Frequently Asked Questions

General

Are we permitted to smoke?

No! Smoking is strictly forbidden on all VI-SA-GB yachts and property belonging to the association in accordance with legislation and all members, volunteers and trustees are requested to observe this at all times.

Can I bring my dog?

No. Sailing is not suitable for dogs. Why not give them a holiday whilst you are away!

What are the facilities like on UKSA and charter yachts ?

The following plan and description is an example of the accommodation of a typical UKSA yacht. All UKSA yachts are Sail Training School boats and are therefore well used throughout a season.

Below decks accommodation with galley to port side and double aft port cabin, chart table to starboard side with double aft starboard cabin and heads. Saloon with large drop leaf mess table, settee/sea berths to port and starboard with additional pilot berths, leading to large double fore cabin with en suite heads and sink.

How do we book?

You will need to be a member of the Visually Impaired Sailing Association of Great Britain to be eligible to book a members berth. Simply complete the  application for membership [opens in a new browser]

I am not particularly fit, does this matter?

Sailing as a VI-SA-GB member is tailored for you to take it at your own pace. A general level of fitness is recommended so that you get the most out of every aspect of your sailing week.   Please refer to our Application for membership and berths Terms and Conditions if you are unsure.

How long does a VI-SA-GB event last?

Sailing programme details the voyage and the number of days that each event will run for. Confirmation of the start and end dates will be in the joining instructions that will be forwarded to no less than two weeks before the start of your voyage.

What are the maximum and minimum numbers?

Vi-sa-GB works on being able to take between 4 to 6 Visually impaired sailors to sea at any one time. The yachts VISA-GB use sleep a maximum of 9 people between 3 and 4 cabins.   5 people including Skipper and mate make up the minimum numbers practical for the trip to proceed

Is membership open to all ages?

All visually impaired people over 18 years of age are welcome to join as VI-SA-GB full members.

Do you need Experience

Yes & No!   First of all we need to know if you do have any experience of sailing, maybe dinghies or yachts, if you have great if you haven’t then no problem.  We’ll make sure that there is always a good mix of people on the boat so the experienced sailors can help those who just want to have a go.  We’ll make sure that we get you on the right trip, a gentle cruise with regular stops is better for the least experienced while the ones who’ve done it before might go cross channel or do a bit of racing.   Don’t worry if you’ve never set foot on a boat before as every sailor takes great pride in helping someone new to this wonderful pastime.

Is it safe?

Safety is our absolute priority. VI-SA-GB’ skippers and volunteer crew have been chosen for their qualified yachting experience they have developed and their safety management. The Oceans and seas environment in which VI-SA-GB sail are demanding and testing. Therefore we work with them in selecting sailing programmes that are safe, exciting and adventurous. All skippers and voluntary crew members are committed to providing the highest level of safety possible. We continuously monitor and review your feedback to ensure that this happens. Our volunteer skippers and crew are trained and qualified to the highest standard, with experience from all around the world. Skippers have a minimum Maritime Coastguard Agency (MCA) commercial endorsed Royal Yachting Agency (RYA) Yacht Master (YM) offshore qualification, with a valid Eng 1 medical, RYA first Aid at Sea, Sea Survival, and VHF DSC operators qualifications

Do you supply accommodation and food?

Yes. Whilst you are on board the VI-SA-GB yacht, all meals, and snacks are included. VI-SA-GB policies are such that all yachts practise an ‘alcohol free boat rule.  Meals or drink taken ashore are excluded and the costs will be your own responsibility.

Where do VI-SA-GB voyages start from and return to?

It does depend which part of the country we are sailing from but joining your yacht details are sent no later than two weeks before the start of any trip we will make sure every trip starts and finishes at an accessible location.

Does VI-SA-GB have its own yachts?

At present VI-SA-GB does not own any yachts. Our Sailing programme on the South coats is centred around using yachts chartered from the United Kingdom Sailing Academy (UKSA) in Cowes on the Isle of Wight. We also charter suitable yachts in other regions where possible

What do you need to bring?

Specialised equipment is provided. Life jackets that are easy to fit and comfortable to wear. Water proof jackets and trousers [Oilies] can be hired by members for no additional cost.

You will need a sleeping bag for nights on the yacht.

Deck shoes or sea boots are recommended, alternatively a good pair of training shoes. Multiple layers are better than very thick chunky clothing, as you are able to remove layers or add an extra layer if you get too hot or are feeling the cold.

It is strongly recommended that a hat is packed as well as gloves, and possibly a scarf