We completed the purchase of Millie in July 2016 so we were late to start the season, and also had very little time available.
Our first shake down was a breezy weekend in July when we took Millie out to sea with my son Tim (18) and daughter Becky (26). We’re all experienced sailors – Elizabeth and I have been sailing since we were 18 (over 40 years ago!) and Becky and Tim since they could walk. I’ve sailed a lot offshore but the kids have mostly sailed dinghies, apart from a few charter holidays in the Med.
Anyway it was blowing a good Force 5 as we sailed out past Felixstowe docks and it gave us a chance to give Millie a good trial. We headed out past Landguard bouy on a close reach and the speed came up to 7.5 knots without feeling over pressed.
As we came back in towards Harwich we could see a huge black cloud heading our way. We just had time to get the sails furled (+1 for roller furling main) before the torrential rain hit accompanied by gusts of 35 knots. We had the engine running on tickover with the autopilot engaged while we all sheltered under the spray hood.
Millie was quite happy and once the weather had gone through we headed into Suffok Yacht Harbour at Levington to dry out!