Sails Pitch

Sails Pitch

‘for whatever we lose (like a you or a me)
it’s always ourselves we find in the sea.’

E. E. Cummings, 95 Poems (1958)

Waterfront Charters have seven vessels in their fleet, allowing us to put together an exceptionally wide range of cruises. With three luxurious catamarans as our main cruise vessels, we can host a wide variety of events and entertain groups of up to 140 boisterous and happy partygoers. Of course, it’s not unknown for a starry-eyed couple to board Enigma (our motor catamaran) or (the sail-driven beauty) for a private soiree; and smaller, more intimate groups find the privacy of the Atlantic a perfect venue for engagement parties, wedding feasts, birthdays and well, just about any excuse is good for an ocean reverie.

Enigma is a state of the art powered catamaran that is perfect for all chartered cruises.

Our single-hulled boats also cover virtually any necessity that might involve a trip out into Table Bay. Sleek schooner Esperance is one of the V&A Waterfront’s more iconic vessels; with her twin masts and jutting bowsprit she looks (and sails) like a classic yacht, slicing gracefully through the swells under cracking canvas. It’s an exhilarating adventure, and when you combine it with our Djembe drumming option it becomes a unique African experience; the feel of the ocean beneath you and the interactive drumming soothing and mesmerising all aboard: highly recommended!

It’s worth remembering that sailing is one of mankind’s oldest means of transport: there are pictures of masted vessels in Mesopotamia dating back eight thousand years – it’s highly likely that the bipod mast was used to hold a sail; there wasn’t a lot else it could be used for in those days when navigational lights were not a requirement.

Sails themselves were pictured on Egyptian vessels around 3100 BCE; over five thousand years ago. The Nile was the perfect place to sail a boat; with a current running south to north and the prevailing winds blowing north to south – boating perfection! Sail upstream; drift home. Of course, these vessels weren’t used for sailing pleasure (as far as we know, that is); grain and building materials were transported up and down the Nile. Austronesian people, on the other hand, were already sailing on the ocean around 3000 BCE. That took some courage, not to mention skill and inventiveness; the Austronesian boat people had already developed windward sailing capabilities, allowing a strategy of sailing to windward on a voyage of exploration, with a return downwind. Going home was important if no land was discovered on their exploratory trips. We can identify.

Back to the present, via a brief visit to the mid-1800’s, when iron-hulled vessels – initially sail-powered, but motorised in the 1850’s (a very short period of time in the overall history of seafaring) – took over the oceans and the commercial side of sailing the ocean’s trade routes. Wooden hulled boats have never fallen completely out of favour, but these days of course they are restricted more to fishing boats and recreational vessels. And talking of fishing boats, the Waterfront Charters double-decked Southern Cross is based on a trawler design; one of the most sturdy and seaworthy type of vessels afloat. Southern Cross is mainly used as our Harbour Tour boat, but she would probably be just as happy heading across the Atlantic with a bemused host of guests aboard. Come back! All is forgiven! (Don’t worry. Our skipper would never abandon us.)

Then, of course, in the 20th century came the artificial materials used for boat hulls, ranging from the unlikely sounding cement hulls to space-age fibreglass and plastics. Here, too, Waterfront Charters are well represented. Fibreglass is the go-to material of our catamarans, and our two speedy RIBs (Rigid hulled Inflatable Boats) are a buoyant combination of fibreglass hull and rubber inflatable skirt. Rubber-duck boats have been around for over half a century, renowned for their wide range and ability to withstand heavy seas; the rigid hulls on our two ducks just add to the strength and seaworthiness of the boat. Add twin 200 horsepower motors and you can go – anywhere. Absolutely ideal for Ocean Safaris and snorkelling trips, these two low-slung boats are the 4X4’s of the ocean: a must-do experience.

Spectre and Adventure One is the perfect vessels for fun.

All this and more can be seen in the website! Take a closer look at the wide variety of cruise options we have on offer and treat yourself, family and friends to a summer adventure. After everything we have been through on this planet for the past couple of years there is absolutely no doubt you deserve it.