So you want to learn how to sail

By :- Louise Jackson, On September 3, 2017 in ::-Featured

Sailing is one of the oldest surviving forms of transport, and one whose popularity has endured to this day. If you’re interested in learning how to sail, it can be difficult to know where to start. The best way to learn to sail is to do so through one of a series of courses set up by the RYA.

What is the RYA?

RYA

CC image credit to nz_willowherb

The RYA, or Royal Yachting Association, is a body set up in the late nineteenth century in order to regulate the standards of racing yachts.Since then it has grown alongside the yachting industry to be a globally-recognised authority in the sailing world.They offer courses in more than 47 different countries, in more than 2,500 training centres.A qualification bestowed

by the RYA will be respected wherever boats can travel.

While the RYA also offers training in dinghy sailing, windsurfing, jet-skiing and a whole host of other aquatic transport, their principle focus in the one from which they draw their name.If you wish to learn about yachts, then you need look no further than an RYA course.

What courses should I take?

The RYA offer courses to suit any level of sailing skill.

RYA Start Yachting

‘Start Yachting’ is the RYA’s introductory course to the world of sailing.It is suited toward complete novices, and you need no prior experience of sailing in order to enter into it.It is also suitable for those who intend to go on a sailing trip, but do not intend to play an active role in the actual business of sailing, and feel as though they would benefit from a little knowledge.

By the end of the course, students will be able to:

  • Steer the yacht
  • Handle sails
  • Work with ropes

You will also be given some training in the safety precautions necessary to sail a yacht.This is a two-day course.Once you have completed it, you will be able to complete the ‘Competence Crew’ in only three days (or two weekends, if you’d prefer).

RYA Competent Crew

Competent Crew is a five day course which is far more comprehensive than the ‘Start Yachting’ course.This course is the complete package, which will give you everything you need to start yachting – and the experience should be an enjoyable one, too!

It spans five days – which can either span three weekends or be completed in three days and a single weekend.If you’ve already done the ‘Start Yachting’ course, then it can be done in less time, as it covers much of the same ground.

By the end of the course, students will be able to:

  • Confidently speak about sea using technical terms
  • Refer to the different parts of the boat, and their respective functions
  • React appropriately in the event of an emergency, such as a fire or a man overboard
  • Perform all of the actions described under the ‘Start Yachting’ section

As well as this, the Competent Crew course will also teach you the manners and customs which govern life aboard a boat, and the rules of the road necessary to navigate around other boats.

RYA Day Skipper

The Day Skipper qualification is more focused than those previously discussed.It is geared toward navigation, though some more general seamanship training is included.Once you have completed the Day skipper course, you will be able to navigate by day – though some rudimentary training in how to navigate during the night time is also included.The course requires 40 hours of tuition, and will require the completion of two exam papers.

RYA Coastal Skipper

Once you have completed the day skipper course, you will then be able to move onto more advanced training.Students can make use of the RYA’s bespoke software which emulates the electronic navigation used in modern yachts.Like the day skipper course, this requires forty hoursworth of tuition, but it also requires three exam papers rather than two.

RYA Yachtmaster Ocean

RYA

CC image credit to nz_willowherb

Once you have completed the Day Skipper and Coastal Skipper courses and have become versed in coastal pursuits, you can move onto the seriously advanced stuff.This course will allow you to venture out into the ocean, where you will be forced to find your way without the help of any landmarks.You will be taught how to navigate using the stars and the weather.You will gain a thorough understanding of electronic navigation, as well as more traditional navigational aids like the sextant. If your ultimate aim is to traverse the ocean alone, then this is the course which will help you achieve it.

Further information on these courses, and how to book them can be found coastalpursuits.co.uk.