Welcome to our faqs page, please click the questions below to find the relevant answers.
Q. What time does my sailing course start and finish?
Practical sailing courses:
Start - 1830hrs on Friday
Finish - 1600hrs on Sunday (approx)
Start - 0900 on the first morning
Finish - 1600hrs on the final day (approx)
Practical motor / power courses:
Start - 0900hrs on the first morning
Finish - 1700hrs on the final day (approx)
Start - 0900hrs on first morning
Finish - 1700hrs on final day (Sea Survival, World Sailing and Radio may be later)
Q. What do I need to bring?
Warm clothes including hat, scarf, sailing gloves and thermal underwear. It is better several thin layers rather than two thick layers. If you are just starting out sailing there is no need to spend huge amounts of money on expensive clothing. Even a cheap set of thermal long johns and vest will keep you warm and don't foget we supply you with wet weather gear. For those considering doing a lot of sailing it would be worth thinking about purchasing a dedicated breathable layer system. This normally consists of a thermal base layer, a mid layer fleece with breathable wet weather gear as an outer layer. Some examples of manufacturers who supply this type of clothing are Gill www.gillmarine.com and Musto www.musto.com. Don't forget a sleeping bag, sunglasses, sun cream, your wash kit and a towel. Soft holdalls only please. You will also need a small amount of spending money for trips ashore.
Q. Do I need to bring my passport?
If you are coming on a Cross Channel trip or Distance Cruise please don't forget your passport. We also recommend you bring an EH1C (formerly E111) available form your local Post Office or online at www.dh.gov.uk Passports are not required on any other courses.
Q. Do I need insurance?
The school carries full public liability insurance for its students, however personal travel / cancellation / accident insurance is strongly recommended. Topsail Insurance are specialist insurers who offer insurance for this activity. They can be contacted here
Q. Whats included in my course fee?
All practical sailing courses are fully inclusive of accommodation onboard, hire of wet weather gear and all meals onboard except for the first evening.
Q. Where will I go on my course?
You will be sailing in the Solent / south coast which is the ideal training ground for any yachtsman. You may visit some of the well-known harbours on the Isle of Wight such as Cowes or Yarmouth. You may also visit areas such as Beaulieu, Lymington, Poole and Portsmouth.
Q. How many students will there be on my boat?
We take a maximum of 5 students per boat on sailing courses (3:1 Ratio courses is 3 students), 4 on motor cruising courses and 3 on power boat courses. All of our boats are capable of taking more than these numbers so there will be plenty of room for everyone onboard.
Q. Who does the cooking onboard?
Part of learning to sail is learning how to live aboard a yacht. All chores, including cooking, are shared equally between all students and the instructor. The meals provided are pre-prepared, homecooked meals and simply require heating up in the oven. The only other cooking that is required is vegetables or rice, etc.
Q. Can I bring my mobile phone?
You can indeed bring your mobile phone. As many people come along sailing to get away from everyday life or as a holiday, during teaching times we would ask that phones are turned off to avoid distraction unless of course you are expecting an urgent call. Mobile phone coverage is only up to approximately 10 miles from land which will generally give you coverage on all courses except distance sails and cross channel trips. In an emergency the yacht can also be contacted by radio.
Q. Will I have to share a cabin?
It may be necessary for you to share a cabin (unless booked on a 3:1 ratio course). Couples and friends will normally share. If you are coming on a course on your own there is a possibility you will have to share a cabin but this would only be with someone of the same sex.
Q. Is there parking available?
There is a large, free car park here in the marina where you can leave you car for the duration of your course. Whilst there is 24hr security and CCTV in the car park, we cannot accept responsibility for loss or damage to cars or their contents.
Q. Are all meals provided?
On all practical sailing courses we provide breakfast, lunch and dinner onboard except for the first evening. On motor cruising courses we provide breakfast and lunch and on shorebased and power boat courses no meals are provided. We also supply plenty of snacks to keep you going during the day. We have a reputation as the 'Hamble School of Eating' and this is down to the high quality (and quantity!) of the food we provide.
Q. Will we be in a marina every night?
Although you will spend some nights in marinas, in order to explore some of the more beautiful locations and to get the most out of the sail cruising training you may also spend a night or two on a mooring buoy or a secluded anchorage. After all, sailing is about adventure!
Q. Do you take under 18's on courses?
We do allow under 18's on courses when accompanied by a parent / guardian over the age of 18. Under 16's are permitted on courses when part of a group booking with at least one person over the age of 18.
Q. Do your boats meet safety requirements?
All of our yachts fully comply with the code of practice for small commercial vessels and meet all requirements as set down by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency. All boats are checked before and after each course and all safety equipment is serviced on a regular basis.
Q. Can I smoke onboard?
Smoking is permitted onboard, however as it is in close confines with other people we would ask that you have consideration for your fellow crew and only smoke at the back of the boat and downwind. Off course it would be polite to ask your fellow crew first.
Q. Will I get sea sick?
Even Nelson suffered from sea sickness, however it is not common in the Solent due to its sheltered location. If you know you are susceptible, then it is worth buying some motion sickness tablets such as Stugeron from the chemist and bringing them with you.