Learn Tidal Sailing in the Solent4,562 views | February 10th, 2015
It is quite common for people to wonder about the relative merits of taking the Day Skipper yachting course in the Mediterranean or the Solent.
The thought of first rate Mediterranean hospitality and glorious sunshine are definite temptations. However, learning on the Solent is the only real option.
There is a very good reason why: the tides. If you can cope on the Solent then sailing elsewhere, particularly in non-tidal areas will seem very straight forward.
Tidal Variation is the Best Education
Those of you with an understanding of coastal conditions may well be aware that the Mediterranean sea is classed as non-tidal.
The gravitational forces projected by the sun and moon are relatively minimal due to the great scale and geographical nature of this area. There are still significant differences in the Spring and Neap tides.
However, they don’t have a particularly great impact upon navigation and it is far easier to plan coastal expeditions and learn basic navigational skills in this part of the world.
The problems arise if you take an RYA Day Skipper course in the Med as the RYA will only grant you a non-tidal practical certificate because of limited exposure to tidal extremes. Sailors with this qualification will be restricted to expeditions in non-tidal areas.
Learn on the Solent and Sail the World
The coastal conditions are far more challenging in the Solent. Strong gravitational forces result in a considerable range between high and low water.
Sailors have to take account of unique factors such as the young flood stand and relatively short ebb tide. The waters rise significantly during the first couple of hours after the spring tide and subside before ascension to the high point.
Considerable tidal variations result in a phenomenon known as double high water. The RYA recognise the challenge of sailing in the Solent and grant tidal certificates to those who complete the practical Day Skipper course in this area.
Imagine yourself, knowing this knowledge and the confidence it will give you for almost any situation at sea.
Novice sailors who complete the Day Skipper qualification in the Solent enjoy a great sense of achievement and increased confidence.
They are able to deal with many of the issues which arise in both tidal and non-tidal areas.
Those who are keen to take their seafaring skills to the next level are encouraged to arrange training with the First Class Sailing school because even though the tides will wait for no one, at least you will know why and make full use of them!
If you have passed a RYA course on the Mediterranean and would like to add tidal knowledge to your skill set then please call the office and we’ll add you to the next available course – telephone 0203 006 3717.
Posted by: firstclass