Lyme Regis Boats and boating
“There is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats”, as Kenneth Graham wrote. And there is nowhere – absolutely nowhere – to have more fun with boats than in Lyme Regis.
Lyme Regis has a thriving Sailing Club near the harbour, complete with dinghy park and clubhouse. The club runs many events throughout the year. There is a Powerboat Club which holds several weekend competitions each year for local teams. It is a great spectator sport if you’re a landlubber. Since July 2008, there has been the Lyme Regis Gig Club, with a rapidly growing membership list and ambitious plans to establish Lyme as West Dorset’s centre for sea rowing.
It is perhaps not generally known that the first skirmishes between the Spanish and English ships, as the Armada was approaching, took place in Lyme Bay. Two of the English ships, “Jacob” and “Revenge”, were built in Lyme, and today Lyme is still teaching people how to build craft at the Boat Building Academy, both traditional and modern. Nowadays the academy also runs boat building, restoration and maintenance training courses, ranging from one-day, weekend and 5-day courses (ideal for the short-stay holiday maker) through to 38-week courses leading to professional qualifications.
For the fishermen, there are local coarse and game fisheries, and tackle can be hired and tuition made available to those wanting to try their hand at these incomparable sports. There are boats for hire, offering anything from mackerel fishing and sight seeing trips from the harbour, to fast-angling charters licensed to carry passengers up to 60 miles offshore. Boats can also be hired to explore the many wrecks in Lyme Bay if deep sea diving is your sport.
Lyme has its own state-of-the-art inshore lifeboat, “Spirit of Loch Fyne” is on site and on view at its Cobb headquarters. The annual Lifeboat Week at the end of July features many attractions both on and off the water, and is rapidly followed by Regatta and Carnival Week. Visitors who love the sea and messing about in boats are literally spoiled for choice!