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

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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

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Navigate your way through the multitude of training opportunities!

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The old adage that ‘you never stop learning’ could not be more applicable than to sailing. Whilst anyone can just get in a boat, it’s wise to get some training and experience before setting off over the horizon.
Recognised around the world, RYA (Royal Yachting Association) training courses and qualifications are designed to encourage high standards of seamanship and navigation.
Courses are delivered through over 2500 RYA recognised Training Centres across 49 countries. The RYA Tick Mark logo indicates Centres will have fully qualified instructors, suitable yachts conforming to MCA regulations, and appropriate safety management processes in place.
“Obtaining an RYA qualification means you have achieved a clearly recognised standard providing the practical skills and essential knowledge for your safety and enjoyment afloat,” comments RYA Training Manager, Richard Falk.  “The courses are designed to provide everything you need to learn safely and build confidence, giving a great foundation to go and build your experience on your own.”

Choosing a training centre

Having a clear idea of your sailing aspirations will influence where to learn. Whether your goals are day sailing with friends and family, charter sailing on the Mediterranean or blue water cruising around the World, picking the right venue and training is important.
Most commercial Training Centres offer a variety of courses throughout the year, and have a selection of boats for building experience. Many sailing clubs are approved Training Centres, although whilst courses may be lower cost, not all clubs have the range of relevant courses, dates and facilities available.
If your plans are only sailing in non-tidal waters such as the Med, courses at a holiday venue can be an easy start. Navigation and manoeuvring are definitely less complicated without the affects of tide. Learning in busy tidal, complicated waters, such as the Solent, dealing with a complete range of conditions and commercial traffic, will assist you to become a more competent, experienced and well rounded sailor. If you learn to sail in non-tidal waters there are conversation courses should you subsequently wish to gain tidal experience.


Which course for you?

The RYA Start Yachting and Competent Crew courses are both water based courses aimed at novices and do not require any previous experience.
Start Yachting:
Normally a two day course, you will achieve a basic knowledge of yachting, experienced steering a yacht, sail handling, rope work, rules of the road and be aware of safety and emergency procedures onboard. It’s a great way to establish if yacht sailing is for you, without investing too much time and money.
Competent Crew:
Typically 5 days this course is an introduction to cruising and teaches personal safety, seamanship and helmsmanship. It’s ideal for people seeking to step up from dinghy sailing, or who have tried yacht crewing and want to learn more.
The course includes yachting terminology, rigging and sails, ropework, fire precautions and fighting, man overboard, emergency equipment, meteorology, seasickness, general duties and manners. After the course you will be able to steer, handle sails, keep a lookout and be a useful crew. It can be completed in 3 days if you have already done Start Sailing.
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Move up the ladder
Once armed with the basic skills you will want to get afloat. Joining a club, taking part in cruising rallies, sailing with friends, there’s many ways to build your experience.
If you plan to own or charter a yacht, or sail with friends and family less experienced than you, the RYA offers further training stages – the RYA Day Skipper, Coastal Skipper, Yachtmaster Coastal and Yachtmaster Offshore. Each course progresses you to a higher level, enabling you to sail further afield and throughout the night.
Chris Warwick, MD of Universal Yachting based in Hamble comments “The courses are carefully pitched for different levels of expertise. You can enter the RYA scheme at any level, depending on your experience and abilities. The courses reinforce good practice, can fill in the gaps in your experience and knowledge, and are a quick way to refresh rusty skills – which can help boost confidence too!”
It is counter productive to attempt a course above your standard, as the courses assume, and suggest, a minimum level of pre-course experience.
Day Skipper:
An intensive 5 day course, and the minimum requirement to charter a yacht. It includes boat handling, sail selection, all aspects of being a skipper, pilotage, navigation, seamanship, weather forecasting, victualing and passage planning. Requirements:
5 Days sea time / 100 miles / 4 night hours
Navigation to Day Skipper – shorebased standard
Basic sailing ability
Many countries require sailors to have an ICC (International Certificate of Competence), which is the equivalent to the RYA Day Skipper.
The new Dufour 350
Ph: Guido Cantini / Dufour/Sea&See.com

Coastal Skipper:
This covers the skills and techniques required to skipper a cruising yacht safely on coastal and offshore passages by day and night. The requirements assume attendees will be competent sailors with a good knowledge navigation theory and meteorology:
15 Days sea time with 2 days as skipper / 300 miles / 8 night hours
Navigation to Day Skipper – shorebased standard
Competent / Day skipper sailing ability
Top of the class
Requiring considerably more pre-course experience, the next stages are the RYA Yachtmaster Coastal, Offshore and Ocean Certificates of Competence. These will thoroughly demonstrate your sailing abilities and can lead on to commercial endorsement and career opportunities. Whilst Training Centres will run Yachtmaster preparation courses, the qualifications are gained only by examination conducted by an independent RYA Yachtmaster examiner.
Alternative learning opportunities 
In addition to the formal RYA qualifications, we offer courses such as cross channel or long distance mile building cruises to build your experience,
For example, we offer a variety of bespoke courses where you can develop specific elements of your sailing expertise. A day spent on a sail handling can really help understand how to get the best performance from your boat upwind and downwind. And an own boat familiarisation or Boat handling courses are particularly helpful to focus on manoeuvring in tight spaces and parking.