A great sailing route along the English Channel from Hamble River (Solent) to Falmouth (Cornwall) via Scilly Islands in the world-famous sailing waters. An adventure during which you will sail a good distance and visit well-known historical landmarks and picturesque seaside towns. The voyage is aimed at novices and experienced sailors alike.
- Start: 07 July 2023 (Friday, 15:00) at Hamble River (Hamble Point Marina), UK.
- Finish: 14 July 2023 (Friday, 15:00) at Falmouth (Falmouth Marina), UK. It will be possible to leave the luggage on the boat during the last day.
The start and end dates are fixed.
Whole trip (8 days) per person:
- £700 / 800 Euro (100 Euro / day) for a bunk. Deposit (50% of the balance) to be paid within one week of booking, the rest 35 days before the start date.
- £120 (£15 / day) for consumables. Collected during the joining day for all food consumed onboard, harbour fees and diesel. This is a realistic estimation. Any remainder will be refunded at the end of the trip.
The trip is non-commercial and runs in a friends-sailing manner. The contribution per person is fixed no matter how many people have booked the trip. The trip will run regardless of the number of participants.
What is not included:
- Optional expenses like rental vehicles or food & beverages consumed ashore
- Travel to and from the boat
- Personal travel insurance (highly recommended) - you can find some recommendations in the FAQ
- Personal laundry (some ports have facilities to do laundry if you need it)
How much to bring in addition?
Generally, you won’t need anything in addition, but this will depend on how much you want to eat in restaurants and spend on other things like souvenirs and tourist attractions. Some people prefer to eat only on the boat and don’t spend anything on restaurants and some prefer to eat outside whenever we are on land. This is very individual.
Who can join
You can join even if you have no sailing experience. You will learn everything needed on board.
You will become an active member of the crew. You are not just a passenger. During the voyage, you will assist with helming, sail trimming and all the normal duties of a crew member whilst having the opportunity to learn about weather, routing, navigation, boat handling and many more according to your interests and experience. Above all, it should be fun and recreational for everyone.
If English is not your native language, and you don’t know the English sailing terms, don’t worry. You will learn the necessary vocabulary in no time while on board.
- Start: Getting to Hamble Point Marina is easy with great transport links from around the UK by road and rail. Hamble is also well served by air throughout the UK and some European locations with Southampton International Airport. If you come from outside the UK, the cheapest option is usually to fly to London and take National Express bus to Southampton.
- Finish: Travel from Falmouth is very straightforward by road, rail or by air. By rail, Falmouth is very well served via Great Western Railway. By air, you can fly from an international Newquay Cornwall airport to numerous locations throughout the UK and some European locations. If you fly outside the UK, the cheapest option is usually to take National Express bus from Falmouth to London and fly from there.
Try the following websites to find the best flight connections:
Let us know, we can help you find the best connections!
Marcin Wojtyczka: RYA Yachtmaster Ocean commercially endorsed, RYA Yachtmaster Cruising Instructor
What should you pack
You can download a complete checklist here.
The most important items:
- head torch for night sailing
- boat shoes that don’t leave marks on the deck
- foul weather gear (if you have one), otherwise waterproof jacket
- waterproof boots (normal rubber wellies are fine as long as they don’t leave marks on deck)
- some warmer clothes for the night
- insurance policy
- payment/credit cards
- phone with charger
- sleeping bag
This will be a pleasant sailing with time to explore ashore. In total, we should log around 320 nautical miles and 60h in tidal waters. The general mode will be to sail for a day and stay another day in the harbour to explore ashore.
Hamble River (Solent, near Southampton) - Lymington (Solent) - Lulworth Cove (Jurassic coast) - Weymouth/Portland - Dartmouth - Fowey or Scilly Islands (weather dependent) - Falmouth
We will be maintaining a watch system to ensure everyone is well rested and meals are prepared.
We will try to stick to the planned route, but the final itinerary will be decided in association with you, the crew, in light of the weather and crew conditions at the time.
First 40.7 ("Abraxas")
She is a well-maintained boat, lifted out regularly to check hull, keel and prop. She is in excellent condition and recently had her keel re-bonded. We will inspect the boat thoroughly before the voyage to ensure that every bit of equipment is absolutely ship-shaped.
The First 40.7 has been one of the most popular production racing yachts. Over 700 of these yachts are afloat, and they have won many major events, including the overall winner of the Sydney-Hobart race in both the IMS and IRC divisions. Despite this, they also make a good and fast cruising yacht. Abraxas herself has sailed the ARC and been raced by her owner.
- Year: 2006
- Type: sailing
- CE design category: A – Ocean
- Hull: monohull
- Keel type: fin
- Length (LOA): 11.95 m (40 ft)
- Waterline length (LWL): 10.60 m (34.83 ft)
- Hull speed: 7.9kt
- Berths (Bunks): 8 (3 double cabins & 2 singles in saloon)
- WC / Shower: 1
- Beam: 3.76 m
- Draught: 2.4 m
- Engine: Yanmar 3JH4-CE
- Fuel capacity: 129 l (Diesel)
- Water capacity: 318 l
- Displacement: 9677 kg
- Sails: main (slab reef, 3 reefs), genoa (furling), storm jib, symmetric spinnaker with a spinnaker pole
- Pillows for each crew member
- Electric Anchor Windlass
- DSC VHF radio
- Handheld VHF DSC radio
- AIS class B transponder (Transponder/Receiver)
- Radar reflector
- Chart plotter with GPS and digital chartography charts
- Sextant Astra IIIB Deluxe
- PredictWind Offshore app (satellite-enabled license) - Ocean Racing proven, highest resolution marine forecasts
- Complete set of pilot books, almanacs and charts
Average weather conditions can be found here.
During the day you can expect on average very pleasant temperature of 21° C during the day and 15° C at night. July has an average maximum temperature of 23° C and is the warmest, sunniest and driest month of the year in the UK. You may expect a few isolated showers during the whole trip.
Seawater is warm in July with an average of 18° C.
Wind and sea state
Southern England is one of the more sheltered parts of the UK, the windiest areas being in the west closer to the Atlantic. Wind conditions in July are excellent in the English Channel with an average of 4-5 Bft blowing from westerly sectors. The strongest winds are associated with the passage of low pressure close to or across the UK but are not common in July.
The route is divided into several passages with some night sailing. You will receive a certificate of passage to prove your sea time for sailing licenses. You will be an active member of the crew, and we will provide practical training on board to everyone that will be interested to improve your sailing skills.
We give a great amount of responsibility to each crew member in running the ship so that you can gain a good experience and learn new skills as much or as little as you want. The skipper is an instructor and will find it difficult not to teach or coach anyone who shows the slightest bit of interest.
RYA qualifying passages
If you are an aspiring Skipper or Yachtmaster, it will be an excellent opportunity to gain some offshore miles, practice navigation, pilotage and COLREG skills so that you can be more confident and comfortable when taking a boat out to sea on your own.
The opportunity will also be there to act as a skipper (with guidance if needed from the skipper) for your RYA Yachtmaster Coastal or RYA Yachtmaster Offshore qualifying 60M passages.
Main topics that you can learn or brush up:
- Maneuvering under sails & engine: berthing, hoisting and lowering sails, reefing, tacking, gybing, sail trim
- Safety: use of liferaft, lifejacket, EPIRB, PLB, AIS beacons, managing emergencies
- Equipment: use of Autopilot, AIS, VHF, Satellite communication
- Weather forecasts and weather routing
- Offshore & Coastal navigation: digital and traditional (including astronavigation)
- Night navigation
- Pilotage and passage planning in tidal waters
- Use of Symmetric Spinnaker and a Spinnaker pole
- Storm tactics and the use of storm jib
- Life on board: organization of watches, nutrition, sleep management
07 July: Joining day - Hamble River (Hamble Point Marina)
We will spend the first day preparing and victualling the yacht, going over the safety routines and practices, getting up to speed with the boat and learning or refreshing all the basic sailing skills before we embark on the journey. Once we slip the lines there will be plenty of occasions to practice tacking, gybing, reefing, boat handling under the engine and all the other key skills we must have.
Solent and Isle of Wight
Hamble Point Marina
The River Hamble is a major centre for all types of recreational boating, home to thousands of sailing yachts and motorboats and recognised as the home of British Yachting.
Hamble Point Marina is hard to beat for its location alone, right at the mouth of the River Hamble with easy access to the world-famous waters of the Solent, a strait of the English Channel between the Isle of Wight and Great Britain. This makes the marina a magnet for competitive sailors from around the globe, and a favourite with racers and cruising yachtsmen alike.
Lymington (~14 NM / 3h of sailing)
The Solent encompasses a large area of protected water and is probably one of the busiest and most famous sailing areas in the world. It is an area steeped in history and natural beauty, with pretty fishing ports, islands and a wealth of activities.
The Georgian market town of Lymington is set on the coast in the beautiful New Forest National Park, between Southampton and Bournemouth. Famous for its sailing history, there are two large marinas Yacht Haven and Lymington Marina both of which are within walking distance of the town centre. The town's narrow streets are lined with pretty period cottages and houses, as well as plenty of local pubs and restaurants.
Lulworth Cove and Weymouth/Portland (~46 NM / 9h of sailing)
This will be a good, full day's sailing and a great chance to develop your sailing skills and practise navigation.
The Needles on the Isle of Wight
On the way to the lovely coastal town of Weymouth we will try to visit Lulworth Cove, a stunning almost circular cove, formed by geological processes millions of years ago. The Cove and surrounding coastline are part of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site recognised for its outstanding rocks, fossils and landforms. The visit can be started at the great Lulworth Cove Visitor Centre to learn more about the cove and how it was formed, as well as interesting geological features nearby like the epic Stair Hole and Durdle Door. You can then walk down onto the beach which is usually very sheltered and perfect for a quick swim!
Durdle Door Beach in the Jurassic Coast
Weymouth Bay has often been described as England's Bay of Naples. It has something to offer everyone with golden sands, safe bathing and beautiful coastline scenery. It is ideally situated for exploring much of the lovely surrounding countryside and is largely unspoilt by tourism.
Dartmouth (~62 NM / 12h of sailing)
Another great day of sailing will take us to Dartmouth, full of beautiful coastlines, winding streets, traditional pubs and history. Rounding Portland Bill headland is interesting as there is a ferocious tidal stream off the Bill, reaching seven knots at springs.
Portland Bill Lighthouse
Dartmouth is a beautiful town situated on the banks of the picturesque River Dart. Dartmouth is full of history and heritage, no trip to Dartmouth would be complete without visiting Dartmouth Castle, or Agatha Christie's Greenway National Trust Holiday Home. After exploring the town, it is worth heading out into the surrounding countryside. You can take one of the many footpaths surrounding the town and discover the wonderful countryside or coastal views.
Scilly Islands (~118 NM / 24h of sailing)
If the weather allows, we will visit the Isles of Scilly, an archipelago off the southwestern tip of Cornwall. Everything looks and feels quite different on Scilly - simpler, kinder, more innocent. The islands are covered in heathland, and fringed by sandy beaches such as Great Bay on St. Martin's.
Land's End headland
The Isles of Scilly
The Isles of Scilly are made for walking. Unspoilt, untouched and truly peaceful, you can enjoy the spectacular coastal paths, nature trails, fields of flowers and top-to-toe island walks.
Fowey (~50 NM / 10h of sailing)
If we cannot reach Scilly Islands, we will stop in Fowey which is an active port of outstanding natural beauty. It features a powerful mix of serious commercial shipping and almost equally serious yachting, always a lively place.
South West Coast Path between Fowey and Lantic Bay
The River Fowey in South Cornwall
The Fowey Estuary has much to offer the visitor, not only in the towns and villages but also the surrounding countryside.
Falmouth (~22 NM / 5h of sailing)
Falmouth harbour is a real sailor town and a favourite jumping-off point for ocean voyagers, as well as those whose aims are less grand. Falmouth is one of the finest all-weather harbours in the British Isles.
Coastline near Falmouth
Falmouth offers everything from superb Blue Flag beaches, cliff walking and a bustling town centre with a wide range of top-quality cafes, shops, galleries and restaurants. There are numerous attractions in and around Falmouth including the National Maritime Museum and the historic Pendennis Castle.
14 July: Finishing day, Falmouth
We will finish our trip in Falmouth. If you want to continue the journey with us join the next leg to sail from Falmouth to Scilly and back to Hamble River.
Check out the FAQ section for common questions.
Still have questions? Please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’d love to hear from you.
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- English Channel Routes