Come for a fun Bank Holiday weekend sailing an old gaffer. Skipper and mate will provide full guidance. Come whatever your experience!
Charter the whole boat and bring family and friends. The weekend is yours and you can get involved in as much or as little sailing as you like. It will be tailored according to your experience. Whether you have done little of lots of sailing on more modern boats this weekend will introduce you to sailing with a gaff rig.
There are no winches. Traditional methods are used to raise and lower the sails, of which there are 5 that can be flown at any one time. None of the ropes are colour co-ordinated, none of them are labelled! Our experienced skipper and mate will quickly help you get the hang of things.
If you have are keen to do your Day Skipper on Golden Vanity and have done your competent crew on a bermudian rig like our other boats then this weekend is ideal and will lay the foundations for you to go on to do your Day Skipper.
The weekend is also for experienced gaff rig sailors who want to learn more, brush up, or just come for a fun sail!
Golden Vanity was built in 1908 for a marine artist. On deck she is as she was over a century ago. Below decks she is has all the mod cons that you would associate with a modern yacht.
After an introduction to the boat and a chat about what all the different lines do you will head off for a weekend of sailing. Where you stop on the Saturday evening will depend on the wind and tide. If the weekend is in the Solent possible stop overs are Beaulieu, Cowes, Yarmouth, Newtown Creek.
What to Expect
You can expect a friendly skipper keen to teach you everything you want to know. You can expect like minded people. You can expect tasty fresh food. You can expect lungfulls of fresh air! You will learn lots and go home at the end of a weekend feeling happy and pleasantly tired.
Golden Vanity can take 12 people. There would generally only be a maximum of 6 plus skipper and maybe a mate on board the yacht. There are 6 dormitory style berths up forward, a berth in the saloon and two berths aft.
Golden Vanity has hot water and heating.
Except for supper on the evening you join the boat, we cater on board for all meals. We provide food that is healthy and nutritious, including salads, vegetables, white and wholemeal bread, chicken, lean minced beef, museli, cereal, yoghurt and good quality orange juice. In fact, just the kind of food that you might buy yourself. For snacks there is plenty of fruit, but also a supply of chocolate and biscuits.
If you have any special dietary requirements, we can normally accommodate these. Just let us know when you fill out your booking form.
Our boats are based in Shamrock Quay, Southampton. Getting to Shamrock Quay is very easy. It's about an 8 minute taxi ride from Southampton Central Station, or 15 minutes from Southampton Airport if you are coming from abroad. If you arrive by car there is plenty of free parking and there is security 24/7.
Occasionally a course may start on one of our boats when it is not at Shamrock Quay. It may be very close to Shamrock Quay or in Hamble. We will give you plenty of notice when this is the case.
We find it is better if you arrive the evening before your course starts. This way you can start getting to know the yacht, the skipper and your crew mates before the course really gets under way. If this is not possible then you need to be at the boat by 8.00am on the first day of the Sailing Course.
You can expect to get away by 5/5.30pm on the final day of your course. If you are catching a train we recommend you do not book a ticket in advance as we can’t guarantee you will get away at 5pm on the dot. It may be a bit earlier it may be a bit later.
If you have never sailed before or never sailed a gaffer before we will show you the ropes. If you have sailed alot before then let us know what you would like to practice and you can have a go.
Whilst the weather sailing off the Isle of Wight is actually fairly mild it is important to have the correct clothing. We provide modern, branded Oilskins - waterproof trousers and jackets, free of charge.
Space on a boat is always at a premium, so you should pack your clothes in a soft holdall that can be stowed away in a locker. Bags with wheels or metal buckles should be avoided, as these may damage the woodwork on boats. You will need:
We provide all safety equipment such as lifejackets and harnesses.
What did you like most about about your course? Well-defined and beautifully balanced act between people, didactics and technology. Combo is rarely achieved successfully but it hits the bull's eye! How would you rate the support you received during your course on a scale of 1 to 5 with 1 being very poor and 5 being excellent? 5 no doubt. From the first feedback onwards it's guaranteed you are not alone! I like the way anecdotes and facts are sprinkled occasionally alongside the syllabus, like recent ship wrecks in the Channel, etc. This certainly makes reading more interesting as text books tend to be somewhat drier. Please use any occasion to exploit that approach. That enriches the reader immensely as it is first-hand knowledge in its purest form, and that is certainly difficult to obtain anywhere else. Well done. "LJ,
"The Instructor was an excellent coach and really took the time with our class to ensure we all understood all aspects of the course. He was patient and prepared to take the time to ensure we all had the best knowledge transferred to us. He was an excellent instructor and had a significant amount of detailed knowledge that was most helpful to me and the rest of the class. He is passionate and fully committed to his work and goes above and beyond to ensure you are capable and have a really enjoyable experience learning with him. First Class Sailing are well organised and the logistics, course material and facilities were all top notch "David, Director
"First Class Sailing should be your only choice for embarking on any theoretical or practical learning experience you may require. Regardless of previous experience it is defiantly No1. Choice for getting the best start around your sailing experience requirements. "David, Director
"An excellent outfit, well equipped with good boats and brilliant instructors, that is small enough to give a warm personal service but big enough to cope with the full gamut of yachting experiences"Thomas H.,
"I am no longer scared of the engine, touching bolts etc."Georgina, Office Manager
"Excellent instructor - gave freely of his experience - very dedicated and enormously helpful."Colin McKnight,
"Professional and effective. Good equipment, taught by knowledgable and enthusiastic professionals."Ron G.,
"The instructor was the perfect balance of show and tell mixed with letting you make your own mistakes safely. (The booking process) was all very professional and friendly. I felt the booking official actually cared about getting my booking right. Friendly, personalised, professional with out being officious. "Andy C.,
"Excellent and I highly recommend to take any of First Class Sailing's courses"Daniel O., Senior Manager
"Best Sailing School in the UK!"Stefano D, Director
"Don't choose courses on basis of price. All courses are not the same. Both First Class Sailing Theory and Practical courses are 'First Class'."Michael T,
"Great practical use of equipment. Good class size. Relaxed. "Hannah T.,
"Good clear explanations and pragmatic approach, was very easy to follow. Excellent instructor."Neil M.,
"Hands on, excellent instructor. Very professional, excellent course, 1st Class Service. "Julian N.,
"Clear and focused on practical needs. "Julein Q.,
"Concise, covered all relevant and necessary material without unneeded extra time. Instructor was friendly, informative and extremely competent. "Troy B.,
"Good level of detail and experience from instructor. "Robert A.,
"Good entertaining tuition. Lots of anecdotes to make it interesting, great practical experience."Nick S.,
"The booking was well handled and the confirmation emails received speedily. Very helpful to receive pre course notes. Professional, helpful, good value. "Sarah R.,
"Friendly informative courses delivered in a relaxed environment by knowledgeable instructors. "Allyson F., Head if UK Retail Marketing, Henderson Global Investors
On the water courses that teach the beginner how to be a useful crew member and the advanced how to cross oceans.
A VHF radio is an essential piece of safety equipment and it is vital to understand the correct procedures.
Shorebased navigation classes that prepare you to safely find your way once afloat.
One day courses that broaden your knowledge and compliment the RYA practical and navigation courses.