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How to pick the right sailing course

November 4, 2020

James Turin

Editor @ SailEasy

Start with the kind of sailing you would like to do

Do you want to do racing, day sailing, coastal cruising, or long-term passage-making and live-aboard? By far the most popular choices are day sailing and coastal cruising. Coastal cruising takes place on a sailing or motor yacht that is suitable for long-distance travel and offers enough amenities to live aboard the boat, yet is small enough to not require a professional crew. This kind of sailing requires knowledge about boat handling, navigation and some technical knowledge about the boat itself. Day sailing is very similar but does not require being able to sleep on the boat or do complicated navigation, and hence can be done on smaller and simpler boats

Cruising is great for family holidays too

The vast majority of sailing courses in general, and also those on SailEasy are aimed to give you the knowledge and experience to do both day sailing and cruising. We also offer courses that are aimed at racing, and typically consist of a training program and a race itself as a grand finale

The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) system and which RYA qualification is required

The RYA is one of the most widely acknowledged systems of sailing qualifications, and offers a comprehensive set of different practical and theoretical courses. We’ll share an overview of all the possible courses in the RYA system below. Typically, the ‘Day skipper’ qualification is what charter companies require to take out their boats. This means you’ll have to either compete that course if you have enough experience, and else do the pre-requisite courses ‘Start Yachting’, ‘Competent Crew’ and theoretical courses ‘Essential Navigation and Seamanship’ and ‘Day Skipper’

Pick the right location and sailing school

This is what SailEasy is set up for! Use our website to filter based on the countries you’d like to do your course in and based on what kind of courses are on offer. When picking a country it’s wise to not only consider which areas you like most but also the difficulty of the sailing there. Sailing Choices provides a really good intro on most sailing areas. If the courses section does not yet have what you are looking for, please reach out and our team will be very happy to help you find the right course. Last but not least, after learning the basics, one of the best ways to further build experience and confidence is to make as many nautical miles as possible, both as crew or as a skipper!