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Sailing Lessons & Yachting Courses
Into the Blue offers a range of sailing lessons, RYA courses and yachting day trips out of marinas around the UK. Experiences range from single sailing lessons, to courses to get your RYA Competent Crew certification and leisure charters too. Time to get the wind in your sails! Sailing & Yachting Experiences FAQs
• Tall ship sailing out of Portland Marina in Dorset • Two, three, four & five-hour voyages available • Help hoist the mainsail, take the helm & drop anchor • Explore the iconic Jurassic Coastline as you sail
• A cruise on a fully restored historic sail barge • A full day voyage from Ipswich to Harwich and back • Barges have seating, a corner bar and dining area • Up to 50 guests on these River Orwell cruises
If you've ever dreamed of learning to sail, there's no better time to take to the water than now! We have loads of courses and experiences for all budgets and with all sorts of aims, be it a taster to see if you like it, or a two day course to get a sailing qualification at the end of it.
Who it's not for
If you don’t think you’ll find your sea legs, you might steer clear of the dinghy sailing courses. You can still get out on the water though, as we’ve got everything from gentle paddle boarding and canoeing, to jet skiing and floating aqua park fun on offer in our Water Sports hub.
Yes. The Royal Yachting Association is the national governing body for water sports such as dinghy sailing and yachting. If you’re looking to book a sailing course, always make sure the centre is RYA accredited. That way you know the teaching follows a curriculum that’s laid out for them by the RYA and a certain quality of tuition has been attained.
Do I need a licence to skipper a yacht?
Contrary to what you might think, you don’t need a licence or any qualification to sail in the UK, be it on the sea or on lakes. However, if you want to hire or charter a boat, you will need to prove your competence with an RYA certificate, such as the RYA Day Skipper qualification.
Do I need a qualification to crew a yacht?
There’s no law that says you need a qualification to be part of a yacht crew in the UK. However, if you are part of a group hiring and sailing a yacht, you will need to have at least some of the crew (along with the skipper) who have a qualification. In most cases, sailors go for the RYA Competent Crew course.
What’s the difference between sailing a yacht and a dinghy?
A dinghy is a light boat for one or two people and is generally between two and four metres long. These are used for day sails and are taken out of the water at night. As they are much smaller rigs, you'll really be engaged in their handling and you can risk a dunking in the water - but they are great fun and will bring on your seamanship skills by leaps and bounds. In comparison, a yacht is much larger and heavier. They can be more like keelboats that are used mainly for racing, or proper ocean-going yachts that have accommodation onboard, so you could set your course for a sail around the world if you wanted to. These vessels often sail with a crew made up of several people, each of whom has their own role to play. The boat leans, but you're less likely to get a dipping and the movements are a lot slower than on a buzzy little dinghy.
Where can I do an RYA Competent Crew course?
Sailing centres around the UK offer RYA Competent Crew courses. They usually last two consecutive days and they cover everything you need to know both about crewing a boat. Training takes place both on and off the water, with both theory and practical sessions. By the end of it you should have learnt enough to be awarded your RYA Competent Crew certificate so you can go sailing with confidence.
I’ve always wanted to have a go at sailing. Are these courses for me?
Absolutely! Most of our courses are aimed at those who have always ‘fancied having a go’ at sailing. A lot of clients sign up for RYA courses because they want to join friends and family who already sail, but we also have two hour and one-day taster sessions that give you a great value insight into sailing.
Can I learn dinghy sailing in a day?
You can certainly get a good grounding in the basics of sailing in a day or even a half-day course. By the very nature of the dinghies being small, group sizes are kept small (usually two or three students), so you get loads of hands-on time learning to sail.
What sort of dinghies will I be sailing?
There are lots of different dinghies out there, but the most popular small training dinghies for training in are Pico, Wayfarer and Hartley boats. They’re easy to handle, agile and responsive. Larger vessels used for training include Laser dinghies, again a very popular make of boat for beginners to learn in.
Will I be sailing on the sea?
That depends where you go! We have sailing centres in sheltered harbours, on in-water lakes and dock areas too.
Can I do tall ship sailing?
Yes you can! There’s something quite magical about setting sail on a tall ship. It evokes the bygone days of pioneering voyages across the high seas to discover new lands. Now you can join the deck of a fully restored tall ship and enjoy a short sail. You can be as hands-on as you like, or just kick back and relax. No qualifications needed and suitable for beginners, as there’s always an experienced crew on board.
Do you offer private yacht charters?
You can indeed charter your own private yacht for a little sailing expedition for you and you and your group. They make for a fabulous day out for families, groups of friends or even as a work outing with colleagues. For more info get in touch with us by ‘phone, email or using the on-line chat window that appears when you’re looking at any experience page.
Can I book a sunset sail?
Sunset sails are a lovely way to sail. You set off after most of the daytime water users have left, meaning you get calmer conditions and, of course, the extra entertainment of watching the sun go down. Sheer bliss in anyone’s book (and quite romantic too!).
Can children go sailing?
Yes. We have courses to learn to sail dinghies that are suitable for teenagers and younger kids can ride on some of the yacht charters as long as they are accompanied. Make sure you read the full details on each product to find all the age limits and requirements as they vary from location to location.
Is teaching on a one to one basis?
On the dinghies it’s usually one, two or three people per boat, with total group sizes varying, according to the number of instructors with you. Once you get going, the instructors might be out on a RIB in the water keeping an eye on you whilst you sail around.
What should I wear for a sailing course?
Nearly all centres provide waterproofs (some may charge a fee locally) and all have life jackets or buoyancy aids. You need to make sure you’re wearing comfortable clothes for sailing in and shoes that you don’t mind getting wet.
Will I need to wear a buoyancy aid all the time?
Whilst it’s not actually a legal requirement, the RYA recommends wearing a life jacket or buoyancy aid when on the water. In our experience, all water sports centres require you to wear safety gear that is provided for you. Any refusal to do so may result in you not being able to participate in the course.
How many people can fit on a boat?
That all depends on the size of the boat! Vintage barges can comfortably accommodate up to 50 passengers, whilst tall ships can typically be around 12 passengers plus crew. A 36ft ocean-going modern yacht will easily carry seven to 10 onboard, whilst a Pico dinghy could be just for two. Group sizes are all specified in the full details of each experience.
Where can I go sailing near me?
Obviously you need water to sail, but even if you’re in a land-locked part of the country, we may have sailing experiences on reservoirs or freshwater lakes near you. We also have vouchers for sailing courses on the coast at some of the largest water sports centres in the country. Our current collection of sailing and yachting experiences includes courses at: