Here are answers to some of our most commonly asked questions.

At Girls for Sail we don't think there is any such thing as a silly question! If you can't find the answer to your question here then please get in touch - our lovely ladies in the office are happy to help and provide you with as much information as you need to make sure you choose the right course or event!

Why do you only sail with girls?

Oh, how we love boys, we just don't want to sail with them!  OK, maybe we do, but first, we want to learn in our own gentle way. With nice cups of tea, clean smelling loos ('heads!'), calmness and no shouting!

We have some really great fun aboard because we are just girls together - all ages are mixed together from 16 to 76 (and aiming higher!) all with a desire to learn and just have some fun on board. We like to do things well and be able to ask questions. We are generally not as strong as guys so when we all race together, we don't get to do the jobs the boys can do because they are physically stronger. So our aim is to enble you to learn more in a "hands on" fashion, so when you do go sailing with the guys, we are able to do everything they can do (but backwards and in heels!). Girls for Sail is all about learning technique - that's one of the reasons why the best solo RTW sailors are women - they are excellent at managing their tools. It's a fact that if you learn how to use the equipment available on the yacht properly, you will be able to be very competitive without brute strength. Oh, and if we make mistakes (which is part of learning), that's cool too!  Girls - don't worry if your friends don't want to learn with you, lots our ladies come on their own - you'll be just fine with us, plus it's a great way to make new friends!

Check out our About Us for more information...

Do I need previous sailing experience?

No! - We have opportunities for those with no experience to enjoy sailing and to learn about the sport without pressure. Our boats have a 'no shouting' policy and our coaching style is female-oriented to guide beginners through the basics. Certain events suggest previous knowledge, but this is not essential and we will take you through that when you enquire.

Who can come with me?

Any woman will enjoy every aspect of a Girls for Sail holiday. On our overseas regatta holidays we recommend that you are over 18 because it balances the age group in the team, but really anyone who is big enough to use a winch and see over the wheel will enjoy one of our events, especially the courses. We have no maximum age, but this is a physical holiday and a basic level of health is required. We are proud to say that we have encouraged ladies to get on board the yacht with us in their 70s! Helen Tew sailed across the Atlantic on her own in her 80s so why should age stop anyone doing anything?

What Does The Boat Look Like?

One of our favourite yachts is our Elan 37, Diamonds Are Forever!  She's a comfortable cruiser/racer and has cosy berths, a galley and heads (bathroom!) - this is her internal layout


Do I need to be fit?

Classify fit! This is not an athletic holiday. However, there are physical demands and so a basic level of fitness does make the experience more enjoyable. Limitations focus more on height and weight which we will explain further when you contact us. However, anyone taking part in a Girls for Sail event should be in good health and have a reasonable basic level of fitness. Please just let us know if you are unable to swim less than 25 metres, although being unable to swim should not deter you from sailing....we will do our very best to keep you on the yacht and out of the water!

What type of people come on your holidays?

Women from all walks of life have travelled with us, including business women looking for a challenge and stay at home mothers looking for a break from the kids! Some are quite competitive, others simply want to experience the beauty of the ocean and the calm of the outdoors. All of them want an opportunity to learn about something we love, in a relaxed, calm and safe manner.

Which holiday should I go for?

Give us call or email and we will be happy to discuss your experience, your interests and your budget and recommend a way to enjoy sailing without any hassle. 

How far in advance should I book?

The more time you give yourself, the more choice you will have. If you are thinking of making a trip and are not sure - just call us and we will be happy to advise you. Regatta places and the ARC/Fastnet are always limited so book these well in advance.

Do the boats come with their own linen?

That depends on the event. We tend to ask the individuals to bring their own sleeping bags, liners and towels etc so that you are individually comfortable and warm. The details are in the event literature, listed by event.

What safety equipment do you have?

The yachts are fully equipped with all regulation safety aids as laid out by the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) and the marine governing body of the country we are sailing in. They include lifejackets, safety harness, first aid kits, flares, life rafts, VHF radios, GPS and full navigational equipment. Our skippers are all fully RYA qualified and experienced in the use of all safety equipment - your safety is always our first priority. Additionally, longer trips - such as the ARC - will have a satellite phone with them and come equipped with a tracker so Girls for Sail will know exactly where you are at all times.

What equipment should I bring?

When you confirm your booking, we will provide you with a list of recommended equipment for your specific trip. However, we advise that you definitely bring a pair of deck shoes and wet weather gear, if you have it. If not, wet weather gear is available for hire at £10 per day per set - please reserve when you book your holiday. Layers of clothing are best, so no need to go out and spend lots of money. We recommend a high factor water-based suncream during the summer events to ensure protection against the sun is maximised. Otherwise, little else is needed. If in doubt, please take a look at the information sent to you when you book.

I'm still a little confused, what should I do?

Please contact us with any queries you have, however trivial you may think them. We are here to be as informative as we can and to provide you with as much detail as you feel you need. Or come along to one of our regular social events - a great way to meet us and get to chat to some of our previous, happy customers!

Will you tailor-make a holiday for me?

Yes, if possible! If you have a group of people who want to do something special together then give us a call. We can organise your holiday so that you do exactly what you want, when and where you want. If you would prefer a long weekend to a week; if you want a particular combination of sports that we don't offer in the brochure; or if you want to travel outside our normal season dates - please call us. All our events have far more to offer than we can possibly detail here. Call us with your ideas and we'll price them up for you.

What is included in the price?

At Girls for Sail we know that you are all busy ladies and we aim to ensure that everything you need is included in the price of the event that you choose. You should be able to just pack and go! Most of the events are half board and some are full board.

Who will be in charge of the yacht?

On all events we will provide a quality yacht that is exclusively for you, along with the right number of crew for the selected event, which will always include a professional skipper as well as a first mate if required.

What food is provided?

Please see individual event details for notes about catering on board.

Evening meals will be taken ashore (if possible! There are not many good restaurants mid Atlantic!). We do provide some evening meals on our RYA sailing courses to enable night sailing practice on overnight stops on mooring buoys etc.  On a 5 day course there will be 3/4 meals taken on board the yacht.

On cruising/racing events, we provide a starting pack of food for our customers, and evening meals will be taken ashore. We do this because our experience has shown that the day's events can be quite intense with lots of exhilarating racing and general exertion during the day! It's the end to a perfect day to chill out with a cocktail in a lovely bar/restaurant/local pub with some quality food and local entertainment (with lots more space to stretch out!)

Transfers to the yacht

All our prices are for a sailing holiday that starts from a marina so no flights are included.

On all the events in the UK it is very easy to get to the location by train, car or ferry. The price given is the price from the marina.

If flights are required to the destination, the price of the flight is not included. If this is not the case, please discuss the transfer options at the time of your booking. 

Can I smoke on board the boat?

We do understand that people smoke, however it isn't generally accepted on yachts. Our policy with smoking is under NO CIRCUMSTANCES can you smoke down below. If smoking on deck your skipper/instructor will advise you on the best place to sit whilst having a cigarette. Please try to practice good wind awareness and be aware of your other crew members (if they ask you not to smoke at all near them, please respect that), realising that they may not smoke. Also be very careful of dropping hot ash on to the deck or sails - if we find burn holes we will have to charge you for repairs! If you have any queries whilst on the boat about smoking do ask your skipper and they will place you in the best position. Extra care will need to be taken if anybody on board has problems such as asthma.

Do I need wet weather clothing?

For Uk events, definitely! Other events may not require it but we strongly suggest you have at least one waterproof layer with you no matter where you go.

We ask you to fill out your booking form with whether or not you need to hire wet weather gear from us prior to your course so we can make sure it is all organised for your arrival. This means you have reserved wet weather gear for the duration of your trip for £10 per day. If you decide part-way through your course that you need wet weather kit we do charge a £50 flat fee so please do either arrange to hire from us in advance or provide your own.

Please note our instructors mainly only speak English therefore this may cause a language barrier which can be detrimental to learning in some courses. Some of our instructors do speak German and French but please let us know during the booking process if you could make us aware if English isn't your first language and we will aim to help in any way possible- Thank you. 

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+44(0)1983 28 28 67

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