Drop-of-a-hat: find a yacht to sail on, any weekend

The Hayama Marina Sailing and Crew Finder is a WhatsApp Group where sailors match-up with available sailing yachts and with competent Skippers. It is a very active group, with a healthy roster of Skippers and a bevy of 30’ Yamaha sailboats to rent-out in Hayama and Velassis Marinas.

The group was established by Claude Strobbe and actively administered by Former Commander Mike Snyder, Svetlana, & Dave Edwards.

Here is how it works:

WhatsApp Group: simply search for and ask-to-join the social media group; an Administrator will check and admit. Remember, limited to TSPS Members. Then, once in, post your inquiry or comment and see who follows-up. Sign-in early because the earlier traffic and chatter is invisible to you until you register, and even then, only going forward: you cannot view history.

Skippers: captains interested in training & coaching recently licensed TSPS Members, provide experience in handling the sails, taking the helm, tacking, tying knots, learning-the-ropes of sailing, can be “Skippers”. Skippers must be vetted by TSPS and authorized to rent-out yachts on behalf of TSPS. Currently, there are approximately 6 Skippers. They generally accept or decline inclusion.

Skippers-in-Training: once you have passed your Class II license, you can also register as a Skipper once you have completed the required courses and qualified according to TSPS standards. Please see the Comments Section for more details. There are currently 5 Skippers-in-training.

TSPS Sailors: finding opportunities to hone sailing skills is one of the most difficult challenges for a freshly-licensed sailor: this is why this Group first began. Skippers want to become better-Skippers, wannabe-Skippers want to qualify to take boats out on their own, green Sailors want to become competent and skillful in a pastime seeped in history and tradition. It takes a long time and is only gained by doing.

Yacht Availability: generally-speaking, TSPS Skippers have good access to sailing yachts. Hayama Marina has 6 identical 30’ Yamaha sailing yachts for rent on a daily-basis (no overnight). The cost is a reasonable ¥20,000/day, so split among 4 people, this is not expensive. On the other side of the Yokohama peninsula (facing Tokyo Bay) is the Velassis Marina where, similarly, TSPS Skippers can rent proper sailing yachts but, again, only on a day-to-day basis. Some Skippers have their own boats and avail themselves to crewing-opportunities. They are also on this WhatsApp group and respond when they like… costs & fees are determined by them: TSPS does not generate revenue from this.

The WhatsApp Group is designed to attract Skippers to make themselves available because Sailors are asking (via the Group) for deck time. It is all self-managed and maintained. If you schedule a day for sailing and don’t show-up, or show-up late, or forget your money, you could find that thereafter getting a Skipper to host you difficult. Skippers are TSPS volunteers.

If you are interested in getting-out on Sagami or Tokyo Bays, sign into this enthusiastic WhatsApp group.

Timothy Langley

About Timothy Langley

I have been aware of TSPS for 15 years but only fell into it when someone invited me to a Keelhaul; I didn't know what it was. I signed-up to take the test, aced-it thanks to TSPS, and thereafter changed my weekends of working on old cars to sailing regularly. I soon stumbled on a decrepit abandoned yacht, purchased it, fixed it up, sailed the heck out of it. It is now a very proper and reliable sailing vessel. Under the tutelage of Captain Burkowsky I started my journey to somewhat-competence as a solo sailor (a long road). I am nowadays out on the Pacific almost every weekend. Completely smitten.

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