Blue Box Sailing

FAQs

What is Blue Box Sailing's history?

Blue Box Sailing was set up in 2003 by Jono and Lisa the founding directors, who are still working hard to ensure Blue Box Sailing offer the best sailing experiences in the UK. Our original aim was to take boats not normally accessible to sail on unless you were a racer or professional sailor and give people the opportunity to sail on them for the day - to experience what it's all about and hopefully catch the sailing bug. Over 30,000 customers later, we are still striving to make every experience as special as the first time we sailed.

We do not offer luxury, champagne swilling, canapé eating 'sailing trips', we offer hands on sailing experiences aboard real Ocean Race Yachts.

Now retailing with all the large Gift Experience Agencies such as Red Letter Days, Buyagift, Acorne, Tesco etc we are the market leaders in the single day sailing experience market offering days out aboard our 60ft Ocean Race Yachts with a footfall of approx 3,000 passengers per year across our vessels.

Where are we?

We are based on the River Hamble at Hamble Point Marina, which has direct access to the iconic sailing waters of the Solent. See our location details here

Are there any age restrictions?

Participants must be at least 12 to come on the Afternoon Sailing Experience, Solent Sailing Experience and the Ocean Race Yacht Solent Match Race and at least 16 for the Round the Isle of Wight Match Race. Participants aged 12 to 17 they must book with a parent or guardian. There is no upper age limit.

How physically capable do I need to be?

Sailing can be a physically demanding sport, therefore we have a range of experiences designed to meet with different peoples' abilities. However due to the design of the boats there are a number of steps and a ladder inside the yacht which all participants need to be able to use.

If you think you might need assistance to move around, we would ask you book with someone who can give you a helping hand. Our Afternoon Sailing Experience and Solent Sailing Experience are less demanding than our Ocean Race Yacht Solent Match Race and Round the Isle of Wight Match Race.

What should I wear?

Wear comfortable clothes appropriate to the weather on the day that will keep you warm under the provided wet weather clothing. Trousers or jeans and a T-shirt and fleece or sweatshirt is ideal. Please remember that it will be a little bit cooler on the water than on land, so it is worthwhile bringing an extra layer with you. On colder days a warm hat and gloves are also useful. As the waterproofs come as a jacket and over trouser set (a bit like ski salopettes) we recommend that ladies do not wear skirts. You will also be provided with a lifejacket to wear at all times when on the boats.

We recommend flat shoes or waterproof footwear with non-marking soles and closed toes - something like trainers or deck shoes. Please do not wear shoes that leave a black mark when scuffed, muddy trainers, walking boots or gardening wellies as they damage the deck of the boats.

We advise against wearing open toed shoes such as flip flops or sandals as these leave toes open to injury. Regular trainers (with light or non-marking soles), deck shoes or yachting wellies are ideal.

Is there parking at the location?

Yes, we have a dedicated parking area for all our customers. As the marina is a private estate, all cars brought on to site need to have a site permit. We have organised reserved parking on site for our clients which is priced at £6/day (usually £10/day). Parking for 2 hours or less is free - so if you are dropping a family member off please let our parking attendant know. Parking permits can be purchased in advance online here or from our office staff on the day of your trip. On arrival to site, follow signs to Blue Box Sailing and you will find the parking area just outside our offices. Due to Marina Security we are required to record all car registrations at check in.

What happens if I am running late on the day?

If you are running late on the day please contact us on 02380 988966 selecting option 3. If you are more than 15 minutes late the boat may leave without you. Please allow enough time for travel as late arrivals delay the trip for everyone.

What about bad weather?

Sailing is a weather dependent sport and postponements are always made for participant's safety. Conditions which may cause the postponement of a trip are strong winds, poor visibility or thunderstorms. In every situation the decision is made by the Skipper based on the forecasts available. On average over 95% of our trips run as scheduled but unfortunately this does mean a small number of trips are postponed due to weather each year.

In the event adverse weather is forecast the day before your trip we will try and make the decision to postpone the trip as early as possible and contact you by telephone. We will also update the status on this page and our automated weatherline which you can call on 02380 988966 (option 2). Although we aim to make the decision as early as possible the day before your trip, occasionally postponements can be later if there are unexpected changes to the forecast or actual weather conditions.

In the event that your trip is postponed you will be able to rebook onto any future date that the same trip is running and has availability. Details on rebooking will be sent out to you by email as soon as possible after the postponement has been confirmed.

If booking a hotel we recommend you make a booking which you are able to cancel the day before the trip and check the weather status before travelling. If you are unsure whether to travel after calling the weatherline or reading the weather status please contact one of our office team for further advice.

What boats are the experiences run aboard?

All our experiences are run aboard our Clipper 60s Taeping, Serica and Mermerus which were entrants in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race race. The format was conceived in 1995 by the famous round the world yachtsman Sir Robin Knox-Johnson and on 16 October 1996 eight Clipper 60s left Plymouth to race around the World.

The race offered paying amateur crew members the chance to sail around the world, aboard a fleet of identical yachts. The route is based on that of the traditional Tea Clippers, following the prevailing wind and currents. Taeping, Serica and Mermerus also completed the race in 1998, 2000 and 2002.

The fleet of eight Clipper 60s were built by Colvic Craft in Essex using the design of the proven Camper and Nicholson Bluewater 58, a prestigious cruising yacht designed by the American designer David Pedrick. Modifications were made to the cruising version and included a new deck layout better suited to Ocean Racing and an enlarged rig.

Our Clipper 60s are MCA (Maritime & Coastguard Agency) commercially coded vessels. Due to the size of our vessels and number of passengers we take, we are inspected for coding every year by an external YDSA MCA Coding Level 1 Surveyor. Every season the boats also undertake a full refit, which includes lifting them from the water, professional rig checks, mechanical rebuilds and servicing.

Is there any local accommodation?

We do not have any links or association with any of the local B&Bs or hotels, but local to us are:

Farthings B&B, Hamble (5 minute drive) www.farthingsinhamble.co.uk 02380 452009
Figtree Cottage B&B, Hamble (5 minute drive) www.figtreecottagebb.co.uk 02380 458230
The Navigator, Swanwick (15 minute drive) www.thenavigatorswanwick.co.uk 01489 572123
Hamble Retreat (20 minute drive) www.hambleretreat.com 01489 572315
Premier Travel Inn, Park Gate (20 minute drive) www.premierinn.com 0871 5278396
Holiday Inn Express, West End (20 minute drive) www.hiexpress.com 02380 606060
Grand Harbour Hotel, Southampton (20 minute drive) www.grandharbourhotel.co.uk 02380 633033
Solent Hotel and Spa (20 minute drive) www.solenthotel.com 01489 880000
Botleigh Grange Hotel and Spa (20 minute drive) www.botleighgrange.com 01489 787700