The experience is unique: sailing, as it was in the 1930s. No shortcuts or concessions for the 21st century wuss. You hunker down and get on with cooking on a cranky burner, cooling your milk in the river and lighting the cabin with gas lamps. You have to know your tide tables to make the most of the moon’s helping hand, as there is no engine. All you can hear is the call of coot and teal, the creak of rigging, the wind in the reeds and the running of water along the wooden hull. The boat we hired, ‘Wood Sorrel’ was an absolute joy to sail, after my rusty skills had been suitably checked out by one of the yard’s RYA-qualified instructors some weeks previously.
The pre- and after-sales service, on the other hand, is as up-to-date as you like, with a comprehensive website to assist in choosing, booking and preparing for the holiday you want. A useful and detailed series of training videos is available to bring the Hunter’s novice up to speed on the quirks of sailing old boats.
My two kids and I had a wonderful, wonderful holiday, and we will certainly be going back.