… for the Max from your sailing!


We are very proud to announce that Baldour (Maxi 1200) won the Bank of England regatta in May. The Bank of England Sailing Club Crew won the Commodore’s Cup for the first boat home in the Pursuit Race, and also the Bank of England Bowl for winning the IRC Race series. 

The two races on Saturday were in 20 knots of wind when Baldur achieved 12-13 knots with the kite up and 7-8 knots to windward. They also won the only IRC race on Sunday in very light airs only made possible in spring tides by the skilful timing and course selection by the Royal Ocean Racing Club races officers who organised the races.

If you’d like to help build Baldur’s race credentials, do get in touch – she’s already proved she’s got what it takes to win!



Regatta Yachts

Cherbourg rally report

The bank holiday weekend of May 27th saw the inaugural Maxi cross channel rally to Cherbourg. Unfortunately, bad weather, home issues and thunderstorms Friday night reduced the fleet from 7 confirmed to 3 arriving on in Cherbourg on Saturday afternoon.


Lookin Foor Kloos, Suive, Neroli and True Blue were starting from the western Solent planning to leave early to get the tide through Hurst with Sunfish and Moonshine Blues leaving from Chichester. Unfortunately, we had not counted on a thunderstorm with great pyrotechnics at 3am.  Poor visibility and the storm deterred True Blue (it would have been their first channel crossing) and Neroli, without AIS was put off by the visibility while in Chichester, Moonshine Blues encountered strong southerly winds at the bar and engine problems and called it a day.


Suive & Lookin Foor Kloos cleared the needles just after 4:30am and the weather settled for a good sail across the channel, initially motor sailing and then a good beat across with in force 3-5 south westerly.


Richard Sams takes over the story:


It started at 0335hrs with thunder, lightning & heavy rain on a buoy off Yarmouth. Having cleared a twisted reserve mooring line, we began our trip. An impromptu risk analysis reckoned that we could be hit by lightning as easily on a buoy as on passage! So we set off, reassuringly we saw Julian’s nav lights coming out of Lymington. The voyage to Cherbourg was hard work as it was both windy and rough but the boat went well, rarely below 7kts through the water and starboard tack virtually all the way. We were the first Rally boat into Cherbourg & there was plenty of room on the Rally pontoon, close to the facilities.


Three yachts made it to Cherbourg – ourselves, Sunfish (Jeremy & Gill) & Julian and Flint on Lookin Foor Kloos. So the pontoon party on the Sunday was a select gathering followed by lunch in the Marina restaurant. Including my daughter & her partner eight of us enjoyed a pleasant lunch. By now the weather had improved significantly and life was returning to normal.


At the pontoon party, it was interesting to discuss the various tactics employed in the crossing. With a strong tide carrying us eastwards and a south-westerly wind, all 3 boats had let the forces play their part and sail as much south as possible.  When 25 miles “off course” and getting no closer to Cherbourg as the phot of the plot shows, both Suive and Lookin Foor Kloos tries a tack to the west but making little over the ground against the tide, reverted to plan A and headed south until the tide changed.  A good shift in the wind to westwards then carried us very fast in the right direction all on starboard tack.


After the rally, the three boats had different plans. Suive was setting off for St. Vast on the Monday, the Thallon’s on Sunfish were leaving the boat in Cherbourg, coming back to cruise the Channel Islands the following week while Lookin Foor Kloos headed straight back on the Monday.  It appears as though Lookin Foor Kloos drew the short straw.  We left Cherbourg around 7:30am and one hour later hit fog which stayed with us all the wat across the channel with visibility down to 200 meters at times.  The forecast SW3 did not appear so we motored the whole way across with AIS transceiver and radar keeping us safe from the big stuff and a tiring 9-hour horizon scanning watch looking out for yachts and fishing vessels before the fog cleared off the Needles.


Richard recounts Suive’s tour below:


We had a crew change as my daughter & her partner had to return home by ferry because of work. We were joined by an old French friend of ours & when Julian left for the UK we set sail for St Vaast. A very pleasant sail followed and we arrived early afternoon in St Vaast.  


A bit of sightseeing followed before we returned to Cherbourg on the Tues. The weather forecast indicated a good weather window for an easier return trip on the Thursday so we decided to have a rest day on the Wed to prepare for an early start on the Thurs to catch the Needles tidal gate. We originally had planned to leave Cherbourg at 0500hrs French time (0400hrs BST) but fate intervened when Lorraine woke me up at about 0130hrs (BST or French time – not sure!!) to say that somebody was walking about on our boat!! I dashed out of my warm bed to repel intruders to find a French yacht rafting alongside. I’m not sure who was most surprised, me half dressed or a very tired French man. It quickly became evident that, to avoid complications the best option was for us to depart asap, which we duly did.


Thank God for GPS, leaving Cherbourg in the dark with lots of multi-coloured lights around was ok but needed a bit of care. Not a whisper of wind so hoisted the main and motor sailed until north (and clear) of the shipping lanes when the wind had freshened enough for “George” to take us to the Needles clear way buoy. George is our auto pilot, invaluable when on long passages. The trip back was calm and pleasant with no sea mist and a clear sunrise.


All sorts of strange winds in the Solent, but warm sun & safely home. “Suive” did us proud.


If you are interested I can show you our actual track for the outbound & return legs of the journey. The tide effect is very evident.


We plan to be at the Lymington Rally; we will head west after the Rally for our annual western approaches voyage.

Please see below the programme for 2017.  Please contact Peter and Sarah Sands if interested in attending the 1st Rally on April 8th.

Maxi Owners Association 2017 Solent Rally programme

Date Marina Host yacht & Rally Organiser Contact details Notes
1st Rally


Wheels option.


Sat April 8th


Universal – River Hamble – Confirmed.


Sat night dinner in “Bistro 8”

Peter & Sarah Sands s.sands@ntlworld.com


Please confirm attendance ASAP.



(nb Easter w/e is 15/16th April)


2nd Rally


NB This is the

27th – 29th May Bank Hol w/end.


Cherbourg – provisional


Port Chanteryne.

00 33 2 33 87 6570


Contact – Magali Hamon


Andy & Sarah Horwood saraandyh@yahoo.co.uk Provisionally contacted. Discount of 20% if 5 boats or more.

Wine event available.


VHF Channel 9

3rd Rally


Sat 24th June


Lymington – Confirmed.


(Dan Bran pontoon?)


Dinner – Royal Lymington Yacht Club. (TBC)


Julian & Carolyn Trimming jtrimming@hotmail.com
4th Rally


26th/27th Aug (Bank Hol w/end)


Chichester – provisional Robert & Sally Ledger robert.ledger@linefive.co.uk Rafting on buoys
5th Rally


9th/10th Sept


Island Harbour – tbc

01983 539994



Sat night – BBQ.

Peter & Joan Lloyd (Walk of Life) p.lloyd2011@btinternet.com Provisionally reserved.


H Tide Sat 1341hrs

H Tide Sun 1418hrs

6th Rally

14th/15th Oct


Cowes – Shepherds Wharf Peter & Sue Stonestreet peter@stonestreet.me.uk


Note – Discussions taking place re SW Rally in mid to late June to link up with some Maxi yachts based in the Salcombe/Dartmouth area. (Martin Beck – Maxi 1300)

05/03/2017  RMS

Many thanks to those who sent in photographs or voted in the 2016 photo competition.

The winners were announced at a well attended AGM meeting on February 19th.  First prize of £20 went to Steve and Sue Harridge with their picture of Aloni on the 2016 Round the Island Race 2016.

Second price of £10 went to Rod and Carle Minkey for their picture of Neroli on the way to the Poole Rally.

We plan to run the competition again this year – entries to show Maxi’s at play so get the cameras clicking!


Peter Stonestreet suggested that I write up my experience of removing the keel from my 1997 Maxi 34 a year or two ago as, after the tragedy of Cheeky Raffiki, this is a topical subject.   The story starts with us purchasing Ariam from Roger Moon at SD Marine in 2012.   She had been chartered for most of her life and we paid an appropriate price, although being a Maxi she was fundamentally sound.   After a season I noticed that the bilges were never completely dry and began looking for what must be a small, but persistent leak.   On a reach to starboard, the discovery of a thin, pulsing trickle of seawater appearing from a crack in a section of fibreglass fillet at the aft end of the keel, indicated the potential source.

Deep gloom descended as my first reaction was that Ariam must have been grounded hard at some stage in her life, but Neil Desty (of Destys at Hamble Point) kindly came up to Kemps Quay to inspect the hull internally. His view was that this had not the case and the structure was in perfect condition.    He was reluctant to remove the keel as “you really, really don’t want to take the keel off a Maxi” but we agreed that the only way to pin down the leak was to drop the keel.   Thus Ariam was de-rigged and lifted out at Hamble Point.   With all 8 keel bolt nuts undone, you might have expected the keel to come away with little resistance, but not so.   After hours in the slings and much heaving and hammering from above, Desty’s troops suggested it would be better for the owner not to watch the next stage of the process.  This involved cutting scallops of material out of the fibreglass, front and rear and either side of the keel, and inserting crowbars to lever the keel out of its socket.   With an almighty ‘bang’ the keel eventually disconnected and sat upright in the dunnage prepared for it.

A thin, black line along the sealant indicated where water was entering through a crack at the forward end of the keel, seeping along its length and emerging through a keel bolt hole at the rear, then out through the fillet. I took the opportunity to have some corrosion pits in the keel filled, after slurry blasting the cast iron.   Destys then re-coppercoated it, cleaned out the keel slot and refitted the keel with new sealant.   Ariam has been bone dry ever since.

The point I took home from this was that the keel attachments in the Maxi 1000/ Maxi 34 hull are immensely well engineered. First of all the keel fits into a 2″ deep slot in the hull, ensuring there is plenty of solid fibreglass structure around it.  Secondly the bending moment the keel imposes on the hull, as the boat heels, is reacted over a wide area due to the flat, flared-out top section of the keel.  This makes the keel more expensive to cast, but has the added benefit of allowing the 8 keel bolts to be staggered athwartships, further spreading the load.   I am very happy to see how well the boat is constructed and have no worries about the keel detaching at sea.