For sailors and yachting enthusiasts, it can be hard to find reliable companies you can trust. Check out these 10 top companies you can count on for your sailing needs.
1. Sunsail Travelopia
Wake up to a new beach view every day, spend your afternoons kayaking across blue lagoons, snorkel around colourful corals and sample the best local cuisine at a different restaurant every night. Experience the thrill of heeling off the Seychelles’ jungle-topped Mahé Island or catching the occasional Mediterranean mistral as you sail along Dubrovnik’s fortified shores.
Sailing with Sunsail gives you the freedom to explore. With over 20 destinations worldwide, there is a sailing holiday for first-time adventurers, seasoned explorers, and everyone in between.
A perfect choice for families, couples and friends, skippered holidays allow you to be as hands-on as you like, or let your experienced skipper take the helm leaving you to relax; it’s completely up to you.
Find out more at sunsail.co.uk
2. GJW Direc
GJW Direct have been providing specialist boat insurance for 193 years and are hugely respected throughout the marine world. While traditional in terms of valuing customer service, GJW Direct lead the way when it comes to harnessing technology with a state-of-the-art website which includes the MyBoat portal, the digital boat management system and safety equipment reminder service which helps you organise your life afloat.
MyBoat is free to sign up to, giving you access to news, views, tips and weather. What’s more, GJW Direct insurance customers gain access to exclusive offers and discounts from a wide range of top marine brands and chandlery retailers as well as a range of top quality boating magazines.
Safety is paramount while on the water, and the team at GJW Direct collaborate with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, raising awareness of the importance of staying safe at sea.
Find out more at gjwdirect.com
3. Universal Marina
Universal is one of the few independent marinas left on the south coast. Since 1997 Avia Willment has run the business with one single vision of creating a ‘lifestyle destination’, offering a friendly and personal experience where you can unwind.
It’s ideally situated for those wishing to spend less time travelling in the car and more time boating in one of England’s most sought-after destinations. The River Hamble has always been the top base for boating, pleasure or racing. Within minutes you can find natural creeks to fine dining and it’s all on your doorstep.
The marina accommodates up to 450 vessels with a variety of berthing, dry stacking and lifting up to 75 tons.
Leisure facilities include Bistro 8, Mermaids Coffee Shop, kayaking and paddleboard hire/club, jet-ski club and jet-ski docks, charter sail, fishing trips, pilates and sports massage.
Find out more at universalmarina.co.uk
4. Gunwharf Quays
Gunwharf Quays is the only waterfront shopping outlet in the south of the UK. Uniquely positioned in a cultural harbour front location in the heart of Portsmouth, Gunwharf Quays is the area’s leading designer shopping outlet.
Boasting over 90 stores and over 30 restaurants, bars and coffee shops, Gunwharf Quays is a unique and vibrant shopping and leisure destination.
Watch the boats go by as you take in the stunning waterfront view. Why not sail into the marina and make the most of the sales around the centre?
Set right on the beautiful Solent waterfront, it is the ideal place to explore, shop, dine and take in the exciting sights of this historic coastal city.
Find out more at gunwharf-quays.com
5. Seafarer Cruising
With RYA training centres in Greece, Croatia and the UK, Seafarer offers the widest choice of locations where you can learn to sail.
Their practical yacht courses suit all levels. Beginners start with Competent Crew; move up to Day Skipper; and then advanced courses available up to Yachtmaster. Course durations start at two-day weekend and five-to seven-day midweek courses in the UK, Mediterranean courses generally being seven days.
Seafarer’s Beach Club in Greece offers attractive beachfront accommodation with unlimited dinghy sailing and windsurfing, with RYA training offered from beginner up to instructor level.
Seafarer operates summer flotilla sailing holidays in four areas of Greece, as well as Croatia, Montenegro, Turkey and the south of France, plus the Thailand flotilla sailing from Phuket over the winter months. Also on offer are bareboat and skippered charter, plus ‘by the cabin’ charter on larger fully crewed vessels.
Find out more at seafarersailing.co.uk
6. Discovery Group
Discovery Yachts Group build yachts of unrivalled perfection and quality. Discover the six different classes they build, as featured in the Southampton Boat Show.
They exhibited the world-renowned Southerly 480 with her variable draft swing keel; the latest Southerly 540; a custom 58; and the Bluewater 50 Catamaran considered to be an extension of one’s home.
Since the launch of the first Discovery 55 in 1998, their shipyard has collaborated with the best of the best, namely, Ron Holland, Dubois Naval Architects, Stephen Jones and Rob Humphreys all of whom have entirely justified their world-class reputation in yacht design.
The extensive experience and expertise of those driving the design are evident in delivering performance on all points of sailing – tracking well, both up and downwind. Above all, any Discovery is a yacht that looks after her crew when conditions would challenge lesser vessels.
Find out more at discoveryshipyard.com
7. Premier Sailing
Inspired by their award-winning Sail4Macmillan round-Britain cruise, Premier Sailing are launching The Capitals Race in August 2022. For The Capitals Race, a fleet of identical Sigma 38 racing yachts will race around the British Isles, visiting each capital city of the UK, in four week-long stages.
Whether it’s the grand departure under Tower Bridge, navigating the Hebridean islands, the vast Atlantic waters around Ireland, or the cliffs of the south coast, The Capitals Race has something for everyone.
With a maximum crew of eight people per yacht, the pre-race training allows everyone aboard to fill multiple roles, from helming to navigating, all under the supervision of an experienced racing skipper. There is always something to do, and nobody is left out.
It is a full-on seagoing challenge, at a reasonable cost, and without demanding too much of your time. You can take on as many stages as you wish, or as few, and enjoy the experience of being part of the crew of a competitive racing yacht.
Find out more at premiersailing.co.uk
8. Collingwood Boat Builders
Collingwood Boat Builders is the largest family-owned canal boat builder in the UK, with over 40 years’ of experience and knowledge.
The Sailaway range, made for the DIY enthusiast, is the perfect solution for anyone looking to invest in a canal boat. Become involved in the building process and choose what amount of involvement you desire to have in your project.
Affordable luxury living, with a fully fitted range, is the ideal solution for someone who is looking to walk straight into a home, with interiors beautifully designed and pre-fitted ready for you to enjoy. There is also a range of stock boats available immediately for delivery.
Collingwood will provide you with a boat of distinction, an investment, a way of life, to turn your dream into reality.
Find out more at collingwoodboatbuilders.co.uk
9. United Kingdom Sailing Academy
UKSA is one of the world’s leading maritime training providers and their waterfront base on the Isle of Wight is the perfect setting to learn in. An RYA and MCA Centre of Excellence, UKSA offers a full range of professional maritime training, launching long-term careers in a growing industry with plenty of opportunities for employment.
UKSA’s flagship programme, the Superyacht Cadetship, has been designed for 18 to 25-year-olds and is a credible alternative to university for those looking to train as officers. The structured programme equips graduates with a strong foundation of knowledge and a realistic understanding of the superyacht industry.
Cadets ‘earn while they learn’ with periods of paid employment onboard superyachts interspersed with further training at UKSA. Growing numbers of young people are signing up thanks to the unrivalled support, all-inclusive facilities and ongoing industry guidance.
Find out more at uksa.org
10. Kraken Travel
Born from the desire to find sailing experiences that were more than the usual taverna hopping summer holidays, Kraken Travel was founded by CEO Henry Burkitt in 2017.
Kraken Travel source the most incredible nautical adventures from around the world, connecting adventure seekers with hand-picked travel operators. Using unparalleled insight, knowledge and network, they find the most innovative and unusual itineraries out there, listing them all in one place so that you to find your ideal ocean-going experience.
By working with local operators, they can ensure that you are always in safe hands. With local knowledge of the waters and surrounding landscapes, the skippers, crew and guides will make sure you get the most out of your nautical adventure, all the while learning about the natural environments you sail in and the communities that sustain them.
Find out more at kraken.travel