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RYA sail training courses

Greek Sails & our sister company Poros Yachting Academy run both RYA practical & shorebased sail training courses up to Yachtmaster Offshore preparation.

RYA sail training courses are arranged in a progressing structure from the aptly named ‘Start yachting’ up to ‘Yachtmaster’.

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RYA sail training course structure

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The RYA define a wide range of courses related to sailing, power boating and other topics associated with enjoying the water.

The information here covers the core courses relating to sail training and is intended to explain the relationship of one course to another and the progression from those who have never previously sailed right up to Yachtmaster Ocean for experienced sailors.

The design of RYA sail training courses is very much that you can join at any point and there is no requirement to pass every course ‘working your way up the ladder’. If you have the necessary experience and knowledge, you may start by immediately taking your Yachtmaster exam...if you have the experience and knowledge!

As a general recommendation though, candidates are encouraged to complete the theory course relevant to the practical course they intend to complete and that if you are ‘starting from scratch’, then starting at Competent Crew and working through the courses ensures you gain a well-rounded training. By the time you are completing a Yachtmaster exam, it is presumed you will have learnt the topics covered in Competent Crew, so it's not a bad idea to ensure you have mastered these basics!

The RYA provide numerous other courses not illustrated here but related to sailing, covering topics such as diesel engine maintenance, radar & sea survival. For full details of all RYA sail training courses visit the ‘RYA Training’ section of the RYA website.

The structure of RYA sail training courses

The relationship of courses with each other and progression in skill levels is shown below with any pre-requisite prior experience shown in brackets below the sailing course title.

Practical/sailing courses Theory/shorebased courses
Start Yachting
Competent Crew
Basic Navigation & Safety
(none - optional)
Day Skipper (practical)
(5 days seatime, 100 miles, 4 night hours)
Day Skipper (shorebased)
(none - optional, but strongly recommended)
Coastal Skipper practical
(15 days seatime, 2 as skipper, 300 miles, 8 night hours)
Yachtmaster (shorebased)
(Day Skipper shorebased course - optional, but strongly recommended)
Yachtmaster Coastal Certificate of Competence
(30 days seatime, 2 as skipper, 800 miles, 12 night hours, VHF (restricted) license, First Aid certificate, or if Coastal Skipper practical has been completed, as above except; 20 days seatime, 400 miles)
VHF Radio short range certificate
First Aid certificate
Yachtmaster Offshore Certificate of Competence
(50 days seatime, 5 as skipper, 2,500 miles, 5 passages over 60nm including 2 overnight and 2 as skipper, VHF (restricted) license, First Aid certificate)
Yachtmaster Ocean shorebased
Yachtmaster Ocean oral examination
(Yachtmaster Offshore Certificate of Competence, qualifying ocean passage as skipper or mate)
      RYA sail training courses offered by Greek Sails & Poros Yachting Academy
      RYA sail training courses not offered by Greek Sails & Poros Yachting Academy

Send an enquiry about RYA sail training courses in the sun with Greek Sails

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