Season 2018/2019

We hope you have fair weather and great sailing during the Summer
Our outline program for 2018/19 is shown below

8th October 2018

Cruising the Sea of Abaco

A Yacht Cruising the Sea of Abaco

Ian Simpson

To the east and south of Great Abaco Island in the Bahamas lies the Sea of Abaco. The sea is sheltered by a range of reefs and islands on its eastern side separating it from the Atlantic Ocean swell. The sea provides ideal family friendly cruising grounds for sailors and power boaters alike.

Ian Simpson will talk about his practical experiences chartering and cruising in the area as well as looking more widely at the history of the Bahamas and the attractions it offers as an area to sail.

12th November 2018

Bicycles, Tulips and Cheese

A Canal Scene in the Netherlands

John and Margaret Haines

A pictorial exploration of Dutch waterways by sailing boat

There’s far more than tulips, clogs and cheese!

John Haines is the current Commodore of the Reading Offshore Sailing Club. John and his wife Margaret have crossed to the Netherlands on three occasions to explore the waterways and canals of that country.

Tonight they will share their experiences with us.

10th December 2018

Atlantic Crossing

Blue Hound at sea

Phil and Rosy's very interesting website
with much more information and photographs
may be found here:- Blue Hound

Phil Marks

In January 2017 Phil Marks and his wife Rosy made a two-handed Atlantic crossing to the Caribbean in ‘Blue Hound’, a 27 ton schooner.

What led up to it? They didn’t join the ARC were not NARCs – it was a totally independent effort.

How did they prepare? How did they deal with a fishing net round the rudder? How did they arrange their watches? What were the highs and lows? What would they do differently next time?

As well as being extremely interesting there are sure to be some nuggets of information in this talk for anyone who is contemplating an Atlantic crossing.

14th January 2019

Breton Traditional Boat Festivals

a crowded breton harbour

Image with permission of Kathy Mansfield

Kathy's website with much more information
and photographs may be found here:-
Kathy Mansfield Photography

Kathy Mansfield

The French Classic boat festivals held each summer are an experience that can widen our sailing horizons — they connect our own cruising with other countries, people, maritime history and culture.

Kathy who is a professional photographer spcialising in Classic Sailing vessels will return to Henley Offshore to talk about the festivals and show some of her photographs of the events.

We also hope to have in attendance two organisers from the French Festival of the Loire, who next September will be inviting boats of the Thames as their guests of honour.

11th February 2019

Sail Trim and Passage Making

image of tom sowerby

Bisham Abbey Sailing School Website

Tom Sowerby

Tom grew up around boats and started sailing when he was eight. He joined Bisham Abbey Sailing and Navigation School in 2002 and has won the RYA Inland Waterways Instructor of the Year for his coaching.

Bisham Abbey Sailing and Navigation School is based within Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre, located on the banks of the River Thames just outside Marlow in Buckinghamshire. Tom is the School Principal.

Part 1 - Sail Trim

A brief look at how a sail actually works and why correct sail trim is important. We’ll discuss the basic aerodynamic theory and how you can ‘see’ the air flow over your sail thus making sure you’re getting the most from your boat.

Part 2 - Passage Planning

Why? When? How? A discussion on the importance of doing a thorough passage plan, how to get started and make sure your planning is efficient and accurate. We’ll also look at the steps to go through from your first thoughts on planning a trip to successful execution of that plan.

11th March 2019

From Kiwis to Orangutans

Bob and Elaine Hazell

image of yacht pipistrelle

In 2013 Elaine and Bob set sail from New Zealand towards Indonesia, as part of their circumnavigation which they completed in 2016. As you can see, sailing in the southern hemisphere is not just calm seas and sunshine! On their passage north they visited Vanuatu with its famous volcano and land diving; the deserted Huon Reef with its amazing bird life; the Louisiades and then the Great Barrier Reef; Indonesia which provides so much diversity, from fabulous diving and other wild life, through to the UNESCO sites of Borobudur and Prambanan. The presentation concludes with their visit to Borneo, where they were literally a few feet from the orangutans.

The passages provided their own challenges, including failure of the autopilot whilst crossing to Australia and repair within the Barrier Reef, and sailing between reefs with inaccurate charts involving the use of Open CPN to help them navigate safely.

The chronicle of their adventures can be found here.

Elaine and Bob speak in support of the Ellen Macarthur Cancer Trust. Through sailing the trust helps young cancer patients to recover their confidence once their treatment has ended. You can find out more about the trust here.

8th April 2019

Sailing Accidents and lessons Learned

Roger Brydges - MAIB

Moody 31 Orca as it is being raised following the collision with the dredger Shoreway

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) is based in Southampton and is part of the Department of Transport. Each year they receive over 1000 reports of accidents at sea or involving sea going vessels in port. The department has four separate investigation teams utilising its 35 staff, typically they investigate 30 new incidents each year.

This video explains their work in more detail click here to watch

The objective of the MAIB as is made clear in all of their reports is to establish safety lessons to be learned from incidents which have occurred. It is not to establish blame or liability.

In his talk Roger Brydges of the MAIB will highlight lessons to be learnt by leisure sailors from previous incidents the MAIB have investigated.

Meetings are normally held on the second Monday of each month at Henley Golf Club RG9 4HG (Click for directions) with the bar opening at 19:30 ready for a for 20:00 start. Visitors and New Members are always very welcome so please encourage your friends to come along - they can either pay £5 for the one meeting (deducted from the joining fee if they subsequently join), or join up for the whole season for just £25 (£35 for families).

To see our events in season 2015/16 Click Here

For 2016/17 Click Here

For 2017/18 Click Here

Please do try and support the events as we are a relatively small group and need your attendance in order to attract good speakers. Please spread the word to your friends, who as you know, are always welcome to attend for a very modest entry fee.

For more information about the Henley Offshore Group, please send an email to Info(at) correcting the strange "(at)" format which is intended to avoid spam.

If you discover a problem with the website or any email distribution list, please contact the webmaster at webmaster(at)