On completion of this course you will have a basic knowledge of sailing and be capable of sailing without an instructor on board in light winds.
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 beginner and an instructor close to you in a safety boat or more likely in a crewed boat with an instructor on board.
It is recommended that all participants consolidate their basic skills with the level 3 better sailing level 3 course as well as practice between courses.
- 16 Hours split over two consecutive days
Pre – requisites
- Experience – RYA National Sailing Scheme Start Sailing Level 1 or Equivalent
- Knowledge – RYA National Sailing Scheme Start Sailing Level 1 or Equivalent
- Specialist Equipment & Clothing – None
- Age – Generally 18+. 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.
- How to rig according to weather conditions
- Reefing ashore
- Launch, recovery and safe storage ashore of a dinghy
- Can tie a figure of eight knot
- Can tie a round turn and two half hitches
- Can secure a rope to a cleat
- Can tie a bowline
- Can tie a clove hitch
- Can tie a reef knot
- Leaving and returning to a beach, jetty, slipway or mooring
- Coming alongside a moored boat
- Sailing in close company
- Perform a man overboard recovery
- Is aware of lee shore dangers
- The Five Essentials
- Can tack while sailing upwind, showing refined skill, losing minimal ground
- Can gybe in a controlled manner while sailing downwind
- Shows good communication when maouevring double handers
- Understands and shows awareness of other water users
- Can sail around a short course using all points of sail and crewing skills
- Knows the importance of personal safety, clothing, basic personal and boat buoyancy
- Understands the importance of staying with the boat
- An awareness of other water users
- Basic rules of the road – Avoid a collision at all costs, Power/Sail, Port/starboard, overtaking boat, windward boat
- Visual methods of attracting attention
Basic advice for independent sailing
- Self-reliance and basic equipment
- Visual methods of attracting attention
Has knowledge of
- The points of sailing and the “No go zone”
- How a sail works
- How a sailing boat moves (basic theory)
- Sources of relevant weather, inshore forecasts and their interpretation
- The Beaufort Scale
- Understands when to reef
- Has knowledge of a synoptic chart
- Can apply the practical section in coastal waters
- How to apply weather forecasts in coastal waters
- Tide tables, tidal sequence of springs and neaps, ebb and flow
- Speed over ground with/against tidal flow
- The effect of wind direction and tidal flow on sailing conditions
- The importance of informing someone ashore and the dangers of sailing alone
- Knows how to access local information and advice for sea sailing
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 Better Sailing Level 3 Course
- Become a member join our association for discounted rates on all eligible sessions and courses