Solent Yacht Charter – your questions answered
I want to charter a yacht, which sailing qualification do I need?
Whilst the Day Skipper course will teach you how to skipper a cruising yacht on short coastal passages by day and is accepted by most charter companies in the UK, the Coastal Skipper course will enable you to add night sailing. If you are chartering a yacht abroad, your Coastal Skipper certificate will enable you to apply for an International Certificate of Competence (subject to the ICC terms and conditions). If you wish to charter a larger yacht or sail further afield, you may need to prove that you are an experienced skipper or pass a Yachtmaster Coastal or Yachtmaster Offshore exam.
Do I need a VHF Licence to charter a yacht?
Technically yes. Whilst you can charter in the UK without a VHF licence, you are required to have one should you need to use the VHF radio. This might be to call a marina, the coastguard or to send a Mayday or Panpan. Taking a VHF Radio Course either as a one day classroom course or online will help prepare you to make the correct call using the appropriate format should you need to. You will also learn about DSC, AIS and personal locator beacons. You can find out more by following the links below:
I would like to charter a yacht for a longer trip across the Channel to France. I am not confident in making a night entrance into a harbour, would I be able to make this trip during daylight hours?
Firstly, as a skipper you should be able to work out an approximate ETA based on the tides and wind forecast and make allowance for a slower than expected passage. In most cases 12 – 16 hours should be planned for a Channel crossing and so you can usually expect a night exit or entry at some point during the passage. Even in midsummer, if you are delayed at all, you might need to make a night entry arriving in Cherbourg or back into Portsmouth Harbour.
We offer Weekend and 5 day Milebuilding trips offering the opportunity for nightsailing under the guidance of a professional RYA instructor. These trips are perfect for anyone wishing to develop their skills and gain experience before chartering a little further afield.
What sort of yachts do you have?
All our yachts are modern Bavaria cruising yachts. Each yacht is designed for ease of sailing and has 3 or 4 comfortable cabins with on board toilet and washing facilities. The galley is well equipped with a oven and gas hob, fridge and plenty of storage. The cockpit is spacious with wheel steering and plenty of seating for the crew.
How can I be sure about safety?
All our yachts are coded by the Maritime Coastguard Agency (MCA) and have to meet demanding standards of safety. In addition Commodore Yachting have added extra safety features such as crotch straps on life jackets for extra peace of mind.
What is included in the charter fee?
- All safety equipment as standard
- Yachts come with a full tank of fuel, you only pay for what you use.
- Free gas
- Electricity credit at Gosport Marina
I have found a cheaper yacht, can you match the price?
We will match like for like pricing and availability but most competitors are offering less for the lower charter fee! What you get from Commodore Yachting:
- The highest standards of safety
- A well maintained, clean and comfortable modern yacht
- Professional handover and handback
- Pre and post charter administration
- Extended charter period – charter periods are from 1800 hrs the evening before until 1600 hrs on the final day for both weekend and longer charters
In 2018 we were awarded the Trip Adviser ‘Certificate of Excellence’ for the third time so it would seem we are getting it right!
So no discounts?
Luckily, we are able to make discounts from time to time. Amazingly, the way we offer discounts actually helps us to save money by ensuring unfilled yachts are offered. Check our Website and Facebook page for last minute discounts. We also send out newsletters from time to time with special offers. If you are flexible with regard to dates you might consider booking a STAND BY charter saving 20% on charter fees.
I have a long distance to travel and would like to arrive the evening before the charter begins. Do I need to book a hotel?
You can board your yacht on the Friday or Sunday evening before your charter begins. We suggest 1800 hrs as a good time to arrive but there is no problem if this is too early for you, just e-mail us with your arrival time.
I would be arriving by train, how far is Commodore Yachting from the station?
We are based at Gosport Marina and it takes about 5 minutes to cross the harbour from Portsmouth Harbour station on the Gosport ferry which can be found just outside the station. We are then 5 minutes walk from the Ferry port. We are also within easy walking distance of the national coach drop off points.
What do I need to bring with me?
You will need to bring a sleeping bag, pillow and pillow case, towel and some warm clothing. It can sometimes be cooler on a boat even in the summer. You will also need some non slip shoes with non marking soles. You don’t need to buy special sailing clothes but if you want to purchase anything there is a Marine Store, ‘You Boat’ just outside the marina which offers our charterers a 10% discount off most items.
You may also want to bring any special snacks / drinks that you can’t live without as it is impossible to cater for everyone’s favourites!