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Located centrally on the south coast of the UK, boat hire in Southampton is the perfect way to explore this maritime city’s coastline and beyond. There are plenty of options to choose from. However, to hire on your own you will need at least an RYA Level 2 Powerboat Handling qualification and some experience. The likelihood for this is that The Solent, Southampton’s surrounding water is known as one of the busiest stretches of water in the world. Think cruise ships. Container ships. Tug boats. Ferries. And more sailing boats than you can imagine.
During your boat hire from Southampton, choose your own itinerary at your own pace. Head across The Solent to The Needles for those landmark selfies, enjoy lunch at the award-winning The Hut at Colwell Bay, dine and shop until you drop at Gunwharf Quays Portsmouth or explore the beautiful Beaulieu River, including the peaceful haven of Buckler’s Hard in the heart of the New Forest.
Where can you hire a boat in Southampton without qualifications or experience?
The closest small self drive boat hire to Southampton can be found in Poole. Poole Harbour and its surrounding islands are a naturally beautiful and stunning part of the south coast. It’s quieter, calmer and perfect to explore, not just in a smaller boat, but with little to no experience.
Poole Boat Hire has 4 boats available to hire. They are Logic Marine 17ft centre console powerboats with 20hp engines. Capable of carrying a maximum of 6 people, you will be given all the safety equipment, instruction, briefing and information you need for a great experience. Their boats are not able to go outside of Poole Harbour, but it is plenty big enough to explore for a whole day. Thinking of taking your four-legged family member? They even have Doggy life jackets available!
Poole Boat Hire offers a range of bookings from a shorter 2 hours to the whole day at 8 hours.
Another alternative is to hire a jet ski in Southampton. There are a couple of different options that allow you to blast around Southampton Water with a guided instructor. This is also one of the cheaper alternatives to getting onto the water in this coastal area.
Boat Hire in Southampton
Hiring a boat in Southampton is mostly from private charters and experiences. Private charters can either be skippered yourself (bareboat charters) or opt for a hired captain to be at the helm. Proof of relevant qualifications and experience will be needed if you are bringing along your own captain – whether yourself or someone else.
Take a group of up to 7 people on this 2.5 hour Sunseeker Driving Experience. This has to be one of the best speed boat hires in Southampton. Departing from Ocean Village Southampton, take the helm (no experience needed as you’ll be with a fully qualified instructor) and blast your way to the Isle of Wight on this stunning 40ft motorboat. Get that sense of adrenaline as you speed up through The Solent, before taking it down a notch to a calmer speed to soak in the views.
This experience is great for groups celebrating that special occasion, those wanting a memorable adventure or for corporate events for well-deserving team members! Powerboat Days also offer private charters in some different vessels, including a 75ft Luxury Motor Yacht.
Ocean Sports Charter offers a good range of charters with Southampton Boat Charter. They are a popular choice for boat hire in Southampton, including day boat hire and speed boat hire. Departing from Saxon Wharf Marina, they have a fleet of RIB vessels from 6.0m to 7.8m, along with motorboats including the 28ft Axopar, 35ft Bavaria Sports and 42ft Flybridge boats.
Ocean Sports offer bareboat and skippered charters. They also offer an Assisted Charter which is great for someone with an RYA Powerboat Level 2 qualification but is looking to gain a little more confidence from a qualified instructor.
Located in the pretty village of Swanwick, Mendez Marine lies on the River Hamble. They offer a number of boats for charter; some are available bareboat, others are skippered. The two hireable Ribcraft RIB hires in Southampton are available for bareboat and skippered charters, whereas the 38ft Princess Motor Cruiser is available as a skippered charter only.
If you are looking for something a bit different, stay onboard a luxurious motor yacht at nearby Lymington. This unique accommodation blows the socks off any New Forest cottage stay! Moored at the beautiful Lymington marina, the WOW factor on these boats is impressive!
Choose to stay overnight within the marina or choose a skippered cruise to whisk you away into The Solent. There are so many different options to choose from – stay overnight in Lymington and take a cruise the following day, choose to depart from Southampton’s Ocean Village, sail over to the Isle of Wight, the list goes on with this ultimate bespoke experience.
Do you have a favourite boat hire in Southampton? Is there a boat experience you return to again and again? We’d love to know in the comments below.
Water loving British girl who moved to Australia and seriously caught the travel bug! Loves to explore and share destinations that inspire others to spend more time on the water and in the great outdoors. Typically, you’ll find her on a boat or next to the ocean, often in a daydream!