Yacht sailing is one of the most popular boating activities in the UK because it is open to people of all abilities and ages - you can start sailing with little experience and you don't need to own your own yacht.

With the wind and your actions driving the boat to your destination, there is a real sense of achievement when you are safely moored up, and reliving the excitement of the day. There are many ways of experiencing yacht sailing whether it be cruising the coastline at your own pace, stopping to savour the stunning scenery and visit sites of interest, or whether it be the thrill of racing in a regatta or race.

One of the most important things for you to know is that yachts are categorised into different ‘classes’ or types of boat depending on their size, design and number of crew. Choosing a yacht  type or ‘class’ depends partly on what type of sailing appeals to you and partly on what’s available within an acceptable travelling distance of home. Don’t worry though, you can always try out other types of sailing at any time — in fact this is often the best way to figure out what you enjoy most, as well as helping to broaden your experience and knowledge base.

This guide will help you understand how you can get started in yacht cruising, what equipment and training is required and what the costs are, enabling you to make the most of the UK’s inland waterways and coastal water, and the yachting opportunities overseas.

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