The RYA’s National Sailing Scheme is a series of two-day courses for those wanting to learn in dinghies and small keelboats. It has been designed to help you enjoy whichever aspect of the sport appeals to you.
You can take these courses at any age, but under 16s should start learning through the Youth Sailing Scheme.
By taking a course at an RYA recognised training centre you can be assured of being taught by trained instructors using suitable boats, supervision ratios and following the RYA’s syllabus.
Level 1 Start Sailing - Getting Afloat
An introduction to the sport, covering the minimum knowledge required to get afloat under supervision. It will give you a basic understanding of boat handling techniques and background knowledge.
Level 2 Basic Skills - The Foundations of the Sport
On completion of this course, the successful sailor will be safety conscious, have a basic knowledge of sailing and be capable of sailing without an instructor on board in light winds. Assessment is on a continual basis. During the course a capsize recovery will be conducted in a controlled manner, with a rescue craft in attendance. Becoming a competent sailor in light winds with an introduction to sailing techniques and manoeuvres, rigging, launching, safety, capsize recovery and basic rules of the road.
LEVEL 3 - BETTER SAILING
This intermediate course bridges the gap between the first 2 levels and then the 5 further advanced levles as below. This helps to develop your technique and have a taster of what the advanced levels have to offer.
SEAMANSHIP SKILLS - SAIL INDEPENDENTLY
How to handle a boat in all circumstances and solve problems afloat. This will teach you to sail in a seamanlike manner and make seamanship decisions in moderate conditions.
Sailing with Spinnakers – Symmetrical and Asymmetrical Courses
Everything you need to know about sailing modern three-sail boats. Teaches you how to use an asymmetric or symmetric spinnaker.
Start Racing - Go Club Racing
The start line for enjoying club racing. All you need to know to get round the course and have the confidence, skills and knowledge to take part in club racing in good conditions.
Performance Sailing - Get Coached and Sail Better
Improve your boat handling and confidence in performance boats, sailing the boat to best advantage at all times. This course is intended primarily for two-person spinnaker boats. However it may be delivered in performance single-handers or keelboats and the certificate endorsed accordingly.
CHILDREN'S COURSES - The RYA’s Youth Sailing Scheme:
RYA certificates are a significant achievement. Instructors sign off each skill as you complete it. Once completed, your certificate can be of use in other areas of your study or activities such as PE at school, or the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.
The Youth Scheme is usually completed in small dinghies suitable for your size and consists of Stages 1 - 4 and also more advanced and specialised courses, including beginner, intermediate and advanced racing. These levels can also be completed in keelboats.
An elementary stage getting to know the boat, sailing across the wind between 2 points, some safety aspects.
Covering a range of sailing skills and more points of sail, tacking and controlling boat speed. Relevant knots and some more theoretical aspects of sailing small boats.
Sailing in all directions, rigging, launching, basic manoeuvres of coming alongside, picking up moorings, man over board etc.
Like Stage 3 but in a double handed boat, and solving problems afloat.
You can learn to sail well very quickly, provided the equipment is right for you. There is provision for you to receive help during your course depending on the conditions and what you have to do. For example, you may receive help when more strength is required, e.g. pulling a boat up a steep, slippery slipway.
RACING BEGINNER, INTERMEDIATE AND ADVANCED LEVELS.
To make the most of our courses, ensure you are confident with the skills of one course before moving on to the next course.
Most courses are a minimum of two days long, or try our very popular daily half days over 1 week. They may be run over a longer period, especially if you haven’t sailed since your last course. Sailing is a sport which gets better with practice, and you should try to sail between courses whenever you can. Practice makes perfect!