Balstara - crewing opportunities

In a typical season Balstara is used to make weekend passages to a wide variety of anchorages and ports scattered around the Irish Sea, with a one month 'challenging' cruise undertaken mid summer.

Weekend Sailing

Weather permitting, Balstara leaves Douglas on the first high water after 5pm on a Friday - returning the last high water on the Sunday. The destination is determined by the weather - but by preference the skipper will choose either an anchorage or port that has not been visited previously, or else one where further exploration is required. Outward and return passages may each be 60 miles. If interested send an email to

Easter Mini Challenge

Between Thursday evening 8th April and Sunday evening 12th April Balstara will be undertaking a mini challenge - weather permitting. Starting and finishing at Douglas (Isle of Man), the challenge may an 'Arran Circuit', 'Dublin Dash' or 'Welsh Raid'. Training weekends beforehand. If interested send an email to

Biscay Challenge

Called a 'challenge' rather than a cruise because Balstara will cover 1,500+ during a month in a wide variety of sailing conditions. The skipper's strategy will be to 'push on' whenever conditions allow in order to reach the furthest point of the trip in the first third of the time available. Crew for such trips require determination, enthusiasm, and a calm temperament. Participation in a watch keeping system will be required. Individuals new to offshore sailing can gain experience by sailing onboard Balstara during the weekends leading up to the challenge.

The link Balstara provides narratives from previous challenges, whilst 2004 Biscay Challenge provides detail of this year's challenge.  If interested send an email to 

Reading about weather systems and watching the cloud sequence over the course of several days - brings the text alive !


(Paul Robinson - North Sea crossing during The Nordic Challenge 2003).