RYA Courses

An RYA course is an intense week of sailing instruction following a national syllabus with a course completion certificate at the end of the course for the majority of students who meet the demands of the syllabus.

Various manoevres have to be rehearsed several times and some night sailing has to be done. There is still time for relaxation and going ashore some evenings if the participants wish. It is unusual for a 5 day course to cover more than 150 miles. There are 3 levels of qualification which can be obtained, shown below. 

PLEASE NOTE —– all courses are multi-level.
All courses will run with a minimum of 2 and maximum of 4 trainees except the 2 day Heavy Weather Sailing Course, which will run with a minimum of 3 and maximum of 5 persons.

Competent Crew

 No previous experience required. At the end of the course you should have the confidence to be a useful member of a yacht’s crew.

Day Skipper

 The minimum pre-course experience required is 5 days living on board, 100 miles logged in tidal waters and 4 hours night sailing. Possession of the RYA Day Skipper Shorebased certificate is desirable but is not essential if you have a sound understanding of the principles of navigation and tides. At the end of the course you should have the confidence to skipper a small yacht in familiar waters by day.

Coastal Skipper

 The minimum pre-course experience required is 15 days on board (2 as skipper), 300 miles logged and 8 night hours. You should have the RYA Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster Offshore Shorebasefd certificate or be of equivalent standard. It is assumed that you are already a competent helmsman and have the basic skills of seamanship. At the end of the course you should have the confidence to skipper a yacht on coastal passages by day and night.

Yachtmaster Preparation

 This is a 5 day course to assist candidates in brushing up their skills for the Yachtmaster Offshore examination. The intructor disembarks as the independent examiner boards the yacht for the 8 hour assessment. Make sure you have all the pre-exam requirements as detailed in G15 before applying to sit this examination. The national pass rate is high (about 90%) because the pre-exam requirements are demanding.
The full syllabus for each course is detailed in the RYA’s cruising logbook G15, available from the Royal Yachting Association, RYA House, Ensign Way, Hamble, Southampton, SO31 4YA. It is also available from Westbound Adventures.

Own Boat Tuition

Arrangements are flexible, designed to meet your needs. Some new boat owners are keen to spend a day handling the yacht under power in the confines of a marina. Others seek 2 or 3 days tuition at sea. The daily cost of own boat tuition can be shared between more than one person. Please phone to discuss your needs.

Your Skipper 

All courses are delivered by Paul McNeill who is a professional teacher and Yachtmaster Instructor.