East Coast Sailing Courses
Learning to Sail with First Class Sailing's East Coast Sailing School
run by Colin Stracey
The full range of practical sailing courses can be taken from our East Coast base in Fambridge Yacht Haven, North Fambridge, Essex.
Our East Coast Sailing operation runs out of the very charming Fambridge Yacht Haven, on the River Crouch near Burnham in Essex.
Fambridge Yacht Haven is an hour’s journey from Liverpool Street Station and provides a fantastic starting point from which to sail off and explore the peaceful scenic East Coast
What is great about Learning to Sail on the East Coast?
East Coast Sailing from our East Coast base is like nothing else. As you slip your moorings and sail silently out of the marina the only noise is from the Lapwings, Oystercatchers and Turnstones as they forage for food along the banks of this idyllic setting. Soon you join the River Crouch and the boat heels gently to the breeze - who would believe that you are less than just 45 miles from London. The stresses and strains of city life just drain away as you head silently to explore the Swatchways described so wonderfully by Maurice Griffiths, the doyen of sail cruising, in his book “Magic of the Swatchways!
There is not space here to mention all the wonderful places that can be visited on an East Coast Sailing trip but a visit to Pinmill on the River Orwell, or spending a night in the “secret waters” of the Walton Backwaters, is very special. Made famous by Arthur Ransome's Swallows and Amazons books, visiting this area, owned and managed by the National Trust, is like stepping back in time to a bygone era. Mooring amongst the smacks and barges, a row ashore to the Butt and Oyster and then a BBQ on the beach provoked one Day Skipper candidate to say “What an amazing Day”!
Just two hours later Anchoring in Yokesfleet Creek, off the River Roach, the boat is surrounded by seals coming to investigate this new visitor to their world. The area is absolutely enchanting and the moving sandbanks provide some interesting challenges for the sailor. A trip out of the River Crouch and across the shallows of the Wallet Spitway provides the opportunity to visit Historic Maldon, the Cinque Port of Brightlingsea, West Mersea home of the world famous Oyster Shed, or the Suffolk Rivers of Orwell and Stour.
BUT East Coast Sailing doesn’t have to be all quiet!
There is a saying that if you can navigate across the Thames Estuary then you can navigate anywhere and a trip to Ramsgate provides the perfect challenge to make the next day’s trip to France a stress free experience. Alternatively a trip to the bustling county town of Ipswich is very rewarding. After the challenge of entering the river, past the busiest container port in the UK, relaxing at one of the watering holes on Ipswich’s historic waterfront is very worthwhile.
There are many special watering holes that can be visited. The Green Man at Bradwell or the Jolly Sailor at Maldon or if you want to explore a genuinely spiritual place the oldest Church is St Peter’s on the Wall just a stones’ throw from the Marina at Bradwell.
Easy to get to
The journey from Liverpool Street station to Fambridge takes just less than an hour. From North Fambridge Station the marina is a short walk.
If you are coming from abroad (and we do get many people traveling from abroad - see our diversity of nationalities page) then we recommend you talk to us before booking.