Sailing courses

 
 

Learning to sail is far more than just knowing how to stay afloat. The chances are, if you have reached this page you are ready to find out more about sailing courses and for this reason we promise to keep the sailing puns to a minimum. Being out on open water can be a scary place if you don’t know what you are doing, so learning from an expert is always a good place to start.

 

What will I learn on a sailing course?

The exact course description will obviously vary, but most courses will be practical, hands on and give you a full awareness of how to sail in all directions and in all weathers. Launching and recovering your boat are key elements that will be covered on a course, as will the health and safety elements of sailing, which are normally covered in a classroom based situation.

Tides, navigation and knots are all very important when you are sailing, so most courses will teach you how to do all three. Also, as mentioned above, knowing what to do when you are in trouble is vital – a lot of courses will go over essential skills such as capsize recovery. More advanced courses may also cover skills such as rigging and launching.

Like all courses, if there is something you really want to cover it is a good idea to get in touch with the course provider beforehand to make sure it is going to be covered.

 

What kind of boat will I learn in?

The type of boat you learn in is also completely dependent on the course you choose. To help give you a bit more information, we have outlined a few of the most common types of boats below.

 

Dinghy: a small, lightweight boat that you rig ashore and launch every time you go sailing. A dinghy is easy to transport but also is prone to capsizing, so as a complete beginner prepare yourself to get wet! According to sailing experts, a dinghy is a good boat to learn in as you need to be quick and agile to balance the boat in bad conditions.

 

Keelboat: A larger, more stable boat with a fixed heel. The heel stops the boat from capsizing, which makes the keelboat more like a small, manageable yacht. As the keelboat is not as big as a cruising yacht, it is good at bridging the gap between the dinghy and a larger boat.

 

Multihull: In very simple terms, a multihull is a boat with more than one hull, which makes this quite a broad category of boats. It’s worth researching beforehand, but more often than not, you will be learning in a catamaran boat, which are used as racing boats.

 

What should I look for in a course?

If you are learning to sail your own boat, or for professional reasons, it is often a good idea to look for a course taught by a RYA (Royal Yachting Association) approved trainer. This is a badge of quality that is recognised worldwide.

With that in mind, if you are thinking of training as a sailing or water sports instructor, this is something to consider too.

 

Famous UK sailors

Despite only being a tiny island, we are pretty good at sailing here in the UK. In fact, no nation has more Olympic sailing gold medals. To prove it, we thought we would add a few famous names to aspire to –

 

Ben Ainslie: Born in 1977, Ainslie began sailing at the age of eight in the seas off Cornwall. Now the most successful sailor in Olympic history, Ainslie has won medals at the past five Olympics, including gold in the last four.

 

Ellen MacArthur: Retired British sailor Ellen MacArthur broke the world record for the fastest solo navigation of the globe. One of the most successful long-distance yachtswomen ever, she proves that sailing definitely isn’t a man’s game.

 

Three blondes in a boat: When Sarah Web, Sarah Ayton and Shirley Robertson won a gold medal in the Yngling sailing class in the 2004 Olympics, the nickname ‘three blondes in a boat’ stuck.

 

Learning to sail is far more than just knowing how to stay afloat. The chances are, if you have reached this page you are ready to find out more about sailing courses and for this reason we promise to keep the sailing puns to a minimum. Being out on open water can be a scary place if you don’t know what you are doing, so learning from an expert is always a good place to start.

 

What will I learn on a sailing course?

The exact course description will obviously vary, but most courses will be practical, hands on and give you a full awareness of how to sail in all directions and in all weathers. Launching and recovering your boat are key elements that will be covered on a course, as will the health and safety elements of sailing, which are normally covered in a classroom based situation.

Tides, navigation and knots are all very important when you are sailing, so most courses will teach you how to do all three. Also, as mentioned above, knowing what to do when you are in trouble is vital – a lot of courses will go over essential skills such as capsize recovery. More advanced courses may also cover skills such as rigging and launching.

Like all courses, if there is something you really want to cover it is a good idea to get in touch with the course provider beforehand to make sure it is going to be covered.

 

What kind of boat will I learn in?

The type of boat you learn in is also completely dependent on the course you choose. To help give you a bit more information, we have outlined a few of the most common types of boats below.

 

Dinghy: a small, lightweight boat that you rig ashore and launch every time you go sailing. A dinghy is easy to transport but also is prone to capsizing, so as a complete beginner prepare yourself to get wet! According to sailing experts, a dinghy is a good boat to learn in as you need to be quick and agile to balance the boat in bad conditions.

 

Keelboat: A larger, more stable boat with a fixed heel. The heel stops the boat from capsizing, which makes the keelboat more like a small, manageable yacht. As the keelboat is not as big as a cruising yacht, it is good at bridging the gap between the dinghy and a larger boat.

 

Multihull: In very simple terms, a multihull is a boat with more than one hull, which makes this quite a broad category of boats. It’s worth researching beforehand, but more often than not, you will be learning in a catamaran boat, which are used as racing boats.

 

What should I look for in a course?

If you are learning to sail your own boat, or for professional reasons, it is often a good idea to look for a course taught by a RYA (Royal Yachting Association) approved trainer. This is a badge of quality that is recognised worldwide.

With that in mind, if you are thinking of training as a sailing or water sports instructor, this is something to consider too.

 

Famous UK sailors

Despite only being a tiny island, we are pretty good at sailing here in the UK. In fact, no nation has more Olympic sailing gold medals. To prove it, we thought we would add a few famous names to aspire to –

 

Ben Ainslie: Born in 1977, Ainslie began sailing at the age of eight in the seas off Cornwall. Now the most successful sailor in Olympic history, Ainslie has won medals at the past five Olympics, including gold in the last four.

 

Ellen MacArthur: Retired British sailor Ellen MacArthur broke the world record for the fastest solo navigation of the globe. One of the most successful long-distance yachtswomen ever, she proves that sailing definitely isn’t a man’s game.

 

Three blondes in a boat: When Sarah Web, Sarah Ayton and Shirley Robertson won a gold medal in the Yngling sailing class in the 2004 Olympics, the nickname ‘three blondes in a boat’ stuck.

 

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