Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to the most common questions

Welcome to our FAQ page! Here, we have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions to help guide you through any queries and concerns. Whether you’re seeking detailed information about trip types, looking for guidance on what to pack, or would like to know more about things such as dietary issues, you’re in the right place. Our aim is to provide you with quick, comprehensive answers to make your experience as smooth and enjoyable as possible. If you don’t find the answers you’re looking for, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us for further assistance.

  • What experience level is required to join a sailing trip?

    • Coastal Trips: No prior sailing experience is required for coastal sailing trips. This makes them accessible for everyone, including anyone new to sailing who might wish to learn and experience an adventure on the sea for the first time.
    • Offshore Trips: For those interested in more challenging offshore sailing experiences, it is recommended that you have at least a couple of weeks of prior sailing experience. This ensures you’ll have a basic understanding and comfort level with being at sea, which is crucial for the more demanding conditions encountered on offshore voyages.
    • Masterclass Trips: For the Masterclass series, which likely focuses on advanced sailing techniques and knowledge, you must have a certification of RYA Day Skipper or above or an international equivalent such as ASA 104. This prerequisite ensures that you have a solid foundation in sailing skills and are prepared to engage with the more complex concepts and practices covered in the Masterclass.

    If you are unsure about your eligibility or which trip best suits your experience level, please contact us for personalized advice.

  • Do I need to bring any equipment?

    As you prepare to join us on a Rubicon 3 Adventure sailing trip, we’ve made the packing process as simple and hassle-free as possible for you.

    All you need to bring is your personal clothing tailored to the weather conditions we’ll be experiencing and a sleeping bag for your nights aboard. While we provide oilskins on the vessel to protect you from the elements, you’re welcome to bring your own foul-weather gear if you have a personal preference.

    We’ve covered everything else, from safety equipment to navigational tools, ensuring a safe and memorable adventure at sea. We have suggested packing lists here.

    We’re here to make sure you can focus fully on the adventure to come with minimal worries about the gear.

  • What is included in the trip cost?

    When you book a sailing trip with us, we aim to make your experience as inclusive and hassle-free as possible. The cost of your trip covers nearly everything you’ll need from the moment you step aboard to the moment you disembark. Here’s what’s included:

    • All Food on Board: We provide three meals a day and snacks, ensuring you have the energy and nutrition needed for a day of adventure at sea. Any meals or drinks you choose to enjoy ashore are at your own expense.
    • Diesel & berthing: Fuel and berthing is covered, so you don’t need to worry about additional costs for getting where we’re going.
    • Use of Equipment: All necessary sailing and safety equipment on board is at your disposal, ensuring you have everything you need for a safe and enjoyable voyage.
    • Every trip of five days or over covers the RYA Competent Crew syllabus. For a supplementary fee this qualification can be awarded at the end of the trip. Add this when booking.

    While we cover the essentials, there are a couple of things not included in the trip cost:

    • Connecting Travel: The cost of travel to the starting point of the boat and from the end point back home is not included. You’ll need to arrange and pay for your own flights, trains, or other transportation to and from the boat.
    • Alcohol: We do not provide alcohol on board; however, you are welcome to bring your own. It’s common for crew members to bring a little to enjoy during the trip.
    • Personal Insurance is highly recommended and should cover medical expenses, trip cancellation, and other unforeseen circumstances you might encounter before or during your adventure with us. See our page on sailing insurance here.

    In summary, aside from your travel to and from the boat and any personal extras you choose to enjoy ashore, everything else is included in the trip price. 

  • Can dietary restrictions be accommodated?

    Absolutely. We strive to accommodate dietary restrictions to ensure every crew member has a pleasant and healthy experience while sailing with us. However, it’s important to have realistic expectations about the availability of certain foods, especially when venturing into remote regions of the world where supplies can be limited. Here’s a brief overview of what we should be able to accommodate and what to consider:

    • Vegetarian and Pescatarian Diets: These dietary preferences are generally fine, as we can always source fruits, vegetables, and fish, even in remote locations. Strict segregation of pans and utensils is probably not possible.
    • Gluten-Free Diets: While we aim to accommodate gluten-free diets, it’s worth noting that this can be more challenging. Availability of gluten-free products varies greatly depending on our destinations. We usually manage, but the variety may be limited.
    • Flexibility and Understanding: Crew members with dietary restrictions must be flexible and understanding. Cooking on a small galley presents its own set of challenges, and while we will do our best to meet everyone’s needs, there may be limitations at times.
    • Allergies: If you have severe food allergies, contacting us before booking your trip is crucial. Given the shared meals and the constraints of preparing food in a small galley, we must ensure your safety and determine if we can adequately meet your needs.

    We encourage anyone with dietary restrictions to discuss their needs with us in advance. Your health and safety are our top priorities, and clear communication helps us create an enjoyable and safe experience for you on the water.

  • What is the cancellation policy?

    Our cancellation policy is designed with the understanding that sometimes plans change unexpectedly. While bookings are non-refundable, we are committed to assisting you as much as possible should you need to cancel your trip. Here’s how we can help:

    • Early Notification: The sooner you inform us of your need to cancel, the more options we may have to assist you. Prompt communication allows us to explore all possible solutions.
    • Booking Transfer: We can sometimes attempt to transfer your booking to a more suitable date or trip, depending on availability. However, please be aware that this is not always possible.
    • Reselling Your Place: We may also be able to offer your place on the trip for resale. If we can find another participant to take your spot, this could be an option to mitigate your loss.
    • Travel Insurance: We strongly advise obtaining travel insurance at the time of your booking. Choose a policy that covers trip cancellations, including medical reasons, to ensure that you can receive a full refund if you cancel under such circumstances.

    For a comprehensive understanding of our cancellation policy and how it might affect you, please refer to our full terms and conditions available on our website.

  • How is communication handled on board, including emergencies?

    Here’s what you need to know:

    • Near Shore: When sailing close to shore, your mobile phone should generally work, allowing you to make calls, send texts, and use data as you normally would. However, it’s important to consider potential roaming charges depending on your service plan and the countries we are sailing near. It’s advisable to check with your mobile provider before the trip to understand your roaming options and costs.
    • Wi-Fi Access: You’ll often find Wi-Fi in cafes or similar establishments ashore during our stops. This can be a good opportunity to catch up with emails, social media, and any other online activities you might need to attend to.
    • Offshore Communication: In the open sea, away from shore, regular mobile phone and internet services will not be available. For safety reasons and to ensure we can always call for assistance or communicate with emergency services, our yachts are equipped with satellite communication systems. These systems allow for emergency communication with shore-based services anywhere in the world.
    • Emergency Procedures: In the event of an emergency, the crew will utilize the yacht’s satellite communication systems to seek help, coordinate with rescue services, or communicate with shore-based contacts as necessary. Rest assured, our priority is your safety, and we have the means to reach out for assistance in critical situations.
  • What are the safety measures and qualifications of the crew?

    Safety is the foremost concern on every sailing adventure, and we ensure that both our yachts and crew meet the highest standards of preparedness and expertise. Here’s a concise summary of our comprehensive safety measures and the qualifications and exprience of our crew:

    • Comprehensive Safety Equipment: Our yachts are equipped with an extensive array of safety gear designed to handle various emergencies and conditions. This includes state-of-the-art firefighting equipment to address any onboard fires swiftly, Category A liferafts for all crew members in case of evacuation, Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs) to alert rescue services with our location in emergencies, Navtex and ocean-rated lifejackets. These lifejackets are equipped with hoods and Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) for individual safety and location tracking. In cold water regions, we provide immersion/survival suits to protect against hypothermia, alongside full medical kits prepared for a wide range of medical emergencies.

    Crew Qualifications: Our skippers aren’t just highly qualified; they rank among the most experienced and skilled expedition sailors around. Their expertise is not limited to navigating and sailing; they’re also trained in emergency response, safety procedures, and medical first aid, ensuring they’re prepared to lead and protect in any situation. The mates are also highly qualified and skilled and provide very effective support to the skipper. The combination of rigorous training, certifications, and real-world sailing experience equips our crew to offer a safe and unforgettable sailing experience. Find out more about them here.

  • Discretionary tips for the crew

    We charge around 5% less than we should. Let us explain why.

    As you embark on your sailing adventure with us, you’ll experience the unrivalled dedication and expertise of our crew. They are so much more than just staff; they are passionate seafarers who have devoted their careers to delivering unforgettable sailing adventures. It is a tough, challenging career.

    While the payment for your time with us covers everything, paying crew often inquire about tipping and gratuities. In the spirit of recognition, if you are inspired by our crew and what they have done for you, a discretionary tip is a real sign of appreciation. Entirely voluntary, a tip to a seafarer of this standard is between 5-10% of your booking cost. This gesture of kindness, appreciation and support is a really powerful way to acknowledge the effort and devotion of those who have made your voyage memorable.

    Remember, the choice to tip and the amount you wish to offer is entirely up to you, based on your experience and satisfaction. Should you choose to extend them a tip, this should be done in person at the time. From everyone at Rubicon 3, thank you so much if you choose to do so.

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