish the season.

All these cruises are suitable for novices and those with little experience.

Members Details

Andy Gardiner who is our current membership secretary has mammoth task on his hands. We currently have around 1300 members held on our database. I remember the days when the file would fit onto a floppy disk (remember them). Now it would take three! If you retire, you can still retain your membership. In fact for many this is an ideal time to maximise their time on the water. You do need to continue paying your subs though and they don’t transfer to your pension. The easiest way to do this is to complete a standing order form which is available online, or maybe use the account details on the form to set up payment online. When the time comes, you’ll probably have forgotten these sage words, but hopefully you will at least remember to contact Andy or the club and we can remind you of what you need to do. If you do nothing your membership will lapse. I usually send out 1 news message each month, usually around the beginning. If you don’t get it then there is a problem with your membership or email address and you need to contact us.

Non Exec Committee Posts
In the foreseeable future, there will be a number of non-exec committee posts becoming vacant and we’re looking for volunteers to fill them. These don’t require substantial work and the post holder is not required to attend lots of meetings. A full list of posts is available on our internet site on the bottom of the company information page. If you want to help or know more, contact Mike Wise, our Vice Commodore, or John Bailey our General Manager via our club email.

Outboard Engines
We have quite a few seagulls at our Mercury base….no not the flying variety, the outboard motor type. Can any member who has an outboard motor at the base, either remove it or ensure that it is marked clearly with the owners details. Members are reminded that outboards are not allowed to be stored inside the cabins and we are looking to provide a dedicated undercover stand for them. Any anonymous outboards found after the end of August will be disposed of.

Southampton Boat Show
Once again we have access to tickets at reduced prices for members. Details of how to obtain these tickets are shown on the news page of the internet site.

Good Sailing



Dateline: 10-07-2011

From Phil Onslow:

Dear All,

Let’s hope the current wet and windy weather passes by soon. I’ve checked my seaweed and apparently it’s going to. In this broadcast I have the usual bits relating to charters and cruising and of course the start of our shorebased classes in September which is only 2 months away. Scary that. As always details I’ve included details of our contact information below. Don’t hesitate to give us a ring if you have any queries.

Internet              Email          Clubline 020 8643 4292

We have a couple of short cruises in the near future and these still have places. Cowes fireworks cruise runs from 5pm on Friday 12th to 4pm on Sunday 14th August. As the name implies, it starts with a visit to Cowes where they have a spectacular firework display to celebrate the end of Cowes Week. After that it’s just an opportunity to enjoy some summer sailing and hopefully good company.

Our Newcomers Cruises are structured to cater for newer and less experienced sailors. You don’t need any experience to enjoy this cruise, in fact we positively discourage those with experience. We like to fill the boat with newish members who do not feel daunted by more experienced colleagues. Of course we put a fully qualified skipper on board to ensure things are fun and safe. This is especially good for those who have joined in the last year, in particular from our Sailaway Days, but anyone who has little experience is welcome. Dates are:-

12th to 14th September
14th to 16th September

Shorebased Courses
Our Shorebased Classes at Day Skipper and Coastal Skipper Yachtmaster will start in the second half of September.

Day skipper is suitable for those with little or no experience and quite frankly is the cornerstone of the training programme. Sailing is always more fun when you know more about what’s happening and if you want to improve your skills, then this is the course for you. It teaches safety, navigation, seamanship and a bit of meteorology to give you the necessary knowledge base to learn more from the practical programme. Courses are held on Tuesday evenings at NSY starting on 20th September. The cost of £220 includes course notes, practice charts, training almanac and a CD plotter. We do take wives/husbands, partners and family members and occasionally friends. We like to encourage families and groups who may sail together.

Coastal Skipper/Yachtmaster is a more advanced course. Many people are daunted by the name but please don’t be. It is a shorebased course and whilst you should have some experience before undertaking this course, it’s often best completed when the information from your Day Skipper shorebased class is still fresh in your mind. The cost of the course is £200 and this includes the practice chards, course notes and CD plotter. If you have any questions or are not sure whether or not the course is for you then don’t hesitate to give us a ring and we can discuss it with you. The course is run at NSY on Wednesday evenings starting on 21st September.

Practical Courses
Our Competent Crew and Day skipper courses have been quite well subscribed this year although we do still have places on some of the later courses. Always give us a ring if you want to do a course, even if dates don’t fit as we try to put on extra if there is a demand. We still have places on our practical exam prep courses on 4th Sept and 25th Sept for those who are interested in gaining the coastal or Yachtmaster Offshore qualification.

The modules supplement our RYA training programme and are targeted towards those areas where people often require further coaching. They are less intensive that the RYA courses and usually great fun. The creek crawling module has been set on one of the highest tides for some years. I hope to do that myself and I also hope not to get my tides wrong or the boat will be there for about 2 years till the next comparable tide.

24th to 26th August – Sail Trim and Spinnaker handling
16th to 18th September – Race Training
28th to 30th September – Creek Crawling

We’ve had a steady flow of charters this year, but with increase to 4 yachts we still have a fair amount of availability including some weekends. Chartering shouldn’t be a daunting process for those who haven’t done it before and we don’t set the bar high in relation to what’s required of you. Anyone with a Day Skipper practical can charter and we’re always here for advice about where to go and what to do. See the internet for availability. We still have some boats free on the August Bank Holiday.

Our Offshore Racing championships are due to be held on 6th and 7th October and will broadly follow the format of the previous few years. One slight difference now is that Sunsail have new 40ft yachts which I’m told are quite fast and exciting so why not give it a go. We usually have a cross section of experience and all crews usually enjoy the racing, often finding someone around their own standard to compete against. The après race is pretty good too.

Details of the race including downloads of the invitation, Notice of Race etc are on our Internet website. Contact the clubline if you have any queries.

Good Sailing



Dateline: 12-06-2011

From Phil Onslow:

Dear All,

Well the early season weather has been a pleasure to be out in. Let’s hope the summer continues to be fair, but I do need a bit of rain for my garden now and again. Not a lot of new things to report this month, but a reminder of some regular items below. We try to put something for everyone.

As always don’t hesitate to contact us on the clubline or email and we try to help. All our booking forms are on the internet under the Useful Documents section and you will find reasonable up to date availability for charter (rib and yachts) on the respective pages. Course availability changes so much so phoning for details is best.

Internet –                Email:                 Clubline: 020 8643 4292

Yacht Delivery
We have to deliver Sovereign of Broadway to Falmouth between the evening of 1st and lunchtime on 9th July. We’re looking for some crew who are available during this period and if there are any yachtmasters or coastals who would like to skipper the trip then get in touch. You will have to allow at least 3 days for the trip plus travel.

To volunteer, contact the clubline or email in the normal way.

Club Members Day at Netley Sailing Club – Saturday 2nd July 2011
The MPSC will be holding its annual Members Open Day at Netley Sailing Club in Southampton Water on Saturday 2nd July 2011. The event is free and open to MPSC members and their families. Activities will include: Rib rides, short sails in the Club Yacht and Dinghy Sailing. This is the perfect introduction for members wishing to introduce their families/ partners in calm / warm conditions! Camping is free to members in the field behind the sailing club and an area will be cordoned off for MPSC members. Any members who have a private sailing dinghy's are welcome to bring their boats. Anyone who is interested contact Peter Walker (Dinghy and Racing Manager) on 07990 532105 or send an e mail.

Practical Sailing Courses
Our RYA Day Skipper and Competent Crew practical courses have filled quite well this year. We do have some space left but need to assess the need for any further courses. If you’re interested in one of these then do let me know by phone or email. I do my best to juggle thing around so that everyone is sorted but the more notice I get the better chance you’ve got of us being able to help.

If you are interested in one of the exam preps for Yachtmaster or Coastal Skipper this is even more important as we have to book examiners well in advance.

Lounge Pictures
Our new cabins at Mercury are beginning to look good now. They’re even all painted the same colour now. Still a bit more painting and smartening up to do but it’s always good to see progress. One of the new rooms has been set up as a lounge/ classroom. There are some comfy chairs and coffee tables, but tucked away are some desks and chairs so it can be converted as an alternative classroom. It’s decorated and carpeted and now needs that final touch. If anyone has any charts, prints (or original) paintings or other items suitable for hanging on the walls, please let me know and I’ll pass them on to our Director of Soft Furnishings (Mrs Vice Commodore)

Musto Gear
Musto have just notified us of a price increase later this month. Not sure of the exact date but you need to get in asap in the next week to be sure of the best price.

There is still plenty of charter space this year and still some weekends free. Blue Spirit had a bit of refurbishment this year with new boards and upholstery and looks really good. Our new boat Pride was in the water all winter and I have had glowing reports about her. Up to date charter availability is shown on the internet site. I’ve even still got a boat available for the August bank holiday.

RIB Level 2 Courses and Intermediate Course
We have vacancies on a few of our level 2 courses which are suitable for novices. Available dates include 16th and 17th July (weekend) and 28th and 29th July. We also have vacancies on a rib intermediate course later in the year. The dates are 19th and 20th September. The intermediate course is designed to equip you with the skills necessary for short coastal passages and are a natural follow on from the level 2.

MPSC Offshore Racing Championships
Our offshore racing championships are being held on 6th and 7th October with boats being picked up on 5th. The format will broadly be the same as in previous years with one significant exception. Sunsail now have a fleet of new yachts and in the finest traditions, they’re bigger, better and definitely faster! Edward Piggin is the organiser again and details of the event will be on our internet site shortly.

Shorebased Classes
I know it’s still early in the season but now is a good time to think about shorebased classes at the end of the summer. Our Day Skipper evening classes will be held at NSY on Tuesday evenings starting 20th September. Our Coastal Skipper/Yachtmaster course will be held at NSY starting on 21st September.

Good Sailing


Dateline: 05-05-2011

From Phil Onslow:

Dear All

Well, summer is here now although the forecast did mention frost the other day. Things will start to get busier now so if you have designs on an activity, whether it be a course, cruise, yacht or rib charter then please phone us in good time. It gives you the best chance of securing the dates you need and us the best chance to get the support arrangements right.

We’ve information blow on many of our forthcoming activities, and we do need help to clean and paint our base at Mercury, but as usual, keep an eye on the internet site for the most current information or don’t be afraid to phone or email.

Internet:         Email:        Clubline: 020 8643 4292

SRC Radio Course
A new date for an extra radio course has been set for Sunday 12th June. This is a requirement for those who want to charter yachts and rib and once you’ve got it , it lasts a lifetime. To reserve your place, contact the clubline.

Practical Courses
Our programme of Competent Crew and Day Skipper practical courses is well underway. It’s important that these are fully booked as far as possible as this can be beneficial to the teaching. If you’re interested in a course this year, it makes it so much easier for us to match demand to dates if you can contact us in good time.

We currently have availability on courses starting 3rd and 17th July

Yacht Charter
We’re approaching the busier time of the year and we now have 4 boats available to members. There is still capacity for weekends in May and June and some midweek spaces as well. An up to date record of availability in on our internet site.

Our cruising programme is really why we are here. Our training programme ensures that members have the necessary safety and other skills, but the pleasures of visiting new places by boat is what it’s all about. Our skippers oil the wheels when aboard and the crew can get oiled when ashore. They’re good for mileage building to improve your skills and experience or just plain fun on the water. No specific skills are required for our cruises and I have shown a summary for the next few months below. Further details as ever are available on the internet page.

5th to 10th June – Weymouth Cruise - £250

1st to 9th July – Hamble to Falmouth - £360

9th to 16th July – Falmouth to Falmouth - £360

23rd to 31st July – Falmouth to Hamble - £360

5th to 7th August – Cowes Fireworks - £140

17th to 21st August – Bournemouth Air Show - £200

Working Party
We need some volunteers to do a bit of painting, cleaning and organising at the base on the weekend of 14th and 15th May. If you are able to assist, please contact Tony Moore on 07881 858656.

Our training modules supplement our RYA programme and cater for a few specific activities which many people enjoy. We teach Race training, spinnaker handling, and creed crawling. You don’t have to get off and walk on all fours for this course. It’s a good exercise at taking the yachts to those more remote and challenging places where we don’t often go. For the race training, we like to put our two boats and a committee boat so you can hone up those starting and other skills. The sail trim and spinnaker teaches you how to get the best from your sails and also gives you an insight into what many people think is the dark are of hoisting and managing a spinnaker. It’s not really a dark are and is great when you’ve learned how.

24th to 26th August – Sail Trim and Spinnaker

16th to 18th September – Race Training

28th to 30th September – Creek Crawling

Own Boat Berthing
From time to time we get members wishing to use our berths at Mercury. This isn’t a problem as long as we’ve space to get our club boats in and out at changeover times. If you want to stop on our berths, please give the clubline a ring in advance.

Internet and Intranet
We currently run an intranet site for those serving police officers and staff and an internet site for everyone. Please bear in mind that the internet site is updated more regularly, so if you’re looking for course dates or yacht and rib availability, the external internet site is likely to be of greater assistance. We don’t tend to keep time sensitive information on the internal intranet.

Good Sailing and Fair winds




Dateline: 31-03-2011

From Phil Onslow:

Dear All

With a bit of luck to warm weather will continue right through to October – well I can dream can’t I…..

Time to get organising now and certainly the clubline has started to get a bit busier with bookings but there are a number of opportunities still available which I have outlined below. Some are regular events such as the Vice Commodores Rally and the training opportunities but there are others such as the opportunity to charter one of our yachts at Falmouth for the week and some opportunities for those who use the rib to develop their skills with more advanced training.

As usual, further details are on the internet site or you can always phone the clubline for more information.

Internet –           Email –          Clubline 020 8643 4292

Practical Sailing Courses
We’re just starting our programme of Day skipper and Competent Crew courses and these are going well with most of the early courses booked although we still have capacity for those who want. Remember, the earlier you book, the greater chance you have of getting your preferred dates and it makes our life so much easier. There are also a couple of modules which still have places.

Close Quarters Boat Handling – this is ideal to improve your confidence and ability when power handling. Most people have their greatest trauma over berthing and unberthing and this focuses on those aspects.

Day Skipper Refresher – If you’ve done a day skipper practical and want to brush up or have a bit more practice at those things you did on your course this is the course for you. We’ve not laid down a syllabus – you can tell the skipper what you want to practice and he or she will do their best to help. If you’re looking to charter it’s an ideal chance to hone a few skills.

Club Members Day at Netley Sailing Club – Saturday 2nd July 2011
The MPSC will be holding its annual Members Open Day at Netley Sailing Club in Southampton Water on Saturday 2nd July 2011. The event is free and open to MPSC members and their families. Activities will include: Rib rides, short sails in the Club Yacht and Dinghy Sailing. This is the perfect introduction for members wishing to introduce their families/ partners in calm / warm conditions! Camping is free to members in the field behind the sailing club and an area will be cordoned off for MPSC members. Any members who have a private sailing dinghy's are welcome to bring their boats. Anyone who is interested contact Peter Walker (Dinghy and Racing Manager) on 07990 532105 or send an e mail.

Vice Commodores Rally
Our Vice Commodores Rally is not far off now and as usual is due to take place over the early May bank holiday. I invited William and Kate but apparently they have other plans. This is one of our most sociable events when we make all of our club yachts available to members whilst others charter or bring their own boats for what is usually one big happy party. Things start off with a bbq at Mercury on the Friday evening, a run to Lymington for Saturday and of course a final night at the Folly on Sunday before returning to Hamble on Monday. This is open to everyone whether you can sail or not – you don’t need lots of experience. To book any of the few remaining places on the club yachts, contact the clubline. If you have a boat or are chartering a boat and want to attend then please contact Vic George by email at


The following still have places available

Weymouth Cruise - 5th to 10th June
Hamble to Falmouth – 1st to 9th July
Falmouth to Falmouth 9th to 16th July
Falmouth to Hamble 23rd to 31st July
Cowes Fireworks – 5th to 7th August

West Country Charter
Those eagle eyed amongst you will have noticed that our west country legs are not consecutive and there is a gap between 16th and 24th July. This was done with a view to leaving the boat at Falmouth and making it available to members for private charter, with the opportunity to sail and explore some different coastline. If you are interested in doing this please contact the clubline.

Normal charter booking are progressing well, especially the weekends so if you are looking to plan some sailing then the sooner the better. Blue Spirit has had a refurbishment over the winter with new cushions and floorboards and really looks quite good. Our thanks go to Stuart Davis and Nina Bayliss for all their hard work.

PSUK Sponsorship
The MPSC is to host the National Police Sailing Regatta in May 2011. This is a high profile event within the police sailing calendar and a great deal of work is underway behind the scenes to ensure its success.

The event itself will be staged over 5 days between 8th & 13th May, when yacht crews from all over the UK will compete for a number of awards. Some 23 crews have already committed to race.

Within this forthcoming event we have committed ourselves as a club to supporting the Anthony Nolan Trust. Anthony Nolan finds matches for leukaemia patients who need a stem cell, bone marrow or cord blood transplant. To that end, there will be a grand charity raffle on the night of the competitor's dinner, where we hope to be able to offer a small number of high quality prizes, which are commensurate with this prestige event. We are currently seeking potential prize donors, to whom we can offer acknowledgement in a range of ways, from the publication of our event programme to a place at the competitors dinner.

Should any MPSC member have a contact whom they feel might wish to support this event and the Anthony Nolan Trust by way of donating a raffle prize would you be kind enough to forward details to D/I Nigel Foster at SCD1 Lewisham by E mail.

Powerboat Level 2
We have our normal schedule of courses which are available on the internet site. These courses are suitable for novices and an ideal introduction to powerboating activities.

Intermediate Powerboat Course
There are still spaces on our Intermediate rib course starting 26th May. This is a natural step for those who have completed a level 2 and want to progress further. Further information is available on our internet site.

Advanced Powerboat Course
We are looking to conduct an advanced rib course if there is sufficient interest. If you would like to undertake this course then please let us know and we may be able to arrange dates to suit. Details of the pre course requirement are shown on the internet site.

Powerboat Instructors Course
We also have some interest from members wanting to undertake a powerboat instructors course. If you are interested in doing this then please give the clubline a ring as soon as possible as we’re looking at firming up dates.

RIB Charter
Danny Buoy is hopefully all running smoothly and available for charter. Dates are shown on the internet and to book you must first phone the clubline to reserve the date and then send in a booking form to confirm within 7 days. We can often accommodate short notice charters

Working Party Required
On 14th and 15th May we are having a working party at the base to paint and tidy up the cabins and yard. If you’re able to help then please contact the clubline.

Round the Island Race
This is due to take place on the weekend of 25th/26th June. During the next week, those members who have assisted at working parties or in other ways will receive an invitation to enter the draw. Unlike the Readers Digest Draw, you have an excellent chance of securing a place as we are entering all 4 yachts. If you have helped and don’t receive your invite within 7 days then do contact us by phone or email.

Yacht Charter Bookings
Normal charter booking are progressing well, especially the weekends so if you are looking to plan some sailing then the sooner the better. Blue Spirit has had a refurbishment over the winter with new cushions and floorboards and really looks quite good. Our thanks go to Stuart Davis and Nina Bayliss for all their hard work.

Good Sailing – I’m off to enjoy some warm fresh air.



Dateline: 02-03-2011

From Phil Onslow:

Dear All

I can’t believe it’s March already. Still the great thing about short months is that pay days come round quickly.

Lots happening on the boat front and a big thank you to those who have helped on our working parties. Two of the boats were launched last week and the other will go in…… soon as the new fibreglass has set. We’ve poshed up Blue Spirit a bit with new floorboards and new upholstery. It was never like that when I was a lad. Vinyl cushions and cold water in the morning through a hand pump. My dad Christopher Columbus always told me………………………

Anyway just a few reminders below about some club activities and I do recommend the Shackleton lecture.

Internet: com             Email:                 Clubline: 020 8643 4292

Club Evening – Shackleton Talk - Monday 14th March at NSY

Geoff Selly is the custodian of the talk on Shackleton and his exploits around the South Pole. It’s a fascinating story and all the better for being supported by many of the original slides taken By Dr. Hussey. Contact Steve Coles to book. It is free for members but £5 for non-members. Further information including a poster available on the internet site.

Easter Cruise and Vice Commodores Rally

Spaces still available on our Easter cruise this year and the Vice Commodores Rally. These are very close in fact with the extra bank holiday due to William and Kate’s marriage, they almost flow into one. Can’t believe there wasn’t a Bank Holiday when I got married?

Flotilla Cruise

This is a new activity and is there to help those who want to charter themselves but also want a bit of help. The idea is that you can charter a boat and be part of a small flotilla with an instructor on hand to help and advise you. Do give me a ring on the clubline asap if you may be interested.

Day Skipper Shorebased

Your last chance to do a Day Skipper Shorebased Course before the summer is our intensive course from 21st to 25th May at Hamble. The cost is £270 and this includes your accommodation

Practical Courses

Our Day Skipper and Competent Crew form the cornerstone of our training programme and cater for the needs of most people from complete novices to those who have done a fair bit of sailing. If you’re interested and not sure which is for you, have a look at our frequently asked questions on the training page of our internet site or give the clubline a ring.

For those a little more advanced we are running coastal courses (assessed and non-assessed) as well as Yachtmaster prep courses later in the year.


These training modules supplement our RYA training and are a great way to improve your skills. Run a little less formally they give time to focus on some of the key areas of sailing. The Day skipper refresher is ideal for those who may have done a practical course but are looking for a bit more knowledge, practice and confidence before looking for a charter. If you’re not looking to charter, it’s still a great way to learn.

The close quarters boat handling course is one of our most popular and addresses those areas of concern – getting on and off the pontoon at the start and finish of your sail. But there’s lots more to it including some close quarters work under sail.

Our Race Training Module and Spinnaker modules are again being run by Roger Glass and Mason King two of our accomplished racing skippers. I’m told that they’ll tell you almost everything they know – but can you beat them in a race.

We’ve scheduled our Creek crawling module for the highest tide of the year – in fact it’s the second highest in 5 years. In ideal opportunity to explore some places you don’t often go. Hope we don’t get stuck there or we’ll need a low loader to get the boat back.

17th to 19th April – Close Quarters Boat Handling

17th to 19th April – Day Skipper Refresher

24th to 26th August – Sail Trim and Spinnaker

16th to 18th September – Race Training

28th to 30th September – Creek Crawling

The cost of all modules is £125

RIB Module - Introduction to Night Navigation

This exciting module whilst enormously beneficial to members who have completed their Intermediate Rib Course, is a wonderful opportunity for those who are looking to widen their powerboat experience or who just wish to experience the excitement of piloting a rib at night before taking on a RYA Course.

Whilst not a RYA course, the module is delivered by a qualified instructor and can provide members with an insight into the standard required for the Advanced Rib Course.

The timings of the day will be approximately 1700hrs-0100hrs which will include classroom work followed by the execution of a night time passage plan to a pre-determined point where people can if they wish purchase 'a late supper'.

Cost: £110 which includes all equipment and fuel.

Date: 25th March

Good Sailing




Dateline: 09-02-2011

From Stuart Jenkins:

The Metropolitan Police Sailing Club have now confirmed that their annual Dinghy Open Regatta will take place on Thursday, 30th June, 2011 at Netley Sailing Club, Southampton Water.

From the organiser Stuart Jenkins, "The event follows on the day after Dorset Dinghy Open which therefore amounts to two days of sea sailing and worth the drive!!"

NoR & SI's to follow.  Further details on the Met's Dinghy Section page .


Dateline: 08-02-2011

From Phil Onslow:

Dear All

It’s February and Christmas seems such a long time ago, but with the passing of the snow we’ve had to really crack on in relation to getting the boats ready so a big thank you to those who have helped. It was also good to see so many club members at the London Boat Show. Those who saw our cruising chute demo, I hope you liked it.

I’ve included below details of our shorebased programme which drops off as we start real sailing, as well as our cruising and practical programme. Most of our cruises are suitable for those with little or no experience. Further details are shown on our internet site but if you have any queries on anything below, then don’t hesitate to give us a ring on the clubline or drop us an email.

Internet                Email              Clubline 020 8643 4292

Club Social Evening - Shackleton – The Greatest Survival Story Ever Told
The club have arranged a social evening on Monday 14th March. The talk will be given by Jeff Seeley who is the custodian of the original slides from the expedition. I’ve heard it before but believe me I shall go again. It’s exceptionally good.

Tickets which are free to members and £5 for guests are available from Steve Coles and his contact details together with further details of the talk are available on the internet site.

Cruise – Season Starter
This is an ideal opportunity to blow the cobwebs out after the winter period. For just £99, there are places on our Season Starter cruise from 1st to 3rd April.

Cruise – Easter Cruise
Easter is late this year so hopefully we will have some reasonable weather. We’ve a couple of boats set aside for our annual Easter cruise. The itinerary is vague….in fact you’ll turn up and go with the flow. It starts at 5pm on Thursday 21st April and runs through to Monday 25th April at 4pm which just happens to coincide with Easter weekend . Now that a bit of luck. The cost of 4 days is £180.

Cruise – Flotilla
We’re trying a new venture this year to support those of you who may have completed a day skipper practical but lack some confidence to charter one of our yachts. We have arranged a flotilla from 5pm on Friday 13th May to 4pm on Monday 16th May. We’ll provide a lead boat with a couple of instructors and the offer to you is to charter one of our outer boats to join them in company. This means that there is someone there to help you get off the pontoon and be there to assist when you berth at the other end. They will help you with your passage plan and probably give you directions as to which is the best pub to drink in – a vital part of sailing. If you’re interested in this weekend then give the clubline a ring or email us.

Shorebased – Day Skipper
Our last shorebased navigation course of the spring is due to run from Friday 21st to Wednesday 25th May at Hamble. The cost of £270 includes accommodation. We strongly recommend that all students of the Day Skipper Practical have completed the shorebased.

Shorebased Classes – SRC Radio
New dates have been scheduled for radio courses. These are Saturday 16th or Sunday 17th April in Central London. The cost is £55

Shorebased Classes Sea Survival
Once again we’ve arranged a sea survival course which is scheduled for 3rd April in West London. This is probably like nothing you’ve done before. It covers all those things that you hope you’ll never need to know but which could save your life. It’s great to see what a liferaft is really like on the water – yes there’s a couple of hours spent in the swimming pool and boy will you remember that bit. It’s also good to have a go at setting some flares off – trust me it’s quite enlightening. The cost of the course is just £75.

Shorebased Classes – First Aid
I know that many of you will have a first aid qualification, but the ELS which is the norm is very basic. The 1 day RYA first aid course focuses on the relevant topics likely to be encountered when on a yacht especially drowning and hypothermia. It’s being held at NSY on 26th February and the cost of this course is £55

Practical – Day Skipper and Competent Crew
These are the cornerstones of our training programme. The Competent Crew is an ideal point to start if you’ve little or no sailing experience, whilst the Day Skipper practical starts you off on the road to being in charge of a yacht. They both cost £350 which includes all safety equipment, waterproofs and all food, fuel and marina fees. If you’re not sure about any of the details then look at the Frequently asked Questions on the internet site or give us a ring on the clubline.

Practical – Modules
We’ve a couple of modules arranged for the first part of the year. These are 2 day courses designed to build on and supplement our RYA training programme. The close quarters course will build your confidence when getting on and off pontoons, whilst the Day Skipper refresher is an all-round brush up of the skills you might feel you’re a bit rusty on from your course.

17th to 19th April – Close Quarters Boat Handling

17th to 19th April – Day Skipper Refresher

Yacht Charter Dates
Availability for these is shown on our web site and I try to update them as often as I can. Like most things in life, those who can organise their sailing in good time usually get the dates and boat they want, but more than that it enables us to get things running smoothly (I hope). Dates can be reserved by phone although we obviously need a booking form to confirm, but it’s definitely a case of the early bird getting the worm.

Good Sailing



Dateline: 02-01-2011

From Phil Onslow:

Dear All

Well I hope you all had a good Christmas and new year and the price of those over indulgences it not taking too greater toll. So it’s a new year to look forward to and the days are getting longer and I can’t wait for the season ahead. Those who fancy a trip to the London Boat Show, don’t forget that there are details on the news page of the internet site giving you the opportunity to purchase discounted tickets. Do look in at the cruising chute demonstration and you may see a few familiar faces……

It’s always a challenge for us to match the number and type of course or cruise to demand and the best way you can help is to plan ahead and book early and let us know if you want to do something which we’re currently not advertising. A summary of some of our courses is shown below.

As always I have highlighted below some of the key elements of our 2011 programme but more comprehensive information is available on our internet site. Oh…….and have I mentioned that we desperately need your help for our working parties!

Internet         Email        Telephone 0208 643 4292

Winter Working Parties

With the recent snow your help is required more than ever to help us complete the winter refit on our boats. Dates are:-

8th January
15th January
23rd January
29th January
6th February
19th February
20th February
26th February
27th February

Those who volunteer are automatically entered into our draw for places on the Round the Island Race. It’s a wonderful event with up to 1800 boats and is a great day out.

Please give the clubline a ring or email us if you are able to assist on any of the above dates.

Shorebased - Courses Day Skipper

This is a great way to improve your knowledge if you’ve little or no sailing experience, and if you’ve done a Competent Crew course then it’s a natural progression. The course runs for 5 days and is held in our classroom at Hamble. The cost of the course including all charts, practice tables and a CD Rom chart plotter to practice on is only £270. That includes your accommodation and a free days sailing at the end.

Dates 9th to 13th April and 21st to 25th May.

Shorebased Courses - Coastal Skipper/Yachtmaster

This is the next stage on for those who have completed their Day Skipper and we encourage you to complete it whilst the information from your previous course is still fresh in your minds. We are holding the course over 4 weekends at NSY and the cost is £200.

Dates 5th, 6th, 12th, 13th Feb, 12th, 13th, 19th, 20th March.

Shorebased Courses – SRC Radio

We’ve two dates for radio courses which are being held at NSY. The dates are 5th February and 6th February and the cost is £55.

Shorebased Courses - Sea Survival

This is just so much fun although there is of course a serious side to it. It teaches you those things which you hope you’ll never need but could save your life. You get to fire off some flares and there’s some time spent in a swimming pool with lifejackets and a liferaft. What an eye opener that is.

The course will be held in West London on 3rd April. The cost is just £70.

Shorebased Courses – First Aid

Traditionally policemen have a practical and common sense approach to first aid but if something happens out on a boat, help is just that bit further away. The syllabus is tailored to the needs of the sailor, focussing on topics such as hypothermia. Courses are held at NSY and the next date is 26th February. The cost is £55.

Cruising Programme put together a busy and exciting cruising programme for 2011 which includes some old favourites as well as some new ventures. I’ve included a few of the cruises but see the cruising page of the internet site for full details.

Season Starter – 1st to 3rd April - £99

Easter Cruise – 21st to 25th April - £180

Vice Commodores Rally – 29th April to 2nd May

Flotilla – 13th to 16th May – Flotilla (see below)

These cruises are available to all members and there is no previous experience necessary.

Flotilla Cruise

The flotilla is a new idea which we hope will prove useful to those who are reluctant to charter on their own. The drill is that you get your crew together and charter one of our boats. We provide a lead boat with an additional instructor available who can lend a hand where possible and give advice. You’ll have a chat together at the start and sort out where to go and you’ll be given some help and guidance if you need it. There’ll be someone to help you off the pontoon and probably take your ropes at the other end. We hope you can open the wine and eat the nibbles yourself though although I’m sure you’ll get help with this if you want it. There’s a couple of crew places of the lead boat for those interested but the rest of you get your diaries out, sort your crew and make use of this excellent facility for a supported charter.

Practical Training Courses

As always the dates for these are shown on our web site. The Competent Crew is suitable for those with little or no sailing experience. The Day Skipper practical teaches you how to skipper a boat and as far as possible, you should have completed the shorebased course first.

There’s a date for a non-assessed coastal course in June and exam prep courses during September for those who want something to work towards during the year.

As always we mix our RYA training with some skills modules which are a bit more relaxed but focus on some key skill elements which most people feel are important. We’ve a close quarters boat handling module as well as a Day Skipper refresher if you want to brush up on some previously taught skills.

Yacht Charter

Pride is in the water all winter and is available to charter at just £100 per day or £250 per weekend. The other yachts will be available from the 2nd weekend in March. I’ve had a number of people already not able to book for their first choice dates. The earlier you book the greater chance you have of getting what you want.

Finally can I finish by thanking everyone who has worked hard to contribute to the clubs success to date and wish you all a happy and prosperous new year with fair winds.

Kind Regards


Previous entries pertaining to this page:

1st September, 2005 - 1st December, 2009


Club hotline: 020 8643 4292              Email: