Ariana Sailing Team

Welcome to Ariana Sailing Team, created in 2018 by Alan as part of The Ariana Project.


To provide unique offshore experiences, help people develop resilience, learn new skills, resolve conflict, overcome fears, and develop a deeper understanding of our place in the natural world, all in a highly challenging environment.


Alan’s love of adventure and exploration had always stopped at the shoreline, but in 2017 he decided to immerse himself into becoming an ocean sailor. Learning the ropes didn’t come easy, as his instructor Peter from Faro Sailing School found out!

Less than a year later he skippered his first offshore passage from Vilamoura in Portugal to the Island of Sao Miguel in the Azores, on board his newly purchased classic Swan 55 – Ariana – on New Year’s Day!

Everyone thought he was mad to go 900 miles out into the North Atlantic in the middle of winter, but Alan knew he had to test himself, his leadership abilities, and his seamanship before he could safely embark on the ariana sailing team project. Fortunately his training paid off, and 9 crew returned safely through winds of force 10 to the pub in Vilamoura. Alan’s baptism of fire was complete.

Alan on board Ariana March 22 mid Atlantic


Alan chose a boat that he knew had a proper ocean pedigree, and although at 55 feet, was large for a first boat, he knew that Nautors boatbuilders of Finland ,and the Naval architects of Sparkman and Stephens had created a highly seaworthy yacht capable of handling all conditions nature could throw at her, and would keep the crew safe and comfortable in all weathers.

Ariana has consistently proved herself over the last 5 years despite being over 50 years old, and has been continually upgraded to keep her at the highest standard of safety.

update : October 2023. Due to Brexit, and the 90 day rule and the UK government requiring uk VAT to be paid on ariana despite EU vat paid when we were still a member, Ariana is sadly on the market and we are looking to charter new boats to continue Ariana Sailing Team.. more updates soon!


Ariana Sailing Team is not one boat.It lives as a spirit of camaraderie, friendship, learning, sharing, and helping each other in stressful situations, to help develop calm, resilient, compassionate ocean sailors, ready to impart that knowledge to others, ready to take on challenges in their own life with new found confidence and energy, able to deal with life on the land (amd other people) with a more peaceful ,thoughtful approach.


Unlike daily life on land, long distance offshore sailing, can have long periods of inactivity coupled with short bursts of intensive activity… as I like to say, sailing is 95 percent drinking tea and 5 percent sheer terror !

An ocean sailing boat runs 24/7 however and there is no shortage of jobs to be done, including making food, cleaning the heads, general maintenance, navigation, traffic management, sail plan management, meteorology, so there is never time to be bored!

That being said, depending on the watch system and number of crew avaiable, there is always time to kick back, enjoy the sunsets, try to photograph dolphins, read a book, or play a game of chess!


Food is always on the crew’s mind! It’s hungry business being out on the ocean for days, or weeks at a time, and with Ariana Sailing Team food is right up there on our list of priorities!

Unlike most sailing boats, however, we run a fully plant based menu, which everyone loves, even the most hardened carnivores! We do this for three reasons.

  1. To have a low impact on the environment.
  2. To show compassion to the sea life on whose oceans we sail as guests.
  3. To create a low energy food storage sysytem,as chilling meats, cheeses, milk etc requires high resources from the boats batteries.

Of course, many crew are meat and fish eaters and we do not care what they eat on land, but on the boat, thems be the rules!

I have yet to find someone who doesnt enjoy one of Alan’s delicious chilli and rice, sweet potato curry, sicy buttenrut squash soup, aubergine and red pepper tart, lasagne, apple crumble, sheperds pie, homebaked pizzas , or homebaked bread.

Did I mention we bake our own bread fresh every day_ In our solar oven! (unless it’s raining!)

Each morning, one shift preps the dough, the next shift monitors the rising, and the next shift bakes the bread… it really is a team effort!

who can join?

The simple answer is.. anyone.. You dont have to be a fully qualified sailor, as Ariana sailing team is a fully immersed educational experience (although we don’t offer sailing courses, there are many great companies out there who offer that).

We will guide you throughout, but we’ve found most people benefit most from crew sharing knowledge with each other, especailly on watches together,where we carefully pair people in order for them to get the maximum benefit from their experience .

We have had a huge variety of different personalities, and skill levels on board over the years, and the only thing to say is, people come away having learnt a lot – about themselves mainly, and their limitations..

Some peope have a great deal of bravado when they embark on these challenges only to find they experience unexpected seasickness and anxiety attacks due to being out of sight of land – but it is all part of the learing experience, to get out of your comfort zone, and create personal resilience.

They say that sailing isn’t for everybody, but I don;’t believe that to be true. I personally believe it is the most complete experience a human can have… You’ll just have to sign up to see if that’s true…


The unknown. And if that’s a scary thought. Good! You’re on your way!


Think about how joining in an Ariana Sailing Team can benefit your life, and then contact Alan to see how he can help you achieve that dream.

If you are a company or organisation looking to create a team building, or leadership program we can also accommodate you.


We can work with groups anywhere in the world, but individuals will have to wait until the next Ariana Sailing Trips are made public.


Adventure sailing isnt cheap to run due to the high levels of safety required, and if it’s cheap sailing crew adventure you require, may I suggest going on crewbay, or crewseekers to follow your dream.

Ariana Sailing Team charges for their educational services at a nominal 5000 GBP per week for groups of up to 6 people.

This includes all sailing, education, food on board, fuel, berthing fees, but does not include food on land, travel, or alcohol.

To discuss your requirements please contact Alan below.

We look forward to sailing with you.

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