Sailing instructors teach sailing on yachts and boats at sea and on inland waterways such as reservoirs, canals and lakes.
They are mainly concerned with are dinghy sailing (small craft including keelboats and catamarans), powerboat driving, windsurfing, yachting and cruising (large yachts and sailing vessels with crews).
Instructors may teach one or all of the above. The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) website has details of all types of sailing and instructor roles.
Instructors employed by a sailing centre or club may work a structured or unstructured week. Those who are self-employed work hours to suit client demand. Weekend and evening work is common. Dingy and windsurfing instruction tends to be delivered on a seasonal basis although some sailing clubs and centres provide classes all year round.
Practical skills are taught on the water in most weather conditions. Yachtmaster and cruising instruction takes place at sea. Theoretical knowledge and skills, such as navigation, are taught in a classroom.
To be a sailing instructor you should:
Dinghy instructors provide training at sailing clubs or schools and local authority centres. Some dinghy instructors combine dingy instruction with other outdoor activity instruction to increase employability. Instructors can also complete the endorsements mentioned in the Training section.
Yachtmaster or cruising instructors are employed by sail and motor cruising centres. They are often self-employed, owning their own yachts and offering instruction through recognised centres.
Promotion could be to supervisory and management positions within the sailing club.
There is also scope to work overseas.
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