Late winter or early spring is almost the start of the sailing season, or at least the time to start planning and preparation.

It is this time of year when my wife thinks I am trying to poison her, and Freddie our dog, with the smell of varnish in the kitchen. Trying to get bits of boat varnished to a satisfactory finish when the temperature outside is below five degrees is not easy. So, the bits come indoors, all hanging on beams over the AGA, to be varnished after Mrs Ward goes to bed.

This winter I have kept the boat in commission and have done more sailing in December and January than during the whole of last summer.

The global warming thing is allowing for some very acceptable day sails to the Hamble, Beaulieu and of course Newtown, and still be back in time to light the fire. These are great days out on the water, with less potential collision situations, no packed harbours and less enthusiasm from harbours to collect dues, although there is still always a boat anchored in Osborne Bay.

The Waypoint Brokerage Offices in Yarmouth and The Folly have not been off season. Sales of both sailing boats and power boats have been good, with our listings constantly turning over. With boats listed going worldwide on our online portals, we are nevertheless still pleasantly surprised when enquiries come from the Continent. My latest enquiry is from Poland, and last year we sold boats to Spain, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. To this end we are looking for new boats to market and sell.

If you have a boat that you are thinking of placing on the market, then we would be pleased to assist. We have two offices on the Isle of Wight at East Cowes and Yarmouth and advertise on all the major internet portals including Yacht World, The Yacht Market, Boats and Outboards and many other subsites. We also have display boards in East Cowes Marina, Cowes High Street, The Folly Inn, Island Harbour Marina and Yarmouth Harbour and we are the largest independent yacht broker on the Isle of Wight.

We accompany all viewings and meet prospective purchasers from the ferry terminals to make viewing boats on the Island easy. We also keep owners updated with feedback on all viewings – good or bad. We have a dedicated Client Bank Account which ensures that the vendor and the purchaser’s money is always completely protected. Many yacht brokers do not have this facility, so do check this when you are thinking about upgrading your boat.

So, what does a busy yacht broker do when the evenings are dark, and the winds blow hardest at the weekends?

Well I must confess that I have discovered YouTube and the sailing channels on there. These are amazing and I admit I am hooked on the tales and travels of the, mainly couples, who buy their boats and take off around the world. It seems these days that many people both young and retired are doing it. These 20 minute or so films, uploaded sometimes every week are reality programmes showing the adventures of these cruisers.

The quality of the footage is remarkable with the latest drones and GoPros being used to capture the everyday lives of liveaboards. The editing alone must take hours, but the results are well worth watching. It is interesting to follow the trials and tribulations that befall these adventurers on their voyages.

As a boating person it is fascinating to learn the techniques they use to overcome the problems they face every day as well as the equipment used.  With all the dramas of gear failures, it certainly makes it feel better when my engine gives a cough and a splutter in the entrance of the Hamble, knowing that someone else has survived the same fate but with rocks on all sides, somewhere remote in the world, and having been at sea alone for weeks! Judging by the amount of advertisements on some of the channels I’ve been watching, there could be an income to be made?

Nick Ward is a yacht broker with Waypoint Yacht Brokers who have offices in Yarmouth and The Folly (Whippingham) and deal in all types of craft.