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ARC Channel Islands FAQs


What is the minimum size of boat and crew? Entry is open to well found sea going yachts between 8.23m (27ft) and 18.29m (60ft) LOA. Each boat must have at least two people on board.

How long will the rally take?  The rally takes place over 9 days which gives a degree of flexibility to allow for weather delays. The longest leg is approx. 80nm, from Alderney to Gosport.

When does the rally start? ARC Channel Islands starts on Saturday 12th August, 2017 from Haslar Marina, Gosport, with a (mandatory) Skipper’s Briefing held the day before and welcome meal on Thursday 10th. For more information see Dates & Route

Can I use my engine?  As ARC Channel Islands is a cruising rally, boats may use their engine as much as they like.

What safety equipment do I need?  We have a list of mandatory and recommended safety equipment that is required. Early self-checks are highly recommended. For more information a, see the page on Support & Safety. To see the full safety requirements, request a rally information pack

What training should I do?  While no formal training is required for ARC Channel Islands, the skipper must have some previous experience of longer passages, and have planned and skippered a coastal passage outside of sheltered waters of not less than 30 miles. We also recommend the skipper and at least one other crew member to have done some safety and communications equipment, heavy weather sailing and emergency management training within the last five years. Hamble School of Yachting have a variety of useful courses available to participants. You should also brush up on your navigation and tidal calculations and ensure your crew are familiar with lights, radio protocol and emergency/MOB procedures. We will cover the basics for this specific trip during the spring seminar, to which we recommended the skipper and at least one crew attend.

I have never sailed across the channel before, how do I prepare?  It is a good idea to buy up-to-date charts, pilot books and cruising guides. These books will also have tips on local facilities, navigation and anchoring. Imray recommended pilot books and charts are available to rally participants to buy at a significant discount. Further information will also be available at the preparation seminar.

Can I charter a boat? Yes! Whole boat charters and individual crew spaces are available from Hamble School of Yachting.

Can I take my children?  Families with children of all ages are very welcome. Reduced crew fees apply to children under 18.

How do I find crew?  Personal recommendations are the best way of finding crew, but you can also register on OceanCrewLink.com to look for crew or respond to adverts.

Can I take my pets?  Yes, provided they comply with the Pet Travel Scheme. There are some restrictions, so please contact us if you are considering bringing a pet.

If a gale is forecast, will the rally still go ahead? The safety of our participants and their boats is number one priority and the rally will not sail if the conditions forecast are unfavourable. Alternative routes are prepared and if we are unable to sail to the original schedule or destinations, we will sail to places where it is safe to do so. Although WCC will make this judgement and provide advice for prevailing conditions, the decision to sail ultimately lies with individual skippers.  

What is RYA Active Marina?  The RYA's Active Marina Programme is designed to help you get more out of life with your boat. The programme encourages and supports increased berth holder activity by partnering with marinas, RYA recognised training centres, berth holder groups and yacht clubs to establish or enhance a programme of training, cruising and social opportunities.