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, www.equinoxsailing.com, Atlantic Charters Racing in Gibraltar, www.atlanticcharters.co.uk and the Aegean Sailing School in Aegina, Greece - www.aegeansailingschool.com 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'.
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.
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.
Location: Gibraltar, Cadiz and Solent.
Duration: 14 weeks, (break weeks can be arranged).
Pre course requirements: None
The course includes:
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.