taster sailsTaster sails – dip your toes in the water!

4 hours / £50

Our taster sails are a great way to find out if you like sailing before booking on a course or longer sailing trip, or as a birthday treat or family day out.

Thanks to Ben our skipper today for a fantastic experience. First time my dad had been sailing in 50 years! Reckon we might be in touch in the future re a longer excursion. It was great to learn a lot about the world of sailing today as Ben was excellent

“Excellent in all respects.”

“I really enjoyed the day. I learned loads of stuff from Jacquie – an excellent skipper and teacher.”

“I enjoyed all the activities we did- raising and moving the sail, steering the boat, and helping to dock the boat into the harbour.”

RYA_push_the_boat_outtaster sailWe can show you round the basics of sailing in one of our taster sessions, or you can just enjoy the sail and the sights. In Chichester harbour there are often lots of other boats out which can be quite a sight, and plenty of birdlife and beautiful views. Out of Brighton marina you get to see the new Rampion wind farm or sail close by Brighton pier or the white chalk Sussex cliffs.

We are running 4 hour taster sails throughout the year from Chichester harbour and Brighton marina.

Click on the ‘Dates & Rates’ tab below for a full list and to book a place

If you can’t find any dates that suit you, get in touch! We’re always happy to organise bespoke bookings for groups.

What we'll get up to

recoveryEach sailing taster will start with your skipper introducing themselves and asking what you want out of the trip. A lot of people want to test out if they like sailing before committing to booking on a course or trip. Other people are just looking for a fun activity to do with their friends or as a present. Either way, each taster will be hands on - you get to sail the boat! There will be a short safety briefing, but the focus is getting you out on the water and enjoying it. At some point we usually manage to fit in a cup of tea and a snack, and there are opportunities to find out about next steps, whether it be a course or a longer sailing trip. We look forward to seeing you and introducing you to sailing!

Dates & Rates

Our rates are all inclusive, covering all food onboard, hire of sailing waterproofs and visitor mooring costs.

Taster sails run from Chichester and Brighton marinas and Ocean Quay, Southampton, please see below for details.

There are no upcoming events at this time.



How many other people will there be onboard?
On our RYA courses we have four students per instructor, although occasionally we might also have a volunteer onboard.
For our sailing trips we have up to six people onboard plus skipper and volunteer first mate.
We can have up to ten people onboard for group activities.

Where do we sleep? Do we go back to the marina each night?
We all sleep onboard, with a berth allocated to you. We usually stay in a different place each night, which could be at anchor or mooring in a marina with walk ashore access to showers and toilets. A lot depends on people's needs, which we'll check with you at the start of a course or trip and as we carry on.

Do we eat onboard? Do you cater for special diets?
All meals and snacks are included in our rates and our vessels are well stocked for your time onboard. We provide vegetarian and vegan food by default as part of our commitment to lowering our company's carbon footprint, although please feel free to eat anything you want ashore. Thanks to our partners at Infinity Foods we have plenty of great snacks and ingredients. While we all take turns making meals, there are always some homemade pre-prepared dishes so you can make the most of your sailing and learning time. Please let us know about any other dietary needs - we are pretty familiar with various allergies and diets.

Is there a toilet onboard?
Each of our vessels are equipped with at least one sea toilet, called a 'heads', and by boat standards they are quite roomy, with washbasins. They have a slight knack to using them, which your skipper will show you, but they are pretty similar to a home flush toilet. We do ask you to use toilets ashore when in a marina.

Do you provide waterproofs?
Yes, we provide salapette trousers and jackets which are wind and waterproof, as well as sailing boots which provide a secure grip on deck. Please feel free to bring your own gear or to ask us for advice on where to purchase affordable sailing gear. Lifejackets and safety harnesses are provided.

Will it be rough, what if I feel sick?
Due to where our vessels are moored, the first days' sailing you will experience will be in sheltered waters, and we'll stay in such waters for entry and beginner levels. We want you to enjoy your sailing and our skippers remain very aware of how people are feeling and do their best to avoid unnecessarily unpleasant conditions by planning ahead.

What if the weather is really bad, what weather don't we go out in?
Sailing is obviously very weather dependent. We reserve the right to cancel trips and courses at our discretion, due to adverse weather. If we are forced to do so, we will be in touch with you in the days beforehand to advise and we will work with you to attempt to find you a suitable replacement or if not we will refund all of your money. However, Sail Boat Project cannot be held responsible for any other loss that you may have incurred due to cancellation of your course or trip. The final decision on whether a course or trip goes ahead is always based on the capabilities of those onboard and we are not interested in forcing anyone into being forced into a position they are uncomfortable with.

Will I get a certificate?
All the RYA practical and theory courses we deliver lead to a nationally recognised qualification within the RYA's sail cruising scheme, if you have met the syllabus requirements. We also issue certificate sof achievement as part of the RYA Sailability scheme and we have our own certificates of achievement for groups.

Do you make arrangements for people with special needs, learning or physical?
Yes, we have experience of taking people out sailing with a range of different needs. Our ethos is to make things possible and we will always work with you to allow inclusion and participation from everyone. While our vessels are not specifically adapted, for example for wheelchair users, we will always think about what changes we can make to get people out on the water. We use a variety of learning materials that engage and include people and our skippers and instructors are always learning and sharing with each other techniques to help people make the most of their time with us.

Can I talk to an instructor or skipper in advance?
Yes, if we can't put you through to one of our instructors or skippers when you call the office, we will pass on you details and have someone get back to you as soon as possible to have a chat with you.

Do you allow alcohol onboard?
Yes we do, in moderation! We may share a bottle of wine onboard or visit a pub during a course or trip, but please remember alcohol and getting used to the motion of the sea don't mix well.

Should I bring my log book?
Yes, if you have a sailing log book this is really good to bring along. For courses it will outline your syllabus, help your instructor see what experience you have and you can get it signed off at the end. For sailing trips you can record the nautical miles sailed and treat it as a mile builder towards any examinations you go for. They are also a useful record for your own interest. We always have log books available for sale onboard for £6.

Is it all sailing, is there time to explore places we visit?
Depending on the level of course you are on, there is usually time to explore a couple of the places we visit. The Competent Crew course includes using a dinghy, so you'll be able to explore from the water! On our sailing trips part of the idea is to have a look around sowewhere new. We usually agree as a group when to have time ashore as we always need to work around the weather and tides. If you have any particular requests make sure you let your skipper know.

Will I see any wildlife?
Plenty of birdlife and the odd seal - in Chichester harbour there is a whole seal colony at certain times of the year. Marine mammals are not as abundant as we'd like them to be, although porpoises in Poole Bay and dolphins off Chichester bar have been recent sightings. If we are lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time we would never move in close or cause any undue stress. We have marine wildlife spotter guides onboard to help you prepare.

What our previous crews said

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I think your project and staff are excellent. I thoroughly enjoyed my time on Karic and would like thank you all very much.

20th June 2018

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It was great to meet and sail with others of mixed experience.


18th April 2018

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Ben was a superb teacher. He was calm and measured and assessed our groups skill and temperament perfectly, tailoring the day to us so that we got the most out of it and explaining this carefully without overloading us with terminology or too much information. Thank you for a thoroughly enjoyable day. Comments from the rest of the group: "Ben was brilliant, extremely patient and calm despite our (my) stupid questions. A great taster day... though I'd recommend people wear thermals. Those sea breezes are chilly!" (Chris) "Ben was calm, patient and knowledgeable and the day was a good hands on experience for a total newbie." (Ali) "Ben made the day fun and informative. I really enjoyed the experience." (Janet C) "A most enjoyable experience." (Seb)

25th April 2017

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The day was fantastic, so much fun and we all learnt a lot too. Our skipper Jackie was great, very knowledgeable and a good teacher. She had time for everyone at all levels and abilities. She explained everything well and gave us confidence.

25th April 2017

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Fabulous family day with skipper Ben who was a wonderful instructor and made the whole experience very relaxed and fun!

19th April 2017

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Thanks to Ben our skipper today for a fantastic experience. First time my dad has been sailing in 50 years! Reckon we might be in touch in the future re a longer excursion. It was great to learn a lot about the world of sailing today as Ben was excellent

10th May 2016

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Many many thanks for enabling us to experience sailing on Cassie, with very best wishes

12th November 2015

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Great people, good vibes, I loved it!

8th October 2015

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The Skipper was fabulous and we learnt a lot.

8th October 2015

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Ben was a great instructor, very knowledgeable and explained things really well, he is clearly passionate about sailing.

8th October 2015

What To Bring
  • Clothing layers - even if it's sunny or warm on land it can get quite chilly when sailing
  • Hat, sun cream, lip salve, sunglasses, gloves
  • If you're staying overnight or longer you'll need to bring a sleeping bag, pillow, towel, toiletries
  • Any medication you would normally require
  • Pack your belongings in a soft bag that can be easily stowed
  • Do bring any of your favourite snacks or soft drinks as we may not be near any shops
    (If you have your own foul weather gear you are welcome to bring it)
  • If you haven't been sailing before and don't know if you might get seasick, some good advice is to have a sensible breakfast and don't drink lots of alcohol the night before!
  • Bring seasickness pills if you might need them.
What We Provide
  • Lifejackets
  • All meals & snacks while on board (vegetarian/vegan)
  • Sleeping berth
  • Course books in advance (if applicable)
  • Access to our onboard sailing library, including RYA course books (copies available to buy)
  • Quality XM foul weather trousers, jackets and waterproof deck boots
    (If you have your own foul weather gear you are welcome to bring it)
  • Please feel free to discuss equipment concerns with us prior to your sailing trip or course, we will happily advise on purchases if you would like to buy your own gear.
If you want to make a booking

Book now

If you want to talk to one of our instructors or have a more general enquiry either call (+44) 07576 248 348 or fill in the form below.
We will do our best to get back to you as soon as possible.

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Our Boats

Jalapeno is a Dutch built Standfast, a solid roomy boat that handles the sea well. We can take bookings for up to 10 people on Jalapeno and there is room for everyone to eat and plan together around the central saloon table. There is an unusually large amount of flat deck, a great spot for a picnic at anchor!

Our RYA courses and sailing trips from Chichester marina are run on Jalapeno.

Facilities include heads (toilet/washroom), galley with gas oven and heating.

Cascadeur is a French built Jeanneau. She has up to ten berths in four cabins, with room for everyone to sit and eat round the circular table in the main cabin, or use the cockpit table to eat or work together outside. We can take bookings for up to 10 people on Cascadeur.

Our RYA courses and sailing trips from Southampton are run on Cascadeur.

Facilities include two heads (toilet/washroom), gas cooker with oven, heating.

Karic is a British built Westerly Renown ketch - a ketch means there are two masts, so three sets of sails for people to learn how to use. She has berths for six people to sleep in three cabins, with room for everyone to sit and eat round the table in the main cabin. Designed for family cruising, Karic is a safe, sturdy boat. There is a centre cockpit with room for a crew of six to sit in comfort.

Facilities include a roomy heads (toilet/washroom) and meths 2 hob cooker