Port Solent Sailing School

RYA Start Yachting

Practical course

RYA Start Yachting course


Sunsail’s two-day RYA Start Yachting course provides a short beginners' introduction to sail cruising and requires no previous sailing experience. This practical course is a great way to get a feel for sailing, and will teach you the fundamentals of how to steer a yacht under power, raise the sails and handle ropes. It also imparts awareness of safety on board and instructs students in the man overboard manoeuvre.

On completion, the RYA Start Yachting course awards a qualification counting towards Competent Crew qualification for those who wish to take their sailing further.

Where to take this course with Sunsail

Portsmouth, UK

Why take this course with Sunsail?

The Sunsail Start Yachting course has been designed for beginners looking to gain an introduction to the basics of sailing. As sailors ourselves, we understand that your first sailing course, together with the early stages of learning, is one of the most important steps on your yachting journey. Therefore the Start Yachting course has been designed to give you the very best foundations for those with no experience.

Course syllabus 

The yacht

  • Basic knowledge of sea terms, parts of a boat, her rigging and sails.


  • Understand the bowline
  • Can tie the following: figure of eight, round turn and two half hitches


  • Has experienced sailing a yacht on all points of sail. Can steer a yacht under sail or power.

Rules of the road

  • Can keep an efficient look out at sea.


  • Knows where to obtain a weather forecast.

Man overboard recovery

  • Understands the action to be taken to recover a man overboard, and the effect of cold-water shock on a casualty.

Clothing and equipment

  • Understands and complies with the rules for the wearing of safety harnesses, lifejackets and personal buoyancy aids.

Emergency equipment and precautions

  • Is aware of hazards on board a yacht.
  • Knows the action to be taken in the event of an emergency.

Choose Sunsail

Stunning Sailing Destinations 
Flotilla routes
Types of yachts
44 yrs
Creating holidays
4 hr
Service commitment
Consumer protection