About Commodore Yachting
Read all about Commodore Yachting – our staff, RYA instructors and yachts.
The company was started in 1999 by Stuart Cooper after leaving the Royal Navy. Drawing from a lifetime of experience on the water and a passion for sailing he built the company from one yacht to its present size with six company owned Bavaria yachts and two on management.
Stuart is meticulous about maintaining the highest possible standards both in the maintenance and preparation of the yachts and the experienced instructors employed to teach both theory courses and practical sailing courses.
“We cannot control the wind, tides and weather of course but our years on the water mean that we can take advantage of the conditions or at least minimize their effects ensuring that safety is always paramount whilst at the same time learning and fun are top of the agenda”
All safety equipment and procedures are frequently updated, overhauled and inspected by the RYA.
Commodore Yachting has a team of full time staff as well as a small number of highly experienced freelance instructors. We are as committed to training our staff as well as RYA sailing school students. Over the last 12 months Commodore Yachting had funded training for all members of staff including Yachtmaster Instructor training for our two full time instructors, Dave Robson and Neil Devine. Our freelance instructors are also experienced RYA Instructors, we tend to use a small number of instructors who have worked with us for several years including Tim Wood who taught the RYA ‘Yachtmaster of the Year’ Rainer Holtorff.
Stuart Cooper YMI / Examiner
Stuart Cooper is Principal of Commodore Yachting and Senior instructor. As a YMI and RYA Examiner he is well placed to advise students and help them choose the right training. He teaches many of the more advanced RYA sailing courses but will often be seen out on the water on a Start Yachting course or teaching Day Skippers.
He has a wealth of knowledge about sailing and yachts and at the end of the season applies this to his own yacht where he can often be found down in the bilges or at the top of the mast.
Karen runs the office as well as everyone’s diaries and if you contact us the chances are that she will answer the phone or your e-mail. She loves sailing and describes herself as a enthusiastic and dedicated crew capable of knowing when things are not right!
Usually you will find her in the Commodore Yachting office but she has been know to escape to warmer climes in the winter with the company laptop.
Dave Robson YMI
David Robson joined the team as Chief Instructor in 2012. He recently left the Royal Navy after 26 years as a submarine engineer. However he prefers to be on the surface and has been sailing yachts for more than 20 years. His above water career began with a dinghy course up in far reaches of Scotland in order to get a week off work but came away with the sailing bug. He soon progressed onto yachts and achieved his Yachtmaster Offshore qualification in 1998. In 2012 David achieved the highest level of RYA instructor, that of Yachtmaster Instructor or YMI. Originally from Newcastle not only will you learn to sail with Dave you will also leave bi-lingual.
Neil Devine YMI
Neil brings a wealth of experience to Commodore Yachting as an ex Royal Air Force navigator. He is an experienced RYA Instructor and has been working with Commodore Yachting for nearly a year now. Be prepared for top class training and tall tales late into the evening on your RYA training course! We are delighted to announce that Neil has just passed his YMI and has reached the highest level of RYA instructor.
Freelance RYA Instructors
Tim Wood YMI
Regular Commodore Freelance Instructor/Skipper
Simon Furlong YMI
” I have spent most of my life at sea and first started my sea career at the age of 20 with my first job on cruise ships as a photographer. I was only supposed to do one contract but that turned into 10 years as loved being on the water so much. Back in 2007 I completed my Yachtmaster in Gibraltar and started instructing down there and have been teaching full time ever since as a Yachtmaster Instructor (YMI). In 2011 I moved back to the UK and now live in Christchurch, Dorset with my partner Vanessa.
I love being out on the water and get a real buzz out of teaching, I love seeing people get the “sailing bug” and sharing this great pastime of sailing with people, hope to see you out on the water soon”
As a company and RYA training centre, Commodore Yachting are committed to training whether it is sailing school students learning to sail or future marine engineers. We have always trained our own staff and are delighted to be part of the national apprentice scheme. Matt and Ryan are in their second year as marine apprentices and have been with us since starting college. They came to Commodore Yachting for work experience in their first year and will be seen out and about on the marina except on Tuesdays when they attend college. Through Commodore Yachting they have both taken the RYA Competent Crew course and are working towards becoming Day Skippers. They have also attended the RYA First Aid course and the RYA Diesel Engine course as well as a Boat Handling Course.
Matthew is 19 years old and studying Marine Engineering at Fareham College. He is very keen to learn more about the charter industry as he hopes to work abroad as an marine engineer when he finishes his apprenticeship. Since attending a recent Boat Handling course he has been trusted with moving boats in and out of the Commodore Corner! Matt recently crewed on a delivery trip from Holland to Gosport when Elizabeth Star became the latest yacht on the Commodore Yachting fleet.
Ryan is also 19 and also studying at Fareham College. He loves working around boats and hopes to get a job in Boat Building or maintenance when he finishes his apprenticeship. After completing his Competent Crew last year he spent his annual leave sailing in the Solent working towards his Day Skipper qualification.
Jamie began his apprenticeship in September after spending the summer doing work experience with Commodore Yachting.
Commodore Yachting own a fleet of 6 Bavaria yachts with 2 further Bavarias on yacht management. All are available for charter and most are used for teaching RYA sailing courses. You can find out all about the yachts on our Solent Yacht Charter pages.