To do it, you'll need a bareboat charter, in which you and your friends or family are wholly responsible for sailing the boat and looking after it. But if you’ve never sailed before, you’ll be pleased to know that we also offer learn-to-sail holiday courses, offering a range of seamanship from the very basics through to a potential full qualification such as the UK-recognised Yacht-Master licence. Depending on where you are in the world, and what kind of boat you wish to hire, you might need different qualifications, but roughly speaking a one-week bareboating course should impart enough sailing skills to enable you to hire a six-person yacht from most Mediterranean ports.
If you like the idea of taking a boat out but would like some extra support whilst getting your qualifications, then perhaps a flotilla holiday is for you. Here, you’ll be sailing as part of a larger group, each with their own boat. You’ll start in the same location and aim to end up anchored in the same harbour at night, meaning you can enjoy the sailing, the fishing, the exploring (and perhaps even some racing) as a group. Flotilla holidays are popular because they give individual boat options: you can join in the group fun, moor up together and share sunset beers while still in safety net of shared knowledge - which could prove useful if you don't know which sail to put up or how the sat nav works. Some of the best flotilla breaks include the Greek islands of Kalamos, where short sailing within near islands, calm seas and beautiful old villages make for a great trip, or the Turkish Lycian Coast, which is filled with interesting coves, hidden beaches and uninhabited islands to explore. Starting out from the port of Göcek you’ll use line-of-sight sailing (you can always see the island you’re heading to), and can race your fellow boats to some of the best restaurants in the Med.
If you fancy something further afield, there are bareboat learn-to-sail classes in Whickham’s Cay in the British Virgin Islands, in the stunning Whitsunday Islands near Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, in Thailand’s famous limestone-cliff-strewn Andaman Sea, in Abacos in the Bahamas (which is incidentally one of the best places in the world to go snorkelling), and Kremik in Croatia, which offers stunning sailing, crystal-clear waters and the chance to float by some awesome, medieval architecture.
And of course, given that we’re a nation of seafarers, you could always learn to sail here in the UK. Most mariners and ports have sailing schools, and a beginner's course often imparts enough sailing knowledge to allow you to charter boats in such romantic, adventurous locations as the Caribbean, the Seychelles, America’s Martha’s Vineyard, Alaska, The South Pacific and Baja California.