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Coronavirus 15 April 2020 Update no 3 - Skeleton Staff

I see no boats

Skeleton Crew – but very much alive

We have been struggling to find a term to explain that it is not business as usual at Classic Sailing.

We are still here, keeping things ticking on, and making plans for a brave new world after Coronavirus. Our official line is that Classic Sailing is temporarily ‘Out of Service’ but to sailors perhaps the concept of a ‘skeleton crew’ might explain things better.

A ‘skeleton crew’ is the minimum number of personnel needed to operate and maintain a ship, or any operation.

Adam and Debbie Purser in photo and Anna Gibson are our current team
Adam and Debbie Purser in photo and Anna Gibson are our current team

Why Have we Reduced Staff?

This is just a temporary measure put upon us by the coronavirus force majeure situation.

Our core business is to market and promote sailing holidays. With the global coronavirus situation still escalating there is very little that Classic Sailing can realistically promote and earn income from, so we have had to lay off (furlough staff) to protect Classic Sailing Ltd for the future.

In order to be able to work with minimal staff we have stopped doing some of our normal business functions, in order to cut overheads and survive the lack of forward booking income.

There is just one part time member of the team answering emails and essential accounting right now at Classic Sailing HQ.

All customers with bookings during 2020 have been asked to contact their vessel operator direct for clearer communication lines about their voyages.

We think we have reached everybody now (except Europa customers which is a bit more complex)  If you have a booking for a voyage that has been postponed and you have not received a personal email from Classic Sailing with contact details for your vessel operator please let us know.

Likewise if you are still waiting to hear if your summer or autumn voyage will take place, you should have received a contact phone number & email from us between 6-8th April so you can ask the vessel operator directly for an update.

Please be patient with the vessel operator as the decisions they have to make in response to Government guidelines are not easy. Some will have furloughed staff too, and responses may be slower than normal.

Hopefully Classic Sailing are only looking at March to end of May without our normal 5 days a week telephone response to queries.

The best way to communicate with Classic Sailing for the moment is by email. The full team are having weekly catch ups for the more complicated business queries and future planning.

Why Aren’t we Promoting 2021 Like Crazy?

Don’t worry – we will be trying to tempt you soon, but it doesn’t yet feel right to be going full promotional tilt for 2021, until we know what sort of travel world we will inherit in a few months time.

It may be that there will be scope for more sailing in the late summer or autumn, or in countries that come out of lockdown earlier.As soon as Classic Sailing is confident voyages can run, we will be letting you know.

We are taking a break from sales type social media posts as it seems a bit inappropriate right now when so many of us are worried about jobs, health and vulnerably members of our families.

What Are Classic Sailing co- founders doing?

We are naturally worried about all the small businesses that create the sailing adventures we promote. Sailors are a resourceful and hard working bunch, but this pandemic has set us all back financially and it is going to take a lot of work to recover and flourish once more.

So what can we practically do to be part of the solution?

Apart from catching up on 2 decades of neglected cottage renovation, the two co founders of Classic Sailing Adam and Debbie are working hard on a major revamp for Classic Sailing and its future role in the traditional sailing industry.

Some of these changes have been coming for a while, but the Coronavirus crisis and its impact on world travel has accelerated the need for change.

will there be another pacific programme for Europa

What is Over the Horizon.

Climate Change & Travel -  If you were involved in our climate change survey you will know Classic Sailing are not anti travel, but flights to joining ports and islands is a problem. We do want to find greener ways to sail in far flung corners of the world, as well as celebrate and explore closer to home. Debbie has some micro sailing expeditions planned and Adam is developing ways to help you travel parts of the world by sail.

Classic Sailing as the best website for sailing holiday choices – Now will be the time for us to launch the much postponed new website with easier ways to find the voyages and adventure activities you want on laptops and mobile phones.

Planning your own small boat adventures - There are other projects we are working on which we hope will give customers a pathway to their owning their boat and feeling confident they have the skills to handle it. This period of isolation without spending, has led many of us to make the most of what we have and appreciate nature on our doorstep.  Sadly that has not included sailing or rowing due to restrictions, but once we are all free again, we suspect there could be quite a bit of DIY adventure and those yearning for their own dinghy or keel boat. We hope to encourage the smaller scale of adventure as well as the big trips.

If you have any bright ideas what you would like to see us get involved in for the future, please drop us an email. Its great to get a bit of light reading!

Stay Safe is over rated. We say Stay healthy, keep creative, be curious and mostly kind on yourselves and your loved ones.

Debbie, Adam and Anna


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