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Hand, Reef and Steer

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Hand, Reef and Steer - Sailing Adventures on the Catalan Coast

Barcelona, Spain, January 23, 2013 --( Photographs are available from or view and download from

David Baird is a professional skipper who has been based in Barcelona for the last 4 years. He has just launched a new initiative called Hand, Reef and Steer. The aim of the business is to provide regular multi-day cruising opportunities to experienced sailors and novices alike.

It can be difficult for sailors who don't have their own boats to access weekend or longer cruising opportunities. While there are several companies offering regular day sailing events, those who wish to sail on more extended cruises are left with the option of chartering a boat by themselves. This presents significant challenges. Organizing a crew to share the adventure (and the costs) can be difficult. Even the keenest of sailors can rarely find several friends who all want to sail on the same dates. And many sailors either don't have the required qualifications to charter a boat, or would rather have an experienced skipper on board to ensure everything runs smoothly and safely.

Hand, Reef and Steer solves these problems. With two-day cruises organized every weekend, and longer cruises to the Balearics and Sardinia planned for later in the year, sailors can sign up to the trips that fit their own schedule. David organizes the charter of a suitable boat and coordinates everything needed for the adventure.

But why launch the company in the middle of winter?

"That's the canny Scot in me," says Dave. "Charter prices are rock-bottom at this time of year, but the sun is still shining!"

For the Scottish skipper, it's an irresistible combination.

Press contact
Dr David R. Baird, Owner and Skipper, Hand, Reef and Steer.
Mobile: 653331545, email

About David Baird
Dave is a professional RYA Yachtmaster, licensed as Master of Yachts for vessels up to 200 tonnes. Originally from Scotland, he left a career in software engineering and sailed his 1947 wooden yacht "Gemini of Leith" to Barcelona in 2008. He has lived aboard her in Port Olimpic ever since. With her classic lines and distinctive red headsail, Gemini is a familiar sight off the coast of Barcelona.

The company name refers to the three traditional skill-sets of a seaman. Hand - handling lines, including knotwork (knots, splices, seizings) and linehandling (heaving, belaying, mooring, making up and stowing lines, boat lowering, raising and dropping anchor). Reef - handling sails - going up the mast in all weather to reef the sails. Steer - all the skills of steering, including compasswork, boat handling, and points of sail. At the end of a voyage, the captain would write "Can hand, reef and steer" in the discharge papers of his most skilled crew members.


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