Give the kids a lure

Ever feel bad about trying to sail at two or three knots in light winds when the kids get bored and restless. Here’s the answer.

Any time from May onwards – that’s now – the mackerel start running, and a slow-moving sailing boat is the best vehicle known to man for hooking them out. No special skill needed. You’ll have change from a tenner when you treat the family to a mackerel trolling line. Invest in a ‘trolling board’ paravane for an extra fiver and you’re in the fast lane, ready to fish at a fathom or so down. If they’re there, you’ll catch them.

Kids of either sex can really get into the whole business, especially when they eat their catch for supper. They aren’t as squeamish as you may be when it comes to gutting, and because there are still enough fish in the sea for your efforts to make little difference to stocks, the job’s as green as grass. It’s a great yachting tradition. Let’s take it on to the next generation.