If you would like to join the Sealine Owners Club just drop an email to Clive and he will welcome you to our growing band.
Below is an article by club member John Curzon on his experience of being a member and his advice how to get the most out of being a member
If you are lucky enough to be the proud owner of a boat, be it brand new or a decade old, there will come the time when you have to actually go somewhere (unless of course you bought a house boat)!
If you are reading this, chances are you have joined the ever growing family of Sealine owners - a well recognised brand suited to those that prefer boating over posing....
Enter the Sealine Owners Club - captained by Clive Nightingale and crewed by the glamorous Vicky, after whom the Nightingale's T60 "Victoria" is aptly named.
Having been in existence for several years now, the Sealine Owners Club orchestrates numerous gatherings every year, some land-based, but more importantly several adventure-sharing cruises to destinations both near and far.
As a relative newbie to the world of boating, I scoured serious websites at the beginning of this year to see what was on offer from various flotilla organisations.
With an 8 year old Sealine S48 "Ivy Sea", it was almost a no-brainer to sign up with Clive for the first cruise of 2012, destination Cherbourg. The Sealine Owners Club offered an interesting agenda, and pricing was more than competitive with other cruises.
Once signed up, copious cruise notes arrived almost immediately, complete with waypoints, radio instructions, an insight into what lay ahead, how to cross shipping lanes.... Nothing was left to chance.
With my boat fully fuelled and crew installed, we set off from Port Solent to rendezvous with the rest of the fleet at the entrance to Southampton water.
Radio contact made, position in the fleet agreed and we were off! Out past Yarmouth, passing the Needles and almost immediately we were heading 180 degrees, with Blighty fading into the distance behind us.
Weather was exactly as (Clive) forecast, and the crossing, although some 3 hours from the Isle of Wight, was over in next to no time.
Arriving in Cherbourg itself was a breeze. Clive and other helpers were on hand to marshall us into our 'VIP' moorings (Clive is certainly connected), shore power on and wine opened - a theme that seemed to repeat itself on several other adventures since!
couple of days in Cherbourg, and it was time to dash back to the UK to beat impending storms ,again correctly forecast by Clive - I told you he was connected....!
En route we were faced with a 'Vicky' quiz, with questions set to challenge all skill levels! So once back at Port Solent, I reflected on what I had experienced and I would like to pass my findings on to you, dear reader, in case you are considering sharing a future adventure.
1. Just do it - The cruises are carefully designed to appeal to first-timers and yacht masters alike. Nothing beats the sense of achievement when you complete your first (or second or third) Channel crossing.
2. Big trip or small, do them all - I did! Once bitten, I was hooked, and still am. For 2013 Clive and the team have put together a variety of cruises, some local, some further afield, including a very exciting chug up the Seine to Paris!
3. Get involved as much as you want to - the more you put in, the more you get out. Clive and the team will welcome your input, answer your questions, assist with equipment issues, even provide recommendations for restaurants!
4. Make new friends without even trying - these adventures provide a fantastic opportunity to meet like-minded people from all walks of life. Once met, you just keep bumping into each other!
5. Bring a spare liver - it would be fair to say that Sealine owners certainly know how to party (and they party hard)! Seriously, spending time on other boats or welcoming visitors onto your pride and joy becomes second nature, so make sure the fridges are suitably stocked for impromptu boarding parties.
6. Relax, enjoy, you worked hard for this - Nothing in any of Clive's agendas is cast in stone. Clive and Vicky take soundings from all participants to make sure the adventure caters to most, if not all tastes.
7. Bring your camera, take as many pictures as you can - once back home, you can share your memories with the rest of the adventurers, and they will share with you. Just remember, it's not easy to take a picture of your own boat at 22 knots.... So fair exchange is certainly no robbery.
8. Once your trip is over, you may have 'I need a new boat' syndrome (it happened to me first time out)! Nothing wrong with that, we all suffer from boat envy on occasions. Take your time, discuss with some of your new found friends, discuss with Clive - remember, he really IS connected....
9. Repeat, repeat, repeat - even if your first objective was to make your first Channel crossing and you successfully ticked that box, think again - There are so many ways of increasing your experience. Perhaps by visiting new harbours and marinas, perhaps by making a crossing solo - I traversed both the Channel and the North Sea single-handed with the Owners Club earlier this year, thanks in no small part to the confidence gained in previous adventures.
10. Keep in touch - with so many new friends and acquaintances, you may have made connections for life, or at least found new crew members for future adventures! Make plans to meet up in addition to Sealine Owners Club events - you will very quickly have the confidence to plan adventures of your own. Indeed, why not invite Clive and Vicky (and me)?
So, there you have it. What starts off as a determination to cross the channel or increase your boating capabilities turns into something much bigger, and certainly much better than you might ever have imagined.
Don't wait too long to decide what you want to do - others are reading this and already reaching for their pens and cheque books! Hopefully we may get to meet on one of the adventures - I'm already booked in for them all!