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RYA Start Yachting Course

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RYA Start Yachting Course

The RYA Start Yachting Course is a 2 day practical sailing course aimed at absolute beginners and novice sailors who would like to start sailing. More experienced sailors can use this course as a Solent Weekend to gain experience or just enjoy a weekend out on the water.


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About This Course

Learn to sail with a RYA Start Yachting taster weekend

Course Content:

The RYA Start Yachting Course is a 2 day practical sailing course aimed at absolute beginners who would like to try sailing for the first time. If you have never been on a yacht before or if you want to brush up on your skills, Start Yachting is the ideal course. You will get a chance to helm the yacht, handle sails and be part of the crew all in the sheltered waters of The Solent. The RYA Start Yachting Course starts at our Gosport Marina base. You will be accommodated on board a comfortable cruising yacht and spend the weekend sailing around the Solent. During the weekend you will visit ports and harbours such as Cowes, Yarmouth and Hamble.  You will sleep on board the yacht in one of the Solent marinas where you will find all the facilities you need, as well as excellent marina facilities with showers as well as pubs and restaurants for your evening meal on Saturday night.

Go sailing for less!

Standby places – save up to 20% on course prices!

We will offer you a place shortly before the course start date.

Pre Requisites for the RYA Start Yachting Course:

  • No minimum age although we don’t take unaccompanied under 18s
  • No previous experience necessary,
  • This course is suitable for absolute beginners although if you have some sailing experience you will still find it a useful course.

What is included:

  • Services of experienced RYA Instructor
  • Accommodation on board your yacht
  • Breakfast and lunch with evening meal if night sailing
  • Berthing Fees
  • Use of foul weather gear
  • Use of a life jacket and all safety equipment
  • RYA Start Yachting Certificate
  • Modern marina facilities at base within easy walking distance of public transport

What is not Included:

  • One evening meal (eaten ashore)
  • Secure parking at Gosport Marina (capped at £15.00 for duration of course)

The details:

  • The course starts at 9 am on the first day and will end by 4 pm on the last day
  • Free accommodation is available on board the evening before your course begins if required

What to expect:

  • Up to 5 students on board
  • There may be a mix of students including Day Skipper, Competent Crew and people sailing as a refresher.
  • You may share a cabin or saloon although we try to match boat layout to mix of students.
  • There is a sole occupancy option for anyone who would prefer the privacy of their own cabin
  • The best plans are drawn in the sand at low tide – be prepared for your instructor to make changes based on wind, tide and anything else that can effect the course.

What next?

After the course you will have a taste to do more sailing and further your skills. You can add a further 3 days to gain a Competent Crew certificate. You will then have become a useful crew member on board a sailing yacht. The RYA Start Yachting course provides hands on sailing experience for students wishing to take the RYA Competent Crew course.

Our team of RYA experienced RYA instructors will ensure you learn in a safe environment. Their aim is also to ensure your time on the water is as enjoyable as possible.

Start Yachting is a beginners sailing course

Competent Crew

The RYA Start Yachting course is ideal for complete beginners. You can you can gain your Competent Crew certificate by attending another 3 days or 2 weekends.

Find out more about the RYA Start Yachting Course

You can find out more about Competent Crew weekends on our website.

You can find more information about RYA training by visiting our Practical Course information page.

You can even book a cabin to yourself for your course.

Duration2 daysMaximum students : instructor5:1
LocationSolentMinimum ageAll ages although under 18s must be accompanied by an adult
What’s includedAccommodation on board one of our Bavaria yachts Breakfast, lunch, snacks and drinks on board. Berthing fees. Free hire of wet weather gear (adult sizes only).ExtrasEvening meal ashore on Friday if required and Saturday night. Log books if required £6.99
WhenSaturday 9am to Sunday afternoon 1600hrs All year round
You can join the boat from 1900 hrs on Friday evening for our 'Meet and Greet' and sleep on board or on Saturday morning.
Don’t forgetAnything you cannot travel without as we cannot cater for everyone’s special favourites!
Let us know aboutAny special dietary requirements and needs.
Please note, we will do our best to cater for vegetarian diets or food allergies but not general food fads! Please call the office if in doubt.
Cost£220.00 - £249.00

RYA Start Yachting Syllabus
This course provides a short introduction to sail cruising for novices. By the end of the course, students will have experienced steering a yacht, sail handling, ropework and be aware of safety on board.

  • 1. The Yacht
  • Basic Knowledge of sea terms, parts of a boat, her rigging and sails
  • 2. Ropework
  • Ability to tie the following knots: figure of eight, round turn and two half hitches, bowline
  • 3. Underway
  • Has experienced sailing a yacht on all points of sail
  • Can steer a yacht under sail or power
  • 4. Rules of the road
  • Can keep an efficient look out at sea
  • 5. Meteorology
  • Knows where to obtain a weather forecast
  • 6. Man overboard recovery
  • Understands the action to be taken to recover a man overboard
  • 7. Clothing and equipment
  • Understands and complies with the rules for the wearing of safety harnesses’, lifejackets and personal buoyancy aids
  • 8. Emergency equipment and precautions
  • Is aware of hazards on board a yacht
  • Knows the action to be taken in the event of an emergency

FEEDBACK – Start Yachting Student Reviews

Thoroughly enjoyed the whole weekend. The weather enabled a far more involved experience and I got involved in many aspects of sailing.

John – Start Yachting, February 2017

Good pace, logical and great approach to spending quality time on key basic competencies.

Terry- Start Yachting, October 2015

I was pretty hopeless when I started but Alex is an excellent instructor and helped build my understanding and confidence. He has extraordinary patience and is a fantastic teacher enabling us to learn from his knowledge and experience and from each other. I still have a lot to learn but don’t think I have ever achieved so much in a weekend.

Adrienne – Start Yachting, March 2014

Alex made the weekend fun but is also an excellent teacher, making me feel confident and increasing my knowledge. I will be back for more!

Alison – Start Yachting, September 2014

Matt was excellent. He was very thorough, kept it all very interesting and showed real patience with us. A credit to the company and I will definitely be recommending. Thanks very much!

Thom – Start Yachting, August 2013

We hope that the RYA Start Yachting course will give you a taste to do more sailing and further your skills and experience. You will be awarded a RYA Start Yachting certificate for completing this course. The 2 days can count towards the RYA RYA Competent Crew Course Course, you can take a further 2 weekends or a 3 day Bank Holiday weekend sailing course to complete the Competent Crew syllabus. You will then be able to progress on to the RYA RYA Day Skipper Theory Course and RYA Day Skipper Course practical courses.

Our experienced RYA instructors are used to having beginners on board and whilst teaching you sailing skills and safety on board a sailing yacht they place a big emphasis on having fun and enjoying all aspects of sailing including going ashore!

The Small Print

* Evening meals taken ashore on weekend courses except in the case of a night sail.

** We will provide breakfast and lunch with some cakes and biscuits for coffee / tea breaks. We are unable to provide an endless supply of food  / fruit / snacks including crisps and chocolate. Should you like to snack throughout the day or have particular food favourites we respectfully request that you purchase these yourself. 

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