Expand your horizons with a sailing trip

With a sailing trip you can choose between exploring the Solent, further along the south coast, Brittany, Normandy and the Channel Islands. This year there’s something for everyone – no previous experience required. We always make sure there is a balanced crew for the sailing planned, with plenty of opportunity to revise or learn new skills, or just enjoy yourself. Although your skipper will be in touch in advance, we always check in as a group once everyone is onboard and agree a plan of action, taking into weather and sea conditions. As usual all food is provided onboard but feel free to sample some local cuisine in any of the cafes along the way, or stock up on a few bottles of wine if you’re in France!

Most trips start and end from Chichester Harbour, but see the full list of trips and tasters for details, including the skipper and boat for your trip. We have a milebuilder this year that starts in Chichester, but ends in St Malo, as well as afive day trip starting in St Malo and ending in Chichester. We have timed these with the regular Brittany Ferry service between Portsmouth and St Malo that only costs £39 for a foot passenger. The idea is to give you more time in non-UK waters.

While these aren’t RYA courses, there is plenty of opportunity on one of our sailing trips to consolidate what you’ve learnt on a recent course, develop your sailing skills in more detail or just have a holiday and enjoy yourself! At the start of each sailing trip your skipper will ask everyone what they want out of their time, so there is plenty of opportunity to tailor the trip to your needs. On cross channel trips there will also be the opportunity for anyone looking to skipper their 60 nautical mile passages necessary for Yachtmaster Offshore examinations.

I couldn’t recommend Sail Boat Project more highly. What you do and the people genuinely have a love for the water and it shows. It was one of the most rewarding five days I’ve spent with a group of great folks doing something totally new in years. The professionalism, knowledge, practical hands on experience and warmth was exceptional. The food was bloody amazing. It’s inspired me to do more sailing when I get the chance.”

Entering busy Portsmouth harbour

The quality of the food onboard made you feel like you were being well looked after (big flapjacks well hit the spot!!).”

See 3-day trips » See 5-day trips »

Each sailing trip is built around the experience and local knowledge of your skipper. They will share with you their favourite places, whether it’s an amazing view, a sailing challenge or a great place to eat! Have a look at the dates and rates and see what ideas our skippers have come up with. The main thing we want is that each trip suits everyone onboard, so you’ll be fully involved in planning. If you want to use the trip to develop particular sailing skills this can be taken into account, or if you want to kick back and relax we can adjust the pace and itinerary accordingly.

We can also arrange bespoke trips for groups, contact us to find out more.

Prior experience required: None, all welcome, although if you haven’t been sailing before you might want to consider a taster sail (4 hours) or RYA Start Yachting course (2 days) first.

Where we might go

Dinner onboard with local market produce

Dinner onboard with local market produce

sailing trip

This shows possible destinations during a Solent sailing trip

sailing trip

This gives an idea of possible destinations during a cross channel trip

FAQ

How many other people will there be onboard?
On our RYA courses we have up to five students per instructor..
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. Please Note: The saloon is classed as a sleeping area. Exact sleeping arrangements are worked out with your skipper at the start of your course or trip depending on the mix of crew.

Can I arrive the night before to help with travel costs/travel time?

There is a range of accommodation available at Itchenor Sailing Club, ranging from £22/night bunk beds to ensuite rooms. They also have a good kitchen serving meals and breakfasts and are very helpful. Please mention Sail Boat Project when you enquire or book.

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 to bring

  • For cross channel trips remember to bring a passport (or ID card for non-UK citizens)
  • European Health Insurance Card (E111) – this isn’t accepted in the Channel Islands where private travel insurance is recommended
  • 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.

Join us on a sailing trip

See 3-day trips » See 5-day trips »

If you want to talk to one of our instructors or have a more general enquiry about joining a Channel sail 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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