Sea school on a 1930 Nicholson Yacht

2019-02-08T10:35:45+00:00 February 7th, 2019|Go-To News|0 Comments

Driac has been working for two full years now and people absolutely love her,” says owner-skipper Charles Lyster. “She has so far had one Yachtmaster Offshore candidate examined and passed aboard and lots of Day Skippers.”

The 40ft one off teak on oak bermudan sloop is based at Milford Haven, with access to some pretty cruising grounds, and Ireland. Charles currently has the boat out of the water for a few weeks doing some maintenance before the sea school season starts in March. “She is currently lifted out at East Llanion in Pembroke Dock,” he says. “I’ve drawn her stern tube for renewal of bearings and refurbishment and lifted out and remounted the engine among other jobs. She will be back in the water for a 5 day course, in March which is already filled.”

“I am running seven 5-day courses (competent crew/day skipper/coastal skipper), three 3-day courses (Start Yachting/competent crew) one 9-day intensive Dayskipper theory and a practical course in July – (2 days theory, 2 practical, 2 theory, 3 practical) and in June I am running a 10 day cruise down to Falmouth and back for the Falmouth Classics. We will go via the Scillies and have a few days there and probably return via St Ives and Lundy. I’m keen to promote this as a great experience for mile building, skippering days, overnight passages and general fun. Dates are all in a google Calendar on the ‘Dates’ page of her website. I generally run courses Sat-Wed or Wed-Sun as incorporating a weekend makes it easier for people with work commitments.”

Doing chartwork while afloat can make more sense than being in a classroom

The waters around Milford Haven offer great anchorages and secluded bays

Charles believes Driac is the only yacht of her type which offers RYA courses as well as skippered charter.  came to fame early on when in 1934 yachting author-designer Uffa Fox described her  5,000 mile cruise to Malta and back, an unusually ambitious voyage for a yacht of her size at that time, which won him the Royal Cruising Club Challenge Cup. On the return voyage she weathered a severe gale off Ortegal on 19th September 1931, which did much damage to the French Tunny fleet. Uffa mentions her racing years in also records Driac’s racing years in his books ‘Racing, Cruising and Design’ and ‘Thoughts on Yachts and Yachting’. She competed regularly in several cross Channel races and Uffa’s assessment was that ‘she is near to perfection, with her seaworthiness, comfort and speed.’

Pricing for a course on Driac is £100 per person per day with food included. “Courses have room for four people plus me as skipper,” he adds. “Food is cooked fresh aboard with a glass of wine with meals. Feedback for the food is excellent (even the week I had to go vegan…). I will consider requests for skippered charter at £400 per day and could cruise to Ireland or the Scillies or further afield. Next year I aim to run a fuller programme but I have a lot of other sailing and domestic commitments this year.”
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Near to perfection, with her seaworthiness, comfort and speed: Uffa Fox