What we do

Solent (Inshore) Cruising

Our inshore skippers are restricted in their cruising to the area between Selsey Bill and Anchor Point - effectively the Solent. However there are many excellent locations to explore in this sheltered sea area.

Trips to the Isle of Wight are popular; a short hop to Cowes or heading further west to Yarmouth. On the mainland there are many rivers to explore, such as Beaulieu, the Hamble, and the Itchen as well as Portsmouth, Langstone and Chichester harbours.

Coastal Cruising

After a year or two's experience, Inshore Skippers can apply to the Training and Skipper Officer for an upgrade to Coastal Skipper. This extends their cruising to the area from North Foreland to Lands End, making destinations such as Weymouth feasible in a long weekend.Even before a formal upgrade, Inshore Skippers can apply for a temporary upgrade to Coastal by submitting a passage plan and this is a great way to build experience with the support of more experienced club skippers.

Offshore Cruising

Offshore Skippers are able to cruise anywhere within the area covered by our insurance (roughly Brest to the Elbe). Naturally these longer passages require more time. Popular offshore destinations include France (Calais, Le Havre, Honfleur etc.) the Channel Islands and the Isles of Scilly.

Our offshore skippers are also invaluable in undertaking the delivery passages for the summer cruise.

Summer Cruise

Each year one of the club boats embarks on an extended summer cruise. These typically last two or three months with different crews joining the boat for each week. Destinations have included Around Britain, Brittany, The Mediterranean, Holland and the Low Countries etc.


In previous years our boats have entered Cowes Week (see http://www.skandiacowesweek.co.uk) and Cork Week (see http://www.accbankcorkweek.ie).  With sufficient interest from members we would happily consider entering these, however this would require some planning and discussion with the Racing Officer in the season prior to each race.

Round the Island

The annual Round the Island Race, organised by the Island Sailing Club, is a one-day yacht race around the Isle of Wight. The race regularly attracts over 1,600 boats and around 16,000 sailors, making it one of the largests yacht races in the world and the fourth largest participation sporting event in the UK after the London Marathon and the Great North and South Runs.

RORC Offshore Series

We regularly compete in the annual series of offshore races organised by RORC (the Royal Offshore Racing Club).

Over recent years we have had some excellent results in the RORC’s Offshore Races:

  • 2007 - 6th overall out of 127 entrants in class IRC3
  • 2008 - 35th overall out of 58 entrants in class IRC3
  • 2009 - no races entered
  • 2010 - 4th overall out of 71 entrants in class IRC3 – missed bronze by 2 points
  • 2011 – 28th overall out of 120 entrants in class IRC4 class – class ranges changed this year
  • 2012 - 7th overall in class IRC4 out of 90 entrants
  • 2013 - 56th overall in class IRC4 out of 136 entrants – only two races completed
  • 2014 - 7th overall in class IRC4 out of 71 entrants
  • 2015 - 16th overall in class IRC4 out of 118 entrants
  • 2016 - 16th overall in class IRC4 out of 68 entrants (only 3 races entered)
  • For more information about racing with the club, please contact the club’s Race Officer racing@phoenixyachtclub.co.uk.

Boat Handling

Boathandling is an informal, rather than RYA certificated, two day course intended to improve PYC members' skills and confidence manoeuvring our yachts in close quarters, such as in and around marinas. This will give you plenty of opportunity to practice getting on to and off of berths, going ahead and astern, with and against the current, and with the wind coming from any direction.

Competent Crew/Day Skipper

Competent Crew

This course is for beginners and those who would like to become active crew members rather than just passengers. Experience living on board and really get to know the boat. Virtually all the course is hands on. You are the crew - without you the sails won't go up and the boat won't be steered.By the end of the course you should be able to steer, handle sails, keep a lookout, row a dinghy and assist in all the day to day duties on board. You should also have visited some interesting places and had an enjoyable holiday.

Day Skipper

A course for aspiring skippers with some yachting experience and basic navigation and sailing skills. Learn to skipper a short passage with the instructor on hand to give advice and encouragement and ensure your safety. Experience being in charge, taking credit when it all goes well and being responsible when it doesn't.

Shore Based Courses

Our agreement with the RYA only covers practical courses, but we have close ties with two commercial RYA schools, City Sailing and Emsworth School of Navigation who both offer preferential pricing on shore based courses to PYC members. These schools offer a full range of RYA skills courses such as:

  • RYA First Aid
  • RYA Sea Survival
  • RYA Diesel Engine
They also offer the full range of RYA Certification theory courses, such as Day Skipper and Yachtmaster, although these are also available as online computer based training and as evening classes.

Sail Trimming

Sail trimming is another popular, informal, course. During this two day course you will learn about the sail suites carried by each of our yachts; head sails, main sails, storm sails, spinnakers and cruising chutes and when to use them. Which you actually get to use will depend upon the wind conditions, but in every case you will be taught the tips and tricks to get the maximum performance from them.

Spinnaker Training

uring a race isn't the best time to learn to use a spinnaker, so we run weekend courses to enable you to learn to "fly the kite" in less pressurised conditions. These courses are always popular and fully booked, but give all participants plenty of opportunity to practice each role.

Yachtmaster Coastal/Offshore Prep Week

An RYA Yachtmaster™ Certificate of Competence is often the ultimate aim of aspiring skippers. It is a well known, highly respected qualification worldwide, proving your experience and competence as a skipper.

To become a YachtmasterTM  a candidate must complete an examination conducted by an RYA/MCA Yachtmaster Examiner, but before doing so they must have completed sufficient qualifying passages and have developed appropriate  skills and experience, often building on their RYA training courses.  Our Chief Instructor can advise you further on exam entry requirements.

Our approach at PYC is to offer a five-day preparation course running from Monday to Friday. This coaching allows you to practice the kind of skills an examiner is likely to expect; mooring, boathandling, anchoring, picking up buoys, passage planning etc. On the Friday evening the instructor gets off the boat, the examiner gets on and the exam begins!

As you will have been training all week with the same people, we expect that if you attend the course you also stay to crew through the exam, even if you are not being examined yourself.

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