A Solent Sailing Weekend
These weekends are aimed at people wanting a teaching sailing weekend taking advantage of the protected sailing waters of the Solent in a social, fun environment with other like minded individuals or couples. They are great fun and provide development for sailing experience without the pressures of a RYA course.
The sailing is suitable for novices and first timers as well as those with more sailing experience. We get absolute beginners where we teach people to take part as an active member of the crew, people wanting to ‘refresh’ their skills perhaps having done a Day Skipper course, those wanting to gain experience for their flotilla holiday right through to Yachtmaster standard coming on board – everyone takes something away with them.
Where: From MDL Mercury Yacht Harbour, Hamble, SO31 4HQ. The marina has excellent facilities with 24 hr staffing, restaurant / bar, chandlery and ample free on site parking just 10metres from the pontoons. There are trolleys available to help shift your kit to the boats.
When? We meet on the Friday evening at 6pm at our base at the Hamble and on Sunday we sail returning to the Hamble for late afternoon leaving the boat at about 1600 hrs.
What Type of Boats? The boats that we use are normally about 37 feet long, comfortable modern cruisers with heating, with 3 double cabins and berths on opposite sides in the saloon.
At night we will normally moor alongside a pontoon giving access to the shore-side marina facilities with excellent showers / toilets / laundry facilities and 240 volt power. If you come as a couple or friends you will get your own double cabin for 2 of you. If you are an individual you may sleep on one side in the saloon. See more on the boats here
Where Do We Visit? We visit various ports in the area and depending upon the time of year, the weather and people’s previous experience we normally head out of the Friday evening, leaving for a short sail / trip to a nearby destination. We look at the weather, tides and wind together to decide upon our destination for the Saturday evening and along the way we will visit places of interest, explore rivers and creeks and moor up or drop anchor for lunch. Tide will determine our planned itinerary.
Which Ports? You can expect to visit places such as Yarmouth or Lymington, Cowes, Beaulieu River, Newtown Creek and Southampton in the Central Solent, Portsmouth, Chichester Harbour or Bembridge in the Eastern Solent.
Sailing Skills: If there are particular skills that you would like to practice we will do our best to accommodate you. As well as the physical sailing aspects we usually include reefing whilst sailing, heave to, MOB etc, you may do some pilotage for port entries and we work on buoyage and light recognition, mooring and anchoring techniques – and then the ‘easy methods’ that our skippers utilise in everyday sailing.
Skills Example: – Beginners could be taught specific rope work skills and the more experienced aboard useful tips for when ‘short-handed’ sailing. Advanced sailors may be asked to moor or leave a mooring under sail, practice using an asymmetric spinnaker, focus upon sail trim etc. Everyone gets ‘hands on’ experience during the weekend in the running of the boat and a chance to helm. Simply do as much or as little as you like. Build up some experience, learn and we can teach you elements that you may be weak in, coach and inform you.
Catering: We have been complemented that our food is excellent and not the ‘normal boat food’. We generally serve a 3-course evening meal with wine plus cheese board and real coffee aboard on the Friday night as we are often late in after the evening sail . We do, where possible, put a First Mate / Hostess aboard to help with on board duties and assist tuition ratios which greatly increases your sailing time as you don’t have to cook / prepare. Once we are safely tied up along side for the night, we can have a drink or two. You are welcome to bring your own favourite tipple or any special dietary snacks.
We have a ‘G&T sun-downer’ and people are encouraged to bring their favourite tipple to go with the nibbles for this if they’re not a G&T fan… it all makes for good fun. We normally supply one bottle of red and one white wine for a full boatload. On one evening during the weekend we eat out at own cost.
- What to Bring: (Please – everything in a soft squash’ able bag. No wheels!)
Waterproofs / non marking soft soled shoes – deck shoes / boots
Layered clothing, shorts, tee shirt, sweatshirt etc
Hat / sailing gloves – to protect your hands from rope burn
Sunglasses / sun cream
Seasickness remedy – if you suffer – Stugeron tablets are good
Towel / small wash kit / pillow / sleeping bag / small torch or head-torch
Personal medication / favourite tipple / own dietary snacks
A few quid out for trips ashore / sense of humour / music
- 1800 Meet Friday – Hamble – MDL Mercury Yacht Harbour
- Free / 24Hr Staffed Parking Within Marina Gates
- Boat Safety Brief
- Slip Moorings for Evening Sail (weather & crew experience dependent)
- Meal Onboard
- 0900 Sat Briefing
- Sail Training
- Lunch on Board
- Sail Training
- Moor at Destination
- Enjoy On Shore Ambiance / Eat Out
- Accommodation on Board (own sleeping bag/pillow / towel / wash kit required)
- 0900 Sunday Brief
- 1000 Slip Moorings
- Relax Sailing
- 1300 Brunch on Board
- Afternoon Sail
- Return Hamble MDL Mercury Yacht Harbour
- 1600 Clear Boat
What is Included:
- First Mate (wherever possible)
- Accommodation on Board
- Meals on Board
- Wine with Evening Meal
- ‘Sundowners G&T’s & Pre-Dinner Nibbles
- Mooring Fees
- Safety Equipment
- Wet Weather Gear
To Book: We do not have an online booking system. We prefer to speak to people and make sure that they are happy with the event that they are booking. We can then send you the booking form and the process making sure that we have availability on the right date.
Bookings can be taken over the phone if required and paid for by debit card or transfers. Please contact us to check availability and confirm that you wish to proceed. We can fill in or send you an event booking form. The bank details for transfers are on the booking form. Transfer the monies and email us confirmation of the payment. Scan and send the completed booking form / photograph it / post it to us etc. We will send you a confirmation letter with equipment list.
Testimonials – http://yachtforce.co.uk/about_us/testimonials.html
Paul S had this to say about his Solent Sailing Weekend, ‘Just back from a sailing weekend I organised with my brother for our father. The three of us are novice sailors and joined three others to make up a crew with Buster as captain and Vikki as our first mate. Despite the other three crew being more experienced sailors at no point were we made to feel anything other than valued members of the team. We managed a night sail; did some river and entrances, had the spinnaker up and made the most of mixed sailing weather.
More important was that it was an absolute hoot. The atmosphere was relaxed and friendly (not always my experience on a boats), the jokes terrible and everyone enjoying themselves. During it all Buster continued to educate and Vikki worked her magic in the tiny kitchen that most professional chefs would trouble to match in a commercial kitchen. We had a little time onshore- just enough to satiate a thirst worked up onboard.
Most importantly my father absolutely loved it. The three of us couldn’t have wished for a more fulfilling and enjoyable experience. Thank You!’
Price: Low season £299 / High Season £319
Any questions – give us a ring on 02380 016450 and speak to Paul / Buster or email firstname.lastname@example.org