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Following our Cowes Week adventures we will be sailing back from the Solent to our base at Shotley Marina. It will be five days of adventure, and maybe a glass or two of French red, as this trip will include a stopover and day of leisure in France, probably Boulogne. The journey will start from Haslar Marina near Portsmouth on Tuesday 8th August.
The itinerary will be (something like):
8th August : Haslar to Eastbourne
9th August : Eastbourne to Boulogne
10th August : Enjoy a day of leisure in Boulogne
11th August : Boulogne to Ramsgate
12th August : Ramsgate to Shotley
Each leg is 40-50 miles and the trip will be ideal for those who enjoy more serious passages, or who want to build crewing or skippering experience, or miles to put towards some of the higher level RYA courses. If you haven’t yet visited Boulogne, the old town is a beautiful place to wander along the cobbled streets and maybe enjoy a long French seafood lunch. Ramsgate is one of our favourite stops, normally highlighted by a visit to the Royal Temple Yacht Club and fabulous fish ‘n’ chips at Peter’s Fish Factory.
At this stage the trip is available to either individuals who wish to share, or for exclusive charter, and we will obviously only charge for the four days at sea.
Price: please contact us
We could turn right, head north up past Brightlingsea, duck into Pyefleet Creek and pick up a mooring buoy (or drop the hook). Then watch as your pre-ordered box of crab, lobster, king prawn, mussels and more – not to mention locally sourced oysters – is delivered to the boat. Yes, really. It’s a bit like a drive thru without the driving or the queuing! And then, replete with fruits de mer, you could sit and watch the sunset over Mersea Island.
Or go straight ahead. Past the Colne and up the Blackwater to West Mersea. Thumb a lift from the yacht club ferry to the jetty, and stroll ashore to make a late lunch table booking at the famous Company Shed. Perhaps (hopefully!) there’s time for a quick drink in the West Mersea Yacht Club beforehand. Followed by a fabulous seafood platter in one of the simplest but most fabulous restaurants you will come across.
Hey, if you’re a real seafood freak you could even do both!
Prices: Please contact us for prices and availability. This is a two or three-day trip.
The Annual Pin Mill Barge Match, one of a series of regional barge matches, is held in late June/early July. Starting on the River Orwell, and following a course dictated by the day’s weather and tide conditions, the match is a true spectacle of years gone by.
Once coastal cargo carriers, these beauties have been lovingly restored and maintained, and several are available for day trips, charters and social occasions.
This is very much a day sail with a difference, as the itinerary will be geared to a very satisfying combination of match watching – with the endless photo opportunities this will entail – plus time to enjoy your own bit of sailing up and down the Orwell and Stour rivers. You will see a veritable forest of brown sails, gaffe rigs, and more ‘ropes’ than you can shake a stick at.
Price: Please contact us for prices and availability
We will need to leave Shotley by 0930 latest, after coffee and a safety briefing. It’s a 2 ½ hour sail down to Clacton, and once there we drop anchor as close to the ‘fairway’ as possible. The fairway is a cordoned off area of the sea just off Clacton Pier, and it is above this area that the serious flying is done. Which means the planes seem to almost clip the top of our mast as they zoom past!
The line-up for the show is announced only quite close to the date, and does vary from year to year, and even from the Thursday to the Friday. The fabulous Red Arrows seem to almost always open the show, and the Spitfires, Hurricanes and Lancasters of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight are in action more often than not. The RAF Typhoon Euro Fighter is a seriously awesome (and loud!) machine, and the other aerobatic displays and wing walkers are all highly impressive.
When we’ve nibbled our way through the 3-hour show, it’s time to weigh anchor and head back home after a truly memorable day.
Price: Please enquire for prices and availability
Our skipper will work with you before your trip to create a passage plan to suit your requirements and the experience of your party. This will obviously depend on tide predictions and the number of days you choose to book for. There are many fantastic destinations to the North or South to choose from, and a variety of ‘challenges’ ranging from passages which are – relatively speaking – ‘just around the corner’ to Channel crossings. Possible destinations include Aldeburgh, Southwold, the Blackwater, Burnham and, further afield, the Thames Estuary, London and the Continent.
Price: By arrangement
Your skipper gives you the options for the day (weather and tide dependent) and you decide the agenda. A river sail, a short coastal cruise, a bit of both – whatever ‘floats your boat’. Your day starts with a coffee and the essential safety brief on board, and then you head out on your sailing adventure. Maybe you’ll choose to explore the rivers in the morning, or head round to Hamford Water if the tides are right. After anchoring for lunch on board (full day trips only) – typically a sumptuous spread of cold meats and cheeses from Suffolk Food Hall – you might decide on an afternoon at sea. Maybe checking out Rough’s Tower (the ‘Principality of Sealand’), or a round trip past Felixstowe to the Deben entrance, before returning through the lock to Shotley Marina.
Why not extend to a Sleepover Sail? Stay on board the night before, maybe have dinner aboard, and enjoy a bacon roll breakfast before sailing the next day.
Base Price: from £200* (half-day) or from £380* (full day)
* These are our base prices which cover two adults. There is a supplementary charge of £15 per additional adult (half-day trips) and £20 per additional adult (day trips).
Up to four children (aged 16 or under) go free when accompanied by two adults.
A lot of people do most of their sailing at weekends, and that’s when we are often at our busiest. But if you’re lucky enough to have time for some sailing on weekdays then our Midweek Specials might be just the thing for you. You will get the same fabulous day sailing experience but at the much lower price of £75 per day (this is about 30% cheaper than our normal rate). The only difference to any other day sail is that we ask you to bring your own lunch, and the only other proviso is that we need a minimum of 3 people to run the day.
Simply register for our newsletter (sign-up is available at the foot of all our website pages) and we will let you know the Midweek Special dates for the following month along with all our other news and offers.
Price £75 per person (£70 per person if you bring one or more friends)
We group together up to 6 people who want to share the cost of sailing with others. Your day will start at Shotley Marina where your skipper will give you a safety briefing over a cup of coffee on board. You’ll help prepare the boat for departure, exit the lock gates, hoist the sails and head out for an adventure on the local rivers and coastlines. You will get the chance to participate fully in the running of the ship – hoisting, helming, trimming – hey, you can even put the kettle on if you like! After a morning sail we will drop anchor for lunch on board, maybe at Hamford Water (Secret Water), Wrabness (beach huts on stilts), or somewhere on the very beautiful River Orwell. After lunch, more sailing, more fun, and more tea (and perhaps a cheeky biscuit) before heading for home.
Price £115 per person
Suffolk Coast Sailing is accredited by the RYA to run Day Skipper and Coastal/Yachtmaster theory courses, and we will post details of planned courses very soon. In the meantime we offer private, face-to-face courses so please contact us for details.
We also act as agents for on-line theory courses delivered by Navathome, a RYA Recognised Training Centre specialising in online training. This is a good way of learning what you need to know in the comfort of your own home at a time convenient to you. The course can be completed over a 6 month period, with the option to extend this period on payment of an administration fee to Navathome.
A comprehensive introduction to cruising for inexperienced skippers.
This course equips you with enough knowledge to navigate around familiar waters by day. A basic knowledge of lights is also included to introduce you to night cruising.
The course is taught over 40 hours with two exam papers.
Course topics include:
Cost: Online Course (provided and supported by Navathome) £295
Classroom Courses – by arrangement
Advanced training for more experienced skippers building on the Day Skipper course. This course equips you to navigate safely on coastal and offshore passages.
This course will take your theory knowledge to the standard required for the Yachtmaster™ Coastal and Yachtmaster™ Offshore practical exams, concentrating on advanced navigation and meteorology skills.
The course is taught over 40 hours with three exam papers.
Cost: Online Course (provided and supported by Navathome) £305
Own Boat Tuition
All of our RYA courses can be run in the comfort of your own boat, or we can tailor a programme to focus on what you need to learn, practice or perfect the most. The agenda is very much up to you, and we will discuss your needs thoroughly before recommending a program for you.
A reasonable level of safety gear will be needed on your boat, which we will discuss with you before booking.
Cost: £130 per half day/£250 per full day (plus travelling expenses if your boat is located away from the Suffolk coastal area)
Advanced skippering techniques for yachtsmen and women with considerable knowledge of sailing and navigation, wanting to undertake coastal passages by day and night.
Like the Day Skipper course, this course consists of skippered passages in a variety of situations. Each trainee will skipper more challenging passages and learn more about passage planning, pilotage by day and night, boat handling, safety and emergency situations.
We will expect you to complete the Coastal Skipper/Yachtmaster™ Offshore theory course beforehand as there is insufficient time to teach you theory during the week.
Coastal Skippers should be able to undertake more difficult passages by day and night and handle the yacht in more demanding conditions.
Requirements & Outcomes
Pre-course experience: 15 days, 2 days as skipper, 300 miles, 8 night hours
Assumed knowledge: Boat handling to the standard of Day Skipper and navigation to shorebased Coastal Skipper/Yachtmaster™ Offshore
Minimum duration: 5 days
Minimum age: 17
Course content: Passage planning, Preparation for sea, Pilotage, Passage making and ability as skipper, Yacht handling under power, Yacht handling under sail, Adverse weather conditions, Emergency situations
Ability after the course: Able to skipper a yacht on coastal passages by day and night
Cost: £550 (less 10% if you book two or more places on the same course)
A course for aspiring skippers with some yachting experience and basic navigation and sailing skills.
Learn to skipper a short passage with the instructor on hand to give advice and encouragement and ensure your safety. Experience being in charge, taking credit when it all goes well and being responsible when it doesn’t.
If it’s help with navigation that you need, you should take our Day Skipper shorebased course.
Pre-course experience: 5 days, 100 miles, 4 night hours on board a sailing yacht
Assumed knowledge: Theory to the level of Day Skipper. It is recommended you attend the Day Skipper shorebased course beforehand.
Minimum duration: 5 days, 3 weekends or 3 days plus 2 days
Minimum age: 16
Course content: Preparation for sea, deck work, navigation, pilotage, meteorology, rules of the road, maintenance and repair work, engines, victualling, emergency situations, yacht handling under power, yacht handling under sail, passage making, night cruising
Cost: £550 (less 10% discount if you book two or more places on the same course)
This course is for beginners and those who would like to become active crew members rather than just passengers.
Experience living on board and really get to know the boat. Virtually all the course is hands on. You are the crew – without you the sails won’t go up and the boat won’t be steered.
By the end of the course you should be able to steer, handle sails, keep a lookout, row a dinghy and assist in all the day to day duties on board. You should also have visited some interesting places and had an enjoyable holiday.
Pre-course experience: None
Assumed knowledge: None
Minimum duration: 5 days. Often run over 3 weekends or 3 days plus a weekend. If you have done the Start Yachting course, this course can be completed in 3 days
Minimum age: None
Course content: Knowledge of sea terms and parts of a boat, her rigging and sails, sail handling, ropework, fire precautions and fighting, personal safety equipment, man overboard, emergency equipment, meteorology, seasickness, helmsmanship, general duties, manners and customs, rules of the road, dinghies
Ability after the course: Able to steer, handle sails, keep a lookout, row a dinghy and assist in all the day to day routines
Cost: £550 (or £300 if you have already completed Start Yachting. 10% discount if you book two or more places on this course)
A short introduction to sailing for complete beginners.
By the end of the course you will have experienced steering a yacht, sail handling, ropework and be aware of safety on board.
Holders of the Start Yachting certificate can go on to complete the Competent Crew course in a reduced time of three days.
Minimum duration: 2 days
Course content: The yacht, ropework, underway, rules of the road, man overboard recovery, clothing and equipment, emergency equipment and precautions, meteorology.
Ability after the course: Basic knowledge of yachting.
Cost: £250 (less 10% discount if you book 2 or more places on one course)