If you more time taking up our Sail for a Fortnight bareboat charter means the possibilities are really exciting. Our outline itinerary below shows just how far afield you can sail with our 14 day yacht charter package.
It's a superb opportunity to get some big sailing miles in and enjoy sailing down the English Channel and across Lyme Bay. You can really get away from the hassles of day to day life. Arriving by yacht in some superb places without once hitting a motorway or traffic queue!
Stay in one place for a few days holiday or move on when you wish. You have complete freedom to to change destination to suit your plans and make the best of the winds, tides and weather.
The Night Before
Pick up your boat and complete a thorough hand over with the base team.
You could eat on board or take advantage of Port Solent’s many excellent restaurants and bars or enjoy a visit to the cinema.
You need to be berthed for the night one hour before sunset, but there’s no reason why you can’t head off to one of the Portsmouth Marinas such as the vibrant Gunwharf Quays.
Port Solent to Yarmouth
21nm - 4 hours sailing
Why not really start to make some miles and head up to Yarmouth on the first day? The busy harbour bustles with ferries and the lifeboat. The cheerful harbour staff are on hand to help with berthing.
Yarmouth has several excellent bars and restaurants. There’s a small but very well provisioned supermarket selling local produce for stocking up on supplies.
Yarmouth to Poole
21nm - 3.5 hours sailing
Catch the favourable tides through the Needles Channel and enjoy the excitement of passing the Needles. Head out into the open waters of Christchurch Bay across to Poole.
Stop at Studland Bay on one of the new eco moorings for swim before entering Poole's stunning natural harbour by the narrow Sandbanks Channel.
Poole Quay Marina is in the heart of the Old Town, and there are other marinas too.
Lulworth Cove & Weymouth
30nm - 5 hours sailing
Heading out of Poole you round first Durlston Head and then St Alban’s Head. The scenery is stunning, you are at the beginning of the Jurassic Coast and there are myriad caves and ledges that can only be seen from the sea. Anchor in the tiny, spectacular Lulworth Cove, swim in its (usually) crystal clear waters. When you’re ready, head out again and follow the coast down to the busy harbour town of Weymouth, where you can find a berth in the Marina, or on the popular town quay.
Portland to Brixham - The Big One
50nm - 8 hours sailing
Check your timings carefully and set off around the Bill and across Lyme Bay to Brixham Harbour. This is nearly 50 nautical miles and quite spectacularly beautiful, and there is a very good chance of being joined by dolphins on the way. If not, the pod of porpoises off Berry Head are likely to greet you on arrival. Brixham Marina is sheltered and easy to access – very important when you’re tired after a long passage. There are pubs and restaurants within easy reach so that when you have put the boat to bed you’ll find a well-earned meal in a relaxing setting.
Brixham to Dartmouth
10nm - 2 hours sailing
Just a short hop today round to Dartmouth – only 10nms. Before you leave Brixham you could visit the world-famous fish market and buy something for supper. Leaving Tor Bay, you pass the spectacular cliffs of Berry Head and then slip into the River Dart. There are several Marinas to choose from, and the visitors’ moorings in the river are well served by water taxis. Dartmouth’s maritime history is extensive and well worth some time spent researching it, but if that doesn’t float your boat (apologies) it is, quite simply, a beautiful town and a lovely place to explore.
You’ve done it! A major passage and a safe haven in a spectacular location, so now is definitely the time to reap the rewards. There are spectacular walks, a tour of the naval college, great shopping and wonderful restaurants. Further afield is the Dartmouth Steam Railway which runs along the coast to Paignton, and for the literary minded there is a river boat cruise to Agatha Christie’s house. There’s time to swim on one of the sandy beaches and relax with a drink on the sea front. Halfway through your sailing holiday, and it’s time for a rest day.
Dartmouth to Salcombe
20nm - 4 hours sailing
Another short hop, but what a nice one! Just 20 miles away is the beautiful harbour of Salcombe. Made famous by Tennyson’s poem ‘Crossing the Bar’, the entrance is notoriously difficult in bad weather, but glorious in light winds. Once in, there are sheltered visitors’ moorings and a hearty welcome from the harbour team. One of the best sailors’ breakfasts can be found in the quayside café, and the town is home to nautical brands such as Sea Salt, Quba and Jack Wills. Like Dartmouth, this is a sheltered spot and the perfect sailing holiday destination.
Salcombe to Torquay
25nm - 4 hours sailing
Time to start heading east again, and this time a slightly longer stretch back to the marina at Torquay. Don’t be put off by its role as an inspiration for Fawlty Towers – the attractions of its sandy beaches and friendly atmosphere are without a doubt. We’re fascinated that the Devon Tourist Board describes it as a distinctly Mediterranean traditional British seaside resort – for that reason alone it’s worth a visit! Its modern marina has much to offer, including a chandlery and café, making it a good place from which to start the passage back east.
Torquay to Weymouth
50nm - 9 hours sailing
Lyme Bay to Weymouth, and this time you have a fair chance of enjoying the prevailing south westerlies blowing you back to Portland Bill. If you have the confidence, this is a great time to hoist the spinnaker and enjoy a tremendous reach across the bay, rounding the Bill on the inshore route and making your way down to Weymouth Town Quay. The newly redeveloped quayside is a wonderful place to reflect on your achievements, and you could treat yourself to a lobster, freshly barbecued to order outside the town’s well know fishmonger.
Weymouth to Poole
30nm - 5 hours sailing
Leaving Weymouth you return along the coast, passing the legendary Durdle Dor, which rises like a prehistoric monster from the sea. You could visit the stunning Chapman’s Pool if conditions are favourable, or anchor for lunch in Warbarrow Bay. Poole Quay Marina is a great place to stop and relax for the evening and there are plenty of pubs and restaurants on the sea front.
Poole Harbour & Studland Bay
It’s a holiday, and you’ve done a couple of really long passages, so today is ideal for relaxing and doing some exploring inside Poole Harbour. There are all sorts of water sports available in the sheltered waters or you could visit Brownsea Island and its population of Red Squirrels. If you prefer, you can take advantage of the shallow keel of your Sunsail 41.0 and explore the harbour under sail – it’s a real hidden gem. Alternatively, visit Studland beach or Swanage Harbour, both lovely spots to anchor and have a picnic lunch.
Poole to Lymington
24nm - 4 hours sailing
From Poole the passage back to Lymington seems very straightforward after the longer stretches. The busy town has two lovely Marinas: the showers at the Yacht Haven are revered by sailors along the south coast. Less luxurious but more central is the well-maintained Town Quay, where you can tie up in the heart of Lymington itself and watch the world go by. It’s a great place to practice a bit of pilotage as you negotiate the Isle of Wight ferry and the fleets of colourful sailing dinghies racing in the river.
Lymington to Cowes
11nm - 2 hours sailing
The penultimate day of the holiday and time to enjoy a little of the Solent. We suggest a leisurely sail down to Cowes, stopping in the peace of Newtown Creek to enjoy a swim and to catch a glimpse of the reintroduced sea eagles and the colony of seals the live in this lovely spot. Tie up in Cowes and in the heart of British Sailing dine out in one of the many excellent hostelries to celebrate all the achievements of your fortnight.
Cowes to Port Solent
14nm - 3 hours sailing
There will be time for a little shopping in one of Cowes’ many boutiques and sailing stores before you set out for Portsmouth and home. A leisurely sail will bring you back into the historic harbour in plenty of time and you can enjoy the many sights of the naval dockyard as you make your way back up the river to Port Solent to hand your boat back to the base staff.