Zen Dog is available for a variety of private hire charter trips in and around the Solent at excellent prices.


Every charter day will be customised to suit your own needs and your chosen balance between time spent cruising and time spent relaxing. You only pay for engine run time (ERT) that you need

When you book, we’ll get in touch and help you plan your charter.

Zen Dog’s charters are normally for up to 8 guests, plus Mike, Zen Dog’s owner, who is an experienced and qualified commercial skipper with a great local knowledge.

We don’t mix parties up – you get exclusive use of the whole boat for you and your friends and/or family.

We had an absolutely amazing time on Zen Dog. Would highly recommend for both the accommodation and the charter experience.

Joanna, Google Review, 2019

Generally, our charters include:

  • RYA Qualified Professional Skipper (normally Mike the owner) with an excellent knowledge of the Solent area to keep you entertained and safe.
  • Tea, Coffee and Soft Drinks – bring your own alcoholic drinks (reasonable quantities only, please and you have to serve yourselves – this isn’t ‘Below Deck’ ).
  • Life Jackets for all Guests
  • A lunch break at anchor or ashore or a trip to your choice of lunch destination.
  • Sunbathing / Relaxing time / Stand Up Paddle Board time / Swim (if brave!)

Simple and Affordable Charter Prices

If you just want a charter trip For 2023, we’re just offering a standard 6 hour charter for up to 8 guests with the option of an overnight stay on Zen Dog in Lymington Yacht Haven afterwards for up to 6 of the guests.

The total cost of this is £??? without a stay or £???with a stay including VAT and includes up to 2 hours of engine run time (ERT). That’s plenty to go somewhere nice for lunch (including The Hut at Colwell Bay, our favourite) then a couple of hours anchored somewhere beautiful for a swim or a go on our Stand Up Paddleboard.

Additional hours of engine run time (ERT) are charged at £150 inc VAT but are rarely needed.

These prices are very reasonable for a few reasons. At just under 40ft long, Zen Dog is at the smaller end of the charter motor yacht scale so was a lot cheaper to buy outright (no loans to repay) and a lot cheaper to run than bigger boats. The bills are covered by Zen Dog’s remarkable numbers of overnight stay bookings. Mike, the owner, is the skipper so he doesn’t have to pay anyone else. There’s no catering or alcohol provided – but you can bring your own. There’s no second crew member – Mike does all the work himself but, sadly, it does mean you have to pour your own drinks! Of course, you are welcome to give Mike a break from all that hard labour by having a go at driving Zen Dog yourself under his supervision.

If you have already booked a stay of 2 or more nights on Zen Dog we can offer a 25% discount on our standard charter trip and we offer 2 hour and 4 hour trips at a great rate because we’ve got the revenue from your overnight stay. We can’t normally do charters on your departure day because this would interfere with the next overnight guests.

Have a look at the Live Availability widget below to see if your date is free then complete our Charter Enquiry Form

You are very welcome to call Mike on 07555 100590 or hit the WhatsApp button below to discuss your requirements

Sample Itinaries

Here’s a map of the Solent area with our destinations numbered. Whilst Zen Dog is licenced to operate anywhere within 60 miles of a safe haven when there are paying guests on board, we generally don’t stray out of the Solent.

  • Option 1 – The Hut Our most popular trip – we cruise to The Hut(2), the very popular Caribbean/Ibiza like beach bar/restaurant in Colwell Bay, Isle of Wight with time at anchor before or after your meal for swimming , sun bathing or paddle boarding – this is normally at Hurst Castle/Keyhaven(3) or Totland Bay/Akum Bay (2) . Half an hour before your reservation, we anchor in front of The Hut and guests transfer to The Hut’s small RIB and get taken ashore for what most guests agree is a fantastic and memorable dining experience. The Hut is incredibly popular but Mike can often help get a table – ring him to discuss. Generally, they do sittings at 12noon , 3pm and 630pm. We do all of this within 2 hours of ERT
  • Option 2 – Yarmouth As above but visiting Yarmouth Harbour(1) for lunch or supper in one of its many great restaurants including the recently refurbished George Hotel & Beach Club (again, this must be booked well in advance). That’s also just 2 hours of ERT.
  • Option 3 – Newtown Creek Picnic – a cruise to the beautiful Newtown Creek(5) then a couple of hours anchored there to allow time for a picnic lunch, Paddle Boarding and Seal Watching followed by a quick blast to The Needles to see all the sights then vack to Lymington – again, that’s 2 hours of ERT.
  • Option 4 – Cowes(6) or Bucklers Hard (8) for lunch then anchor for a swim in Newtown Creek – that’s 3 hours of ERT

You can cancel all charter trips up to the night before for a full refund. Generally, we only operate if the weather is calm and dry – nobody wants a soggy, bumpy boat trip but we’ll discuss with you before cancelling! We’re always happy to discuss and quote for other trip ideas, too.

Live Availability Calendar

This shows our Overnight Stay & Charter Bookings. We can only book charters for days aren’t booked for overnight stays.

So, in the example below, Zen Dog is booked for overnight guests on Thu 2nd. They leave on the morning of Fri 3rd so we could run a charter and optional overnight stay that day OR the next day (Sat 4th). We couldn’t do a charter on Sun 5th as we have guests arriving from 3pm.

Calendar Example

Please call Mike on 07555 100950 to discuss your requirements or click the WhatsApp button below.