On successful completion of this course you will have a confident, safe approach to planning and executing a short day sail in a dinghy.
At PDSSA we take this course in a variety of small dinghies. You may be sailing single handed, in a two man boat with another sailor and an instructor close to you in a safety boat. An instructor will generally only get onboard with you to demonstrate a technique.
It is recommended that all participants consolidate their skills by practicing between courses.
- 16 Hours split over two consecutive days or run over a series of shorter sessions.
Pre – requisites
- Experience – RYA National Sailing Scheme Better Sailing Level 3 , RYA Youth Sailing Scheme Start Sailing Stage 4 or Equivalent. Additionally RYA National Sailing Scheme Advanced Module Seamanship Skills if planning to cruise alone.
- Knowledge – RYA National Sailing Scheme Better Sailing Level 3 , RYA Youth Sailing Scheme Start Sailing Stage 4 or Equivalent. Additionally RYA National Sailing Scheme Advanced Module Seamanship Skills if planning to cruise alone.
- Specialist Equipment & Clothing – None
- Age – Generally 16+. We will assess younger individuals based on confidence, attention and accepting instruction, ability on/around water and previous experience prior to accepting them onto a course.
- Parental/Guardian consent for under 18 year olds
- Confidence In and Around Open Water
- Can prepare and equip a boat for cruising including safety and navigation equipment, clothing and food and stow gear correctly
- Can plan and undertake a day sail including a consideration of pilotage/navigation and collision avoidance
- Can use an anchor to effect lee shore landing and departure
- Is able to self-rescue following total inversion
- Understands how to improvise in the event of gear failure
- Knows how to and can recover from total inversion
Sailing Theory and Background
- Has knowledge and ,where possible, practical experience of boat handling in strong winds and difficult conditions
Can plan a day’s cruise in coastal waters including knowledge of
- Publications available, particularly charts, tide tables, tidal stream atlases
- Navigation instruments and their limitations afloat
- Use of GPS including waypoint navigation
- Confirming position by another source
- Tidal heights and tidal streams (Rule of Twelfths or percentage rule)
- Probable changes in the weather and the interaction of weather and tidal streams
- Decision making in adverse circumstances including planning alternatives and refuges
- Magnetic compass variation and deviation
- Interpretation of charts
- Use of transits and bearings to steer course and fix position
- Recording positions and principles of dead reckoning
- Knows sources of information on weather patterns for the day
- Understands main characteristics of high and low pressure systems and simple interpretation of synoptic charts
- Has awareness of changing weather conditions
We can provide you with a wetsuit, spray top and buoyancy aid. Our sizes range from Junior Extra Small to Adult Extra Large.
We will expect you to bring the following items:
- Swimsuit to wear under a wetsuit
- Rash vest or thin T-shirt to wear under a wetsuit if your swimsuit doesn’t cover the top half
- Wet shoes such as wet suit boots, dinghy boots, old trainers which give rugged foot protection. We have found that open toe footwear and crocs are not suitable as they either fall off too easily, have no grip when wet or could lead to serious foot injury. Garden wellies are not suitable for sailing courses either
- Towel and wash gear to shower and dry afterward if required.
- Food and drink. Most of our courses run over two full days so bring enough to eat and drink each day. It’s a good idea to take a drink bottle afloat. These can be carried in an accompanying safety boat for you.
- Sun glasses if it’s bright…make sure you have a retaining strap too.
- Hat, beanie or cap especially on very sunny or cooler days.
- Sun protection lotion. We recommend a water resistant lotion with a SPF50 rating.
- Enthusiasm to learn!!
Optionally a pair of sailing gloves to protect your hands and fingers would be useful and helps protect your hand and fingers from blistering when wet and working with dinghy sheets, lines and other ropework. These are relatively cheap and can be purchased on-line or locally at one of the boat chandleries.
If you’re getting in it to win it the fitter you are the better. You’ll be able to sail some very extreme sailing boats with adequate training and experience.
However if you’d prefer a more sedentary pace your fitness level will be fine as long as you can safely move from one side of a small, moving boat to the other.
Of course if your ability means you are able to move around and you can get from one side of the boat to the other safely then our larger regular boats are there for any of our standard sailing courses.
We’d obviously love to have a chat with you first to gauge the best options but are sure we can get you afloat.
Payment by Paypal is also possible by special arrangement with the centre manager. An additional fee is payable to cover the additional transaction costs we incur from Paypal.
Plymouth & Devon Schools Sailing Association
WARNING: Don’t use the postcode on a sat nav to find us….you won’t !!
You’ll find us at the southern end of the Barbican Wharves between the Barbican Landing stage, The Old White House on the end of Pheonix Wharf and Elphinstone car park. All of this below the south eastern quarter of the Royal Citadel. Check us out on the map here and on our contact page.
- Build up some experience at our Open Sailing Sessions
- Sign up for a RYA National Sailing Scheme Advanced Sailing Courses
- Become a member join our association for discounted rates on all eligible sessions and courses