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07917 573772
Tel: 02392 528019

RYA Start Yachting Course Syllabus

No previous experience required

Course Duration

The course takes place over 2 days usually at the weekend. Holders of the Start Yachting certificate can go on to complete the competent crew course in a reduced time of three days or two weekends. During the course you will be provided with accommodation onboard our sailing yacht Nomad 1 from the evening before the course starts, pillows included.

Course Content

The Start Yachting course is a short course to introduce you to the joys of sailing a cruising yacht. You will experience living aboard with a crew of others and really getting to know the yacht.

By the end of the 2 days you will have taken the helm, assisted in hoisting the sails, learned about the various ropes and lines on the yacht and what they each do. You will learn basic rope handling and how to tie some of the main knots needed to safely sail and moor a yacht.

As sailors we are very dependent on wind and tide and as a result the itinerary is changeable, you will experience sailing around parts of the Solent and spend one night in a different port to that of the home port.

Safety is paramount and we will ensure you are made aware of all safety aspects on the yacht, lifejackets, fire extinguishers, flares, liferaft, what action to take in the event of emergencies such as man overboard and how to summon assistance should it be needed.

Nomad Sailing is a brother and sister operation and it is likely you will be taught by either Jim or Lou Barden on your Start Yachting course. We are both passionate about sailing and having fun whilst learning valuable skills. We also have a small number of instructors who are equally passionate about what they do. To book onto one of our courses visit our Course Dates page or contact Jim on 07931940277 or Lou on 07917573772


Start Yachting Practical Syllabus

The Yacht

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


  • Ability to tie the following knots: Figure-of-eight, bowline, round turn and two half hitches.
  • Securing a rope to a cleat.
  • Use of winches and jamming cleats.


  • 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 lookout at sea.


  • Knows where to obtain a weather forecast.

Man Overboard Recovery

  • Understands the action to be taken to recover a man overboard.

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.


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