Sail Yacht 'Arkyla'
The boat: Arkyla is a Swedish-built 2008 Regina 43 raised deck saloon. Regina Yachts, originally based on the island of Vindö, are now part of the wider Sweden Yachts Group.
We purchased her in the back end of 2018, and spent 2019 sailing her in Solent waters whilst preparing her for more far-flung passages (currently delayed by COVID-19).
She is solent-rigged giving us a self-tacking jib on the inner stay as well as a larger genoa - which we have replaced with a double 'SIMBO' sail plan - on the forestay. We have also replaced the original fully vertical-battened furling mainsail (which jammed!) with a short vertical-battened furling sail.
Although her mark is '43', stem to stern she is actually 45'6''; with only a master and one guest cabin, a raised saloon and lower snug, she is perfect for us to handle as a cruising couple and to have space for occasional guests when we need some slave labour.
Check out the Technical section for more details on her fit and the upgrades we are making to her.
The Skipper: James first cut his sailing teeth crewing for his dad in GP14 dinghies; differences of tactical opinion whilst racing, and a real risk of making himself an orphan, led him to jump ship in his early teens and go single-handed on an OK (a light-weight trainer for the olympic Finn class). A family holiday aboard a Westerly Centaur in the Helford river was his first dose of cruising; learning lessons from that 'disaster-a-day' trip did not hinder sailing ambitions in later life.
A long break in sailing ensued when he left for university and subsequently commissioned into the RAF. Retiring from military service in 2007, he wisely used his resettlement grants to gain his RYA Yachtmaster Offshore ticket.
After some 14 years of chartering in the Med, Caribbean, and Australia it seemed like a good idea to pursue the dream of yacht ownership and the sprint toward self-inflicted bankruptcy!
The Boss: Daughter of a merchant seaman engineering officer, and having grown up on fishing expeditions along the Norwegian fjords aboard a set of family-owned motor cruisers, Jenny's first foray into 'proper' sailing was in the Australian Whitsunday Islands where she took time out travelling the world to gain her Competent Crew certification. She firmly caught the yacht bug and has since completed her Day Skipper tickets; she is looking forward to testing her husband's nerves when at Arkyla's wheel!
The Colours: We have the honour to fly the defaced blue ensign of the Royal Air Force Sailing Association (RAFSA). This is unique amongst the family of UK Blue Ensigns as it is the only flag to be light blue rather than the traditional navy. Not to be confused with the Blue Ensign of the RAF Yacht Club situated on the Hamble (dark blue and defaced with only the eagle and crown, not the roundel), the RAFSA ensign may only be flown by former or serving members of the RAF (or members of other the Services if they have served with an RAF unit).