ESSA Water Activities Centre
Registered Charity No: 1025713

Sailing

Taster Sessions

Come and try sailing! If you're part of a group, see our Groups page to see what you can achieve.

Beginner Courses

You've decided that sailing is for you. Work your way through the Youth or Adult courses.

Advanced Modules

Want to learn more? Choose one of the advanced modules to suit your sailing interests.

Taster Sessions

General information

We have a range of dinghies, 7 Oppies, 1 Tera, 15 Toppers, 9 Laser Picos with jibs, 3 Feva's with jibs, 3 Laser Bahia's with furling jibs, a Wayfarer with jib or genoa & a Bosun with jib.

All participants will be given tuition by our qualified instructors using coaching ratios established by the RYA.

What will you learn?

Taster Session content

Click here to find the taster session plan

Course content - see below.

Session recommendations

Under 8 years old -
Evening or half day. They will be in small boats that are unlikely to capsize.

Over 8 years old -
Evening, full day or 2 day courses. They will be in single handed and/or double handed boats, dependant on size.

Beginner Courses

All courses are 2 days (or equivalent sessions). Youth courses start at age 9+. Adult courses start at age 16+.

To make the most of our courses, ensure you are confident with the skills of one course before moving on to the next course. If you're a bit rusty, you may be asked to return for an extra day of training before being fully signed off.

Sailing is a sport which gets better with practice, and you should try to sail between courses whenever you can. Practice makes perfect!

Youth Stage 1

A basic understanding of how a boat sails, with experience of steering and handling the boat.

Course Content

Click here to find the syllabus

Youth Stage 2

A range of sailing skills and knowledge to help you become a confident sailor.

Course Content

Click here to find the syllabus

Youth Stage 3

Rigging, launching and sailing in any direction. Equivalent to Adult Level 2.

Course Content

Click here to find the syllabus

Youth Stage 4

Sail a double handed boat as crew and helm, and solve a variety of problems afloat.

Course Content

Click here to find the syllabus

Adult Level 1

Introducing you to sailing with all you need to know to get afloat under supervision.

Course Content

Click here to find the syllabus

Adult Level 2

Setting out the foundations of sailing for you to make confident decisions.

Course Content

Click here to find the syllabus

Advanced Modules

Advanced Module courses are 2 days. 

Generally, you will be ready for these courses if you have completed Youth Stage 3 or 4, or Adult Level 2, and have had some practice too.

Seamanship Skills

How to handle a boat in all circumstances and solve problems afloat.

Sailing with Spinnakers

Everything you need to know about sailing with conventional or asymmetric spinnakers.

Performance Sailing

Improve your boat handling and confidence in performance dinghies.

Assistant Instructor

A centre-specific certificate, awarded by the training centre and valid for five years. You will be able to teach up to Youth Stage 3 or Adult Level 2 under the supervision of a Senior Instructor.

Required Certificates

One of the Advanced Modules

Pre-entry Assessment

Recommendation by the centre RYA Principal

Dinghy Instructor

A 5 day course learning teaching techniques afloat and ashore. You will be able to teach Youth Stages, Adult Levels, Seamanship Skills, Sailing with Spinnakers and Day Sailing (if suitably experienced).

Required Certificates

First Aid Certificate
RYA Powerboat Level 2
RYA Safe and Fun Safeguarding Certificate

Pre-entry Assessment

To be completed within one year prior to the instructor course. Read more...