Learning to Sail in Lymington
Lymington offers many opportunities for young people to learn to sail.
Without a doubt, Lymington is one of the best places to learn to sail as a child. There are five different yacht and sailing clubs, all with a variety of different settings, which can offer you boat loads of opportunities (Did you sea what I did there? Seariously, did you? Are you shore? Shell I stop now?).
Royal Lymington Yacht Club
Probably the first experience for many young sailors in Lymington, 'Wednesday Junior Sailing' (WJS) is organised every week from April to September by volunteers (many of whom are members of RLymYC). There are two sessions, 2-4pm and 4-6pm. Wednesday Junior Sailing offers children the opportunity to get to grips with handling the tide while in a safe and protected environment. Boats are plentiful - Oppies, Teras, Scows, RS Visions and rowing boats. There are also opportunities to go powerboating! All in all, a very social environment which is popular among many local children.
Wednesday Sailing costs just £1 per session (and that includes a hot chocolate and a doughnut!) To participate, children need to be registered and simply go down and queue to take part. Each registered child works their way through a series of different 'cards' (regardless of prior experience). Each week the number of children admitted to WJS varies, according to the number of volunteer instructors present. This means that some weeks you may be disappointed - don't worry though, if you don't get in then you're put on a list to get in first the next week. Find out more about Wednesday Junior Sailing.
Once more experienced at sailing, Monday Night Racing is a great opportunity to practice your skills in a real racing environment, you’ll be in the fleet for your handicap, but you’ll also get the opportunity to watch other handicaps racing.
The Royal Lymington Yacht Club also has many classes, for both racing and training. These include Optimists, RS Teras, Laser 4.7/Radial, RS Fevas, 29ers, 240s. The coaches are superb and highly experienced (including world champions and Olympic champions!) - and fun is guaranteed.
One of the highlights of the sailing year is the Royal Lymington Yacht Club Youth Week. It is a five-day sailing event in August, with races for four days and a fun day of racing on the fifth. With numerus fleets of different types of boat, there’s something for everyone - new to the sport or old. Children registered for WJS can apply to take part in Youth Week.
Salterns Sailing Club
Salterns Sailing Club is a Swallows and Amazons paradise. Situated on an old salt lake Eight Acre Pond and surrounded by the Lymington-Keyhaven nature reserve (a site of special scientific interest), Salterns is the perfect place for young sailors. It is protected by the sea wall, the wind is rarely too high, there’s not much tide and the water is waist/chest deep (on adult - who do spend a lot of time in waders at first!!). Salterns Sailing Club is a club run by children, for children, with a Junior Committee to help out with the young ones (and a 'management committee of adults to supervise). Every event at the club is for children- so there’s a lot going on.
Children start out in poly oppies. A highlight of the sailing year is Salterns Sailing Club’s annual Moppy Camp- with two a year over two days. There are 5 pennants - each with a different objective, which are perfect for developing your sailing knowledge and experience. There are also Mini Moppy Camps at various times of year for younger children, great for learning to sail. There are lots of fun events throughout the year, including at Halloween and Easter.
For more experienced sailors, Bronze Fleet on a Sunday morning offers racing training and there is also an RS Tera and British Moth racing series. Charity events include Bart’s Bash, Children in Need and the Salterns Scramble for the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust.
Many local primary schools have links with Salterns Sailing Club and organise (parent run) after school clubs during the summer clubs.
Find out more about Salterns Sailing Club, including details of the waiting list.
Lymington Town Sailing Club
Situated next to the Royal Lymington Yacht Club and the RNLI Station, Lymington Town Sailing Club overlooks Lymington River and the Sea Water Baths. The club has a reciprocal aggrement with Salterns Sailing Club which enables unexperienced children to learn to sail there on a Saturday morning.
Saturday Sailing takes place on most Saturdays from April to October, with supervised sailing, this includes simple racing to introduce members to dinghy racing in a low key environment and relaxed but supervised sailing in the local marshes and Western Solent. Junior dinghy racing happens on scheduled dates throughout the summer, with races are held in the more protected environment in the mouth of the river and provide an introduction to competive dinghy sailing within their own peer group. Dinghies are launched at the slipway between LTSC and RLymYC.
Keyhaven Yacht Club
Situated in Keyhaven, near Milford on Sea, Keyhaven Yacht Club’s junior and youth events are organised mostly by the children and the parents. The club provides an safe and friendly environment for an introduction to sailing. With amazing facilities and supportive instructors, Keyhaven is an amazing, social place to start your sailing experience. Junior and youth sessions are run on Saturday and Thursday evenings, organised and run by the parents of the youngsters taking part. There are 12 club boats to use free of charge.
Hurst Castle Sailing Club
Situated next to Keyhaven Yacht Club, Hurst Castle Sailing Club runs a programme of training for junior members during the summer and the sailing season, all lead by RYA instructors/parents. Sailing is mostly along Keyhaven River, which is protected from the open sea by a long shingle spit, at the tip of which is Hurst Castle.