Sailing courses

Did you know you can learn to sail whilst you holiday? And that doesn’t mean it has to be hard work.  There are sailing courses for everyone from novices to old hands looking to brush up. And if you want to skipper a yacht yourself, most flotillas and bareboat charters now require you to have a certificate – you can read more on the Qualifications & Experience page.

I offer sailing courses in Greece and Croatia. You can sail with an instructor on you own yacht, on a flotilla or bareboat, or you can share a yacht with other trainees, booked by the cabin. For more details of the many options I offer, see the RYA Sailing courses page.

The options fall in to two camps:

  1. Formal training, accredited by a recognised organisation, following a defined syllabus.
  2. Informal instruction, tailored to you or your groups needs.

These can be booked either direct with a sailing school, or through tour operators or agents (like me), who can also supply flights and transfers if you wish. They can be combined with other types of sailing holiday, or booked as a course alone.

Informal tuition is particularly useful if you’re returning to sailing after time out, are between course levels and need to gain experience, or want to go at your own pace. The down side is you don’t get a recognised certificate, though the training you get make make it easier to get one, just because you will be part way there.

If you are going for a qualification, the three main bodies you’ll come across are the Royal Yachting Association (RYA), International Yacht Training (IYT) and the American Sailing Association (ASA – not common in the Mediterranean).  Each has their own scheme. 

I’m no expert on the respective quality of the different schemes and as an ex RYA instructor I’m probably biased anyway. But if I were to pick one, as a Brit, I’d go for the RYA courses because our national organisation is internationally recognised. It also means that if you want to continue your training back in the UK, there are more RYA schools. All the courses I offer are RYA accredited.

One other qualification is worthy of mention; the International Certificate of Competence (ICC) and its American equipvalent, the International Proficiency Certificate (IPC).  These are is accepted by most Mediterranean yacht suppliers as an adequate qualification to charter. 

The ICC is not as comprehensive a test as say an RYA Day Skipper course but has the great advantage that if you can already sail and just need a certificate to prove it, the exam can be taken inside a day.  As such it can sometimes be fitted in as part of your holiday week or taken in the UK, without you having to commit a whole week to a course.