RYA Level 1 & 2: Start Sailing/Basic Skills

RYA recognised training centre

Course Dates

Course runs over 4 days on consecutive weekends and costs £200.

2022 dates:
  • Spring: 30 Apr ,1 May, 7 May, 8 May
  • Early summer: 11, 12, 18, 19 June 

  • Late summer: 6, 7, 13, 14 August (TBC)

  • Autumn: 17, 18, 24, 25 September 
How to enrol

You must first join the club to take part in a course, however the combined cost of membership plus the course fee is cheaper than most commercially available courses.

If you are already a club member and would like to book your place on a course, please complete the application form.

Designed for beginners aged 16 and above, our sailing training course covers the content of two RYA courses: Level 1 and Level 2. By the end of the course you should be safety conscious, have a basic knowledge of sailing and be capable of sailing without an instructor on board in light winds.

Course location and minimum duration

Teaching takes place on the water and in the classroom at Littleton Sailing Club. It’s a 4-day course, spread over two consecutive weekends, usually from 09:30 to 17:00 each day.

Required experience

None. We will suggest some reading or on-line videos before and between weekends that will accelerate your learning and progress.

Teaching ratio

1 instructor to 2 students, reducing to minimum of 1 instructor to 8 students as skills improve. Most of our courses have  8 – 12 students enrolled.

Course cost

£200.00; a RYA Logbook and RYA Start Sailing Handbook is included in the course price. An RYA Certificate is included on successful completion of course.

What to expect

Our comfortable double handed dinghies allow you to learn both helming and crewing skills. To get started, an instructor sails in every dinghy with 2 students, to demonstrate the basics and provide instruction. As you develop, appropriate to the weather, we will progress you to sailing independently with your helm or crew, with coaching from in instructor in a safety boat. 

Through the full four days, you will have the opportunity to sail with other course members, and try single handed dinghies.

All our courses are delivered by our own RYA qualified instructors, all fellow members at the club, who are keen to support your learning through out your membership.

Course Content

The first weekend (Level 1: Start Sailing) course assumes that the student has not sailed before and is normally conducted in our two-person RS Visions dinghies. After you have learnt to rig the boat and received an introduction to the boat’s controls, the group will take to the water with an instructor to experience for the first time what it’s like to crew and helm a sailing dinghy, under the close supervision of the RYA instructor(s).

By the end of the first weekend, you should have a basic understanding of boat handling techniques and background knowledge and understanding the modules of the RYA Level 1 syllabus on the National Sailing Scheme.

The second weekend (Level 2: Basic Skills) course will build on skills the student has previously achieved, introduces new ones and supports you along the way to becoming an independent sailor. 

Subject to weather and availability, we will introduce you to single handed dinghies, introduce you to our club sailing, introduce racing and some advice in looking for a dinghy to buy, or rent.

By the end of the 4-day course you should be safety conscious, have a basic knowledge of sailing and be capable of sailing without an instructor on board in light winds. You will be awarded the RYA Level 2 certificate on successfully reaching the standard, including understanding the modules of the RYA Level 2 syllabus from the National Sailing Scheme.

For more information on course content and progression pathways, please see the RYA Dinghy Adult Course Guide

What do I wear and bring?

Our course joining instructions will describe the clothing the students will need to bring with them, and provide links to our introductory videos.  As a minimum, you will need clothing suitable for sailing for the time of year, a 50N Buoyancy Aid, light waterproofs. Bring your own lunch, or our galley serves hot or cold lunch items, coffee and snacks.

Why do level 1 & 2 together?

All of us prefer to learn in different ways, and make progress at different rates. On many 2-day courses, if you have not reached the standard by the end of two days, perhaps the weather has been poor, you simply don’t pass, and must pay to repeat the course. 

At Littleton, through running our combined Level 1 and Level 2 training over two consecutive weekends, we find students have more thinking and practice time to suit their own way of learning.  We can accommodate a range of weather conditions, abilities, incorporate a range of dinghy types, and have a very high success rate for our students achieving RYA Level 2 standard.  

All students not quite demonstrating Level 2 skills are awards Level 1, offered opportunities for further practice, and a free reassessment when ready.

RYA Level 2 is also the minimum recognised qualification for hiring dinghies so at the end of the course you will be able to make use of the club’s hire boats to continue your development.

How to enrol

You must first join the club to take part in a course, however the combined cost of membership plus the course fee is cheaper than most commercially available courses. If you are already a club member and would like to book your place on a course, please complete the application form.

For further information please contact our Training Principal, Andrew Selves

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