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Q: Is sailing experience necessary?
No, sailing experience is not necessary and we actively encourage non sailors to test the water with us, though many of our customers are experienced sailors. If you are new to sailing just come equipped with a love of the outdoors, a sense of adventure, a willingness to muck in with all aspects of sailing and crewing a ship and a desire to learn. If you are a complete beginner you will be amazed at how much you learn within a week and who knows, the seeds of a lifetime’s interest of sailing maybe sown!
Q: What if I am an experienced sailor?
Don’t worry your talents as an old salt will not be wasted. There is always plenty to do aboard a gaffer and you are sure to get a chance to practice old skills and add new ones to your repertoire. If, like many modern sailors, you have never sailed a gaffer before then this will be a salutary experience.
Q: Do I need to be physically fit?
Sailing is a physical activity, so a reasonable level of physical fitness is important. Having said that, you do not need to be an athlete or weightlifter. We don’t expect anyone to be able to lift heavy weights or shin up the mast (unless they volunteer!) If you do have a medical condition or a physical weakness, consult your doctor and please let us know before you come.
Q: Do I need any specialised gear?
No, we provide waterproof gear, lifejackets etc. Just bring along warm clothing, flat shoes, sailing boots, ordinary wellies or walking boots, towel and sleeping bag. We also provide pillows and pillow cases.
Q: Who will skipper the boat?
We use only hand-picked seasoned skippers, who we know can not only sail safely and efficiently but who have the temperament, experience and culinary skills to ensure that everyone aboard has a great holiday.
Q: How many people will there be aboard?
Lizzie May will sleep 4-5 guests and will easily and legally accommodate 10 people for day trips. A crew of 1 or 2 will look after the guests.
Q: What are the conditions aboard?
Like most small craft, communal living is the norm. The crew is normally a mix of men and women and a certain lack of space and privacy must be expected. On the up-side Lizzie May’s cabin heater means that you need never be cold and she has a large separate toilet compartment with wash hand basin and hot and cold running water. There is no shower on-board; however there will be opportunities to shower on certain places whilst ashore for example, Tobermory, Rum, Eigg, Arisaig, Jura, Gigha & Lochaline.
Q: I’m not sure about one of Lizzie May’s longer trips?
Try a two or three day “taster” weekend first or even one day with up to 10 people aboard. If you like what you experience, as a previous customer you qualify for a 10% discount for future trips which could be longer.
Q: What about food and drink?
Fresh, tasty food is an important factor in an enjoyable holiday, and we pride ourselves on the quality of our meals which can be customised to suit special dietary needs. Don’t expect Cordon Bleu cuisine, but fresh ingredients form the basis of most meals and packets and cans are kept to a minimum. Lizzie May’s well equipped galley means that hot drinks and meals of ample quality and quantity are always on the go. All food and drink aboard (excluding alcoholic drink) is included in the price of your trip. Alcohol is not allowed to be taken whilst sailing, but after stopping for the night what better way to round off the day than with a good meal and a tipple? Alcoholic drinks are not provided aboard as the norm, but please feel free to bring your own.
Q: What if the weather is poor?
Any outdoor activity (especially in the UK) runs the risk of the weather putting a damper on things. The weather forecast is frequently monitored by your skipper who will decide on the best option as to the next port of call. The published itineraries are flexible and can be changed to suit the weather.
Don’t worry; if the weather does turn poor we simply take on less ambitious passages, which allows more time for exploration ashore. It also gives us the excuse to get Lizzie May’s cabin heater going and enjoy a dram and a yarn, or perhaps even a sing song with the ships guitar or simply a quiet read around the saloon table.
It is reassuring to know that if, by some freak chance, we are caught out at sea in less than clement weather, then Lizzie May is definitely the boat to be in. Her fine sea-keeping qualities and heavy displacement mean she can handle (and has!) even the toughest conditions and can look after her crew in both safety and comfort.
Q: Will I be seasick?
There is always that possibility but there are effective anti-seasickness pills available and if used correctly they will help prevent seasickness.
Q: How do I get to the starting port and from the finishing port?
Please click here for our Locations page.
If you have any further questions that we have not covered above, please do not hesitate to give us a call on
07789 036 515.