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BETTY smacks cruising the Estuary janholthusen


cruising is[Wikipedia]

touring under sail - getting to know distant harbours, coasts, people

and cultures without the power and noise of the engine.

traveling with your cabin - enabling you to take your personal belongings,

such as books and music with you.

like journeying with a mobile home (caravanning)

or camping on the water.

sailing my own ship BETTY CK145, an Essex oyster smack rebuilt into a cruiser, living

on it while cruising and taking care of it the rest of the time.

good seamanship in order to be in full control of the boat in any situation, location, in

port, at anchor, on the high seas or in protected waters.

the sport to get under sail from one beautiful place to the next in (almost) any wind

or weather.

the adventure to be free of any appointments or obligations and not to be exactly

certain, where one will spend the next night.

our creativity in the writing of travel accounts and the creation of drawings

or photographs.

  drifting under sail

Over the last decades mobility has become an indispensable asset of our society. Mobility stands for freedom, prosperity, consumerism and free choice of the workplace. But virtually every type of transportation tends to be very wasteful and thus expensive. Not only are scarce resources, raw materials and energy almost always used very ineffectively, also the environment is highly polluted. This is no general plea against mobility, but cruising under sails is one of the few means of transportation - besides taking the bicycle and walking - where long distances are bridged completely in harmony with nature and without doing serious damage to the environment.

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  cruise in the Baltics

Cabin, bower, hut, travelers wagon.... all these types of private space are small, simple, sometimes primitive and comfortable. However they offer a certain protection from the weather and are often found in the countryside or near the edge of settlements. They are almost always used in the spare time and are beloved places for relaxation, for the gardener, tinker or craftsmen. Their resemblance to the cabin of a cruiser is large, although space is even more confined here.

  Pacific cruising

When camping the summer house is on the move - somewhat like the snail-shell. Today's travel to holiday resorts is usually done in the mobile home, sometimes still with the tent, and a place to stay is found on camping grounds - those intended or wild - for a certain length of time. There is a great resemblance to an anchorage, the small boat harbour or the modern marina. We find sanitary rooms, access roads, sometimes a kiosk or a restaurant, an operator and all this costs money. This is usually raised as a fee for the overnight stay or berthing charge and costs can be between the reasonable and the prohibitive.


cruising the East Coast

The cruising ship is neither impractical, nor slow or leewardly, but well built, with staying power and seaworthy. BETTY CK145 like almost every cruiser stemming from the working boat, also meets these basic conditions for a safe ship. A good cruiser is efficient, individual, between 28 feet (7 m) and 40 feet (12 m) long, with not too much draft (in order to also be able to sail in more shallow coastal waters) and can be sailed by one or two people as a crew. The shape of the rig (cutter, sloop, ketch, yawl or schooner) and that of the hull is not that important, as long as everything is solidly built and rather over than under proportioned and the freeboard has enough height. Among cruisers one finds a certain preference for the long keel, since it is more easily steered in all situations.


> Conditions for the development of the working boat to the sailing yacht

  mooring in Scottish waters

Good seamanship consists of comprehensive knowledge of all areas necessary for the safe handling of the ship. These are navigation, meteorology, the law of the sea, boat craftsmanship, catering and provisioning. Important is the full understanding of the technologies of rig, hull and sails; repairs of wood and steel and the knowledge about the possibilities and limitations of the ship.

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  on the River Deben

"Sport is killing" says a vernacular. However, this is not true for sailing and certainly not for cruising. Here one is in the fresh air a lot, is constantly in motion (simply by the movements of the ship), works on the winches or even better on halyards and sheets only supported by empowering tackles and in the best case walks the coasts and places one visits. The deep human joy in speed is the motive for the constant optimization of the sailing power, also when simply cruising and without the compulsion of a regatta.

  the Orion of R.T. McMullen in 1868

Modern professional life and leisure time is thoroughly organized and to a high degree predetermined. Today more and more peoples answer is the search for new challenges, for change and for risk. One can ascertain an ever larger demand for all types of adventure. This appetite for adventure is certainly also a strong motivation for the cruiser to venture to the more or less unknown regions of the self or the environment.

  a windless start in Tollesbury Fleet

When seriously engaged with the traditions of cruising it appears striking how many successful travel logs, pilot books and general cruising textbooks accompanied by self-made illustrations and photographs are written by cruisers. As early as in the second half of the 19th century the pioneers of cruising started to publish interesting and exciting accounts of their adventures based on the their logbooks and self-made drawings. Thus originated a fantastic library of cruising. The newest development uses today's video technologies to produce an increasing amount of videos around cruising.

This page is dedicated to the many cruisers who have inspired me and who have given me confidence to be building this chapter on cruising. Trusting their advice i am going on cruises aboard my little ship again and again. Thanks goes to everyone who sent me pictures and information.  Without your help this site would not have been possible!  Please keep sending your material, and i will keep improving the pages!


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