Why boat share rather than buy (in the Solent and South East)?

Buying a boat to sail in the Solent and South East is a big decision. You need to take into account what you want to do with the boat, who will sail with you, your level of experience, how you will maintain the boat, and whether your finances will stretch to the many expenses incurred.

In some cases, it might make sense for you to boat share, at least for a few years, until you are certain that boat ownership is the right choice for you.

As you’d expect from such a popular sailing hub, there are numerous boat share choices in the Solent and South East.



Boat club membership (Hamble and the South East)

Boat clubs offer access to a fleet of boats, with short, custom booking slots. They are more of an owner experience than charter and offer opportunities to socialise as well. Some may offer training.

They are an ideal way to quickly get out on the water, without the cost, commitment and hassle of owning a boat.

There are two main types of boat club: Traditional sailing clubs and subscription boat and yacht share clubs.


Why join a subscription Boat Share Club?

This type of boat share club usually allows access to boats, training and events for a specified fee per year. They use a model or algorithm to ensure availability for all members throughout the year.

Boat share clubs are a low-cost low-hassle alternative to boat ownership. They are also closer to boat ownership than traditional sailing clubs, because you can usually take out a boat when you want.

Boat share clubs also put an emphasis on training and support, so are an ideal way for you to gain new skills and qualifications in a supportive environment.

The Solent, particularly, can be tricky to sail with its strong tidal currents. If you only have experience sailing elsewhere – or have only sailed as crew – you might benefit from some training and advice.

There are a number of boat share clubs in the Solent and South East, although they do have different propositions.


Pure Latitude Boat Club

Pure Latitude Boat Club offers access to a fleet of motorboats and yachts for every member. They are a registered RYA training center and run a full programme of events. Their main locations are Hamble and Lymington. They are the original boat share club in the area, and use an algorithm to guarantee flexible access to boats for members year round.

A boat share club like Pure Latitude also allows you to enjoy using different boats as part of your research for making a purchasing decision.




Flexisail offers access to one boat shared with other members. They are a registered RYA training center and run a full programme of events. Their main locations are Hamble and Lymington. They aim to offer flexible access to one boat year round.

A boat share club like Flexisal can work well if you have just one boat that you want to try out.


Why join a traditional Sailing Club?

You can get on the water by joining a traditional sailing club that has its own boats (often sailing dinghies) for members. The purchase and maintenance of the boats will be covered by the club. How much you pay – and how often you can take out the boats – will vary.

Sailing clubs are a lower-cost way of getting out on the water than boat ownership. Without having to go through the whole process of buying and maintaining a boat, you can get out on the water in a safe environment.

Sailing clubs also usually have a club house where members gather for events and to chat. This can be fun if you want a social experience ‘on land’.

There are numerous sailing clubs in the Solent and South East. These include:

Hamble River Sailing Club

Warsash Sailing Club

Royal Lymington Yacht Club

Island Sailing Club

Royal Solent Yacht Club


If you love boating, and want to regularly get out on the water, then consider joining a boat club on the Solent or in the South East first. They offer an experience much closer to boat ownership, but without the hassle, the often very high cost, and the lack of support in developing your skills and knowledge.



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