Morecambe Bay. Does boat size matter?


What is the best size of boat for crossing Morecambe Bay?

  • Heavy dinghies?  (e.g. Drascombes )
  • Small Yachts?        (e.g. Trailer-Sailers)
  • Heavy Yachts?      (e.g. Westerly Centaurs)

Morecambe Bay with its wind over tide chop can be quite challenging for the sailor when the wind blows-up.

Heavy dinghies should only contemplate going past the Fairway Buoy if sailed by experienced sailors with one or two competent crew members aboard.  Single handed die-hards will probably only do the trip once or twice.

Small yachts between 17′ to 22′ give the best flexibility. Being fully decked,  self draining and self righting, as an experienced sailor you’ll feel safe in anything up to 30 knots. You’ll also be more inclined to sail up to places like Ulverston, Morecambe and Arnside. Single-handed sailors with tiller-pilots regularly do the crossing on a Saturday and sail back on the Sunday!

Bigger Yachts 23′ + provide more comfort particularly when 3+ crew and when moored up overnight.  Also, you will be more inclined to do the Isle of Man trip and beyond. However, single handed sailors can struggle with the increased mass when anchoring in windy tidal conditions. Fouled props can render you feeling helpless, and inboard diesels generally seem to be more problem-prone than the modern outboards typically found on the transoms of smaller yachts.