Shearwater Sailing School Courses

As we are a small school, we can be very flexible with the full range of RYA courses we offer. From RYA Start Yachting to RYA Yachtmaster Offshore, and more.

Not sure what course to take, or require something not listed below, we can help.

RYA Competent Crew

This is a 5 day practical course where you can achieve your first major sailing certificate.

The RYA Competent Crew course is aimed at beginners to the world of sailing, with little or no experience, who want to become active crew members rather than just passengers.

After the course, you will be able to steer a yacht, handle sails, keep a lookout, row a dinghy and assist in the day-to-day routines of sailing a yacht as well as rope handling and general duties.

5 Day Sailing Course - £625

RYA Day Skipper

The RYA Day Skipper practical course is aimed at aspiring skippers who have some yachting experience and basic navigation.

You’ll learn to skipper short passages, enter and exit ports , emergency skills such as Man Overboard training and how to sail up to and tie up to a mooring buoy.

To take this course, you must have completed at least 5 days, 100 miles and 4 night hours on board a sailing yacht, and must be 16 or older.

5 Day Sailing Course - £625

RYA Coastal Skipper

The RYA Coastal Skipper practical course is aimed at yachtsmen and women with considerable knowledge of sailing and navigation who are wanting to undertake coastal passages by day and night. After this course, you will have the confidence to skipper a yacht on a coastal passage by day or night.

To take this course, you will have completed at least 15 days, 300 miles, 8 night hours and 2 days as skipper on board a sailing yacht, and must be 17 or older.

5 Day Sailing Course - £625



A radio is an important piece of safety equipment on board and it is vital to understand the correct procedures for using it and communicating with other boats and ground based stations. 

This course is a requirement for anyone who owns a fixed or handheld marine VHF radio.

The Short Range Certificate (SRC) is the minimum qualification required by law to control the operation of VHF and VHF Digital Selective Calling (DSC) equipment on any British flagged vessel voluntarily fitted with a radio.

1 Day Course - £110 + £60 fee

first aid

The 1 day First Aid course covers all the usual first aid subjects, all from a boating perspective. Additionally, this course covers: drowning protocol, cold, shock and hypothermia, seasickness, dehydration and helicopter rescue.

It is aimed at anyone who goes afloat, whether on inland waters, rivers, estuaries or on cross channel passages.

In a medical emergency, a little first aid knowledge and immediate action can save lives, especially in remote locations.

1 Day Course - £110

London, France, belgium & holland Cruises

We offer two fantastic mile building cruises.

- 6 day cruise into London

- 7 day cruise to France, Belgium and/or Holland.

These are not only excellent for those who need to build up miles for their Yachtmaster certificates, but also a great way to get your Day Skipper or Coastal Skipper qualification.

6 Day Cruise - £695

7 Day Cruise - £795


Start Yachting

2 Day course

The Start Yachting course is a fantastic introduction to sailing for complete beginners. 

The 2 day Start Yachting course covers all the basics and essential skills needed to go on too, and complete the Competent Crew course in a reduced time of 3 days instead of the usual 5.

Although not a requirement for the Competent Crew course, it does offer a great opportunity to get on the water and see what it's like before making the leap to a full 5 day course. You won't see this course listed in our course schedule, but it is offered during the first 2 days of any 5 day course.

Get in touch for more details.

Day Skipper Theory

This course equips you with enough knowledge to navigate around familiar waters by day. A basic knowledge of lights is also included to introduce you to night cruising.

Topics include:

  • essentials of coastal navigation and pilotage

  • chart work

  • electronic charts

  • position fixing

  • plotting a course to steer

  • weather forecasting & tides

  • and much more…

This course is taught over 40 hours with two exam papers.

40 Hour Course - £395

Coastal Skipper/ Yachtmaster Offshore Theory

This course is aimed at sailors who have completed the Day Skipper course and wish to take their sailing skills to the next level by focusing on advanced navigation and meteorology.

Topics include:

  • course shaping and plotting

  • use of almanacs and admiralty publications

  • potting weather systems

  • collision regulations

  • and much more…

The course is taught over 40 hours with three exam papers.

40 Hour Course - £395

New for 2019!

RYA Diesel Course

This one-day beginners’ course will help you prevent and solve diesel engine failures. The course covers:

Principles of diesel engine operation

  • Systems and parts of the engine

  • Fault finding

  • Rectification of common problems

  • Bleeding the fuel system

  • Changing the impeller

  • Routine maintenance

  • Winter lay up procedures

This course teaches you how your engine works, how to keep it healthy by using basic checks and maintenance procedures, and how to get it started again in the event of a breakdown.

In addition to the above RYA Courses, we also offer a range of flexible solutions to meet your needs.

  • Family sails, lasting a day or a whole week with an instructor as skipper.

  • Two day brush up sails.

  • Two day ICC Training Course and Exam.

  • Own Boat Tuition where an RYA Instructor assists you on your own boat.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions.


Hi Mark and Tom,

Just wanted to say how much we enjoyed our introduction to sailing course last week - you were amazingly calm the entire time - even when that boat was heading towards us and we were packing the sail away as Cecily steered!  We are all really looking forward to our holiday even more now and will send you a photo of us all - in Shearwater t-shirts of course!  

Hope you are surviving in this wet weather!  We are v bored and would rather be sailing!

Jude (Start Yachting - April 2018)