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RYA Small Boat Sailing Courses

Dinghy, keelboat and multihull courses for beginners, improvers and advanced sailors.  To make the most of the courses ensure you are confident with the skills of one level before moving on to the next.  Most courses are a minimum of 2 days, or an equivalent number of shorter sessions, and you should try to sail between courses whenever you can.

Adult Beginners
Learn to sail with the National Sailing Scheme - a series of 2 day courses for adults (minimum age 16) wanting to learn in dinghies, small keelboats and multihulls.  The scheme has been designed to help you enjoy and develop in whichever aspect of the sport appeals to you.

Level 1
Introducing you to sailing with all you need to know to be able to sail in light airs under supervision
Experience Required:  None
Course Content:  How to sail in all directions including an awareness of launching and recovering

Level 2
Setting out the foundations of sailing to enable you to sail and make decisions in good conditions.  This course is often combined with Level 1 into a 4 or 5 day course.
Experience Required:  Sailing skills to the standard of Level 1
Course Content:  Rigging, launching, sailing in all directions, capsize recovery and essential safety knowledge

Level 3 (Pilot Course)
Consolidating skills and trying new techniques to build confidence and enable you to progress to the advanced modules
Experience Required:  Sailing skills to the standard of Level 2
Course Content:  Coaching of Level 1 and 2 skills and taster sessions from the advanced modules

Youth Beginners
The Youth Sailing Scheme is a series of 2 day courses usually completed in small dinghies suitable for your size.  However, it can also be completed in keelboats or multihulls.  There is no minimum age but training centres often take children from the age of 8.

Stage 1
A basic understanding of how a boat sails with some experience of steering and handling the boat
Experience Required:  None
Course Content:  Launching and recovery, steering, parts of the boat, basic sailing

Stage 2
A range of sailing skills and knowledge to help in becoming a confident sailor.  After the course you will be able to tack and control boat speed as well as understand basic principles.
Experience Required:  Stage 1, unless you are completing a combined Stage 1 and 2 course
Course Content:  Basic sailing skills, rope work, collision avoidance

Stage 3
Equivalent to Level 2 in the National Sailing Scheme.  After the course you will be able to rig, launch and sail a dinghy around a triangle in moderate conditions.
Experience Required:  Up to and including the Stage 2 course
Course Content:  Rigging, launching and recovery, sailing techniques, capsize recovery, sailing theory

Stage 4
Sail a double handed boat as crew or helm and solve a variety of problems afloat.  Afterwards you will be able to launch and return to a beach, jetty or mooring and sail a crewed dinghy around a triangle in moderate conditions.  This course is optional if Stage 3 was taken in a double hander.
Experience Required:  Up to and including Stage 3
Course Content:  Rigging, launching and recovery, sailing techniques and manoeuvres in crewed boats, recovering a man overboard

Improvers and Advanced Courses
Following on from the early courses in the National Sailing Scheme and the Youth Sailing Scheme, you can choose one or more of the four advanced modules to suit your sailing interests.  These are available to both adults and young people.
Generally, you will be ready for these courses if you have completed Level 2 or 3 of the National Sailing Scheme or Stage 3 or 4 of the Youth Sailing Scheme and have had some practice.  These are all 2 day courses and sailing skills and background knowledge to the Standard of the Level 2 course are required.

Seamanship Skills
How to handle a boat in all circumstances and solve problems afloat
Course Content:  Launching and recovering the boat in different circumstances, stopping, reducing sail, recovering a man overboard, anchoring

Day Sailing
Passage planning and decision making for small boat cruising
Course Content:  Preparing and planning for a day cruise, pilotage and decision making including adverse conditions

Sailing With Spinnakers
Everything you need to know about sailing with conventional or asymmetric spinnakers
Course Content:  How to rig the boat, gybe and recover one type of spinnaker (either conventional or asymmetric), how to sail the best possible course downwind

Performance Sailing
Improve your boat handling and confidence in performance dinghies enabling you to sail faster and more efficiently in all conditions
Experience Required:  Competent boat handling with around one full season after completing Level 2
Course Content:  Coaching to improve your sailing primarily in two person boats with spinnakers

Learn to Race
Racing is an exciting and sociable way to develop your sailing and there is a course for everyone, from beginners through to club racers and those preparing for higher level competition

Start Racing
The fundamentals of getting off the start line and round the course to enable you to take part in club racing in good conditions
Duration:  2 days
Experience Required:  Sailing and knowledge to at least the standard of the Level 2 course or Stage 3 for under 16s
Course Content:  All the skills required to start club racing including how to maximise boat speed and outwit your opponents

Intermediate Racing
Improve your racing technique and knowledge for racing at club level and improvement in results should follow
Duration:  5 days
Experience Required:  Some experience of racing at club level
Course Content:  A programme that builds on your basic racing skills and helps you improve the key principles of starting, boat handling, boat speed, strategy and tactics

Advanced Racing
Develop skills in preparation for open meetings and higher competition
Duration:  5 days
Experience Required:  Several seasons experience of racing at club level
Course Content:  A predominantly practical course working on the key techniques and knowledge to enable you to take part confidently in open meetings and regional competition

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