Downwind sailing

Downwind Sailing Techniques using white sails only.

Downwind Sailing Techniques using white sails only.

The novice sailor might avoid sailing downwind and always opt for a broad reach. There comes a time when it is necessary to sail with the wind up your chuff! If you attend a RYA training course some techniques will be taught.  Read more

Yachtmaster Prep

Why do the Yachtmaster prep training and are you ready?

So you think you are nearly ready to sit the Yachtmaster Offshore examination. Firstly, I would like to point out that there is no requirement that you do a Yachtmaster Prep course before you sit the Yachtmaster Offshore examination. The preparation course offered by most sail cruising training centres is not an official RYA course with a syllabus as such. It is an opportunity to get out on a yacht and practice before the examiner steps onboard. I did not attend a preparation course but I did have my own small 28-foot yacht with which to practice on.

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RYA changes to sail motor practical courses

Understanding the changes to the RYA Sail and Motor Practical Courses

Changes to the RYA Sail and Motor Practical Courses The RYA Training courses started in the UK and thus, all RYA sail and motor practical courses run on the coast were tidal. When chartering abroad became popular and people wanted to learn in the sunshine, the RYA started to approve centres abroad where there were […]


Learning how to use a DSC VHF radio may save your life.

There is a great deal of confusion surrounding the use of the marine VHF radio. I often overhear people saying ‘my mobile phone is the best connection for me when I am at sea’, ‘the Coastguard do not listen to channel 16 anymore’, ‘I don’t understand how to use the DSC function on my set’ […]

The Benefits of Chartering a Catamaran

The benefits of chartering a catamaran are growing. Sailing with your family and friends, you may have noticed an increase in the number of cruising catamarans over the last 10 years or so. Not the most attractive looking vessels but there are some major benefits to chartering a catamaran on your next sailing holiday.

Yacht Charter – The Options.


Picture Chartering a yacht is available to anyone with any level of experience.  The assumption that you must be able to sail is incorrect.  Here, I will discuss the options available to you depending on your level of experience and personal preference. Read more

The International Certificate of Competence


Picture What is the International Certificate of Competence?

As most countries have their own boating certification schemes, the International Certificate of Competence attempts to provide evidence of a similar level of competence in boating worldwide. Some countries ask for evidence of an ICC from boaters whilst visiting their waters. The ICC allows the holder to sail/motor in countries where that country has accepted it. It can however, be subject to other prescriptions. Even in countries that have not accepted the ICC you might find that charter companies will ask for it. We recommend you check with the country before sailing there or the charter company, if you are chartering a boat. Read more

Preparing For A Night Passage

Moonlight, starry skies, phosphorescence and the only sound, being the gentle lapping of the waves against the hull. Having worked as a sailing instructor for many years, I regularly hear students say… ‘the night sail was the best bit of the course’. The RYA Competent Crew and the RYA Day Skipper course both include a minimum of 4 night hours. It is a magical experience whatever the weather throws at you, but it can also be an anxious time for inexperienced crew if the correct preparation is not carried out. Read more

Learn to sail

Here’s a New Year’s Resolution you won’t want want to give up.

It’s that time of year again, when many of us are scrambling to eat more healthily and somehow avoid the inevitable Christmas credit card bill. But amongst all of that, we’re also making our New Year’s resolutions: promises to ourselves about the goals or objectives we want to achieve during 2015. If you’re still pondering over yours, or you’re looking to add to your existing list, have you considered sailing? Whether you’re totally new to the concept or you’ve been tossing the idea around for a while, sailing can be one of the most exciting and rewarding New Year’s resolutions you can make – and, unlike that whole ‘quitting sugar’ thing, it’s a resolution you won’t want to give up. Let’s find out more about what makes sailing such an addictive pastime, and how you can get involved this new year. Read more

Training for flotilla holidays

The Flotilla Experience

Flotilla holidays are great fun. Spend a week or two on a sailing yacht with either your family or a few friends and sail around beautiful places with support from professional crew. The idea behind a flotilla holiday is a social sailing experience. Be by yourselves as much as you want and socialise in the evenings, if you so wish. The common misconception is that flotillas are for inexperienced sailors….. As an ex flotilla skipper, I have welcomed very experienced sailors to the fleet. Most people choose to sail with a group because it is fun and social. Read more