RIB Ride - Needles Lighthouse & the Varvassi Boilers

£100 Booking

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Every year during the Round the Island Race yachts have to make the decision whether to go inside our outside of the Varvassi Boilers and Goose Rock, two well known hazards, off the Needles Lighthouse on the Isle of Wight. Despite them being well known there are plenty of tales and Youtube clips of skippers who have got it wrong and hit the Varvassi Boilers. Our evening RIB trip coincides with low water springs and is shortly before the annual Round the Island Race. Our skipper will take you from Southampton or Hamble to the Needles to see the wreck of the SS Varvassi for yourself and understand it's exact location.


Meet at Shamrock Quay or one of our other pick up points and blast down Southampton Water and the Western Solent to the Needles to see the hazards close up for yourself at spring tide low water.


The SS Varvassi was a Greek steamship that sank just off the Needles in 1947. There are still remains of the wreck lying just below the surface and the two boilers of the vessel can still be seen at very low tides. The wreck constitutes a hazard to small craft that attempt to sail too close to the lighthouse, however race yachts that choose to steer well clear will pay for the extra distance sailed in their result. If you want to race safely in the Round the Island race then it is essential to know where the boilers are and where it is safe to navigate your yacht during the race.


This trip is intended for people taking part in the Round the Island Race but is also a good opportunity for people to familiarise themselves with the Solent i.e. newcomers to the Solent, new boat owners and people hoping to take their Yachtmaster exams in the area.

Course Duration:

Three hours

Pre Requisites:


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Course Programme:

  • Meet at Shamrock Quay
  • Board the RIB
    • Safety Brief
    • Blast to Needles
    • View and photograph the hazards
    • Rib Ride back

What's Included:

Please call the office on 02380 231 122 or e-mail coaching@stormforce.biz for more information, or to make a booking.

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Shamrock Quay Marina, William Street, Southampton, Hants, SO14 5QL, UK

Telephone: 02380 231 122
Calls may be recorded
E-mail: coaching@stormforce.biz