The essentials:

The time: 2-9 August The place: Cowes Week, Isle of Wight

This is the sailing extravaganza of the year, when hundreds of brightly coloured yachts compete in more than 200 races over the course of a week. As most people can't afford the pounds 250,000 pricetag for a yacht, we've selected some inspired but cheaper goods with a distinct nautical theme.

1The lighthouse soap dispenser, at pounds 7, will light up any bathroom, from Bhs.

2You can relax and watch the boats sail by in a brightly coloured deck chair, price pounds 29.95, from Habitat.

3If you can't afford a proper, full-size yacht, how about building yourself a miniature version? This sailboat kit costs pounds 20.50 from Purves & Purves.

4Everything in the kitchen will be ship-shape with an alligator pasta server, pounds 4.95, shark jar opener, pounds 4.95, saw fish bread knife, pounds 4.95, fishtail spatula, pounds 4.95, and fish cheese grater, pounds 6.95; all from John Lewis

5Another bright idea is this fisherman's light from Habitat, at pounds 65.

6You can tell if it's going to be plain sailing or stormy weather with this smart barometer, price pounds 32, from the Conran shop.

7This tide clock is a must for any sailor (or mother taking her children to the beach), price pounds 34.95, from the Catalogue at Presents Direct (mail order, 0171-3717017).

8These fish towels, from pounds 3 to pounds 18, are a good catch, from Bhs.

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