The sea, for all
Our Community Sailing Fund was established to help people from community groups in Sussex access the sea and sailing activities. We do our best to attract grant funding to subsidise our activities, but we rely on donations as well.
Schools and community work is an important part of what Sail Boat Project does. We are a Community Interest Company established in 2009 to provide a range of learning activities based around sailing. We seek to widen access to the sea, creating training and employment opportunities, increasing confidence and a sense of wellbeing in communities within reach of the coast. We operate out of Chichester harbour AONB with regular visits to Shoreham and Newhaven ports and Brighton marina.
“I joined as a lead of a youth group of 4 – one of the young adults has been disengaged for a while and really low — since this experience he’s found a new energy and is talking about coming to volunteer with you. I’m really impressed at how this experience can transform people’s mindset — thank you for making this opportunity possible.”
In 2018 we worked with 61 participants from 9 groups from across Sussex. Please have a look at our Impact Report to find out more about the work and hear from participants in their own words.
Our community sails offer the chance to:
- Work as a group onboard our training vessels Karic and Jalapeno
- See the Sussex coast, from a new perspective
- Learn about the marine environment and how to look after it
- Learn teamwork, new skills and gain confidence
Each session is led by a commercial endorsed qualified Skipper, assisted by one of our volunteer First Mates.
To a certain extent we can be flexible about some of the dates and timings below. For example, if it is easier for your group to arrive earlier or later than the time stated, or if you would prefer a two day trip where we have offered a three day trip, please do get in touch with us to discuss your needs. Likewise, weather and tides (especially in Brighton marina) can sometimes affect our timings. We are also able to offer activities onboard which don’t involve any sailing. For example with groups with less mobility, or in more challenging weather conditions, we are happy to welcome your group onboard for lunch and a chat without setting out to sea!
Meet with participants in advance at your premises to introduce ourselves and prepare people for the sailing activities. We’re working on a quiz and spotting cards which we’ll be able to bring when we meet you. This is also a chance for any questions and for us to find out any particular needs we need to take into account. We will also need each person in the group to complete a consent form so we can keep you safe on the water.
Work onboard with your group during the sailing session where you’ll learn the basics of sailing and teamwork. This can be for anything upwards of four hours to a full day sailing passage to or from Chichester harbour, where our boats are based.
Meet with the group at your premises about a month afterwards to review the impact of the sailing activities. This is also a chance to issue certificates of achievement from the RYA Sailability scheme.
What we ask you to do
Recruit a group of four to six participants and let us know of any particular needs we should prepare for.
Offer a space in your building for us to meet with people in advance and afterwards
Get the group to the boat (various locations) and collect them at the end of the session, times negotiable.
Make sure each person coming fills in their consent form in advance.
Participate in our quizzes and spotting guides before, during or after the sail.
Share photos or stories about your trip on social media (optional!)
Why do we do this?
At Sail Boat Project we are committed to widening access to the sea. We have seen over the years how much people can benefit from time on the water and experiencing a connection with the wilderness on our doorstep – the sea! Sailing offers practical challenges for developing transferable skills and the sense of achievement from learning to sail a yacht builds people’s self confidence, and we love to see that happening. Many of us live by the sea without ever having been on the water – seeing where you live from a different physical perspective can help change your outlook on life in more general terms. We also want to build people’s appreciation and awareness of the coastal environment, our impact on it and why we need to look after it. By working a boat under sail, in view of the Rampion offshore wind farm, we also hope to show the importance of wind energy. This complements our Sail Cargo South East partnership where we are working towards zero emission transport and the development of sail cargo hubs.
To a certain extent we can be flexible about dates and timings – please contact us using the form below. For example, if it is easier for your group to arrive earlier or later than the time stated, or if you would prefer a two day trip where we have offered a three day trip, please do get in touch with us to discuss your needs. Likewise, weather and tides (especially in Brighton marina) can sometimes affect our timings. We are also able to offer activities onboard which don’t involve any sailing. For example with groups with less mobility, or in more challenging weather conditions, we are happy to welcome your group onboard for lunch and a chat without setting out to sea!
How many other people will there be onboard?
For these sailing trips we have room for up to six people from your group. As well as the skipper there will also be a volunteer first mate assisting.
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?
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. The timings for these sails are flexible so we can come back in if anyone isn’t enjoying themselves. We also have some flexibility in our schedule to re-arrange trips if it is rough.
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?
We can issue certificates of 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 a skipper in advance?
Yes, our aim is for one of our skippers to come and meet your group in advance and chat about the trip and what you want to get from it. We are making a quiz to help you learn more about the marine environement and wind energy.
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 dolphins are not an uncommon sight. Last year we even encountered a pod of pilot whales off Chichester harbour. 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.
FAQ – for group leaders
Are you DBS cleared?
We use DBS (formerly known as CRB) cleared RYA commercially qualified instructors for our work with young people.
Do you have risk assessments, child protection and vulnerable adult policies?
Yes we can provide you with copies of all these. We have very thorough risk assessment and operating policies. In terms of child protection and sleeping accommodation we can talk through with you how cabin spaces can be allocated. We have male and female skippers to meet your requirements according to the group.
Are you insured?
We have all relevant insurance, including Public Liability Insurance of £5,000,000 for any one event. We can provide you with copies.
What are you boats like?
Please have a look at the ‘Our Boats’ pages. Each of our training vessels can accommodate up to ten people. They have ships toilets (‘heads’) and spacious cooking areas and facilities (‘galley’) as well as a table large enough for all ten people onboard to sit around to eat, learn or plan the day together.
Can we meet a skipper in advance?
Yes we aim for your skipper to meet with your group in advance. We can give you an idea of what the trip will involve and prepare you for your sailing adventure, we can even show one of our short videos.
Will we learning anything apart from sailing?
We tailor our group activities to your needs. While we certainly teach the basics of sailing, life onboard is a big factor of any trip – cooking, cleaning and looking out for each other. We are producing a quiz to learn about the marine enviornment and a spotters guide which your group can work with before, during or after the trip.
What do you do about people with special needs, educational or physical?
We have experience of taking people out sailing with a range of special needs. Our ethos is to make things possible and we will always work with you to allow inclusion and participation for everyone in a group. While our vessels are not specifically adapted for wheelchair users, for example, we have made this work in the past. We would always do this in line with our risk assessment. We have developed learning materials that engage and include people and we are happy to share these in advance to help a group prepare for their sailing trip.
Can we get certificates for our sailing trip?
We can award Certificates of Achievement through the complementary RYA Sailability scheme, designed to support the development of any sailor regardless of ability.
What our previous crews said
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
- All meals & snacks while on board (vegetarian/vegan)
- Sleeping berth if staying overnight
- Waterproofs and boots
- 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.
To find out more about our Community Sailing Fund
please 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.