Sailing Jollies 

Confidence and experience building in an environment of safety and enjoyment

RYA Approved Sailing Courses

RYA Sailing Courses - Tidal (UK and Gibraltar) and Non-Tidal (Greece)

Sailing courses are an excellent way to cover a syllabus of basic to advanced sailing techniques, both theoretically and practically.   The RYA sets the standard and prepares people at various levels to be useful crew members, new budding skippers, or professional yachtsmen.

Rich of Sailing Jollies now instructs on a seasonal, freelance basis for Equinox Sailing in the Solent for tidal courses up to Day Skipper,, Atlantic Charters Racing in Gibraltar, and the Aegean Sailing School in Aegina, Greece - for the non-tidal version.

While an RYA course gives you a great introduction and entry level skipper qualification, many people feel they could do with more experience prior to actually taking a bareboat yacht charter for the first time.  I feel it is extremely important not to risk putting your friends, partner or family off for life by appearing out of control, stressed and unsure of yourself.  This usually leads to shouting and in-fighting, whereas when you have a handle on everything, you remain calm, collected and 'in charge'.

"Having passed my Day Skippers course in Portugal last year i found myself certified, but most definitely not experienced or confident enough to take a yacht out on my own. The trip with Sailing Jollies under skipper Richard was only one week, but what I came away with was immense.  I would not have been able to charter a yacht and propose to my girlfriend if it had not been for everything I have learned from you - cheers Skipper" 
- Matt U, Essex (3 Jollies to date)

A Sailing Jolly allows you to gain experience prior to taking an RYA Course, or in the gap between one course and the next.  They are professional and safe, fun and friendly and you will leave feeling like you gained a huge amount from the experience.  I highly recommend you take your non-tidal Day Skipper course in Greece with the Aegean Sailing School, with excellent quality boats, an extremely organised and well run company and a bunch of superb instructors.

I advise people not to rush to get their next ticket, but rather build up their experience and confidence regularly and gradually, so that when you come to take your exams, you feel like it's just a day on the water.. easy to say, I know!

A Jolly is not a course and there is no certification (only RYA affiliated and approved sailing schools can do this, not even a freelance qualified instructor can certify you outside of one) but you will be able to get real life experience in many of the things covered in courses, as well as some 'extras' that aren't.  

An overnight sail, at least one 60 mile passage, berthing / anchoring / man overboard practice (we use a tennis ball, not a fender!), time in the role of Skipper, line and rope work, knots, navigation, engine checking, planning and provisioning and much more. The experienced people on board are always more than willing to help the less experienced to develop their skills and confidence. 

Whether you come on a Jolly prior to, or after a sailing course, it is certain to be a huge enhancement to your level of competence and confidence.

Sailing Jollies is pleased to offer a £50 reduction to anyone simultaneously booking a Jolly with me and a course with my highly recommended Yacht Master Instructors in Gibraltar and the Solent or for Day Skipper or Comp Crew in Greece - contact me for details.

RYA Course Syllabuses

The Royal Yachting Association runs a series of progressive courses to help you develop your sailing experience and qualifications.  It's probably best to do some research on the RYA website, then talk to me for an unbiased opinion about the best places to sail and companies to book your RYA course with. Their online brochure can be accessed here.   I have trusted contacts in the UK, Corfu, Gibraltar, Portugal and elsewhere for RYA Approved Sailing Schools.

RYA Competent Crew - for beginners & novices looking for a first try out at sailing.

Ability after course: Useful Crewmember.
Skills needed: None.
Course Content: Basic seamanship and boat safety including sea terms, sails, rope work, fire precautions, safety, man overboard, distress, dinghies, weather, rules of the road, helmsmanship and sailing.
Duration: 5 days sailing. 

RYA Day Skipper - for sailors who have some experience and would like to be able to skipper their own yacht.
Ability after course: Skipper a yacht in familiar waters by day.
Skills needed: Competent Crew Certificate or the equivalent experience. Basic seamanship and sailing ability.
Course content: Preparation for sea, deck work, navigation, pilotage, weather, rules of the road, maintenance, victualling, emergency first aid.
Duration: 5 days sailing. 

RYA Yachtmaster Coastal  - for more advanced sailors who might like to take on more challenging sailing trips.
Ability after course: Skipper a yacht on coastal passages by day & night.
Skills needed: Several passages in tidal waters by day and night. Minimum 15 days (2 days as skipper) 300 miles 8 night hours. Navigation to Coastal Skipper shore based theory, sailing to Day Skipper practical standard.
Course content: Preparation for sea, handling under sail and power, pilotage, passage making and ability as Skipper, adverse weather conditions and emergency situations.
Duration: 5 days sailing.

RYA Yachtmaster Offshore or Ocean - for highly competent and confident yachtsmen looking to be able to take most yachts to most places and perhaps work professionally.
Ability after course: Skipper a yacht out in the ocean with commercial endorsement (subject to passing exam and medical).
Skills needed: Minimum 50 days, 2500 miles including 5 passages over 60nM (2 overnight & 2 as Skipper). VHF radio operators and First Aid certificates. An experienced yachtsman, competent to skipper a cruising yacht on any passage other than ocean.
Course content: Preparation for sea, handling under sail and power, pilotage, passage making and ability as skipper, adverse weather conditions and emergency situations.
Duration: A refresher course prior to a 1 day exam by external examiner - 6 days.

Fast-track Yachtmaster - UK / GIB / SPAIN - 14 weeks


Price: £7,450.00

Location: Gibraltar, Cadiz and Solent.

Duration: 14 weeks, (break weeks can be arranged).

Pre course requirements: None


The course includes:

  • Competent crew training
  • Day Skipper theory
  • Day Skipper practical
  • Coastal Skipper/ Yachtmaster theory
  • Coastal Skipper practical
  • Yachtmaster practical Examination
  • VHF/DSC operators licence course
  • First aid training and certification
  • 2500 qualifiying miles
  • Spinnaker training
  • Advanced sail trim training
  • Sea survival course

Training will be carried out in 3 phases in 3 locations, Gibraltar, Cadiz and Southampton on board Pronavia 38's, Beneteau 40.7, Reflex 38's and Jeanneau 36's.


 Guideline RYA Course Prices - Competent Crew and Day Skipper

Specialist Yachtsman's Insurance in association with Sailing Jollies.




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