Frequent Asked Questions

Can I be trained by Phoenix Yacht Club ?

The club is a recognised RYA Training Centre, so there is plenty of opportunity to improve your sailing skills. We are fortunate to have a number of RYA Instructors who can teach our members the range of RYA practical courses ( from Competent Crew, through Day Skipper to Yachtmaster Coastal and Offshore. These are normally taught as five-day (Monday-Friday) courses, with Yachtmaster exams being conducted by an independent RYA examiner over the weekend following the preparation course. In addition to certificated RYA training we also teach useful skills development short-courses such as boat handling and sail trim or spinnaker training. The club also offers non RYA skill training courses - Boat Handling, Navigation & Plotage, Spinnaker Handling etc.

How do I become a PYC Skipper ?

First you have to be a club member. Then if you already have the right level of experience and RYA exam qualifications then you can apply to be appraised at the appropriate level. We have Inshore skippers (Selsey Bill to Anvil Point), Coastal skippers (North Foreland to Land’s End and up to 12 miles offshore) and Offshore skippers (limited only by our insurance area which is north Europe). Our skipper manual (to be found in PYC member’s area under Club documents then the Safety and Training folder) gives a lot more details but in general PYC asks for somewhat more than the RYA Day Skipper, Coastal and Offshore skippers respectively. Your RYA logbooks and their website gives the course outlines  and detail for Yachtmaster.

Mostly we want more experience of actual skippering of a yacht, with different crews, areas and conditions rather than just the RYA bare minimum in days. You will also need to show that you know the Rules of the Road, can do a MOB satisfactorily, direct a crew of equal status club members and know our boats.

Club members go up through the skipper levels gradually as they gain experience, and confidence and have the opportunity to polish their skills. However new club members are often already experienced skippers and then the key activity is to get to know our boats and ask for an assesment.

Doing lots of sailing is the best way to build your experience of course!

Does PYC join JOG, RORC and Round the Island Races?

Racing is an excellent way of developing teamworking, helmsmanship and sail trimming skills. Both yachts are IRC rated and members have participated in the Round the Island race, Cowes Week and Cork Week.

Additionally RelaX takes active part in the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s (RORC) annual racing series, which includes racing in the channel and the Fastnet. Racing involvement depends on the interest and commitment shown by members in the current year and training can be organised according to members’ requirements.

Does PYC have Social Events?

Our AGM in February, with optional meal and drinks, provides a good opportunity to meet the committee and other club members.  We are always looking at ways to meet socially and may arrange a rally in the spring or autumn where affiliated boats can join in and new members get the opportunity of meeting other club members. 

Some members have started organising local events close to where they live, inviting other members who live locally. These are typically meals in pubs or restaurants and a great opportunity to plan sailing events.

What is a Summer Cruise ?

For the summer months, one, or both, of our two yachts is based in one or more locations outside the Solent. Locations have included Southern Ireland, West Scotland, North-west Spain, the West Country including the Isles of Scilly, the Channel Islands, Brittany and Holland, Germany and Denmark.

The summer cruise in 2024 there will be two Summer Cruises.  We will sail from Gosport/Portsmouth to Wales and Ireland.  Following that we will visit Northern France and the Channel Islands.  This will run from early June until mid September.

Different PYC skippers and crews join the boat for a week at a time, giving the opportunity to sail away from home waters.

Where can I Sail ?

Weekends, or for several weekdays, are usually spent in the Solent.  Experienced skippers can plan longer trips outside the Solent.  The boats do Summer Cruises anywhere that the membership decide - recent years trips have been planned to Scotland, Ireland and France.

Do I need any equipment ?

A life jacket with harness and safety strop is provided for each member of crew on each boat. A few sets of Oilskins (nautical waterproofs) are on board and sleeping bags can be made available; but if you have your own, it is advisable to bring them. (If you are going to use the yacht’s sleeping bags please bring a sleeping bag liner). Some people find a small pillow beneficial. 

You will need to wear deck shoes and/or shoes with non-slip and white rubber soles, and it is advisable to bring sailing boots if you have them. Please ensure that your kit is packed in a holdall or sports bag that can be stowed easily on the yacht and is not rigid. A suitcase is not suitable.

The weather cannot be predicted, so bring clothes for all eventualities. Several thin layers are better than one thick one; long-johns and thermal underwear are ideal. Bring at least two of everything that is likely to get wet. A neck towel is recommended for wet and windy weather. Remember to bring a towel and soap for those welcome marina showers and a plastic bag for any wet clothes!

What else do I need to know ?

New members are provided with access to the Member's area on the website that provides comprehensive details about our club, members and most importantly our bookings - cruising, racing and training.

How much does it cost to join ?

We charge a low annual membership fee and then a per-day sailing fee, which varies during the year and by weekday/weekend.

Please see the Membership and Sailing Fees page for current fees.

How are crews selected ?

Crew berths are on a first come first served basis.  The Skipper ensures that there is sufficient skill for the planned sail.

Who skippers the boats?

PYC skippers take on full responsibility for the boat and crew.

  • It is the policy of PYC that all skippers are RYA qualified and satisfy the club that they are competent and safe following an assessment.
To allow skippers to develop their experience we have three levels.
  • Inshore – restricted to the Solent area (Selsey Bill to Anvil Point).
  • Coastal (North Foreland to Lands End).
  • Offshore – area covered by insurance (roughly Brest – the Elbe).
All skippers have a VFF Radio certificate and are required maintain first aid qualifications (refreshed a minimum of every 3 years).

What are the Club Fees?

There is an annual membership fee and then charges are per person per sailing day plus shared food, mooring and diesel costs (see Membership and Sailing Fees page for current rates)

Can a PYC Member sail with their children or Grand Children?

Yes, is the simple answer!

The PYC seeks to provide sailing opportunites for Members and their families. Full Membership (including Life Membership) may also include a minor who is under 18 and with whom they have a direct lineal relationship or for whom the member has the legal parental responsibility. Such a declared minor may sail with the PYC subject to the same rules and guidelines as the member.

Parents, Grand-parents and Guardians of minors who intend to sail with PYC must also be familiar with the Club's policy and procedures.

PYC provides safety equipment onboard for adults, the provision of lifejackets and other safety equipment for minors is entirely the responsibility of the parent/guardian. Minors will not be allowed to sail in PYC yachts without the appropriate equipment.

What is a Club Sail ?

Club Sails are normally weekend and midweek sailing with other club members, usually in the Solent area between Selsey Bill and Weymouth or Poole – a good introduction to the club and its boats; where possible, club boats arrange the same stopovers, adding to the fun.  Some Club Sails go further afield - Thames, Channel Islands & France, or the West Country.

Club sails are open to any PYC member, who can book a berth using the Bookings Calendar.

What yachts do you have ?

Relax of Phoenix

An X Yacht X40. Built in 2008. She has three double cabins, and the ‘modern’ saloon layout, giving a maximum of 7 berths. IRC rated IRC2


A Westerly Oceanquest 35 AC a Bermudan rigged cruiser,10.5 metres overall length with long fin keel, and sleeps up to 6 in two double cabins and two single berths in the saloon.

Both yachts are equipped with offshore safety equipment, hot water, refrigerators, and central heating. A full set of charts, almanacs and tidal atlas’s, chart Plotters, and AIS allow extended cruising.

Can I go sailing without experience ?

Phoenix is keen to offer sailing and racing to people of all levels of experience.  The PYC Skipper ensure that there is a good skill mix across the crew.

Cruising  -  Racing  -  Training - All available in our members club managed by its members

Copyright The Phoenix Yacht Club Ltd. 2024
Registered Address: 
Company number 02888498 - 
Cricket House High Street, Compton, Newbury, Berkshire, England, RG20 6NY 

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