The Solent Sailing Weekend Course was new for 2020. The idea of the weekend is to practise old skills and learn new ones in the sheltered waters of the Solent with a fully qualified RYA instructor.
This is a course for those working towards becoming an established skipper or for those who have not sailed in a while and are looking to brush off the old cobwebs. The weekend will be a superb opportunity to get back out on the water without the pressure of trying to achieve a qualification, with plenty of opportunity to practise various skippering skills.
The course will be tailor made to include any of the following skills you would like to work on: passage planning, navigation, chartwork, points of sail practice, manoeuvres, berthing, MOB practice and mooring pickups. This is an ideal weekend to gain confidence before the next course, charter or holiday and the extra time on the water could make all the difference.
We also welcome novice sailors that would like some crewing experience and time on the water.
There will be plenty of sailing you can expect to visit some of the following destinations in the Solent: Portsmouth, Lymington, Beaulieu, Cowes, Yarmouth, Hamble and more.
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.
During your sailing course you’ll sleep on board the yacht. There’s typically three double cabins and two single berths which provide accommodation for eight people. However, there’s only ever a maximum of 5 students on board, plus the instructor.
Sometimes two people have to share the saloon or a cabin. The saloon is a large airy space with the two single berths or a large double. The cabins can have a dividing cloth to separate the space in half. You would never have to share with someone of the opposite sex.
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 could be earlier or a little later.
Upon arrival on the Friday evening the instructor will have a chat with the group to understand which skills each student would like to work on over the weekend. After checking the tides and weather, a plan will be formulated to incorporate everyone's objectives.
This course will be designed to focus on aspects that Boat Handling doesn't cover specifically, such as navigation pilotages and passage plans, plus the development of your 'skippering personality' and problem solving. You can expect to do short passages of 5-15 miles, spending Saturday night on the Isle of Wight (weather permitting.)
The course will be able to cover any aspects of the RYA Competent Crew and Day Skipper courses such as: navigation, chartwork, points of sail practice, manoeuvres, birthing, MOB practice and mooring pickups. Obviously, due to time constraints we won't be able to work on all of them.
Novice sailors will also be welcome to spend the weekend sailing in a relaxed learning environment.
Whilst the weather sailing of the south coast is actually fairly mild it is important to have the correct clothing. We provide state of the art Musto Oilskins that are brand new every year.
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 life jackets 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