the Jollies' unique concept, I have created an all-round, valuable,
beneficial sailing experience, something I felt was missing from the
market and which bridges the gap between a course and a holiday.
Jollies are fun and hands on, aimed predominantly at those wishing to
develop & improve their sailing, practise their skills and gain
confidence in those weaker areas, usually boat handling and sail
trimming. In a relaxed, but at times challenging atmosphere of
enjoyment, learning and group camaraderie, you may be as involved as you
wish, and get what you want or need, without the constraints of a course syllabus. See the testimonials for
an impression of the success of this concept, which receives many
compliments and is bringing clients back time and time again.
Generally, enthusiastic sailors, keen to learn, usually looking to take their experience and skills to the next level. Easy going people who enjoy a good time, usually mid 20's to mid 60's bracket whose main focus is on the planning and sailing but who enjoy a few beers at the end of the day. I'm very happy to take beginners on many routes, but most of clients tend to have some sailing experience - time on family or friends' yachts, or certificates like the RYA Competent Crew, Day Skipper, even Coastal Skipper and Yachtmaster Offshore.
are looking for practice and reinforcement, to gain the confidence to
charter or purchase their first yacht, or to gain qualifying passages or
time as Skipper, towards their next qualification. Everyone is
introduced to one another via Facebook and/or WhatsApp groups beforehand
and we work everything out between us, such as the cabin allocations,
dietary preferences and what people want out of the week. All are
invited to help to plan the route and the stops they might like to make
along the way, based on the conditions of course.
Our multi yacht one way events take place usually over 2-4 weeks every April, May and October, in the springtime up from Athens to Corfu or Skiathos, then in the autumn the opposite direction. We have individual berths, cabins, and whole bareboats, all at very reasonable prices and our yachts are all in excellent condition. (In October we must bear in mind they have been used all season, but generally they are still in great shape - in any case, things going wrong are great learning opportunities, better to happen while in a big group with professional skippers, instructors, engineers and mechanics who know how to fix things.)
How will a Jolly benefit me?
On a Jolly you will get a full taste of chartering a yacht and all that it involves, from check in, inventory and provisioning, passage planning & route strategy, through to the final handover and sense of achievement from being part of a successful crew. You will get sea miles, night hours, a 60 mile / overnight passage if feasible, man overboard exercises, advice on sail trimming, helming, berthing, reverse anchoring, departing from a quay, engine maintenance and help with pretty much anything else where we can. You may wish to spend some time in the role of 'Skipper', for anything from a simple task to an entire passage. However it's equally possible to come and relax and not be overly involved - it is entirely up to you. If you are working towards RYA Coastal Skipper or Yachtmaster Offshore, we will try to accommodate your needs in terms of qualifying passages and time 'skippering'. Everyone can pitch in and play an important part in every aspect of the voyage. The Skipper is ultimately in charge, but is happy to sit back and let individuals or groups plan and tackle sections of the trip, only stepping in if there's something awry. You're never put under pressure to do something, unless you say you want to be pushed - just let your Skipper know. How do I join?
Pro Skippers : I offer you the opportunity to charter a yacht
alongside mine, on an existing Jolly event and bring your own guests. I
do not 'employ' you, but you can take the yacht at a discounted price,
as the company recognises we are helping them by moving the boats, thus
creating a win win for all.
Newly Qualified Day / Coastal / Yachtmaster Skippers - Looking to charter for first time, or want to Skipper but don't have crew? Sailing Jollies give you the perfect opportunity to bring your family and friends sailing, knowing that a lead yacht with professional Yachtmaster/RYA Instructor skipper is on hand throughout the trip. Furthermore, alternatively I can help you crew your yacht with experienced Sailing Jollies guests, who will be happy to help and support you without being intrusive, allowing you to run the show and be skipper in a friendly atmosphere without losing face. Far better this way than to mess up with family, partner, or friends, and have them never come again (let's be blunt, but it's true!)
How are the weather conditions generally?
more adventurous and challenging Jollies are run in the early and late
season, when the conditions can get tough, with fairly rough seas and
strong-ish winds, so it pays to be sure of your sea legs taking sensible
precautions to avoid sea sickness and bringing a positive sense of
being up for longer passages. We won't ever recklessly set out in
fierce conditions but sometimes being on a deadline means we may make
passages that fair weather day sailors would prefer to avoid! Life
jackets and harnesses are provided and should be worn if advised to do
so. Since April 2015 we have taken ten days to two weeks for our early
and late season regattas between Corfu and Athens, taking the time
pressure off and giving more time for berthing practice, for example.
I believe that in the world of sailing, we never stop learning, and the day you think you know it all is the day you should pack it in. Whether it's a new trick from another sailor, or a better way to teach or demonstrate something, there's always something somebody else can bring to the table. There's usually more than one way to do something effectively, so two different methods may work equally well, without one being necessarily better than the other. Some skippers like and dislike certain practices, so as a crew member you should take note, ask before doing something and adapt your knowledge to fit with the yacht and skipper for each particular trip, in order to stay in their good books!
Strong testimonials and a high percentage of repeat bookings speak volumes about the popularity of Sailing Jollies and I believe I am the only one going to such lengths to create a trip that is so personally tailored to whatever each individual guest wants to get from it. You will be sure to meet like minded, enthusiastic, genuine, fun people, generally all of who are up for learning and developing their sailing skills and experience as much as possible, and no doubt finish the week with a sense of achievement, great memories and having made new friends for life.
How do I book?
email: [email protected] or best WhatsApp +44 7899964267
"I had an insanely good time sailing with you and felt so safe with the boat in your extremely capable hands. You have a natural talent on the water, and it was fun to watch you work and teach others. I was amazed at how well you dealt with the myriad demands put on you by organizing and managing a trip of such scope, safely moving six boats and about 30 people over such distances while simultaneously managing differences in personalities and expectations." - Courtney M, USA
"We had the pleasure of joining one of Rich's jollies, Athens to Corfu
one April, and sailing with Rich through thick and thin. I can honestly
say that for the less experienced skipper, this is an excellent way of
gaining experience and miles - not as a tightly controlled "flotilla",
but as a loose collection of yachts sailing together in company. Rich is
sensitive to the needs and concerns of all - skippers and crew alike -
and goes out of his way to ensure that everything is as it should be. He
really keeps on top of the organisational side of things, is familiar
with many sites and has a great network, which enables more experienced
skippers who may be new to an area to have a good and relaxing time of
it as well. Joining one of Rich's Jollies can also provide the benefit
of boat-swapping for crew and, of course, the opportunity for greater
social outings and dinners ashore for those so inclined. Or, for an
occasional quiet night away from the crowd, such side soirees are
accommodated as well. Highly recommended." - David V, pro YM Skipper
"Hey, thanks again for letting me join your trip for the last two weeks. I had an insanely good time sailing with you and felt so safe with the boat in your extremely capable hands. You have a natural talent on the water, and it was fun to watch you work and teach others. I was amazed at how well you dealt with the myriad demands put on you by organizing and managing a trip of such scope, safely moving six boats and about 30 people over such distances while simultaneously managing differences in personalities and expectations, handling conflicts in a professional manner, and creating an environment that encouraged teamwork and socialization. Well done, Rich. I hope we get to sail again together someday!" - CM, Texas, USA
"Dear Richard, In the Name of Team 17, we would like again to thank you so much for your patience, kindness, your sailing instructions , safety spirit, and the really good atmosphere that you promote on board during our all sailing week.
Biby ( Amicale du 17 ) (Group of 17 Swiss guys, 2 yachts, Croatia)
As skipper, you were responsible, and you made some judgement calls that I fully support. Indeed, your attitude pulled the crew together and I had total confidence in your competence the whole trip. I appreciated the way that you took account of everyone's needs and opinions and the time that you devoted to skill building. That is what I wanted.
I would be delighted to sail with you again" - MF, Milebuilder to France
"I had to write this, as i had the best Sailing holiday with Richard and my friends I have ever had ; I got on the boat feeling low as I had a really tough time at home before I left. But hours into the trip I felt better , and as time continued I felt truly happy. Maybe it was the warm Grecian sun, maybe the turquoise sea sparkling. It may have been the quaint Greek architecture in the ports. Everything was special. I felt very safe and in good hands. I know that I speak on behalf of everyone on the boat. A normal holiday now would be out of the question. So back next year for another adventure. Thank-you Richard." - LH, September 2015, Corfu
"Was a great week with loads of time for focused practicing and learning (as well as time for winding down in the evenings with a few drinks and local food :)).
Arrived with a long list of objectives and before the end of the week we had covered almost everything plus a lot more which was added as we went! Feel a lot more confident now about skippering with family and friends. First class instruction from Richard delivered calmly and patiently as always. Thanks again."- Chris B, one-to-one short handed training week, Greece - Chris has since gone on to charter a bareboat in Croatia for himself, friends and family and has recognised that the training given in that one to one week really enabled him to do that with confidence.
"The yachts are squeaky clean and in mint condition; like brand new. Clearly maintenance is very high and service excellence exceeded our expectations. We would definitely do the trip again, maybe several times if possible. We learned so much from all the crew and skippers, more than we ever dreamed we could. Thanks again Richard and all the team that make this possible, not forgetting Fanis and Christos of Omega sail." NP&SP, Namibia/S Africa
"We had a really good group of us, there was a great sense of humour around the boat and we all learned some sailing skills along the way" - Alex W, London
" I was able to see how much Rich involved the others. He was an excellent skipper, giving clear instructions, and at all times (especially during those choppy and rather scary waves) made me, and everyone else, feel safe." - Nicola B, London
"Richard's manner of skippering was first class. When the serious business needed to be done; it was made clear and precise, and when the business had been done, that was the time to have a bit of fun, and hey, we did! " - Matt U, Essex -