RYA Courses

RYA courses are run through Spirit of June Yacht Training, of which Tom is the Principal and Chief Instructor. 

Accredited RYA Courses

RYA courses are run through our partner company Spirit of June Yacht Training, of which Tom is the Principal and Chief Instructor.  For details including course dates and costs please click here.

Many of the UK’s sailing schools are based in the main yachting hubs of the Clyde and the South and West Coasts of England.  Sailing from our base in Badachro on the Minch we have access to some of the most beautiful and remote waters in the British Isles. We also have great flexibility afforded by the sailing area to respond to conditions and syllabus requirements.

Sailing on the inside (to the East) of Skye and south towards the Sound of Sleat, we have access to sheltered waters with stunning backdrops where we can introduce those taking their first steps as crew or those who are taking charge of a boat for the first time as Day Skippers.  These areas offer accessible harbours with pontoons and mooring buoys, beautiful anchorages, lots of navigation marks and tidal streams: all essential things when running courses.

Sailing on the Minch itself we can range as far North as Stornoway on Lewis, Kinlochbervie on the mainland and as far South as South Harris, and the Small Isles (Muck, Rum and Canna).  These allow for longer passages and more complex pilotage and navigation suitable for those who are looking to advance their skills on our Coastal Skipper or Coastal/Yachtmaster Offshore preparation courses.  They also provide a great cruising ground for mile builder/experience builder courses.

When you mix these attributes with the geography, wildlife and history you have an opportunity to experience your RYA sailing course in one of the most exciting training backdrops in the UK.

Our Training Ethos

We aim to offer a personalised experience; we are not a volume driven sailing establishment but one that puts you, your learning aspirations and needs first. 

We ensure you have a fantastic experience in a fun, safe, supportive and relaxed training environment where our staff will strive to ensure your objectives are fully met.

Our Courses:

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Start Yachting

We all have to start somewhere.  The Start Yachting Course provides a short introduction for novices to sail cruising.  At the end of the course you will have the knowledge to enable you to be safe on board and understand the basics of sailing and being a crew member.

Pre-course experienceNone
Assumed knowledgeNone
Minimum duration2 Days
Minimum ageNone (under 16’s must be accompanied)
Course contentThe yacht, ropework, underway, rules of the road, man overboard recovery, clothing and equipment, emergency equipment and precautions, meteorology.

Competent Crew

The Competent Crew Course provides a progression from Start Yachting, although can also be undertaken by those with no or little experience.  At the end of the course you will have an understanding of the role of crew on a yacht and have practical experience of all the jobs expected for you to become a safe, proactive and valuable member of the crew.

Pre-course experienceNone
Assumed knowledgeNone
Minimum duration5 Days
Minimum ageNone (under 16’s must be accompanied)
Course contentKnowledge of sea terms and parts of a boat, her rigging and sails, sail handling, ropework, fire precautions and fighting, personal safety equipment, man overboard, emergency equipment, meteorology, seasickness, helmsmanship, general duties, manners and customs, rules of the road, dinghies

Day Skipper

Skippering a yacht is a significant responsibility.  The course will help you develop skills and knowledge that will enable you to take a vessel to sea confidently and safely, ensuring the welfare of your crew and vessel on short passages in daylight hours.

Pre-course experience5 days, 100 miles, 4 night hours on board a sailing yacht
Assumed knowledgeTheory to the level of Day Skipper. It is recommended you attend the Day Skipper shore-based course beforehand.
Minimum duration5 Days
Minimum age

16 (under 16’s must be accompanied)

Course contentPreparation for sea, deck work, navigation, pilotage, meteorology, rules of the road, maintenance and repair work, engines, victualling, emergency situations, yacht handling under power, yacht handling under sail, passage making, experience of night cruising

Coastal Skipper

This course is for those with good knowledge of sailing and navigation (often gained through the RYA Coastal / Yachtmaster theory course) who wish to develop their skills and experience to undertake coastal passages during the day and night. 

Pre-course experience15 days, 2 days as skipper, 300 miles, 8 night hours
Assumed knowledgeBoat handling to the standard of Day Skipper and navigation to shorebased Coastal Skipper/Yachtmaster™ Offshore
Minimum duration5 Days
Minimum age17 (under 16’s must be accompanied)
Course contentPassage planning, preparation for sea, pilotage, passage making and ability as skipper, yacht handling under power, yacht handling under sail, adverse weather conditions, emergency situations

Yachtmaster Coastal and Yachtmaster Offshore Preparation and Exam

This course is for those with considerable knowledge and experience of skippering vessels with significant sea time who wish to undertake the Certificate of Competence at Yachtmaster offshore or Coastal level.   The certificate of Competence allows candidates, should they wish, to apply for their certification to be “Commercially” endorsed enabling them to use their qualification professionally.  (This does have additional requirements which can be viewed here).

There is no formal syllabus for this course, but the five days of preparation will focus on areas that candidates identify through self-assessment.  The final two days will be spent with the examiner on board putting candidates through their paces.

The exam will include an assessment of your skippering skills, boat handling, general seamanship, navigation, safety awareness and knowledge of the IRPCS (collision regulations), meteorology and signals. You will be set tasks to demonstrate your ability and may also be asked questions on any part of the syllabus for all practical and shorebased courses up to Yachtmaster™ Coastal level.

The difference between the Coastal and Offshore Exam is in the complexity of tasks and situations candidates will be asked to perform.

Yachmaster Coastal Exam Pre-requisites

Minimum sea time

30 days, 2 days as skipper, 800 miles, 12 night hours. If you hold the Coastal Skipper practical course completion certificate this is reduced to 20 days, 2 days as skipper, 400 miles, 12 night hours.

Half the qualifying sea time must be conducted in tidal waters.

All qualifying sea time must be within 10 years prior to the exam.
See RYA website for information on qualifying passages.

Form of examPractical
Certification required

A GMDSS Short Range Certificate (SRC) or higher grade of marine radio certificate.

A valid first aid certificate

Minimum age17

Yachtmaster Offshore Exam Pre-requisites

Minimum sea time

50 days, 2,500 miles including at least 5 passages over 60 miles measured along the rhumb line from the port of departure to the destination, acting as skipper for at least two of these passages and including two which have involved overnight passages. 5 days experience as skipper.

At least half this mileage and passages must be conducted in tidal waters.

All qualifying sea time must be within 10 years prior to the exam.
See RYA website for information on qualifying passages

Form of examPractical
Certification required

A GMDSS Short Range Certificate (SRC) or higher grade of marine radio certificate.

A valid first aid certificate

Minimum exam duration8-12 hours for 1 candidate, 10-18 hours for two candidates. No more than two candidates can be examined in 24 hours and no more than four candidates can be examined in one 2 day session.
Minimum age18

Theory

If you are interested in RYA theory qualifications, we work with Coast and Cairn. Details are available from their website.

What our customers say

The 5 days that I spent with Tom was honestly one of the best sailing/learning experiences I have had. It has renewed my confidence and love for sailing and I look forward to doing more courses and spending more time on La Girafe III.

Craig Dutton

Coastal Skipper Certification, RYA

“I was made to feel very welcome right from the start. I would thoroughly recommend doing your Day Skipper with these guys, I not only really enjoyed the experience, I came ashore at the end desperate to book my next trip.”

Joe Halwood

Day Skipper, RYA Sailing Course

“The sailing was a real treat, including learning the key skills. As well as the great coastal scenery, there was also the various wildlife including lots of dolphins tracking the yacht, encountering other vessels (including a Royal Navy nuclear submarine).”

Gerry, Aberdeen

Competent Crew Certification, RYA