Preparing the perfect holiday fleet

Monday, July 30, 2012

Hyde Sails’ Wooderz shares the story of his travels to Greece, all part of Hyde’s customer support service...

Sun, blue skies, warm water and winds, Ouzo and relaxing days are most people’s thoughts of Mediterranean yacht sailing, especially for those charting a yacht. But behind the scenes, preparation of the often large overseas charter fleet takes a considerable time with holiday companies often employing a team throughout the winter to ensure that the yachts are ready for the forthcoming season.

Hyde Sails has been supplying sails to the holiday /charter market for many years and has developed the sails supplied over this time to aid the companies in their fleet preparation. This development has primarily been through two avenues; feedback from staff and visits to the centres during the commissioning period.

For the last five years this has also involved Wooderz taking a ‘pre-season’ trip to Greece, to visit the Neilson Active Holidays yacht centre on Levkas in the Southern Ionian to check on the sails, assist with the commissioning where required, offer top-tips and to get an overview of how the sails are surviving - lucky Wooderz you might think, but he works hard for his injection of sunshine.

Wooderz explains: “One immediate change we made to the sail specification as a result of being more closely involved was a decision to make all future mainsails loose-footed, which brought down the fitting time down considerably. With it sometimes taking a team of three over an hour to fit a main, stack away cover and headsail, by halving this time it actually saved an hour and a half of labour time, which when multiplied by the 200 yachts in the fleet equates to a considerable saving,” and of course that saving means cheaper holiday prices for the customer.

With a high number of Neilson staff returning to work this season, the on-site visit has become less important, and Wooderz has been busy visiting other companies supplied by Hyde’s. This included, amongst others, Seafarer Holidays, which has a dinghy and yacht holiday operation in a neighbouring bay and the Vliho Yacht Club, which offers a yacht maintenance service in the area. With an increasing amount of ex-pat boats powered by Hyde’s in the area, a number of retail customers were also seen.

But Wooderz rejects the suggestion this is a holiday in disguise... “As for the sun, blue skies, warm water and winds, Ouzo and relaxing days? During the five-day visit sun and blue skies were seen once, two days were overcast and two days of pouring rain with the temperature such that even on the sunny day, fleeces were required. As for the Ouzo, no comment!”

For further information on Hyde’s holiday or charter company packages see Hyde Sails, contact Wooderz on 07764 933 894 or email

Hyde Sails Ltd, Harbour Building Office A, Hamble Point Marina, Hamble, Southampton SO31 4NB

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