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Where to Start When Learning to Sail

By 15th November 2022 No Comments

Completing a shore-based course prior to some practical training will really help set you up to succeed.

Even during the cold Winter months when the weather can be unpredictable it can be extremely worthwhile starting off with some classroom-based learning. Theory courses are an ideal way to soak up all the knowledge and theoretical aspects of sailing before you take to the water. They also make a fantastic and unique gift for Christmas or special occasions, especially for those who can be tricky to shop for! A great starting point for classroom learning is the RYA Essential Navigation or The RYA Day Skipper Shorebased Course.

At any other time of year, when sailing conditions are more favorable there are plentiful options for the beginner. 

The RYA Start Yachting Course makes a fantastic starting point for novices. This short introduction to sailing will cover topics such as steering a yacht, sail handling, ropework, and being aware of safety onboard. Once you have received your certificate you can fast-track onto The Competence Crew Course in a reduced time of just three days or two weekends.

The RYA Competent Crew Practical Course is another option for those with no prior experience or training necessary. In this 5-day course, you’ll be able to experience sleeping and eating onboard a yacht with a professional instructor teaching you everything you need to know to become an active crew member. And you need not do it alone, you can book a space for yourself, or attend with friends, family, or your partner and learn together! By the end of this course, you’ll be competent with basic seamanship and helmanship skills and all the skills required to help crew a yacht.

I’ve got some sailing and navigation experience, what about me?

For aspiring Skippers who already have some yachting experience and basic navigation skills, your best option is The RYA Day Skipper Practical Course. This course is still designed to be accessible to beginners, however, we strongly recommend that you attend the shore-based (theory) course beforehand. During the course, you’ll cover a more comprehensive introduction to chart work, navigation, meteorology, and the rules of the road with the support and guidance of a professional instructor by your side. By the end of the course, you should be able to skipper a small yacht in familiar waters.

Sailing is a social sport, get out on the water with like-minded people!

Your sailing adventures don’t have to stop there, with numerous social sailing options to keep you active on the water throughout the year. Skipper Skills Weekends offer you a chance to get out on the water with like-minded people and friends and brush up on skills you’d like to focus on. These tailor-made courses are always popular and offer the support of a professional sailing instructor onboard.

So, now that we’ve run through all the plentiful options available what are you waiting for, get started on your sailing adventure today!