RYA Youth Sailing Scheme Start Sailing – Stage 3

Plymouth & Devon Schools Sailing Association RYA Youth Sailing Scheme Start Sailing Syllabus & Logbook G11 Book Cover Photo

Completing stage 3 will enable you to rig, launch, sail in any direction and recover safely. After successfully completing this stage you can consider yourself a sailor and no longer a beginner.

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 or in a crewed boat with an instructor on board. We will decide which boats to use based on the forecast and your level for adventure. Whichever boat you’re in one of our qualified and experienced dinghy Instructors will be close by watching and helping you through the course activities.

Pre – requisites

  • ExperienceRYA Youth Sailing Scheme Stage 2 or Equivalent plus regular practice
  • KnowledgeRYA Youth Sailing Scheme Stage 2 or Equivalent
  • Specialist Equipment & Clothing – None
  • Age – Generally 8+. 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 Permission for under 18 year olds
  • Confidence In and Around Open Water

Course Detail

  • Can rig, launch and recover in an onshore wind
  • Can reef a dinghy ashore according to weather conditions
  • Can store a dinghy ashore
  • Can tie a figure of eight knot
  • Can cleat a halyard
  • Can tie a round turn and two half hitches
  • Can tie a reef knot
  • Can tie a bowline
  • Can tie a clove hitch
  • Can tie a rolling hitch

Can demonstrate the basic principles of the following

  • The five essentials
    • Sail Setting
    • Balance
    • Course made good
    • Centreboard
    • Trim
  • Sailing on all points of sailing on a triangular course
  • Tacking upwind
  • Gybing from a training run
  • Righting a small capsized dinghy as helm/crew
  • Coming alongside a moored boat
  • Prepare for/take up tow from power craft
  • Picking up a mooring
  • The Five Essentials
  • Returning to a beach, pontoon or slipway with Offshore wind
  • Understands the course and starting procedure
  • Understands how to recover a man overboard
  • Understands points of sailing
  • Understands how a sail works – basic aerodynamics
  • Knows basic terminology for use afloat. Windward, leeward bear away, luff up
  • Understands importance of clear communication aboard
  • Understands lee shore dangers and sailing in close company with other water users
  • Understands advice to inland sailors for coastal sailing
  • Knows the importance of personal safety and telling someone ashore
  • Understands the dangers of hypothermia and the use of correct clothing for protection
  • Knows the basic rules of the road
    • Port/starboard
    • Windward boat
    • Overtaking boat
  • Knows how to obtain a weather forecast
  • Understands Beaufort Wind Scale
  • Knows when to reef

Understands the importance of

  • Personal safety equipment
  • Boat Buoyancy
  • Basic safety equipment e.g. anchor, paddle, bailer


There’s not much that you’ll need to begin with.

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.

Sailing is a physical sport but has many facets.

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.

Yes we run regular RYA Sailability sessions where you can learn to sail in our adapted boats. We have a crew-lift hydraulic electric hoist to help you in and out of the boats.

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.

We prefer Cash, Cheque or bank transfers in payment for courses. We currently do not have the ability to take payment by card.

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.

Our Address is

Plymouth & Devon Schools Sailing Association
Boathouse 17
Madeira Road
The Hoe

Plymouth & Devon School's Sailing Association don't use sat nav post code to find us iconWARNING: 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.

Course Dates

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