If you’ve decided you’d like to go on a yacht charter holiday but don’t have the skills to skipper your own boat, you might want to consider taking some training on the water.
Why not take a look into the many learn to sail holidays UK companies offer? A particularly good destination for gaining such training is Port Solent in the south of England.
The area is known as one of Portsmouth’s most exclusive, boasting a picturesque marina and a luxury housing estate. The location also has a modern entertainment and shopping area, so all your needs will be catered for if you choose Port Solent for a sailing school UK break.
Easily accessible by road, rail and ferry, the centre here offers all kinds of sailing courses to cater for novices to advanced sailors. It’s also one of Europe’s largest and most modern facilities.
If you’d like to get used to life on the water but have never tried your hand at the skill, you’ll find a range of tuition available at Port Solent. Newcomers to sailing start learning on level zero courses and build up expertise to a level three grade.
A level zero flotilla training course is a great option for those aged 13 and over to experience sailing and accrue knowledge of life onboard a ship. The course is also ideal for sailors in need of a refresher before taking a yacht charter holiday. This kind of training incorporates two days and nights at the Portsmouth base and covers the basics, such as helming, berthing and line-of-sight navigation. By adding an extra day of assessments, you can upgrade to an International Certificate of Competence.
If you’re not yet ready to hit the water, you’ll find a number of courses on offer onshore, including first aid and safety training. There are also special sessions for families and ladies only.
Among the courses suitable for beginners is a one-day taster session, in which novices can get to grips with the fundamentals of sailing, including using the engine, putting up the sails, anchoring and being safe. This course aims to build confidence as well as teach some vital skills.
Another choice is the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Start Yachting course. Complete beginners are able to enrol for the training, which leads on to the RYA Competent Crew Course consisting of more testing techniques.
A benefit of taking an RYA course is that you will also receive tidal endorsement, as there is a tidal range here of up to four metres.
If you choose to take a Competent Crew Course you’ll spend five days sailing and accruing 100 miles on the water. A total of four hours of sailing must be completed at night. If you’re short of time, you might find spreading your training over consecutive weekends is beneficial, with the skills you learn equipping you for flotilla holidays abroad where you’ll need to know how to manage the ropes, moor up and cast off.
Sailors who manage to plough through training to reach level three will then be able to embark on a yacht charter holiday. And this doesn’t have to be abroad – you can choose to stay in the Solent for your break for just as challenging and enjoyable a getaway.
Bareboat yacht charters are available in locations across the world, such as Asia and the South Pacific, but you might feel more comfortable setting sail in home waters for your first such break on the sea, exploring the areas that surround the Isle of Wight, Yarmouth and Ashlett Creek.
You’re sure to love visiting the picturesque sailing towns in the area – including Lymington and Hamble – and during your time on land you can call in at landmarks like Portsmouth Historic Dockyard and the Roman Saxon shore fort of Portchester Castle that dates back to the third century that’s bound to excite history buffs.
And for some thriving nightlife, head to Gunwharf Quays and visit some of the bars and restaurants here, or make use of the health club and shopping centre in the daytime. Don’t forget to search for some bargains at the designer outlet stores here and take a trip up the 170-metre high Spinnaker Tower to take in some truly breathtaking views of the Solent and out over to the Isle of Wight.
Choose sailing courses in the Solent for a fun challenge on the high seas.