RYA Youth Sailing Scheme Start Sailing – Stage 4

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

Successfully completing stage 4 means you now have the skills to sail a double handed boat as helm or crew. As a team you’ll be able to solve a number of problems afloat. Passing this stage is the gateway to the advanced modules and the racing pathway.

At PDSSA we take this course in a variety of small double handed crewed dinghies. You may be sailing with another person at this level 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 3 or Equivalent plus regular practice
  • KnowledgeRYA Youth Sailing Scheme Stage 3 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 any wind direction
  • Can set up a boat according to weather conditions using sail and rig controls e.g. mast rake, reefing
  • 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 tie a sheet bend
  • Can demonstrate the techniques and manouevres of Stage 3 in a crewed boat
  • Communicate effectively as bot helm and crew
  • Effective use of the five essentials by helm and crew afloat using tell tales
  • Recover a man overboard
  • Gybing from a training run
  • Return to a beach, slipway, jetty or a mooring safely in any wind direction

Has a knowledge of

  • Can apply the IRPCS afloat
  • Has basic knowledge of IALA buoyage, how to use tide tables and how find the direction of a tidal stream
  • Beaufort scale
  • Synoptic charts
  • Tidal ebb and flow
  • Spring & Neap tides
  • Knows how to recover from total inversion
  • Can apply practical sailing techniques and manouevres on tidal waters
  • Understands how to recover a man overboard
  • Understands points of sailing


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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