Your questions answered

All our frequently asked questions

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Who are Commodore Yachting?

We are one of the longest established RYA sailing schools on the South Coast. Commodore Yachting are based in the Solent and offer a full range of shorebased, on-line and practical sailing courses as well as Solent Yacht charter. We also have a beautiful Bavaria 50 available for charter in Southern Turkey. Our aim is to give a personal service, listening to your questions and comments and doing our best to make your sailing course or charter as good as it can possibly get. Our yachts are all modern Bavarias with at least 3 cabins and wheel steering so you will be learning to sail on the same kind of yachts that are usually available for charter both in the UK and abroad.

How often do you run practical courses?

We run RYA practical courses most weeks of the year. You can find our course dates and course fees iby clicking on the box on the right hand side of every course page. You can book your sailing course on-line if you wish. If you cannot find a date to suit you we may even be able to add a date to suit you.

I want to charter a yacht, which sailing qualification do I need?

The Day Skipper course will teach you how to skipper a cruising yacht on short passages by day and the qualification is accepted by most charter companies in the UK for anyone wishing to charter a yacht under about 40 feet. If you are chartering a yacht abroad you will also need to obtain an International Certificate of Competence (ICC). By successfully passing your Day Skipper course you will be eligible to apply for this (subject to the ICC terms and conditions). There is a charge of £40.00 for this unless you are a RYA member whereby you can obtain an ICC free of charge. If you wish to charter a larger yacht you may need to prove that you are an experienced skipper or pass a Yachtmaster Coastal or Yachtmaster Offshore exam. You should also hold a VHF (SRC) Radio Licence in order to use a VHF radio on board a boat. In some countries you will not be able to charter unless you have this licence.

Do I need to take a Day Skipper theory course?

You will need to have navigation theory to the level of the RYA Day Skipper theory course. You can achieve this in several ways:

* RYA day Skipper theory course either over 5 days, 2 and 1/2 weekends, or evening classes

* On-line Day Skipper theory course

* Distance learning Day Skipper Theory course or Day Skipper correspondance course

* Combination of on-line theory course and classroom weekend course

These methods will enable you to be awarded the Day Skipper theory certificate subject to passing an exam and ensure that you are at the correct level to take the Day Skipper practical course.

* Independant self study or previous navigation experience

You will not be able to take Day Skipper theory exam but should be able to take the Day Skipper practical course although the instructor may decide you need to do some more study before awarding you with a Day Skipper certificate.

Alternatively you can take our 9 day combined theory and practical course

What sort of boat will I be on?

All our sailing courses take place on modern Bavaria yachts. You will live on board throughout the week and will stay overnight in several different harbours around the Solent and south coast.

You can find a typical training yacht on on our Solent Yacht Charter page as the yachts are also used for charter.

How many other students will be on the boat?

There will be a maximum of 5 students on the boat and a skipper.You will be accommodated throughout the course on a comfortable cruising yacht which can sleep up to 8 people in 3 cabins and the saloon. We try hard to avoid students having to share a double berth with a stranger by carefull allocation of a training yacht with the best layout suited to the crew. You can guarantee sole occupancy of a cabin by payment on an extra fee. Occasionally you will be on a larger yacht with 4 cabins.

What  is included in the course fee?

The course fee is fully inclusive and includes:

* Accommodation on board the yacht throughout the course – even for 9 day courses

* Three meals a day (except for one evening meal on 5 day courses and some weekend courses when we may eat ashore. On 9 day courses 4 evening meals are provided on board).

* Free hire of waterproofs

* All berthing fees

* All safety equipment

* Pillow and pillowcase

I’m an RYA member is there any discount?

I am sorry but we do not offer discounts for RYA members, we feel that our prices are very competitively especially as we include berthing fees, free use of waterproofs, breakfasts, lunches and 3 evening meals. Many schools charge extra for these aspects of the course but we like to provide everything within the course fee. To enable us to do this we do not give any course discounts.

I would like my friend to come but she has never been sailing before. Can we do the course together?

The RYA Competent Crew course would be the perfect course for your friend. This sailing course is suitable for the complete beginner and teaches them the sailing skills necessary to become a useful member of the crew. We often have a mix of people taking the Day Skipper course or Yachtmaster and the Competent Crew course on the same boat and we find this works very well.

Is sailing in the winter too cold for the sailing to be pleasant?

It is hard to judge how cold the weather will be in the winter months, however we have been running training courses all year including January and February and everyone has had a great time.

If the weather is really bad, what happens?

As we are based in Portsmouth Harbour it is very unlikely that a course would be cancelled owing to bad weather. Should the weather be really windy we can use the sheltered waters of the harbour for training.

I was wondering if I take a Competent Crew course running over 3 weekends, do they need to be consecutive weekends?

You can choose any weekends from our programme to suit your requirements. Sometimes we are able to add extra weekends if you cannot find a suitable weekend.

I would be arriving by train, how far is the sailing school 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.

Where can I park my car?

There is ample, secure parking at Gosport Marina. There is a charge of £8.00 per day for parking although all Commodore Yachting customers pay no more than £10.00 regardless of the length of their course or charter. Charterers can park one car free. The car park is controlled by a barrier and has security cameras and a night watchman patrols at night. You need to take a ticket when you arrive at the barrier and ask our staff to stamp it before you leave. The marina Office staff will then apply the reduced rate to your parking fee.

What do I need to bring with me?

You will need to bring a sleeping bag, 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 ‘You Boat’ just outside the marina offers our students 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!

What happens if I have to cancel my course or charter?

When you make your booking we make a commitment to you to provide you with a course or charter. This means that we set aside a boat and if it is a RYA  course we reserve a place and book a skipper to teach you. As we can only take up to 5 students on a course once we have reserved a place for you we cannot offer it to anyone else. Likewise once we have reserved a yacht it is removed from our availability calender. We have a cancellation policy that can be found in our terms and conditions which state that you also make a commitment to pay for the course or charter.  If, for whatever reason you need to make a cancellation we recommend that you take out insurance to cover your fees. If you do not already have a policy to cover you Topsail Insurance may be able to assist.