Yes, you have a number of options. Many of our members sail together by choice, as it is more sociable and brings a greater experience on board and of course only one member’s boat time is being used.
You will meet many like minded people through our socials and training days that we put on. We also run a dedicated FlexiCrew Membership Programme specifically for this purpose, many of whom are very experienced, who are familiar with the area and places to go; and it is a fun, social way to sail. You therefore never need to be without crew.
Absolutely you can.
As a FlexiSail member yourself you have all the other FlexiSail members’ contact details on your boat as well as the opportunity to meet members from all the boats across both our locations of Hamble, Lymington, and Poole at our regularly arranged social events.
If you are thinking of membership we are always pleased to arrange for you to meet or talk to existing FlexiSail members.
It is a great way to get answers to questions, such as “What is your experience of FlexiSail?” and “Does the iCalendar scheduling work out fairly?”
The advantage of FlexiSail membership is that it is clear cut and straight forward.
You are simply paying for access to the asset, not buying into it.
Membership is a great way to see if sailing is for you (dipping your toes in the water) at a known fixed cost.
By comparison, owning a boat involves a significant financial commitment, which by its nature is long term.
FlexiSail membership represents total flexibility to sail different boats which are new or nearly new.
Membership is a no risk straightforward 12-month commitment.
There are several FlexiSail Membership options that you can choose that will reduce cost and therefore increase value.
- You can choose to share your membership with another person, which will half your costs. By mostly sailing together you you have the best of both flexible ample access and less cost. At FlexiSail there is no additional cost to do this.
- Choose between ‘Anytime’, ‘Weekender’, or ‘Midweeker’ membership types for access with a bias towards weekend sailing or midweek sailing, and of course less cost. Each membership type has 3 levels of usage from which to choose what works best for you.
Our model is based on giving you the nearest experience to owning your own boat, but without any of the huge standing and running costs, or time and hassle involved with owning your own boat.
Our supportive environment also means that when something does go wrong we are there to take over and deal with any issues. This saves you an enormous amount of heartache, time and cost, if it involves say an accident.
Membership is, therefore, more about the many benefits of having a share of a beautiful boat than simply a cost per sail. By keeping the number of members to a boat down, you will also be able to pick up free Last Minute bookings (within 3 days) which is fun and adds to the value proposition as well as choosing the membership option that best fits in with your other commitments. Typically there are 70 days a year when the boat is available for last minute free sailing, socials, and essential maintenance - even when the boat is running full.
Yes, we actually encourage a potential boat owner to become a FlexiSail member first.
This way you can see how everything works, ‘buy’ into the way we run our business and proceed as a boat owner with absolute confidence that we will properly look after and care for your boat.
It makes the transition very easy as you literally step off one boat onto your own as soon as it arrives. Meanwhile you have been enjoying your sailing during the wait. Any membership fees in credit are then refunded.
None! FlexiSail have their own fully integrated RYA training centre that is dedicated to members training, which is ‘FlexiSail Training’.
One of the great benefits of training with FlexiSail Training is that we will ‘hold’ your hand, on your own FlexiSail boat, with our instructor, taking you, your friends or family from total novices to competent sailors in a safe, enjoyable way. In fact almost half of our members start their sailing with FlexiSail, it is where we specialise.
FlexiSail Training is both an RYA practical and shore based training school that is able to provide all your training needs, from novice to Yacht Master Offshore. Many members sail together as a result of meeting on our one day training events.
Our membership agreement makes provision for those members who abuse their FlexiSail membership to be fined or ultimately removed from the programme. In 10 years we have only had to ‘remove’ two members who felt no duty of care and had multiple accidents, which directly impacted on other members. When you personally know the members that are following you on board, there is a natural concern and desire to return the boat on time and in the excellent condition that you received your boat. Also because you join FlexiSail to have the 'ownership' experience, you are familiar with your boat, treat it as your own and as a result we have many fewer accidents.
No. Flexisail membership is not shared ownership. Full ownership is vested in the owner-member only. As a FlexiSail member you enjoy all the benefits of ownership but none of the downside. By simply paying an annual subscription to have exclusive access to your FlexiSail boat membership is kept very simple and uncomplicated. While you are a member you are enjoying exclusive access to a beautiful fully maintained boat at less than the cost of the marina berth, and on a fixed cost basis. Can’t be bad! When you choose to leave there are no shares to sell or other complexities associated with shared ownership. If you are thinking of buying in the future membership is a great way to experience time on different yachts in different locations. Many of our members are ex owners who like the low cost and simplicity of our membership programme.
Unfortunately not, we do not allow yacht racing. One of the reasons why we can keep and maintain our yachts to such a high standard is that they are for cruising only. We know from experience that boats which are raced are ‘pushed’ hard and to the limit, which results in equipment breaking and significantly greater wear and tear. Instead we charter in race yachts specifically for yacht racing. We know that they will be worked hard but have been designed and set up for this purpose, and so are much more rewarding to sail than a cruising yacht.
FlexiSail breakdown cover.
FlexiSail boats are generally new or nearly new, with an average age of less than 3 years old. The marine engines are very reliable and are main dealer serviced annually. Therefore it is most unlikely that you will ever have a major engine failure (we have not had one in 12 years of operation of FlexiSail). However, it is always possible to pick up weed and cause the engine to overheat or to catch a rope around the prop.
All our boats are covered by Sea Start – the AA on the water, providing FlexiSail breakdown cover. Sea Start who will sort you out, usually within the hour, and will tow you back if necessary. They cover a wide area of the South Coast and have arrangements with local engineers in many other locations.
They are available to chat through any potential issues before a breakdown and of course we are on shore to deal with anything once you return.
With FlexiSail Insurance you are liable for the first £2000 inc VAT.
FlexiSail Insurance is comprehensive and with a mainstream insurer. Your excess is recoverable where the insurers deem it is not your fault. Normally incidents happen in the marina and the cost charged to you is the net cost to us for repairing the scratch or scrape, mostly done in-house to keep costs down. In the case of a major incident your liability is capped at the insurance excess of £2000. Most importantly we deal with all the hassle of dealing with third parties and any damage to their boat.
However, we recognise that a £2000 liability is a lot and makes a mistake a very expensive day which in turn can destroy the fun, and someones confidence. We therefore offer an insurance excess waiver. For a small amount paid annually FlexiSail will take the risk for you, giving great peace of mind and will enable you to enjoy your sailing more.
No, we do not have any FlexiSail membership extra charges. Your FlexiSail boat is fully insured, berthed, maintained and managed by us. Even the cooking gas and fuel (yachts only) is included. There are no further costs for you to pay. We do not charge for you to share a membership. You are of course responsible for your own overnight berthing costs when away from your home marina. FlexiSail membership is true fixed cost sailing.
You do have the insurance excess to cover if you have an incident that is your fault, although we do offer an insurance excess waiver for a small annual charge. We do charge for the induction (2 days with an instructor on your boat that is booked in management time), and for all training courses and socials.
Many members pay their membership fees by an annual lump sum for which we provide a useful discount. Alternatively members may pay on a monthly basis, during which time FlexiSail hold 2 months fees in advance for the duration of your membership. This is refundable when you leave unless you have failed to give notice or have debts outstanding.
Every month we undertake a professional FlexiSail boat clean that takes approximately 5 hours to ensure that our boats remain really smart and clean. We use chemicals to remove stubborn marks on the deck; clean the bilges; galley and heads; and polish the woodwork and bright work.
We also use the deep clean day for essential maintenance to ensure that mechanically the boat remains in tip top condition.
As a member, and before you disembark, you are expected to wash down the decks, clean the galley and heads, sweep the floor, clear out your rubbish, etc. Basically you will need to leave the boat as you would like to find it, ready for the next member. We provide details in the Boat Manual of a professional cleaning service should you wish to arrange a members clean, something that you may wish to consider after you have had the boat for a few days as when it is time to go you will be tired and needing to get away.
FlexiSail boat refuelling is done using our fuel accounts which we hold at all of our marinas. We ask you to ensure that you leave your FlexiSail boat with at least half a tank of fuel. If you need to refuel just visit the fuel pontoon on your way back to the berth, fill the tank, sign the paperwork and the cost will go on to our account. If you need to refuel elsewhere you will need to pay, and then send us the receipt so that we can reimburse you by return. You should always ask for a 60/40 split on the tax. The split is the proportion that you are legally allowed to claim as heating fuel which is taxed at a lower rate and so reduces the overall cost of fuel.
Yes, we allow shared FlexiSail membership with one other person.
This is normally a spouse or partner, but could be a friend, son or daughter, or business colleague.
There is no additional charge for sharing your membership but there are some usage conditions where there are two independent skippers named. Shared FlexiSail membership is a great way to reduce cost and increase value.
Sailing with guests is much of the pleasure, be it family, friends, colleagues or other members.
Provided that as 'the named member' you are always onboard and even if you do not yet have your Day Skipper Practical qualification you can still sail, as long as you have with you a suitably qualified skipper who is in charge.
In this situation, we need to have the skipper’s details and qualifications for insurance purposes.
We strictly restrict the number of members in any boat share to a maximum of 7 Anytime members, including the owner-member. Often there are less. Anytime memberships may be split into a number of Weekers and Midweekers, but will still only add up to a total of 7 Anytime memberships.
As the majority of our booking rotations are 9 weeks long, there will be a minimum of 70 days a year that can not be advanced booked by members even if the membership is full. This time is there for members to use as free (within 3 days) additional sailing, for social events, and for essential maintenance.
It is the boat share members’ 'pride of ownership' that sets us apart from our competitors and enables us to maintain your boat to such a high standard.
Firstly, we maintain an exclusive membership of a maximum of 7 members including yourself. This approach engenders a genuine “pride of ownership” amongst members.
Each member must be suitably qualified and is assessed by us during the 2 day induction that all members undertake. This ensures that each member is fully familiar with their boat’s operation and equipment.
Through our RYA training centre, FlexiSail Training, we continually provide training to improve members’ skills. Additionally, each member receives a ‘Member’s Manual’ and signs a ‘Duty of Care’ undertaking.
Last, but not least, we have a proactive management team who maintain a high standard of maintenance, planned preventative maintenance and general cleaning.
The proof of the pudding is in the eating, so do come and see our existing fleet and take time to look at a 4 or 5 year old boat where you will see the “pride of ownership” at work – we know you will be impressed.
Yes, our owner agreement makes provision for you to withdraw your boat at the end of October each year.
More importantly for most owners, the owner agreement also has the provision to keep your boat in our programme for additional years by the mutual agreement between the owner and FlexiSail.
We have the most beneficial ownership package possible with professional management, all running costs paid, a guaranteed net income, and most importantly a known small number of other users that take a “pride of ownership” in your boat. This gives the best possible outcome for an owner who cares about his boat.
With FlexiSail Boat Ownership we offer a guaranteed income of 4% of the total purchase cost of your boat.
In addition FlexiSail cover all the running costs and the owner receives free sailing.
The total boat ownership package value is generally above 20% of the purchase price of the boat, receivable each year for the 3 – 5 years (or longer by mutual agreement) that your boat is in our FlexiSail programme.
Come and talk to us if you would like to discus this possibility further.
Yes you do.
As a FlexiSail boat owner bringing a new boat into our fleet, then for the first year or until we have sold all other memberships (whichever comes first), we will provide you with a second membership free of charge, giving you 1/4 of the use of your boat. Longer term you can buy additional access at half price and which is offset against income.
Otherwise, each membership is on exactly the same terms as any other member.
There is no owner priority as such over bookings, but as the owner we allow you to hold more advance bookings than any member giving you more flexibility of dates. . The same ‘fair share’ iCalendar rules apply to everyone.
With the FlexiSail boat ownership agreement there are several options for you to consider.
If your boat is popular and you are happy to renew worn out equipment we will consider extending the agreement for additional seasons.
You can choose to part exchange your boat for a new boat in our FlexiSail programme which can save significant selling costs if you want to upgrade.
Alternatively, you can decide to sell the boat privately or simply sail off into the sunset!
Yacht depreciation very much depends on brand, model and condition.
As a generalisation the yacht depreciation curve is steepest in year one, becomes less steep in year 2 and 3, and continues to flatten in years 4 and 5. By year 6 most well maintained and cared for yachts will have stopped depreciating.
The caveat here is that renewals and and high standards of maintenance are essential to maintain value.
Yacht depreciation overall will generally vary in range of between 30% – 45% over this period. It is surprising the difference you see between manufacturers and particular models.
Interestingly catamarans can reverse the trend have been known to sell for around their original new price after 5 or 6 years. When buying with FlexiSail, we will lead you through this minefield.
Boat finance for a FlexiSail boat is straight forward.
You are the sole owner of a FlexiSail boat and so you avoid the complexity of shared ownership which is a finance nightmare.
As a rule of thumb the maximum deposit/loan ratio is 20/80. Often the best rates are available at around 30/70.
The marine finance industry has become quite sophisticated over the last few years with variable and fixed rate deals, over periods up to 15 years.
Loans are available with balloon final payments (which reduces the amount of capital that has to be repaid during the term, but the final payment is always kept below the future boat value).
Lenders have different ways of setting interest rates – some use Libor as the base rate, others the Bank of England minimum lending rate, etc.
The 3 main marine boat finance companies are SGB (Société Général), Barclays and Lombard.
Larger loans attract lower interest rates, but in all cases you need to be able to demonstrate affordability of payments, without the income received from FlexiSail as this is not taken into account.
However, SGB for instance, have funded many of our boats and they recognise that the costs that we cover and income we provide is significant added comfort, which in turn is often reflected in their rates and willingness to provide the boat finance to our owners.
Our preferred boat manufacturers are Dufour and Jeanneau yachts and Fountain Pajot Catamarans.
We have chosen these brands due to a good balance between initial cost, future residual value and practical considerations for maintenance, suitability for our waters and our membership expectations.
All our boats are specified to a high “private” standard and are CODED to meet current Code of Practice required for commercial use.
We are also open in principle to other options as well as our preferred boat manufacturers if you wish to own a boat in the FlexiSail programme.
Please call us to discuss our current requirements, the options and financial model.
As a potential boat owner we actively encourage membership first.
This way you can see how everything works, ‘buy’ into the way we run our business and proceed to become a FlexiSail boat owner with absolute confidence that we will properly look after and care for your boat.
It makes the transition very easy as you literally step off one boat as a member onto your own as a boat owner as soon as it arrives. Any advance membership fee are refunded to you.
Meanwhile you have been enjoying your sailing during the wait.
Our membership agreement makes provision for those members who abuse their FlexiSail membership to be fined or ultimately removed from the programme.
In 10 years we have only had to ‘remove’ two members who felt no duty of care and had multiple accidents, which directly impacted on other members.
When you personally know the members that are following you on board, there is a natural concern and desire to return the boat on time and in the excellent condition that you received your boat.
FlexiSail boat specification is very high because membership with us is all about the 'ownership' experience, so a well spec'd comfortable boat is essential.
Our yachts include; EPIRB; chart plotter; autopilot; heating; electric windlass; wind instruments; depth and wind gauges; 2 x VHF; galley items and other features that make yachting easy and enjoyable so that all you need to bring is your clothing, bedding and food.
All FlexiSail boats are fully certified to the Maritime and Coastal Agency Code of Practice for small commercial vessels, complying with cross Channel requirements, and carry extensive safety equipment, plus most most boats are also fitted with AIS transponders, or radar.
• Boat ownership is an important dream for many people.
• Through FlexiSail boat ownership you have the opportunity to realise the dream knowing that your boat is being properly maintained, well cared for and all your standard costs paid for.
• As a boat owner it is good to know the other members using your boat and to know that they have a real ‘pride of ownership’ too.
• A guaranteed income that comes in every month of the year
Add to this your free membership and you can literally 'have your cake and eat it!
Yes, all owners and FlexiSail members receive their own boat key so that they can always get onboard at any time of the day or night.
It really is like coming down to your own boat that will be clean and familiar to you, and you are not dependent on organising your arrival around the administration arrangements of a marina or anyone else!
Our iCalendar is a sophisticated online scheduling system.
Bookings are made in two monthly rotations. For example each ‘anytime’ member is entitled to 7 days (5 full weekdays and 2 full weekend days) during each booking rotation.
This ensures that everyone has access to the same amount of time and each owner or member can book a full weekend.
The total number of advance bookings is controlled, as well as the maximum number of weekdays, weekend days and holidays.
Also, the main booking rotations are 9 weeks long, but the maximum we sell is 7 weeks. This ensures that your time on your boat is guaranteed even in high season.
You can book up to 12 months in advance on a rolling calendar, but no-one can take advantage and pre-book more than their fair allocation.
There is a much more detail explanation on our website iCalendar page under the info tab. Alternatively speak to us directly and we will arrange to meet and show you the iCalendar in action.
No, all the FlexiSail Marinas that we choose as base locations are deep water marinas with access, both in and out, at all states of the tide, day and night.
We avoid marinas that restrict your access and or have locks for the simple reason that much of the flexibility of sailing with FlexiSail is the ability to ‘pop’ down for just a day sail or for the weekend.
We make sure that you can be sailing within 10 minutes or less of leaving the marina. As a consequence we are located at the best marinas in the prime locations to give you the best experience.
The facilities are generally brilliant!
First and foremost as a FlexiSail member or FlexiSail boat owner you have full access to the same marina facilities of any berth holder. Most of our marinas have been refurbishing their shower facilities. some are now 5 star hotel standard.
You have access to the berth holder’s reserved parking, showers, loos, laundry, and changing facilities.
At MDL marinas (Hamble) you get ‘MDL Outlook’ card benefits that include free overnight stays in other MDL marinas.
We only chose the very best located marinas with the best marina facilities and most importantly all have 24 hour access to your berth at all states of tide.
We are currently located at Port Hamble Marina- Solent, Lymington Yacht Haven – Solent, and Poole Quay Boat Haven – Poole.
Absolutely! Whether you are already a RYA Day Skipper, have sailed but don’t have the qualifications, or are still at the novice stage, we will train you through our RYA Sailing School, FlexiSail Training.
We will bring you up to speed and will make sure that you are happy with your skills and your FlexiSail boat before taking her out on your own.
Training on your own FlexiSail Boat avoids all the common failings of standard courses, giving you one-2-one attention and builds skills and confidence faster and more robustly than any other way. It is also a very cost-effective way to train.
We regular run 1-day members skills days following your RYA Day Skipper training that you will find invaluable as a member.
When you join FlexiSail you will receive a 2-day induction over and above any RYA Day Skipper training that includes a full day on the water with a lot of boat handling under power and marina berthing practice.
This is personal one-2-one tuition, which is always greatly valued by our new members. There is no better way to train, gain skills and build confidence.
Yes, FlexiSail Training, our own RYA Sailing School is dedicated to member training, providing Day Skipper Practical and Competent Crew training.
We saw first hand the failings of the standard school approach and wanted to do something better for our members.
We also have a vested interest in helping members have a higher skill set as we are giving you a new and expensive boat to use as your own, and we want both you and the boat to come back in one piece!
Day Skipper practical and Competent Crew training is done on a one-2-one mentored basis on your own FlexiSail yacht or catamaran, and with two of you training it is actually more cost-effective than standard school training, yet you achieve and learn so much more in the same time.
Yes you can.
We have found that an online interactive course is the most popular way to obtain the RYA Day Skipper theory and Yacht Master theory qualifications as many of our members find it easier to do it in their own time rather than spending holiday time in a classroom.
The online solution, which in many ways is more comprehensive with all aspects of sailing as well as the “straight jacket” of the course itself tends to be more fun and informative with interactive content. you can also use the course information as a refresher in subsequent years.
For this solution you need a reliable internet connection, although lessons can be downloaded for use offline.
For our RYA Day Skipper theory course we have partnered with local company Skippers Online. We have built a value-added package around the course that includes access to our own instructors as well as face-to-face theory days.
Please ask for details.
Yes, for FlexiSail members we are a one-stop-shop and will book you onto any shore based course that you need.
These include VHF radio, Sea Survival, First aid , and Diesel Engine Maintenance courses.
At FlexiSail Training we occasionally run our own courses, but have found that we can give greater flexibility of dates by outsourcing to the best providers in each category.
For instance with VHF Radio, we think it is more valuable for you to be able to make and respond to a Mayday from another student in real time on a real set rather than use a software simulator.
Just let us know what you wish to do and we will organise it all for you. You need to be a member, a family member, or sailing with a member to do any courses through us. I am sorry but we do not do courses for the public.
Teaching new members to learn to sail safely and competently and opening up a whole new world is an important part of what we do. In fact around 50% of our members come to FlexiSail in order to train with us.
FlexiSail Training is an integrated part of FlexiSail, providing member only, mentored one-2-one training, on a member's own FlexiSail boat.
We have a structured, supportive environment that means that you are never on your own, and if something does go wrong we are there to handle it.
As an RYA Training Centre we will give you the skills and confidence you need to sail safely and enjoy sailing to the full. Through our membership programme you will have your own boat to enjoy and through our huge social programme will find many friends to make it even more fun and engaging for the whole family.
There simply isn’t a better way to learn to sail than on your own boat with great instructors and in our supportive environment.