Level 1 - Start Sailing

RYA Training Centre tickmark logo.png

Cost per person - £500 1:1, £300 2:1, £290 3:1, £280 4:1

This course provides a short introduction to sailing for novices. By the end of the  course, participants will have a basic understanding of boat handling techniques and  background knowledge. We recommend that all participants consolidate this short  introduction with the RYA prior to Keelboat level 2. Tuition is provided by trained  instructors, using appropriate supervision ratios. We aim to keep clients informed of  their individual progress throughout the course. The two-day course will usually be  split into 4 distinctive parts. 

  • ➢ Initial conversation to establish sailing experience and knowledge. 

  • ➢ Safety brief, clothing, life jacket use. 

  • ➢ Introduction to the boat. To include, tiller, sheets, halyards, lifting keel, engine.  This is generally kept to a minimum as most are best introduced as being used.

  • ➢ Familiarisation and joy ride, beam reach with tacking demonstration. Turning  into and away from the wind. Sheeting in and out. All clients onboard helm  before moving on. 

  • ➢ Build up confidence whilst onboard and increase wind awareness. 


  • ➢ Aim to build upon confidence, knowledge and skills learnt from session 1.

  • ➢ Upwind sailing and the No Go Zone. 

  • ➢ Sail setting, lying to and getting out of irons. 

  • ➢ Controlling speed. 

  • ➢ Theory. 

  • ➢ Debrief and discuss areas of success and identify areas to be improved upon  finish session on a positive.


  • ➢ Aim to build upon confidence, knowledge and skills learnt from sessions 1 & 2.

  • ➢ Begin with recap of beam reach and upwind sailing before commencing  downwind sailing. 

  • ➢ Beam reach to training run and how to recognise a training run. Discuss  accidental gybing. 

  • ➢ Gybing demo and then client practise in controlled manner. Employing a reef  at the beginning of the session may be prudent, allowing the boat to gybe more  slowly. 

  • ➢ Theory. 

  • ➢ Man overboard recovery, what actions need to be taken demo and client  practise if time. 


  • ➢ Aim to build upon confidence, knowledge and skills learnt from sessions 1, 2 &  3. 

  • ➢ Begin with recap of beam reach and upwind & downwind sailing. Introduce a  simple triangular course to demonstrate.  

  • ➢ Theory is introduced as it becomes relevant to each particular part of the course  being delivered. Any sections of theory that have not been covered should be  discussed here.  

  • ➢ Final debrief, ensure log books are filled in correctly and appropriate certificates  issued plan of action on where to go next. 


  • ➢ Ropework: Figure of 8, Round Turn and Two Half Hitches and secure a rope to  a cleat. 

  • ➢ Awareness of other water users. 

  • ➢ Rule of the Road: power v sail, port v starboard, overtaking boat, windward  boat. 

  • ➢ Meteorology: Awareness of onshore and offshore winds, sources of weather  information. 

  • ➢ Emergency equipment and precautions: Awareness of potential hazards of fuel  and gas. Knowledge of stowage and use of fire extinguishers.