Get your your free guide on how to make boating more affordable!

Get your your free guide on how to make boating more affordable!

Questions? Look no further.

Many of the commonly asked questions are answered here. However, should you not find the answer you are looking for do email or call us. Our knowledgeable team will be delighted to help you. Also, consider coming to one of our Meet The Fleet Days where we always have current members you can have a chat with and gain their candid opinion.

DO YOU HAVE OTHER MEMBERS WHO CAN SAIL WITH ME?

Yes, you have a number of options. Many of our members sail together by choice as it is more sociable, 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 organise throughout the year. We also run a dedicated FlexiCrew Membership Programme specifically for this purpose, many of whom are very experienced, 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.

DO I MEET THE OTHER MEMBERS ON MY FLEXISAIL YACHT?

Absolutely you can.

As a FlexiSail member yourself you have all the other FlexiSail members’ contact details on your own boat as well as the opportunity to meet other members at our regularly arranged social and training events from across our locations of Hamble, Lymington, Poole, and Woolverstone.

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?” or “Does the iCalendar scheduling work well?”

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF MEMBERSHIP OVER OWNERSHIP?

The advantage of FlexiSail membership is that it is clear cut and straightforward. You are simply paying for access to the asset.  So whilst you are gaining the ‘ownership ‘ experience, you are not buying 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, and the costs if you change your mind are huge!

FlexiSail membership provides the flexibility to move your membership to different boats, all of which are new or nearly new. It is the perfect solution for busy and time poor people who want to use their spare time sailing and not committing to looking after another expensive and depreciating asset!

Membership is a no risk straightforward fixed cost 12-month or less commitment.

WILL MEMBERSHIP WORK FOR ME AS I DON'T HAVE A LOT OF SPARE TIME OR LARGE BUDGET?

We offer 9 membership levels so you can choose a membership that works for you in terms of time on the water and cost. We want you to achieve the maximum value from your membership.

Choose between ‘Anytime’, ‘Weekender’, or ‘Midweeker’ membership options for access with a bias towards weekend sailing or midweek sailing. Each membership type has 3 levels of usage from which to choose what works best for you. These are set out on the FlexiSail membership page.

Also you can choose to share your membership with another person, which will halve your costs. By mostly sailing together you have the best of flexible and ample access, and less cost.  At FlexiSail there is no additional cost to share your membership.

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 if something does go wrong we are there to deal with any issues.  This saves you an enormous amount of heartache, time and cost. One area this has been particularly appreciated is when a member has had an accident with another boat.

Membership is, therefore, more about the many benefits of having a share of the use of a beautiful boat rather than simply a cost per sail. By strictly controlling the number of members to a boat you will also be able to pick up free Last Minute bookings (within 3 days), which adds to the value proposition. 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.

I AM INTERESTED IN OWNERSHIP, BUT CAN I BE A MEMBER FIRST?

Yes, we actually encourage all potential boat owners 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. You will also know the discerning people who are members on your boat and who also have your yacht’s interest at heart.

It makes the transition very easy as you literally step off one boat onto your own when it arrives. Meanwhile you have been enjoying your sailing during the wait. Any membership fees in credit are then refunded.

WHAT QUALIFICATIONS AND EXPERIENCE DO I NEED BEFORE JOINING FLEXISAIL?

None! At FlexiSail we have our own fully integrated RYA training centre that is dedicated to member’s training, which is called  ‘FlexiSail Training’.

One of the great benefits with FlexiSail Training is that we will mentor and monitor you through your entire training.  You train on your own FlexiSail yacht or catamaran with our instructor, taking you, your friends or family, from total novices to competent sailors in a safe and 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.

HOW DO YOU HANDLE IRRESPONSIBLE MEMBERS?

Our membership agreement makes provision for any member who abuses their FlexiSail membership to be fined or removed from the programme. In 13 years we have only had to ‘remove’ two members who felt no duty of care or responsibility towards the other members on their boat and treated our yacht as charter boat. One had a series of accidents, which directly impacted on other members.

You get to personally know the members that are following you on board.  Consequently, 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 become familiar with your boat, treat it as your own and as a result we have many fewer accidents.

IS FLEXISAIL SHARED OWNERSHIP?

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 downsides. 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.

Many of our members are ex-owners who like the low cost and simplicity of our membership programme.

IS RACING PERMITTED?

No, unfortunately not. 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.  The only exception is the annual Round the Island Race when we only enter one of our larger yachts.

WHAT HAPPENS IF THE BOAT BREAKS DOWN?

FlexiSail provide breakdown cover through SeaStart – the AA on the water.  SeaStart 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.

However, FlexiSail boats are generally new or nearly new, with an average age of approximately 3 years old. Yacht marine engines are very reliable and are serviced annually by the main dealer and service agent. Therefore, it is most unlikely that you will ever have a major engine failure (we have not had one in 13 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.

SeaStart 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.

WHAT IS THE INSURANCE EXCESS AND DO YOU PROVIDE A WAIVER?

With FlexiSail Insurance you are liable for the first £2000 inc vat.

FlexiSail Insurance is comprehensive and with a Lloyds 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 any mistake a very expensive day, which in turn can destroy the fun and someone’s confidence.  We, therefore. offer an insurance excess waiver.  For a small amount paid annually FlexiSail will take the risk for you, giving you great peace of mind and will enable you to enjoy your sailing more.

WHAT EXTRA CHARGES ARE THERE ABOVE THE MEMBERSHIP FEE?

NONE, 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 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 to cover the insurance excess if you have an incident, although we do offer an insurance excess waiver for a small annual charge.

To ensure that you are fully familiar with your yacht you do a two day induction with an instructor booked in management time, and which is charged separately. All training is also charged for separately.

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.

WHAT IS THE FLEXISAIL BOAT DEEP CLEAN?

Every month we carry out a professional FlexiSail boat deep clean that takes approximately 5 hours to ensure that our boats remain really smart inside and out. 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, and 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 also provide a professional cleaning service should you wish to arrange a member’s clean, something that you may wish to consider. After you have had the boat for a few days you will be tired and wanting to get home, and so a professional clean is a nice way to finish your time on board.

WHAT ARE FLEXISAIL'S ARRANGEMENTS FOR RE-FUELING?

FlexiSail have a fuel account at your marina or close by. 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. 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, and in turn the cost of your membership.

IS SHARED MEMBERSHIP POSSIBLE?

Yes, we allow you to share your membership with one other person.  In other words we allow two named skippers under one membership. 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.

 

HOW MANY MEMBERS SHARE A BOAT?

We strictly restrict the number of members in any boat share to an equivalent of 7 Anytime Voyager members, including the owner-member. Often there are less. Anytime memberships may be split into a number of Weekenders and Midweekers, but will still only add up to a total of 7 Anytime Voyager memberships. This equates to 7 weeks sold in any 9 week booking rotation.

As the majority of our booking rotations are 9 weeks long, there will be a minimum of 70 days a year that cannot be advanced booked by members even if the membership is full.  This time is there for members to use as free Last Minute (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.

CAN I BRING GUESTS ON BOARD MY FLEXISAIL BOAT?

Absolutely! Sailing with guests is much of the pleasure, be it family, friends, colleagues or other members.

Provided that you as ‘the named skipper member’ are on board, who you invite is entirely up to you. You can also still sail if you have not yet obtained your qualifications provided that you have a suitably qualified skipper who is in charge. In this situation, we need to have approved the skipper’s details and qualifications for insurance purposes prior to sailing.

The 'extra mile' is that all the staff at FlexiSail are very focused on creating a great experience for owners and members. They will always do whatever is needed.

- Dave Sturgess - Owner-member