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Lymington - a premier yachting and sailing centre

Lymington: premier yachting and sailing centre.

Lymington is a renowned sailing town on the edge of the New Forest National Park.

 

Lymington is one of the premier yachting centres on the south coast of England, and indeed in the world. Nestled between the New Forest and the Solent, the coastal town has become world-renowned for its sailing activities and the concentration of past and present Olympic yachtsmen who have made the town their home. Whether you're young or old, seeking top level racing (this is Sir Ben Ainslie’s home town after all!), coaching, cruising or just pottering about in creeks, Lymington is a wonderful haven for yachting and dinghy sailing.

Sailing is not the only water based activity, as the town also boasts one of the oldest seawater lidos in the south, a car ferry terminal to the Isle of Wight, plus is a centre for sea-angling, model boating, kayaking, stand up paddle-boarding, rowing, kite surfing, power boating and boardsailing.

There are three marinas, two busy sailing clubs, a number of chandlers and a thriving marine industry. You can find charter and hire opportunities as well as sea schools.

 

Lymington has three marinas

 

Haven QuayBerthon and Yacht Haven Marinas
At the top of the navigable portion of Lymington River is the Haven Quay, an innovative dry stack marina near the bottom of the High Street.  Further downstream is the prestigious Berthon marina and near the mouth of the river is the Yacht Haven. All the marinas offer a full range of facilities and yacht maintenance services. Checkout the Haven Bistro situated within the Haven, for dining with views across the Solent.

 

Sailing and Yacht Clubs 

Royal Lymington Yacht Club (RLymYC) and Lymington Town Sailing Club (LTSC) are the two main clubs in the town and are positioned each side of the public slipway in Bath Road. The clubs are based on the Lymington River, leading directly out onto the Solent. Both clubs cater for young and old sailors (8 to 80!), cruisers and racers, from beginner to Olympian, whether sailing dinghies, yachts, RIBs or motor cruisers. During the summer months, RLymYC runs it's unique 'Wednesday Sailing' for children from 8 years. Run by volunteers, this popular weekly session gives local children the chance to learn to sail for just £1 per session (which also includes a hot chocolate and a doughnut!) and is a great asset for the local community.

Salterns Sailing Club is a unique club run by children exclusively for children. Based at Eight Acre Pond along the Solent Way, Salterns Sailing Club operates between March and October each year. The conditions are excellent for learning, with shallow water, no tides and no ferries to worry about! Coaching is predominantly parent-led. A very popular and fantastic way for a child to learn to sail - but be warned there is often a waiting list to join!

Keyhaven Yacht Club and Hurst Castle Sailing Club are just a few miles away and within easy reach of Lymington. Both are based in the beautiful harbour of Keyhaven, which is shielded by the massive shingle bar that leads to the famous Hurst Castle situated at its strategic position, guarding the Western approaches to the Solent originally built by Henry VIII. The two access points to the popular waters of the Solent make the harbour a perfect haven for small yachts and dinghies. 

 

 

Lymington Harbour Commissioners
The Commissioners provide the public berths and moorings for visiting yachts and manage all aspects of river or harbour use. They are always on hand to provide advice, and ensure safe considerate use of the river by all.

Lymington Lifeboat
It’s always reassuring to know they are there, positioned between the two sailing clubs, if things go seriously wrong on the water. They also organise the annual Lifeboat 10K run around the sea wall in May, which attracts local competitors young and old.

Lymington Rowing Club
The rowing club has costal fours, pairs and sculls and is situated at the Town Quay. They practice in the river and Solent, wave conditions permitting, and in recent years have enjoyed quite a measure of success at the South Coast summer regattas.

Whitelink Ferries
Lymington is one of the three gateways to the Isle of Wight which is only a 20 minute trip away. Ferries go up to three times an hour to Yarmouth, and provide an excellent way to enjoy a day trip to the ‘Jurassic Island’. During Cowes week an additional service is run by Blue Funnel Cruises direct to Cowes allowing competitors and spectators easy access to the heart of the regatta.

Keyhaven and Tanners Lane
These two local spots are favoured by windsurfers, kite boarders and kayakers alike. Keyhaven offers an extensive stretch of sheltered, shallow water behind Hurst Spit at high tide, which is ideal for the beginner. While Tanners provides direct access to the Solent for those looking for a larger, open area of water. Both are also in easy kayaking distance of Lymington river.

Lymington & District Sea Fishing Club
The fishing club promotes sea angling both from the sea wall that runs between Lymington & Keyhaven and from boats within the Solent and surrounding waters. They organise several competitions each year and have sections covering different types of sea fishing.

Lymington Sea Water Baths
Dating back to 1833 the baths have historically gained national interest for their health giving waters and natural mud minerals. Today, young and old still swim in the waters and enjoy the stunning location with views over to the Isle of Wight.

Solent Model Boat Club
Model Yacht sailing at Setley Pond dates back to 1972. The Sailing Section of the present Club was founded in 1978 with the primary purpose of model yacht racing. The Scale Section was established in 1980 with an interest in all scale model boats, both motor and sail. Nowadays the two sections of the Club are run separately but in close collaboration.

Setley Pond is also the venue for the hotly contested Setley Cup and Seahorse Trophy Junior Model Yacht Regatta that takes place every Boxing day. The rules originally dictated that boat construction could not start until Christmas Day morning (thus giving only 24 hours for building and testing) and all boats had to be launched by a child. However in recent years the sophistication of some entries would indicate that these rules are no longer adhered to!

Giles Lloyd Williams for Lymington.com

April 2014 - in progress of being updated Jan 2017

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