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Sailing - Solent and Isle of Wight

Sailing off the Isle of Wight

The Island's northern coastline from Bembridge to Yarmouth offers some of the best sailing in the UK. The many calm, sheltered bays provide an excellent environment for the beginner whilst the challenging tides and wind conditions found in the open seas of the Solent can put a broad smile on the face of many a professional.

Cowes, nestled in the mouth of the river Medina is the spiritual home of international yacht racing and has always attracted the sailing hot shots of the day. Both Dame Ellen MacArthur and double Olympic Gold Medallist Shirley Robertson have moved to the Isle of Wight in recent years and train regularly off Cowes. In addition to Cowes, there are natural harbours with marine facilities at Bembridge and Yarmouth.

Learning to sail

"The Isle of Wight is a great place to learn to sail. It is fun and gives everyone a great sense of achievement having faced the challenges of being out on the water." Dame Ellen MacArthur, Round the World Yachtswoman and Island resident.

The schools below offer a variety of taster courses for complete beginners as well as RYA dinghy, multihull and yacht courses.

Cowes Sailing School logo

Cowes Sailing School

Tel. 01983 289631

Island Youth Water Activities Centre


Tel. 01983 293073

UKSA logo


Tel. 01983 294941

Wightwater Adventure Sports Isle of wight


Tel. 01983 866269

Ellen MacArthur Trust

Ellen Macathur Trust logo

Red Funnel are proud supporters of the Ellen MacArthur Trust which takes young people aged 8-18 sailing to help inspire them and rebuild their confidence as they recover from cancer, leukaemia and others serious illness.

Ellen MacArthur Trust

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Registered in England: 002404, VAT number: GB 902 873131. All Rights Reserved, © 2014 Red Funnel (i-27d317a8)

Isle of Wight Port Addresses: Red Funnel Isle of Wight Ferries, Trinity Road, East Cowes, Isle of Wight PO32 6RA | Red Funnel Red Jet Ferries (West Cowes), Fountain Yard, West Cowes, Isle of Wight PO31 7AR.

Southampton Port Addresses: Red Funnel Isle of Wight Ferries (Terminal 1), Terminal 1, Dock Gate 7 off Town Quay Road, Southampton, SO14 2AR | Red Funnel Red Jet Ferries (Terminal 2), Terminal 2, Town Quay, Southampton SO14 2AQ.

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Southampton <> West Cowes, Isle of Wight

Service is operating normally


Southampton <> East Cowes, Isle of Wight

Vehicle Ferry delayed by up to 1 hour due to earlier dense fog. We apologise for the inconvenience caused to your journey

Due to essential winter terminal maintenance, a revised Southampton <> East Cowes timetable is in operation from 21:00 on Thursday 27 October until 02:45 on Friday 28 October 2016.

Revisions include:
• There will be no 22:30 or 23:55 service on 27th Oct from Southampton to East Cowes
• There will be no 23:55 (27th) or 01:20 (28th) service from East Cowes to Southampton
• The 21:00 and 22:30 departures from East Cowes on 27th Oct will arrive at 25 berth in Southampton
• The 02.45 departure from Southampton on 28th Oct will sail from 25 berth

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