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Day Sails - a family day out, gift or taste of future adventures?

It is no good just talking about 'learning to sail' or 'going to sea on a tall ship'. Sometimes you just have to seize the day and sign up for a nautical adventure. Classic Sailing mostly specialise in sailing holidays where you stay on board overnight and have a chance to really bond as crew and immerse yourself in our world of traditional sailing. When we do offer day sails you can rest assured that we want you to come back for a longer voyage, so the professional crew will be working hard to make the day special so we can get you hooked on sailing and fall in love with our eye catching vessels.

Treat yourself to a day sail or bring the whole family or a bunch of mates for some fresh sea air and a bit of hearty rope pulling. All you have to do is decide whether to sail on a classic tall ship with ratlines to climb and sail setting that requires teams of people, or go for a more intimate experience on our smaller vessels where two or three of you could set a sail in a few minutes and have more time to enjoy the view.

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Classic Day Sail on a Big Tall Ship

This is the type of day sail we get the most requests for. If you want to know your t'gallant from your upper topsail, go out on the bowsprit or steer a 300 ton sailing ship with a big ships wheel then you need to book as soon as possible because these day sails are always over subscribed. Tenacious and Lord Nelson are both barques with three masts and square sails on the main and foremast. They offer day sails around the British Isles for virtually anyone who has the romance of the sea in their heart. 

The minimum age for day sails on Tenacious and Lord Nelson is 12 and there is no upper age limit. It is a great day out for families with several generations sailing together, but there ar plenty of people booking a place just for themselves. The ships take able bodied and disabled crews with specialist equipment on board so all can sail as equals. Both ships can take 40 people of a day sail and you are generally split into watches of about 10 people and a watch leader, so you learn in smaller groups.

 See our current Tall Ship Day Sails

Square sails that you help to set
Square sails that you help to set

Day Sails at an Event

Shanty or music festivals, real ale, wine or food Festivals, spectacular sailing events or tall ships races all add something extra for a day out on the water. Sometimes you can actually be crew during a race or parade of sail, which is pretty full on in terms of sail handling as a lot of vessels are sailing in close proximity. It is great for action photographs though. Other day sails might be more about enjoying a bit of sailing whilst being spectators to an event out of the water.

Sometimes the event is on the waterfront, so you sail around the harbour or river at the start or end of the day to create a spectacle for the tourists ashore, but for the rest of the day you are just enjoying coastal waters and learning to set and trim the sails. There might be air displays, music, or fireworks as a finale.

Agnes crew at Falmouth Tall Ships Parade
Agnes crew at Falmouth Tall Ships Parade

Day Sails as Gifts

Day Sails make great presents. You can either book a specific day sail or overnight voyage for a friend or relative, or give them a gift voucher. Our gift vouchers last 3 years and can be spent on any Classic Sailing Voyage or used towards the cost of a bigger trip. Day sails range from £100 to £140.  Sailing Lugger Grayhound is run by a couple with a young son and encourages families to sail. They  will take children of any age on day sails. 

If you want to book a specific day sail for a friend, we cannot refund it if they can't make the day and we will need to ask you basic medical information about the recipient. If you are thinking a friend might like our sailing experiences then we suspect you might be considering coming too...Give us a ring on 01872 580022  if you need a bit of gentle persuasion.

example of our gift voucher featuring Grayhound Day Sails
Example of our gift voucher featuring Grayhound Day Sails

Day Sails with an Overnight Stay

If you are feeling a bit braver why not sign up for a day sail, night on board and bed and breakfast. There is something rather special about staying on board after your day sail. Enjoy an evening meal with your new found friends, watch the sun go down in a beautiful anchorage with a glass of wine, listen to the sounds of oyster catchers on the shore and prepare to sleep in a cosy bunk. Yes there might be a slight rocking movement from the waves, or the gentle pad of a seagull walking on deck....but that is part of the unique experience. Many of our sailing ships are historic originals and sailors have slept on them for over 100 years. Not many hotels can claim that. Brixham Trawlers Pilgrim and Leader do day sail, dinner and bed and breakfast trips in Devon. West Country Trading Ketch Irene can do day sails with optional B&B if you want to stay on till morning.

why not stay overnight on a Brixham Trawler like Pilgrim

Day Sails as Ship Familarisation

Whilst all the ships on our website share the Classic Sailing ethos, they are independently owned so the sailing style can vary. If an tall ships race on Morgenster has caught your eye, or you want to sail to St Kilda on Eda Frandsen, deliver wine cargoes on Grayhound or spend a week in the Caribbean on Lord Nelson, then you might want to try them out first on a shorter voyage. If you can't find a day sail on the vessel you want to try out, try looking for a 2 or 3 day voyage instead as we generally have more of those.


Sailing experiences you might like
Valid for 2 years. Easy to buy on line. Plenty of voyages in £100 to £1000 range to use a voucher on

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