Schools and community work is an important part of what Sail Boat Project does. We are a Community Interest Company established in 2009 to provide a range of learning activities based around sailing. We seek to widen access to the sea, creating training and employment opportunities, increasing confidence and a sense of wellbeing in communities within reach of the coast. We operate out of:

Chichester harbour AONB with occassional visits to Shoreham and Newhaven ports and Brighton marina.

How we do our schools and community work

We like to build relationships, helping you to get the most out of the activities and opportunities we provide. Key workers in a group and teachers sail free with us. If you already have some sailing experience we can help you develop this and be part of planning the sailing trip or sail training. If you have none, we can provide extra support with one of our volunteer First Mates. Please see the examples of past projects below to give you an idea of how we can work with your schools or group.

We see sailing as having a lot to offer schools and community work. It is a tool to improve life skills, knowledge and attitudes and we offer a flexible approach that can fit in with existing project outcomes you might have. We work hard to meet different learning needs and we are continually developing our resources for use with the whole range of people that come out on the water with us.

As a RYA Training Centre we can issue nationally recognised sailing qualifications. We are also a RYA Sailability organisation. This allows us to use a complementary scheme to record a sailor’s achievement, designed to support the development of any sailor regardless of ability.

Dates & Rates

We are flexible and can arrange anything from a half day's activities through to longer sailing trips. Our rates depend on the season and number of people. Group leaders, teachers and key workers go free.We can help direct towards relevant funding and can support you with fundraising ideas and grant applications. We have successfully submitted joint applications with several groups over the years and are happy to share our experience with you.

Our rates include all food and refreshments onboard, fully qualified commercially endorsed instructors, sailing waterproofs, visitor moorings, pre-trip visit, access to our sail training library and any certificates. Please contact us to discuss your needs further and for a full quote.


A Typical Day



20150710_10471420150710_104605We tailor each trip according to the group we are working with. We will usually arrange to visit the group in advance, with your skipper, who will explain a bit more about the boat, where we might go and do a few simple exercises that get people thinking about the trip - what to bring, what to expect and what they want to get out of the experience.

On arrival onboard there will be an orientation, everyone gets their space to put their kit and there will be a safety briefing. For a day or half day. the aim is to get out on the water and give people some hands on experience. For a longer trip there might be some more preparation, like stowing food and a briefing with charts and weather.

Underway on a trip, people will be split into watches, giving everyone a chance to take turns at sailing, keeping a look out, making meals, cleaning and having a rest. Meals are generally eaten onboard and the emphasis is on working together. Plans can often change at sea, because of weather, particularly more or less wind. Your skipper will always communicate what is going on and help everyone to understand and feel a part of the decisions that are made.

Tailoring a trip to your group's needs can include making time for people to go ashore, choosing quiet anchorages or finding a marina with hot showers.

We like to arrange to visit a group after their trip with us to help reinforce learning, give out certificates or gather feedback.


FAQ - general

How many other people will there be onboard?
We can have up to ten people onboard for group activities. As well as the skipper/instructor there may also be a first mate assisting, or this could be one of your key workers. This then leaves room for up to 8 people from the group onboard at any one time.

Where do we sleep? Do we go back to the marina each night?
We all sleep onboard, with a berth allocated to you. We usually stay in a different place each night, which could be at anchor or mooring in a marina with walk ashore access to showers and toilets. A lot depends on people's needs, which we'll check with you at the start of a course or trip and as we carry on.

Do we eat onboard? Do you cater for special diets?
All meals and snacks are included in our rates and our vessels are well stocked for your time onboard. We provide vegetarian and vegan food by default as part of our commitment to lowering our company's carbon footprint, although please feel free to eat anything you want ashore. Thanks to our partners at Infinity Foods we have plenty of great snacks and ingredients. While we all take turns making meals, there are always some homemade pre-prepared dishes so you can make the most of your sailing and learning time. Please let us know about any other dietary needs - we are pretty familiar with various allergies and diets.

Is there a toilet onboard?
Each of our vessels are equipped with at least one sea toilet, called a 'heads', and by boat standards they are quite roomy, with washbasins. They have a slight knack to using them, which your skipper will show you, but they are pretty similar to a home flush toilet. We do ask you to use toilets ashore when in a marina.

Do you provide waterproofs?
Yes, we provide salapette trousers and jackets which are wind and waterproof, as well as sailing boots which provide a secure grip on deck. Please feel free to bring your own gear or to ask us for advice on where to purchase affordable sailing gear. Lifejackets and safety harnesses are provided.

Will it be rough, what if I feel sick?
Due to where our vessels are moored, the first days' sailing you will experience will be in sheltered waters, and we'll stay in such waters for entry and beginner levels. We want you to enjoy your sailing and our skippers remain very aware of how people are feeling and do their best to avoid unnecessarily unpleasant conditions by planning ahead.

What if the weather is really bad, what weather don't we go out in?
Sailing is obviously very weather dependent. We reserve the right to cancel trips and courses at our discretion, due to adverse weather. If we are forced to do so, we will be in touch with you in the days beforehand to advise and we will work with you to attempt to find you a suitable replacement or if not we will refund all of your money. However, Sail Boat Project cannot be held responsible for any other loss that you may have incurred due to cancellation of your course or trip. The final decision on whether a course or trip goes ahead is always based on the capabilities of those onboard and we are not interested in forcing anyone into being forced into a position they are uncomfortable with.

Will I get a certificate?
All the RYA practical and theory courses we deliver lead to a nationally recognised qualification within the RYA's sail cruising scheme, if you have met the syllabus requirements. We also issue certificates of achievement as part of the RYA Sailability scheme and we have our own certificates of achievement for groups.

Do you make arrangements for people with special needs, learning or physical?
Yes, we have experience of taking people out sailing with a range of different needs. Our ethos is to make things possible and we will always work with you to allow inclusion and participation from everyone. While our vessels are not specifically adapted, for example for wheelchair users, we will always think about what changes we can make to get people out on the water. We use a variety of learning materials that engage and include people and our skippers and instructors are always learning and sharing with each other techniques to help people make the most of their time with us.

Can I talk to an instructor or skipper in advance?
Yes, if we can't put you through to one of our instructors or skippers when you call the office, we will pass on you details and have someone get back to you as soon as possible to have a chat with you.

Do you allow alcohol onboard?
Yes we do, in moderation! We may share a bottle of wine onboard or visit a pub during a course or trip, but please remember alcohol and getting used to the motion of the sea don't mix well. With groups of under 18s onboard we operate alcohol free boats, as well as rationing sugary drinks.

Should I bring my log book?
Yes, if you have a sailing log book this is really good to bring along. For courses it will outline your syllabus, help your instructor see what experience you have and you can get it signed off at the end. For sailing trips you can record the nautical miles sailed and treat it as a mile builder towards any examinations you go for. They are also a useful record for your own interest. We always have log books available for sale onboard for £6.

Is it all sailing, is there time to explore places we visit?
Depending on the level of course you are on, there is usually time to explore a couple of the places we visit. The Competent Crew course includes using a dinghy, so you'll be able to explore from the water! On our sailing trips part of the idea is to have a look around sowewhere new. We usually agree as a group when to have time ashore as we always need to work around the weather and tides. If you have any particular requests make sure you let your skipper know.

Will I see any wildlife?
Plenty of birdlife and the odd seal - in Chichester harbour there is a whole seal colony at certain times of the year. Marine mammals are not as abundant as we'd like them to be, although porpoises in Poole Bay and dolphins off Chichester bar have been recent sightings. If we are lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time we would never move in close or cause any undue stress. We have marine wildlife spotter guides onboard to help you prepare.

FAQ - for group leaders

Are you DBS cleared?

We use DBS (formerly known as CRB) cleared RYA commercially qualified instructors for our work with young people.

Do you have risk assessments, child protection and vulnerable adult policies?

Yes we can provide you with copies of all these. We have very thorough risk assessment and operating policies. In terms of child protection and sleeping accommodation we can talk through with you how cabin spaces can be allocated. We have male and female skippers to meet your requirements according to the group.

Are you insured?

We have all relevant insurance, including Public Liability Insurance of £5,000,000 for any one event. We can provide you with copies.

What are you boats like?

Please have a look at the 'Our Boats' pages. Each of our training vessels can accommodate up to ten people. They have ships toilets ('heads') and spacious cooking areas and facilities ('galley') as well as a table large enough for all ten people onboard to sit around to eat, learn or plan the day together.

Can we meet an instructor or skipper in advance?

Yes we can arrange for your skipper to meet with your group in advance. We can give you an idea of what the trip will involve and prepare you for your sailing adventure, we can even show one of our short videos.

Will we learning anything apart from sailing?

We tailor our group activities to your needs. While we certainly teach the basics of sailing, life onboard is a big factor of any trip – cooking, cleaning and looking out for each other. We know our sailing areas well and can take you to places of historical interest, sheltered anchorages where you can row ashore to have a fire, or marinas with modern facilities and wi-fi. We design a schedule that works for your group. As well as our own learning resources we have an extensive sail training library which you can access.

What do you do about people with special needs, educational or physical?

We have experience of taking people out sailing with a range of special needs. Our ethos is to make things possible and we will always work with you to allow inclusion and participation for everyone in a group. While our vessels are not specifically adapted for wheelchair users, for example, we have made this work in the past. We would always do this in line with our risk assessment. We have developed learning materials that engage and include people and we are happy to share these in advance to help a group prepare for their sailing trip.

Can we get certificates for our sailing trip?

We are able to issues nationally recognised RYA (Royal Yachting Association) sail training certificates where a group does not exceed five plus the instructor. These are usually for RYA Start Yachting and RYA Competent Crew. Where the ratio is more than 5:1 we do issue our own certificates of achievement. We can support people to record and recognise their own learning through personal logs which we can issue. We can also issue sailing logbooks and Certificates of Achievement through the complementary RYA Sailability scheme, designed to support the development of any sailor regardless of ability.

What our previous crews said

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"Very good trip, learnt a lot from it. Crew very friendly and helpful".

30th January 2019

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Have sailed with the Sail Boat Project on three different occasions now (lucky me), and finally managed to get my comp crew - thanks to patience of instructors and my crew mates 🙂 I've loved learning how to sail and found it really soothing - would recommend it to anyone with a busy brain and a need to switch off. I wanted to sail specifically with Sail Boat Project because I felt that I would be putting my money into an organisation with a community spirit and commitment to environmental sustainability - so much more than just a sailing school.

Mireille 22nd October 2018

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Esteem’s Shoreham office and volunteers worked with Sail Boat Project in 2015, helping recruit participants for their Sea Legacy bursary scheme. They have provided sail training activities for members of our group and I am aware of the positive impact this has had on them. The sail training has enabled our participants to develop their soft skills, in particular teaching them to turn up on time, to be presentable, cooking and looking out for others onboard, social awareness and practical skills.

Cat Vizor, Esteem youth group 27th October 2015

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The clients were both nervous and excited before the event. They had to push themselves at times,
do things that they never thought they would, some of which were outside their comfort zones, but
they also had to work as a team. They all thoroughly enjoyed it. Comments received were:
‘I never thought someone like me would have the chance to do something like this.’
‘I discovered things about myself that I never knew. I never thought I would have an opportunity like
this and I now see how I can use this trip as part of my recovery programme.’
‘We all had to work together as a team, look out for each other, it was amazing! I want to help out
with maintenance.’
‘We had to pick up a mooring buoy, and there was only one chance to do it, with a boathook, and it
took hand-eye co-ordination and that was something I learnt that I could do.’
The keyworkers for all of the clients involved have recorded the positive effect the trip had on the
recovery of the clients. Sail Boat Project staff, including the Skipper of the yacht for the trip, visited
the project to gain feedback from the clients and the project itself. From this visit it was very evident
that the trip had been a resounding success.
Since the inaugural two day sail, with the help and support of the Sail Boat Project we have
managed to organise two shorter trips out to sea for some of the residents, including one client with
learning difficulties and one with mobility issues. Again, members of Sail Boat Project came to the Recovery Project to talk to residents about the opportunity before the trip.
Comments after the event included:
"This trip is the best thing that's happened to me for ages"
These opportunities have a really positive effect on our clients and certainly help them on their
journey of recovery.

Sue Stevens, Worthing Churches Homeless Projects 27th October 2015

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We had to pick up a mooring buoy, and there was only one chance to do it, with a boathook, and it took hand-eye co-ordination and that was something I learnt that I could do

8th October 2015

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We all had to work together as a team, look out for each other, it was amazing! I want to help out with maintenance

8th October 2015

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This trip is the best thing that's happened to me for ages

8th October 2015

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I discovered things about myself that I never knew. I never thought I would have an opportunity like this and I now see how I can use this trip as part of my recovery programme

8th October 2015

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I think what you are doing is superb. Tackling the exclusivity of sailing is so worthwhile. I hope you are able to reach young people in the many relatively deprived coastal towns in the South East.

8th October 2015

What To Bring
  • Clothing layers - even if it's sunny or warm on land it can get quite chilly when sailing
  • Hat, sun cream, lip salve, sunglasses, gloves
  • If you're staying overnight or longer you'll need to bring a sleeping bag, pillow, towel, toiletries
  • Any medication you would normally require
  • Pack your belongings in a soft bag that can be easily stowed
  • Do bring any of your favourite snacks or soft drinks as we may not be near any shops
    (If you have your own foul weather gear you are welcome to bring it)
  • If you haven't been sailing before and don't know if you might get seasick, some good advice is to have a sensible breakfast and don't drink lots of alcohol the night before!
  • Bring seasickness pills if you might need them.
What We Provide
  • Lifejackets
  • All meals & snacks while on board (vegetarian/vegan)
  • Sleeping berth
  • Course books in advance (if applicable)
  • Access to our onboard sailing library, including RYA course books (copies available to buy)
  • Quality XM foul weather trousers, jackets and waterproof deck boots
    (If you have your own foul weather gear you are welcome to bring it)
  • Please feel free to discuss equipment concerns with us prior to your sailing trip or course, we will happily advise on purchases if you would like to buy your own gear.

We also provide chartered team days and budget yacht charter for holders of RYA Day Skipper tickets and above.

If you want to talk to one of our instructors or have a more general enquiry either call (+44) 07576 248 348 or fill in the form below.
We will do our best to get back to you as soon as possible.

Your Name

Your Email

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Your Message

Past Projects

6 days aboard for a Year 8 class. We met with them before to plan their trip which was part of their discovery project that term.

In 2015 we worked with people recovering from addictions, from the Recovery Project in Worthing. Participants gained confidence and learnt new skills on the sailing trips, using this as part of their programmes of recovery. This work helped inform our current Sailing Forward recovery sails.

A sail training bursary scheme funded by the European Social Fund.

A five day residential for people interested in learning, developing and sharing practical skills and knowledge connected with marine environments

We have worked with students and volunteer teachers from the Brighton-based Migrant English Project since 2013, taking people out on short sailing trips from Chichester harbour and Brighton marina. The trips combine relaxation, exercise and groupwork.

A 10 day residential learning skills and knowledge for essential boat maintenance for people from across the EU.

The Sea Legs sailing bursary was aimed at people who live in Sussex, are out of work or on a low income and fit within our target groups.