Interviews » Sailing down the Tejo with the BYX Boys – Atlas Lisboa

June 3, 2015 by Ellis Dixon

Sailing down the Tejo with the BYX Boys – Atlas Lisboa

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Sunset on the Tejo

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All photos courtesy of BYX

“Let’s go sailing” might be the best pick-up line anyone has ever said. The problem is: where do you get the boat?Atlas to the rescue with a little help from BYX (Best Yacht Experience) which comes equipped with a sailboat that comfortably seats six, a bottle of spirits, the sights from the Tejo, and a crew that you will want to invite to your next party.We took a summer sunset tour aboard BoomJack, the Archambault Surprise with owners Manuel and Vasco and a bottle of Cutty Sark. About halfway through the bottle, er…tour, we started asking questions about BYX, what they offer, and the guys behind it.

When did you guys start the company and how did you get started?

We started BYX on January 17, 2013 after knowing each other for a year. We were working at Clube Naval de Lisboa (CNL) where one of us was in charge of sailing (Vasco), and the other was in charge of rowing (Manuel). We figured that working out of a club makes for a very unstable life as boards of directors constantly change. So, we decided to combine our skills to do something we liked in order to gain more stability in our lives and have some fun doing it. Anyway, it’s always nice to be your own boss.

What’s your division of labor?

We are a team. We decide everything together after a lot of discussion. Generally, in sailing, Vasco has the final word and the same goes for Manuel in rowing.

What services do you offer besides tours?

Our company is divided into sailing and rowing. In Lisbon, we are dedicated to sailing at the BYX Sailing Center which operates a sailing school with four different levels: Beginner 1 and 2, Enhancement, Advanced and Master, and of course, we participate in Regattas. We try to do one race every weekend – last year we won six podiums! In Barragem de Castelo de Bode we have a Rowing Center where we train rowing students to improve their technique with technical exercises, video analysis and physical exercises for posture.

What’s the strangest thing that’s happened aboard your boat?

This client once had epileptic attack during a sailing tour. No one was expecting that to happen, not even his family who was with him. It was a big scare but everything turned out okay! Thank god we know what we’re doing.

What about on the Docks of Belém? Have you seen any weird stuff happen there?

There was this guy once, you could see that he was the owner of the boat, but he did not know how to maneuver it. In trying to take the boat out of the dock he crashed into every other boat on the way. Luckily there was no major damage, but it sure was strange to see someone who owns a boat and has no idea how handle it.

Does anyone live there on their boats?

We know one guy who lives there. The famous Portuguese TV Journalist, Mário Crespo has a boat docked there also, but I’m sure he doesn’t live on it!

Sailors curse all the time. Is this true?

Mostly people say that about fishermen (it’s true!) but we have lots of fun as well, and our vocabulary is always growing.

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Okay, let’s talk booty. What do you offer and how much?

For the sailing tours, you can take the helm and be captain of our boat. You tell us where we go and what we do, but here are some suggestions:

Thematic Tours: 2 People: 70€, 4 people: 120€, 6 people: 180€
We can push off the docks at sunrise or sunset for views of Lisbon’s incredible light. We can provide a romantic and exclusive atmosphere for approximately two hours of sailing. After that, who knows what kind of atmosphere you’ll find, because a free beverage is included.

Cultural Tours: Starting at 20€ per person
You can choose your own adventure, duration, and route. Maybe you want a tour off the city of Lisbon to check out the place where Portuguese explorers set sail, then move over to Seixal bay for lunch or dinner. If you want to take a dip, you can also swim in the Atlantic waters off the bay of Cascais. Whatever you want to do, it has to be a minimum of an hour.

The River Tour: 50€ per person
This tour goes from Belém to Terreiro do Paço lets you discover all the city has to offer during the four-hour cruise.

Belém Tour: 35€ per person
Discover Belém and its historical surroundings during this two hour cruise.

Okay, but what if we want to throw a BIG party?

If you want to have more people on board, we can do it! We have another boat that is 20 meters long and weights 50 tons. Its an antique traditional Tejo carrier boat, which we have renovated to brand new condition so we could offer parties there. This boat is stationed about 25km north of Lisbon in the countryside. The minimum to rent her is 10 people and the maximum we can have on board is 40. The price varies on the kind of party you want, and of course, how many people can swim after a few glasses of wine.

What if we want to go rowing? What are your packages for that?

We offer training sessions in the morning and afternoon and afterwards, we watch your film footage and analyze your techniques so that we can help you perfect your rowing skills. We also hook you up with a four-star hotel since the training sessions generally last a minimum of three days and two nights which is included in the price. You just need to contact us in advance.

The basic package starts at 330€ and the premium package starts at 540€.

In Atlas’ opinion, the whole of the BYX company is less than the sum of its parts. Let’s meet the boys behind the boom.

Vasco OName: Vasco Outeiro
Crew Position: Skipper
Nationality: Portuguese
Age: 37
History: Born in Vila de Oeiras, located 15 km away from Lisbon, where the river meets the sea.

Both sides of my family are connected to the sport of sailing. My connection to the sea and boats, comes from there. Ever since I started walking I was out sailing, particularly with my uncles who participated in regattas on the Rio Tejo.

Of course, we also took family cruises from Algarve all the way to Porto. I’m quite experienced in coastal sailing, transporting boats from Lisbon to the Algarve and the North of Portugal, and I also did some international regattas in Cadiz Bay.

Credentials:
Degree in Urbanism and Territory Planning
Local and Coastal skipper and radio operator
Jury and Race Committee Official
Certified Measurements Inspector for official races
Sailing Coach

Favorite drink to have on board: Water, Beer, and Gin and Tonic
Favorite sailing soundtrack: Coldplay Albums, chill out music, classical guitar
Best after-sail dinner: A very big and juicy steak with french fries and rice


image_57ce960406accName: Manuel Barroso
Crew Position: Sailor
Nationality: Portuguese
Age: 28

History: Born in Lisbon, but lived until the age of 22 in Costa da Caparica, which built a relationship of admiration and respect with the sea.

My family has always been connected to the water and sea. My great-grandfather was a submarine commander in the Portuguese navy and my family on my mothers side all did some kind of water sport like sailing, rowing, surfing, etc.

I started rowing at the age of 14 and was quite successful. I was national champion several times and did a short campaign with the National Rowing Team. I started as a rowing coach at the age of 18 when I won some national championships and participated in international regattas. I started sailing at Clube Naval de Lisboa in 2008.

Credentials:
Degree in Sports Science
Masters in High Performance Training
Rowing coach
Local Skipper and radio operator.

Favorite drink to have on board: Water, Beer, Lambrusco
Favorite sailing soundtrack: Clubbed to death by Rob Dougan
Best after-sail dinner: A steak. A big one. I’m always hungry after a sail!


So what are you waiting for? Atlas had a blast spending an evening with these two salty dogs on and off the water, but isn’t everything better on a boat? Summertime scheduling can get a little tight, so contact BYX soon for a truly unforgettable adventure. You can visit their facebook page or just keep an eye open for the two dudes ripping into a big fat steak on the docks a few hours after the sun sets and ask them when you can join their crew.


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