* Not included in the price is transportation to and from the Marina and all costs ashore, such as food and drinks.
What You will learn
- Boat preparation
- Sail handling
- Rules of the road (IRPCS)
- Position fixing
- Emergency situations
- Man overboard procedure
- Manoeuvering under power
- Coastal voyages
- Manners and Customs
- Maintain a steady course
Next Step ——–
The 6 days beginners’ course is available in two distinct locations: in the Netherlands, where sailing takes place on the IJsselmeer and on the Wadden Sea, and departing from Cherbourg featuring sailing trips around the Channel Islands and the Solent region. This course is ideal for those new to sailing and provides a comprehensive introduction to sailing skills in varied and dynamic sailing environments.
Following is an example of how a typical course week might unfold:
Content: Begin your sailing adventure with an engaging introduction to the boat and its safety equipment. Delve into the world of sailing by learning essential terms and components. Experience the thrill of your first sail, feeling the breeze as you learn to tack and steer. The day culminates in a cosy, communal lunch on board, where stories and expectations are shared.
Content: As the sun rises, immerse yourself in the art of sail handling. Dedicate the morning to mastering sailing on all points, delving deeper into sailing terminology and techniques. Learn the intricacies of setting and shaking out a reef, enhancing your understanding and skills in sail handling. Practice various sailing maneuvers, feeling the responsiveness of the boat as you fine-tune your technique.
Safety is paramount in sailing. You’ll engage in thorough safety drills and learn about emergency procedures, including man overboard recovery. We’ll discuss the importance of personal safety equipment and how to use it correctly.
As the day transitions into evening, the course brings you to a new destination. Here, you’ll have the opportunity for a brief exploration of the local area. Enjoy a casual stroll through the town, perhaps dining out to sample the local fare. This is also a great chance to admire different boats and appreciate the diversity of sailing vessels. The focus remains firmly on the sailing experience, with the evening offering a relaxed and brief change of pace.
Content: Today, the focus shifts to fundamental supporting skills crucial for the Competent Crew level. We’ll begin with an introduction to position fixing, both traditional and digital methods, to give you a foundational understanding of your location at sea. You’ll learn the importance of maintaining a logbook, a vital practice in recording the journey’s details. Sail trimming will be a key part of the day’s learning, where you’ll understand how to adjust sails efficiently for optimal performance.
As part of the crew’s responsibilities, keeping the boat tidy and well-maintained is essential; you’ll be guided through the daily routines that ensure the vessel is in top condition. Handling warps (lines used for mooring) will be practiced, giving you hands-on experience in managing these crucial lines. The day will also include practical lessons on mooring the boat, understanding what each line does, and the best practices for securing the boat safely.
These skills are integral to being a competent and valuable crew member, focusing on practical, everyday tasks and responsibilities that are essential for safe and efficient sailing. This day’s curriculum is designed to build your confidence and competence in supporting roles aboard a sailing vessel.
Content: Day 4 is dedicated to consolidating the skills and techniques learned in the previous days. This is a crucial time to practice and refine your sailing abilities, focusing on mastering these skills. The day will be spent reinforcing essential sailing techniques, with a particular emphasis on anchoring. You’ll get hands-on experience in choosing anchor spots, deploying the anchor, and understanding how to secure the boat in different conditions.
Today there will be an intermediate briefing. This session is an opportunity to reflect on your progress so far, assess where you stand in your sailing journey, and discuss any challenges or successes you’ve experienced. This briefing is not only a chance to track your development but also to set goals for the remaining days of the course. It’s a time for constructive feedback and personal reflection, ensuring that you are on the right path to becoming a competent and confident crew member.
Content: Building on the reflections and goals set during the midweek briefing, Day 5 focuses on further honing your sail handling skills. You will engage in advanced practices of reefing and furling under various conditions, enhancing your ability to respond to the changing weather. A significant portion of the day will be devoted to polishing these skills, making a conscious effort to refine and perfect the techniques.
Alongside physical skills, a key aspect of today’s learning is communication techniques. Effective communication is vital in crew coordination, ensuring safety and efficiency on board. You’ll learn how to convey clear and concise messages during maneuvers, understanding the importance of each word in a high-stakes environment. This includes practicing standard sailing commands and responses, as well as non-verbal communication cues.
As the day progresses, you may experience the gratifying moment when all the pieces start to fall into place. It’s typical for this day to be the turning point where you transition from being unconsciously incompetent to consciously competent at the Competent Crew level. This is a pivotal phase in your learning journey, marking a significant shift in your understanding and confidence in your sailing abilities.
The evening will be an opportunity to unwind and discuss the day’s activities. This casual session allows for sharing insights and realizations, further solidifying the day’s learning and appreciating the progress made towards becoming a skilled and knowledgeable crew member.
Content: On this final day, we consolidate our learning journey. You’ll apply your skills actively as we sail back to the home port, rotating through various roles and tasks like sail trimming and mooring. This return sail is an opportunity to reinforce everything you’ve learned in a practical setting.
The morning focuses on revisiting key skills: safety procedures, crew coordination, and boat maintenance, ensuring a comprehensive understanding of your sailing responsibilities.
We aim to return to the port by 14:00, allowing time for a final tidy-up of the boat. This act of care is a vital part of crew duties and respect for our vessel. The course wraps up with a debriefing session, reflecting on the week’s learnings, addressing any final questions, and discussing certification for those who qualify.
As we part ways, we look forward to future sailing endeavors. The course may be ending, but it marks the beginning of more adventures on the seas, armed with new skills, experiences, and friendships.
The road to RYA Yachtmaster
Ahoy there! So, you’ve dipped your toes into the boundless seas with your Competent Crew certificate snug in your pocket, and now you’re eyeing the horizon, where the proud title of Yachtmaster Offshore awaits. Well, my friend, you’re in for an exhilarating voyage, one that’s as rewarding as it is challenging.
First off, remember this: becoming a Yachtmaster isn’t just about ticking boxes; it’s a journey of transformation. You’re not just learning skills; you’re becoming a mariner. And what a journey it is!
Step 1: Building Experience After your Competent Crew adventure, it’s time to rack up those nautical miles. Get yourself aboard as many different boats as you can. Each vessel has its own quirks and charms, much like people. You’ll learn how to handle a sprightly 30-footer and a grand 50-foot yacht, each teaching you lessons in humility and confidence.
Step 2: Day Skipper – Taking the Helm Next, you’ll want to earn your Day Skipper qualification. Here’s where you move from crew to commander, learning the art of navigation, pilotage, boat handling, and the fine craft of leading a crew. It’s not just about charts and compasses; it’s about growing a leader’s spine. You’ll start making decisions, and remember, a decision, right or wrong, is often better than no decision at all.
Step 3: Advanced Skills and Coastal Skipper Now, onto the Coastal Skipper. This is where the game gets upped. You’ll be dealing with complex passages, night sailing, and refining those sailing skills till they shine like a polished bell. Coastal Skipper isn’t just a title; it’s a statement. It says you can take a boat and crew safely through challenging waters and bring them home with tales to tell.
Step 4: Mastering Theory Don’t forget the books! Yachtmaster theory is no walk in the park. You’ll delve into advanced navigation, meteorology, collision regulations, and safety. It’s like learning to play chess; every piece moves differently, and you need to think several moves ahead.
Step 5: Gaining More Sea Miles Before you can stand for the Yachtmaster exam, you need a bag full of sea miles and some solid skippering experience. These aren’t just numbers; they’re your stories, your trials, and your triumphs.
Step 6: The Yachtmaster Offshore Exam Finally, you’re ready for the Yachtmaster Offshore exam. It’s a practical test of your sailing ability, your leadership, and your wits. You’ll be tested on everything from man-overboard recovery to handling the yacht in rough weather. It’s intense, but remember, the sea doesn’t compromise, and neither does the Yachtmaster standard.
Becoming a Yachtmaster Offshore isn’t just about mastering the seas; it’s about mastering yourself. It’s a title that speaks of salt in your hair, wind in your face, and a depth of experience that only the sea can teach. So, set your sights, brave mariner, for the journey is grand, and the title of Yachtmaster Offshore awaits you with open arms!