Is it safe?

Yes, whilst sailing offshore is a challenging environment, it is fundamentally a very safe activity. 
​Our vessels are equipped and inspected regularly to ensure they meet or exceed the standards laid down by the government in terms of construction, maintenance and the safety equipment they carry.
 Our staff are highly experienced in working with young people and novice sailors. If anything were to go wrong, we have all the resources we need to deal with it, and our teams regularly practice for all sorts of emergencies. 

How will I know what to bring?

 Don't worry - we send you a Crew Handbook that has lots of information including a list of things to bring with you. The essentials are clothes, sensible shoes and a sleeping bag. You don't need to buy any expensive gear. We provide waterproof jackets and trousers and we also supply the lifejackets.

What happens when you book?

Following an enquiry from you, we will send you a link to our online booking form, or you can get the booking form on the useful information page of our website. Once we receive your booking we will hold your place for two weeks, pending the receipt of a 25% deposit. This guarantees your place on board. We need your full payment 60 days before sailing.

We will also send you a link to our online Personal Details Form which must be completed before you can sail with us.
Then all you need to do is pack your bag and turn up.

We are a Scout Group. How many people can I bring?

For weekend voyages you can bring eight young people and two leaders per boat. On longer voyages the total cannot exceed nine per boat including leaders

I booked as an individual, will the other people all know each other?

If you booked an individual space on our summer adventure voyages, you probably won't know anyone. But don't worry, normally it will be exactly the same for everyone else. Most of our summer voyages are booked by people on their own. We think that's great though because it's a great chance to meet new people and make new friends!

I booked as an individual, how many other people will be on board?

The maximum number of individuals will be nine, although there are often less. In addition there will be up to three of our Seastaff on board.

Will I get my own cabin?

Sailing participants don’t get their own cabin but they do get their
own dedicated bunk space. There are 4 cabins, fore, aft, saloon and
Skippers. This can be seen on the boat layout charts.
The Fore and Aft cabins have 4 berths in them. The skippers cabin,
normally for the skipper and 1st mate. In the saloon (lounge) the 2nd mate
normally sleeps in the pilot (side berth separated by a curtain) berth.
This leaves the second pilot (again with curtain separation) and the final
2 berths the main benches on the saloon. The use of these final 2 berths
depends on the nature of the voyage and are often used by group leaders
on group bookings. This gives some flexibility as to whom has which
berth, but some cooperation and compromise is occasionally needed.
Depending on the makeup of the voyage crew we endeavour as far as
possible to separate males and females, as well as over- and under eighteens. This follows Scout Association guidance. There may be
circumstances when this is not possible and the skipper will work with the
crew to allocate the best combination if this becomes apparent.

Are there toilets on board?

Yes. There are two toilets on board. They work in a different way to the toilet at home, but our Seastaff will show you how they work.

Will I be able to have a shower?

The boats don't have showers on board but there will be opportunity for you to use showers at the marinas or harbours that you stop at. On long voyages such as Tallships Races it may be a few days between showers but most people get by with a flannel wash in the meantime.

Is food included?

Yes. The boat will be stocked with fresh food at the beginning of the voyage. Everybody in the crew will be expected to work in teams to prepare all the meals. The crew will also work together to keep the boat clean.

What if I have dietary requirements?

Our personal information forms provide you with the opportunity to tell us about any dietary requirements you may have. We always endeavour to cater for these requirements.

What if I suffer from Seasickness?

Activity is a great help in preventing seasickness. If you do find that
you are feeling seasick, then tell the Sea Staff. They will find a suitable
on deck activity to take your mind off feeling ill.
As a precaution, you are advised to bring your own sea sickness
medication. You are unlikely to be the only person feeling queasy during the voyage and most seasickness passes fairly quickly.

Will I need a passport?

A passport is only required for voyages that will be going abroad (this includes the Channel Islands). You will need a valid UK passport that is less than 10 years old and valid for at least three months. Our office will tell you if your voyage is going abroad.

My voyage starts abroad - are flights included in the cost?

No - flights are not included in the voyage cost. You will need to arrange these yourself but the office can advise which routes other members of the crew have booked on to. We try to ensure young people meet other members of the crew at the airport so they can travel together. Where possible we have a member of our seas staff on our recommended flights too. We advise you not to book travel until your place on the voyage is confirmed.

Do I need travel insurance?

For all voyages going abroad, we will ask you to buy travel insurance that covers you for offshore sailing. We can give you details of companies who provide suitable insurance.

Can I use my mobile phone?

You are welcome to bring your mobile phone and there are charging points in the cabins. However we cannot be responsible for any damage caused to your phone while on board. There will be times such as mooring, sail handling and deck activities when the Seastaff will ask you not to use your phone for safety reasons.

Do I need to be able to swim?

No you don't.  Whilst the boat is at sea, everyone (whether they can swim or not) has to wear a lifejacket to keep them afloat if they fall in. We find people tend to stay on the boat though!

Do I need sailing experience to join in?

No - all our weekend and summer adventures are open to people with no previous experience. You will be given all the training you need when you join the boat for your adventure.

Can I gain any qualifications during my voyage?

Yes. On voyages of five days or longer you can work towards the RYA Competent Crew qualification.

Useful Information

Where are our vessels?


Our Sponsors


Stay in touch

Telephone: 01206 385 071
Email: sailing@offshore.org.uk

Tolken, The Lane, West Mersea, Colchester, Essex, CO5 8NT
Registered charity Number 1035015

A Mackman Group collaboration - market research by Mackman Research | website design by Mackman