Mountain Bike and Sailing Holiday – Activity Breaks Weekends

At Universal Yachting, we provide a fun activity break weekends for everyone no matter what level of experience

Enjoy an active sporting weekend involving two great activities… We provide the yacht and a skipper so all you need to know is how to ride a bike!!

Open to anyone of mixed experience and fitness levels, sailors and non-sailors alike. This is a great weekend whether you want to come down on your own or put together your own group.

We have a variety of routes on the Isle of Wight to suit your prefere
nce of on road or off road cycling. We supply route guides and our support team are on hand to assist throughout the day. Oh and don’t worry if you have never sailed before our experienced skipper will oversee the on water aspects.




Bike to Yamouth

  • Meet in Hamble around 1600 hrs Friday
  • Drop off bikes and meet skipper for introduction and briefings
  • Sail to Cowes
  • Eat ashore
  • Accommodation onboard






Breakfast on Board

  • Breakfast on board
  • Meet up with shore team to collect bikes
  • Days biking around the Isle of Wight finishing in Yarmouth
  • Organised routes to suit experience levels
  • Route guides and GPS tracks
  • Lunch
  • Roadside support in case of problems
  • Meet at Yarmouth Marina to clean up
  • Bikes transported back to Hamble
  • Eat ashore
  • Accommodation on board




Sailing Holiday

  • Experience a days sailing around the Solent
  • Lunch on board
  • Play an active part or simply sit back and relax
  • Skipper on hand to teach you the ropes
  • Finish in Hamble around 1600 hrs





Accommodation and What We Provide….

Accommodation is provided on board the yacht along with enough food for your breakfasts and lunches. Evenings are spent ashore in Cowes & Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight sampling one or two of the many pubs and restaurants.

  • Fully equipped yacht
  • Professional skipper
  • Safety equipment (i.e lifejackets)
  • Food & soft drinks for breakfasts and lunches
  • Pillows and pillow cases

For More Details you can Click here.

If you are interested or have any Question, Contact Us!

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Yacht Maintenance & Repairs

With our own team of trained and experienced technicians we are able to offer a fully mobile yacht maintenance & repairs service.

Lets us look after your vessel this winter. We also antifoul and polish hulls !!


Unfortunately boating is never trouble free but we can take the hassle out of any work required by:

  • Bringing in the right people for the job
  • Getting work carried out quickly
  • Getting the best value for your money

We also carry out equipment upgrades and fit out yachts with generators, air conditioning and water makers.

Given that we are not tied in to any one manufacturer we can provide independent advice on what equipment is best suited to your needs and installation.

We offer a range of services including


  • Antifouling & Hull Polishing
  • Winch Servicing
  • Gel Coat & GRP Repairs
  • Engines and Electrics
  • Mast & Rigging
  • Electronics
  • Deck Equipment & Hardware
  • Sail & Cover Repairs
  • French Polishing
  • Wood and Teak Repairs
  • Antifouling
  • Teak renovation
  • Valeting

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Learn to Sail in 2 Days – RYA Start Yachting Course with Universal Yachting & YBW

Whether you are completely new to sailing, want a refresher or would like to do the Competent Crew or the Day Skipper courses, the RYA Start Yachting course is the first step towards starting your sailing adventure.

The course takes place over a weekend and teaches the basics of sailing. From learning the names of the various boat parts, rope work, learning the points of sail, steering a boat under sail or power, meteorology, rules of the road and man overboard recovery, to clothing and emergency equipment and precautions, all the basics are covered.

Pack the right gear

I set off to Mercury Marina in Hamble on a Friday afternoon, armed with my Gill compact sailing bag, packed full with all the gear I’d be needing on the boat. It’s important to have the right kit and be prepared for all kinds of weather.
I take with me my faithful Musto Br1 Channel Jacket which is always brilliant at protecting from water and strong winds, a Musto Extreme Thermal Fleece for warmth and Musto Women’s Evolution Performance UV trousers, which keep you dry and are also very comfortable to wear on a boat. I’m always a little nervous about falling overboard so I wear footwear with excellent grip, and two pairs go in the bag: Gill Competition Sailing Boots and Sperry Slip On Sneakers. Protection from the sun is hugely important too, so SPF30 sun screen, a hat and Gill Sienna Sunglasses are essential given that the weather forecast predicts a hot weekend on the Solent. Last but definitely not least, I take a sleeping bag to keep me warm for next two nights.

RYA Sailing Course Solent


I immediately inspect the cabin, which I’ll be sharing with one of my sailing companions. It’s cosy, but I’m not here to sleep and it’ll do very well for the weekend.

The Oceanis 37 cabin and the Gill bag packed with all the sailing essentials

The rest of the group arrives. It’s five of us including Clive, our skipper.

We are all here for different reasons. Martin would like to learn the basics of yachting to potentially go on to do the RYA Competent Crew course and enjoy holidays afloat with his family.
Jane, who has some previous sailing experience, is here for a refresher ahead of taking part in one leg of the ARC race on a friend’s yacht this November.
Steve already holds the RYA Day Skipper certificate, but he too wants a refresher before going on a flotilla holiday with his wife, daughter and friends. And then there’s me: a lover of boats who, following a couple of minor sailing accidents as a teenager, has become a little scared of water.

Clive, our skipper, is warm and welcoming and immediately makes everybody feel at home. He briefs us on the do and don’ts of being on a yacht before we set off for dinner to get to know each other.

Let the sailing begin!

The weather is warm and sunny and on Saturday morning we gather for breakfast before our in-depth briefing. We are taught the safety rules first: how to use fire extinguishers and wear life jackets, what to do in case of an emergency and how to use a VHF marine radio.

It’s then time to get acquainted with the rigging and sails.
It’s a lot to take in, but Clive’s motto is to learn by doing and soon we all know what he means when he talks about a jib, reefs and mainsail.

Mooring lines slipped, it’s time to leave the marina and let the fun (and hard work!) commence.

Hoisting the mainsail and jib is no mean feat, but with a bit of teamwork, up they go, and away we sail.

Today is all about learning the points of sail, gybing, taking the helm mastering some basic rope work, mooring the boat to a pontoon, anchoring and using winches.

Being on a boat is all about working together. Everybody has a job and it’s important not to be in each other’s way.

Clive is incredibly patient and happily explains things over and over until we get them.

As we sail towards Gosport Marina, we see Sir Ben Ainslie and his team practising on the Land Rover BAR. We all get very excited, especially Jane and I, who snap away at the catamaran until we get a good picture.

I’m behind the helm, heading towards Gosport. It’s a great feeling, but keeping the boat on course is not as easy as it looks. But we do get to our destination and it’s now time to secure Splash to our berth, freshen up and go for a well-earned drink and spot of dinner.
It’s only the end of our first day of sailing but I’m already feeling more confident, and I’m jumping on and off the moored boat without fear of falling into the water.

img_0164-400x400-150x150When you are sailing with a group you work, sleep and eat in very close proximity so it’s no surprise that by Saturday night it feels like the five of us have known each other for a long time, and not just 24 hours. As we enjoy dinner at Gosport Marina, our skipper Clive regales us with tales of his time in the Navy and the fascinating, if a little terrifying, story of when he took part in the 1979 Fastnet race.

The feeling of achievement and camaraderie bring a wonderful day of sailing to an end. With one more day to go, it’s time to get a good night’s sleep, ready to tackle tomorrow.


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Your bluewater cruise of a lifetime – making it a reality!

Many people only dream of taking off on their yacht and sailing away over the horizon for their bluewater cruise of a lifetime!

rya-yachtmaster-scheme-certificates-competenceWhen Julian and Lynne Ronnie decided they wanted to do just that, they felt they would benefit from enhancing their sailing skills first. So they contacted Universal Yachting on the best way to prepare for their trip.

We helped Julian and Lynne choose the right RYA training courses and set up some bespoke training working on specific sailing skills.

Julian takes up their story. “Our bucket list included crossing the Atlantic, and we signed up for the ARC which gave us eighteen months to learn all we needed to learn.

We did a number of RYA courses with Universal Yachting, including Day Skipper for Lyn, and Coastal Skipper for me. The great thing was that we were able to do it on our own boat with just the two of us on board plus the instructor.

This meant that nothing we learnt was simply theoretical or suitable for a different boat or with more crew. Everything we were taught applied directly to us. And of course with such direct one to one supervision we were able to cover much more than is strictly in the RYA syllabus.

RYA-YachtmasterClive, our instructor, was able to show us MOB procedures for double handed sailors (of course you are single handed if one of you is over the side.) Fortunately we haven’t needed that one!

But also we covered picking up mooring balls, and berthing short handed, and even putting up the cruising chute. When you are learning to sail, nothing of course beats sheer experience and hours at sea, but doing these courses certainly speeded up the process.”

The Ronnie’s set off from the Solent in the summer of 2014, took part in the World Cruising Club ARC Rally. They have been cruising the Caribbean and around the shores of the United States ever since.

Make a bluewater cruise your reality!
Find out about the right RYA training course for you.

Read more about the Ronnie’s amazing voyage on

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Universal Yachting to show Dufour 350 GL at the Poole Harbour Boat Show


Universal Yachting, agents for Dufour Yachts in the South, will have the Dufour 350 Grand Large on show at thePoole Harbour Boat Show taking place on the Town Quay, 20-24 May.

Visitors to the show will be able see the Dufour 350 GL which offers an amazing amount for a yacht under 34 feet. Adopting many of the features and Dufour ‘DNA’ that appear in the larger Dufour Grand Large range, the 350 balances effective use of space with effortless sailing and enhanced performance.

Below decks the quality woodwork, bold, elegant lines and clean finish create a comfortable yet highly functional living space. Large deck windows allow for plenty of light to create a roomy and airy environment. The three cabin model amply allows space for six people. Smart interior design features, such as the introduction of double doors to front cabin, help create the sense of open space.

A modular approach to furnishing, including the navigation table which drops down and becomes an extension to the bench seat, also helps to maximise use of living space when at anchor.

A generous galley has a 120 litre fridge, two sinks, an oven with two gas burners and a wine ‘cave’ accessed through a floor hatch.


On deck, the Dufour 350 is all about performance and ease of sailing. Her modern hull shape, with chines for greater stability, is combined with a self-tacking jib and high aspect sails for extra performance. Additional steering seats for both wheels can be tucked away to create more cockpit space after sailing. Recognising that their owners spend over 70% time above decks, Dufour have moved the mainsheet bridle from the cockpit table to coach roof, creating open space in the cockpit, and enabling a Bimini to be fitted easily.

poole-harbour-boat-show-2016-logoThe genoa and mainsheet are now easily controlled on winches located near to the helmsman, making short handed-sailing very straight forwards. An overlapping 108% genoa can be fitted for extra performance and the Dolphin bowsprit is designed to carry a Code Zero off wind sail. The Code Zero, which does not have to be dropped, allows close reaching and can be easily furled from the cockpit to gybe or stow it, making manouevures safer and simpler for the crew.

Chris Warwick, MD of Universal Yachting commented “Having seen the success of last year’s event, we are delighted to participating in the Poole Harbour Boat Showfor the first time. It is our first year as Dufour’s south cost dealer and the Show will give us an excellent platform to promote te 350 and the rest of Dufour’s high class performance cruising yachts.”

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10 Fascinating Facts about the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-2015

If you love yachting as much as we here at Universal Yacht Charter do, then we are sure you will be as excited as we are at the start of the Volvo Ocean Race on October 11th.

Read Our 10 Fascinating Facts About The Volvo Ocean Race Here….

  • 15001572937_2aa99ecc60_z-300x210The Volvo Ocean Race was formerly known as the Whitbread Round the World Race and is held every 3 years.
  • The first race of this globe-circling regatta was in 1973 and started in Portsmouth, United Kingdom on the 8th September.
  • The original course was designed to follow the route of the original square riggers that in the 19th Century, carried cargo around the world.
  • In 2001 the sponsorship was claimed by Volvo and renamed, this also introduced more stopover ports in Sweden, France and Germany.
  • There is no cash prize for winning the race! Just the glory and accomplishment achieved.
  • 11731530184_351a13df5a_z-300x225The Southern Ocean is generally where the worst weather conditions are encountered with 100 foot waves and wind speeds of up to 60 knots!
  • The 2014-15 race is the longest route in the history of the race – covering four oceans, five continents and 38,739 nautical miles!
  • It’s the longest sporting event in the world – lasting up to 9 months
  • The race takes in 11 ports, starting in Alicante, Spain and finishing in Gothenburg, Sweden
  • For the first time since 2001, one of the seven teams is the all-female Team SCA.

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Navigate your way through the multitude of training opportunities!

The old adage that ‘you never stop learning’ could not be more applicable than to sailing. Whilst anyone can just get in a boat, it’s wise to get some training and experience before setting off over the horizon.

Recognised around the world, RYA (Royal Yachting Association) training courses and qualifications are designed to encourage high standards of seamanship and navigation.
Courses are delivered through over 2500 RYA recognised Training Centres across 49 countries. The RYA Tick Mark logo indicates Centres will have fully qualified instructors, suitable yachts conforming to MCA regulations, and appropriate safety management processes in place.

“Obtaining an RYA qualification means you have achieved a clearly recognised standard providing the practical skills and essential knowledge for your safety and enjoyment afloat,” comments RYA Training Manager, Richard Falk.  “The courses are designed to provide everything you need to learn safely and build confidence, giving a great foundation to go and build your experience on your own.”


Choosing a training centre

Having a clear idea of your sailing aspirations will influence where to learn. Whether your goals are day sailing with friends and family, charter sailing on the Mediterranean or blue water cruising around the World, picking the right venue and training is important.

Most commercial Training Centres offer a variety of courses throughout the year, and have a selection of boats for building experience. Many sailing clubs are approved Training Centres, although whilst courses may be lower cost, not all clubs have the range of relevant courses, dates and facilities available.

If your plans are only sailing in non-tidal waters such as the Med, courses at a holiday venue can be an easy start. Navigation and manoeuvring are definitely less complicated without the affects of tide. Learning in busy tidal, complicated waters, such as the Solent, dealing with a complete range of conditions and commercial traffic, will assist you to become a more competent, experienced and well rounded sailor. If you learn to sail in non-tidal waters there are conversation courses should you subsequently wish to gain tidal experience.

Which course for you?

The RYA Start Yachting and Competent Crew courses are both water based courses aimed at novices and do not require any previous experience.

Start Yachting:
Normally a two day course, you will achieve a basic knowledge of yachting, experienced steering a yacht, sail handling, rope work, rules of the road and be aware of safety and emergency procedures onboard. It’s a great way to establish if yacht sailing is for you, without investing too much time and money.

Competent Crew:
Typically 5 days this course is an introduction to cruising and teaches personal safety, seamanship and helmsmanship. It’s ideal for people seeking to step up from dinghy sailing, or who have tried yacht crewing and want to learn more.

The course includes yachting terminology, rigging and sails, ropework, fire precautions and fighting, man overboard, emergency equipment, meteorology, seasickness, general duties and manners. After the course you will be able to steer, handle sails, keep a lookout and be a useful crew. It can be completed in 3 days if you have already done Start Sailing.


Move up the ladder
Once armed with the basic skills you will want to get afloat. Joining a club, taking part in cruising rallies, sailing with friends, there’s many ways to build your experience.

If you plan to own or charter a yacht, or sail with friends and family less experienced than you, the RYA offers further training stages – the RYA Day Skipper, Coastal Skipper, Yachtmaster Coastal and Yachtmaster Offshore. Each course progresses you to a higher level, enabling you to sail further afield and throughout the night.

Chris Warwick, MD of Universal Yachting based in Hamble comments “The courses are carefully pitched for different levels of expertise. You can enter the RYA scheme at any level, depending on your experience and abilities. The courses reinforce good practice, can fill in the gaps in your experience and knowledge, and are a quick way to refresh rusty skills – which can help boost confidence too!”

It is counter productive to attempt a course above your standard, as the courses assume, and suggest, a minimum level of pre-course experience.
Day Skipper:
An intensive 5 day course, and the minimum requirement to charter a yacht. It includes boat handling, sail selection, all aspects of being a skipper, pilotage, navigation, seamanship, weather forecasting, victualing and passage planning. Requirements:
5 Days sea time / 100 miles / 4 night hours
Navigation to Day Skipper – shorebased standard
Basic sailing ability

Many countries require sailors to have an ICC (International Certificate of Competence), which is the equivalent to the RYA Day Skipper.

The new Dufour 350
Ph: Guido Cantini / Dufour/Sea&

Coastal Skipper:
This covers the skills and techniques required to skipper a cruising yacht safely on coastal and offshore passages by day and night. The requirements assume attendees will be competent sailors with a good knowledge navigation theory and meteorology:
15 Days sea time with 2 days as skipper / 300 miles / 8 night hours
Navigation to Day Skipper – shorebased standard
Competent / Day skipper sailing ability

Top of the class
Requiring considerably more pre-course experience, the next stages are the RYA Yachtmaster Coastal, Offshore and Ocean Certificates of Competence. These will thoroughly demonstrate your sailing abilities and can lead on to commercial endorsement and career opportunities. Whilst Training Centres will run Yachtmaster preparation courses, the qualifications are gained only by examination conducted by an independent RYA Yachtmaster examiner.

Alternative learning opportunities 
In addition to the formal RYA qualifications, we offer courses such as cross channel or long distance mile building cruises to build your experience,

For example, we offer a variety of bespoke courses where you can develop specific elements of your sailing expertise. A day spent on a sail handling can really help understand how to get the best performance from your boat upwind and downwind. And an own boat familiarisation or Boat handling courses are particularly helpful to focus on manoeuvring in tight spaces and parking.