Mileage Building: The Best Way to Experience Sailing

Whether you’re learning to sail for fun, an intermediate looking to build confidence for trips on your own yacht, or you are working towards an RYA qualification, a mileage building trip with Viking Mariners will help you gain the practical knowledge and experience you need. Not only that, but it’s a real adventure!

These trips have proven popular across the years that we’ve been in business. But what is it that makes them so useful and fulfilling for our clientele? In this blog post, we look at what goes into a mileage building trip, why we run them and what past customers have said about them. Plus, we’ll take a journey through a recent trip to Belgium with Managing Director Lee.

Why we run mileage building trips

The team at Viking Mariners has many years’ experience sailing in various locations with a great number of different yachts. We would like to pass our knowledge and expertise onto you, so that you can enjoy sailing to the full.

Our mileage building trips are the perfect way to do this. We offer a hands on experience across three or five days – ample time for you to develop your skills in all aspects of sailing. Learn the ins and outs of boat handling, navigating, onboard equipment and much more, all whilst sailing across picturesque waters and exploring harbour towns. This is a learning experience like no other!

What does a mileage building trip offer?

If you’re after a fun and laid-back experience on the water, this is the trip for you. Learning something as technical as sailing can be daunting, but we at Viking Mariners believe that this shouldn’t put you off. The best way to learn anything is by making your own mistakes, and the best way to make them is under the supervision of our highly knowledgeable team who will be able to help you through any problem you encounter whilst on board.

On your trip, you’ll be able to experience day and night sailing across 200 nautical miles on the stylish and comfortable Viking Blue. We’ll show you the ropes (literally), setting off from Ipswich and mooring in Nieuwpoort, Belgium or Dunkirk, France, depending on your chosen trip. There, you’ll be able to explore and enjoy a much-needed dinner at one of our recommended restaurants. We’ve visited these locations more times than we can count, so we know where to get good grub!

A 12 hour day sail on the return will see you much more confident and competent. If you’re taking an RYA course, the entire sail will be eligible for your log book, so you can hang that certificate on your wall in no time.

Our experience on a recent trip to Belgium

We set off in in fair weather with a good forecast around 9pm; however, the wind took a little bit of a turn and our crew entered a challenge with the tide. This is excellent practice for any learning sailor, as the weather won’t always stick to a forecast!

Arriving in Nieuwpoort the following day, we fixed a minor issue with the Viking Blue’s genoa sail which prevented the swivel unfurling. Again, this made a perfect learning opportunity on how to maintain a boat and problem-solve any unexpected complications with the equipment.

On the way back to the UK, we set off in 14-16 knot winds. The tide was with us and we were traveling at 7.5 knots over the ground. As the morning progressed, the wind increased to force 7/8 with waves to match. By midday we had reefed our sails to 60% and were still doing 7 knots over the ground.  Fortunately the conditions improved by mid afternoon and we were able to gently ease out our sails for the last leg of. This was certainly an exhilarating journey, and a great opportunity for our crew to experience sailing at its most exciting.

Though an eventful and challenging sail, we were thankful that no major issues arose. Our crew, which was a mixture of inexperienced and newly qualified Day Skippers with not many miles sailing under their belts, all did extremely well.

What our customers say about our mileage building trips

We have had so many positive testimonials from past customers, but here are just a couple that we would like to highlight:

Neil Tilling – Day Skipper
“Just wanted to say thank you to Matt and Viking Mariners for a great weekend away. I enjoyed not only being on-board Viking Blue, but also your professional yet relaxed approach to the whole weekend.

I not only picked up good experience learning the electronic side of navigation systems, but also the most valuable experience of transferring that theory to the ‘real world’ and navigating us out of the UK waters by night past an extremely busy port, and over and around numerous sandbanks that are dotted along the East Anglian coast.”

David Hulley – very new sailor – first time sailing out of the river system
“Thank you for a fantastic weekend. I thoroughly enjoyed every moment except from feeling queasy on the outward journey.

It wasn’t all plain sailing so to speak, which made it all the more memorable. Lee and Matt make a good team and we all bonded well together.

Thanks to you all, I got answers to my many basic sailing questions, and learnt a great deal. Taking the helm and helping around the boat wherever I could fulfilled my life long dreams. The Belgium weekend was probably a once-in-a-lifetime trip for me. Saying that, I hope I get the chance to sail with you again sometime.”

Book your mileage building trip with us now

To find out more about our mileage building trips, visit our dedicated page. However, if you’re already sold, call us to find out about our next trip on 01394 421209 or use our contact form.

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