Thursday, August 3, 2017

Let the sailing begin! with Universal Yachting!


1With warm and sunny upon us we gather for breakfast before our in-depth briefing. We are taught the safety rules first: how to use fire extinguishers and wear life jackets, what to do in case of an emergency and how to use a VHF marine radio.
It’s then time to get acquainted with the rigging and sails.
It’s a lot to take in, but Clive’s motto is to learn by doing and soon we all know what he means when he talks about a jib, reefs and mainsail.
Mooring lines slipped, it’s time to leave the marina and let the fun (and hard work!) commence.
Hoisting the mainsail and jib is no mean feat, but with a bit of teamwork, up they go, and away we sail.
All about learning the points of sail, gybing, taking the helm mastering some basic rope work, mooring the boat to a pontoon, anchoring and using winches.
Being on a boat is all about working together. Everybody has a job and it’s important not to be in each other’s way.
Clive is incredibly patient and happily explains things over and over until we get them.
As we sail towards Gosport Marina, we see Sir Ben Ainslie and his team practicing on the Land Rover BAR. We all get very excited, especially Jane and I, who snap away at the catamaran until we get a good picture.
2I’m behind the helm, heading towards Gosport. It’s a great feeling, but keeping the boat on course is not as easy as it looks. But we do get to our destination and it’s now time to secure Splash to our berth, freshen up and go for a well-earned drink and spot of dinner.
It’s only the end of our first day of sailing but I’m already feeling more confident, and I’m jumping on and off the moored boat without fear of falling into the water.

When you are sailing with a group you work, sleep and eat in very close proximity so it’s no surprise that by Saturday night it feels like the five of us have known each other for a long time, and not just 24 hours. As we enjoy dinner at Gosport Marina, our skipper Clive regales us with tales of his time in the Navy and the fascinating, if a little terrifying, story of when he took part in the 1979 Fast net race.
The feeling of achievement and camaraderie bring a wonderful day of sailing to an end. With one more day to go, it’s time to get a good night’s sleep, ready to tackle.
Tacking and man overboard recovery

It’s another beautiful sunny day and today we learn to tack. We are still getting a little confused when it comes to the points of sail, but practice makes perfect and soon enough we gain confidence.
Today we are also learning the man overboard recovery.
We may be ‘saving’ a fender, but the apprehension is still palpable. This is teamwork indeed and everybody has to be fast and alert. With the fender safely found and recovered, not once but twice, we congratulate ourselves on a job well done.
The wind is not on our side on Sunday, so we need some engine power to keep moving. Still it’s a beautiful, hot, sunny day and we take in enchanting sites and kick back a little.
3Alas all good things must come to and end and it’s time to sail back to beautiful Universal Marina in Hamble.
The weekend has gone quickly. We are all proud of our team work and what we’ve learnt and achieved and a few of us are already thinking about signing up for the next course.
Whilst I still probably wouldn’t sail single-handedly around the world, by the end of the two days I am much more confident on the water and sailing a yacht. I’m not quite sure I’m ARC material like Jane, but maybe a flotilla holiday like Steve or the Competent Crew course like Martin could be on the cards in the future. Watch this space!
Click here for more information of Universal Yachting RYA Start Yachting course.
The weekend course costs £350pp or £245pp for a shared cabin.


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Monday, January 16, 2017

Yacht Buying Guide by Universal Yachting


Are you looking to buy a new yacht or a pre-owned vessel there is a lot to consider before committing to what most people consider as the second largest purchase after their house.In our yacht buying guide we have highlighted some of the key areas you should consider when making your initial choices about which yacht is right for you.


Do your homework ….





For the first time buyer it is really important to understand how you want the yacht to work for you, both in terms of sailing as well as how you live on board.

Recognizing the early signs of this emotion during your research will give you a really good indication when you have found the right boat.

Look around as many boats as possible ……

It will save you a lot of time if you can gauge the reaction of anyone else involved straight away. You will quickly find out the key features that are important to all of you.

Boat Shows

Attending a Boat Show is a great way to see a large range of the most popular boats all in one place. As well as new Boat Shows there are plenty of local second hand boat shows around the country organised by individual brokers and marina’s.

Yacht Brokers

Talk to a yacht broker, they are a great source of information and will happily show you the boats that they have for sale.

Boat Reviews

There are plenty of great boat reviews by yachting journalists available to read and videos to watch on line.
In the next article we investigate
– Contracts & other legal considerations
– Payment Terms
– Title Documents
– Insurance
– VAT
– Finance
– Delivery
– Commissioning and handover

News and Updated

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Spent an afternoon on the new Dufour GL 460

A Dufour GL460 
The Dufour 460 is the latest and newest model in the Grand Large range. Inspired by the successes of the 500GL & 560GL the Dufour 460 offers the highest level of performance and interior comfort.
The 460 takes advantage of a completely new hull and deck. The extra width in the beam and the transom optimises the space available in cockpit and below in the salon and aft cabins. The modern chines guarantee a high level of performance.
The deck has been redesigned to create more space in the cockpit, clearer foredeck and side decks.

Like with all the yachts in the Dufour range the D460 sailing characteristics are defined by simple easy handling with high aspect sails and self tacking jibs to create a un rivalled performance.






External Features and Benefits



Easy mounting for the Code Zero and Asymmetric Sails.                  Easier handling of the anchor with better protection for the                bow

Self Tacking Jib:
-Easy handling of sails. Optional Genoa Tracks for a traditional genoa.
Modern Style Hull :
-Wide beam for performance and interior volume. Hull chines for extra performance
Improved Outdoor living :
-Barbecue and sink, cockpit table with fridge. Wide aft platform. Large extendable cockpit seats to create a sun bed.



Internal Features and Benefits
Large amounts of natural light:
-Large side hull windows, large deck windows into saloon and aft cabins.
Re designed interior :
-Forward galley layout, spacious seating and dining area with spacious saloon table.
Choice of 3 layouts :
-Versatile interior layouts to suit your preference. 3 Cabins / 2 Heads / Front Galley. 3 Cabin / 3 Heads / Long Galley. 4 Cabins / 4 Heads / Long Galley.

Sliding Chart Table :
-Creates flexible interior space when in harbour and a practical chart table that angles when at sea .
Well Equipped Galley :
-Excellent stowage with plenty of cupboard space and a high capacity Fridge / Freezer
Large deck panels in cockpit :
-Plenty of light in to the aft cabins

News and Updated

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Universal Yachting to show Dufour 350 GL at the Poole Harbour Boat Show


Visitors to the show will be able see the Dufour 350 GL which offers an amazing amount for a yacht under 34 feet. Adopting many of the features and Dufour ‘DNA’ that appear in the larger Dufour Grand Large range, the 350 balances effective use of space with effortless sailing and enhanced performance.

Below decks the quality woodwork, bold, elegant lines and clean finish create a comfortable yet highly functional living space. Large deck windows allow for plenty of light to create a roomy and airy environment. The three cabin model amply allows space for six people. Smart interior design features, such as the introduction of double doors to front cabin, help create the sense of open space.


A modular approach to furnishing, including the navigation table which drops down and becomes an extension to the bench seat, also helps to maximise use of living space when at anchor.
A generous galley has a 120 litre fridge, two sinks, an oven with two gas burners and a wine ‘cave’ accessed through a floor hatch.
On deck, the Dufour 350 is all about performance and ease of sailing. Her modern hull shape, with chines for greater stability, is combined with a self-tacking jib and high aspect sails for extra performance. Additional steering seats for both wheels can be tucked away to create more cockpit space after sailing. Recognising that their owners spend over 70% time above decks, Dufour have moved the mainsheet bridle from the cockpit table to coach roof, creating open space in the cockpit, and enabling a Bimini to be fitted easily.
The genoa and mainsheet are now easily controlled on winches located near to the helmsman, making short handed-sailing very straight forwards. An overlapping 108% genoa can be fitted for extra performance and the Dolphin bowsprit is designed to carry a Code Zero off wind sail. The Code Zero, which does not have to be dropped, allows close reaching and can be easily furled from the cockpit to gybe or stow it, making manouevures safer and simpler for the crew.

Chris Warwick, MD of Universal Yachting commented “Having seen the success of last year’s event, we are delighted to participating in the Poole Harbour Boat Show for the first time. It is our first year as Dufour’s south cost dealer and the Show will give us an excellent platform to promote te 350 and the rest of Dufour’s high class performance cruising yachts.”

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Your bluewater cruise of a lifetime – making it a reality!

Many people only dream of taking off on their yacht and sailing away over the horizon for their bluewater cruise of a lifetime! When Julian and Lynne Ronnie decided they wanted to do just that, they felt they would benefit from enhancing their sailing skills first. So they contacted Universal Yachting on the best way to prepare for their trip. We helped Julian and Lynne choose the right RYA training courses and set up some bespoke training working on specific sailing skills. 

Julian takes up their story. “Our bucket list included crossing the Atlantic, and we signed up for the ARC which gave us eighteen months to learn all we needed to learn. We did a number of RYA courses with Universal Yachting, including Day Skipper for Lyn, and Coastal Skipper for me. The great thing was that we were able to do it on our own boat with just the two of us on board plus the instructor. This meant that nothing we learnt was simply theoretical or suitable for a different boat or with more crew. 

verything we were taught applied directly to us. And of course with such direct one to one supervision we were able to cover much more than is strictly in the RYA syllabus. Clive, our instructor, was able to show us MOB procedures for double handed sailors (of course you are single handed if one of you is over the side.) Fortunately we haven't needed that one! But also we covered picking up mooring balls, and berthing short handed, and even putting up the cruising chute. When you are learning to sail, nothing of course beats sheer experience and hours at sea, but doing these courses certainly speeded up the process.” 

The Ronnie’s set off from the Solent in the summer of 2014, took part in the World Cruising Club ARC Rally. They have been cruising the Caribbean and around the shores of the United States ever since. Make a bluewater cruise your reality! Find out about the right RYA training course for you. Read more about the Ronnie’s amazing voyage on www.theboatblog.com


Monday, May 30, 2016

Universal Yachting to show Dufour 350 GL at the Poole Harbour Boat Show

gc_DUFOUR350_2014_2273-500x333
Universal Yachting, agents for Dufour Yachts in the South, will have the Dufour 350 Grand Large on show at thePoole Harbour Boat Show taking place on the Town Quay, 20-24 May.
Visitors to the show will be able see the Dufour 350 GL which offers an amazing amount for a yacht under 34 feet. Adopting many of the features and Dufour ‘DNA’ that appear in the larger Dufour Grand Large range, the 350 balances effective use of space with effortless sailing and enhanced performance.
Below decks the quality woodwork, bold, elegant lines and clean finish create a comfortable yet highly functional living space. Large deck windows allow for plenty of light to create a roomy and airy environment. The three cabin model amply allows space for six people. Smart interior design features, such as the introduction of double doors to front cabin, help create the sense of open space.
D310-1024x683
A modular approach to furnishing, including the navigation table which drops down and becomes an extension to the bench seat, also helps to maximise use of living space when at anchor.
A generous galley has a 120 litre fridge, two sinks, an oven with two gas burners and a wine ‘cave’ accessed through a floor hatch.
On deck, the Dufour 350 is all about performance and ease of sailing. Her modern hull shape, with chines for greater stability, is combined with a self-tacking jib and high aspect sails for extra performance. Additional steering seats for both wheels can be tucked away to create more cockpit space after sailing. Recognising that their owners spend over 70% time above decks, Dufour have moved the mainsheet bridle from the cockpit table to coach roof, creating open space in the cockpit, and enabling a Bimini to be fitted easily.
The genoa and mainsheet are now easily controlled on winches located near to the helmsman, making short handed-sailing very straight forwards. An overlapping 108% genoa can be fitted for extra performance and the Dolphin bowsprit is designed to carry a Code Zero off wind sail. The Code Zero, which does not have to be dropped, allows close reaching and can be easily furled from the cockpit to gybe or stow it, making manouevures safer and simpler for the crew.
poole-harbour-boat-show-2016-logo
Chris Warwick, MD of Universal Yachting commented “Having seen the success of last year’s event, we are delighted to participating in the Poole Harbour Boat Showfor the first time. It is our first year as Dufour’s south cost dealer and the Show will give us an excellent platform to promote te 350 and the rest of Dufour’s high class performance cruising yachts.”

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

10 Fascinating Facts about the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-2015

If you love yachting as much as we here at Universal Yacht Charter do, then we are sure you will be as excited as we are at the start of the Volvo Ocean Race on October 11th.

Read Our 10 Fascinating Facts About The Volvo Ocean Race Here….

  • 15001572937_2aa99ecc60_z-300x210The Volvo Ocean Race was formerly known as the Whitbread Round the World Race and is held every 3 years.
  • The first race of this globe-circling regatta was in 1973 and started in Portsmouth, United Kingdom on the 8th September.
  • The original course was designed to follow the route of the original square riggers that in the 19th Century, carried cargo around the world.
  • In 2001 the sponsorship was claimed by Volvo and renamed, this also introduced more stopover ports in Sweden, France and Germany.
  • There is no cash prize for winning the race! Just the glory and accomplishment achieved.
  • 11731530184_351a13df5a_z-300x225The Southern Ocean is generally where the worst weather conditions are encountered with 100 foot waves and wind speeds of up to 60 knots!
  • The 2014-15 race is the longest route in the history of the race – covering four oceans, five continents and 38,739 nautical miles!
  • It’s the longest sporting event in the world – lasting up to 9 months
  • The race takes in 11 ports, starting in Alicante, Spain and finishing in Gothenburg, Sweden
  • For the first time since 2001, one of the seven teams is the all-female Team SCA.
See more: www.universalyachting.com