Welcome to the greatest sport in the world
Sailing, as you may already have discovered, can take many forms. For some, a sundowner in the cockpit of your yacht at the end of the day is the perfect image. For others, squeezing that extra half a knot from a close-hauled beat to windward is the goal. The beauty of our sport is that whatever you or your crew have on the bucket list, a day on the water can satisfy everyone.
At Seafarer, we recognise that our students have different goals, from active crew member to professional skipper, and we would like to help you along your own particular path with advice and suggestions on the next steps for you.
You have already trained with us, whether that has been in the UK, Greece or Croatia, so please read on to find out the benefits of being in the Seafarer club.
Just completed RYA Competent Crew
The RYA Competent Crew Course is a great way to start your sailing journey and despite not being ready to skipper your own boat your skills and knowledge are already developing. Read on for some of the next steps once you’ve completed this course.
RYA Day Skipper Shorebased Theory
The next step training-wise is the RYA Day Skipper Shorebased Theory course which gives you the background knowledge of subjects like navigation, weather forecasting and safety procedures that will give you the background knowledge to take your next practical course. There are two options for completing this, depending on your personal learning style and the format that suits you:
- Online with Navathome – This is an online course that can be done at your own pace and is split into modules where you are tested when you feel you have sufficient knowledge of that subject. For most people, the course takes about 40-45 hours and you can book this option with Seafarer, click here for more details. There is a £50 discount on the course if you book it alongside a RYA Day Skipper Practical Course with us.
- Classroom based – Many RYA Centres around the UK run the course in person – normally over a week but sometimes over a few weekends, or evening classes. Seafarer doesn’t run these directly but the RYA website has a list of centres that run it in your local area.
RYA Day Skipper Practical
Following the RYA Day Skipper Theory, the next step is the Day Skipper Practical, the course that, upon successful completion, allows you to skipper your own yacht. We have a full breakdown of the course here and we run it at our Greek Sailing School (Lefkas & Athens), Croatian Sailing School (Sibenik) and UK South Coast School (Southampton & Plymouth). Our Greek and Croatian schools run the course over a week and run alongside the flotilla (while running) while the UK school runs the course over 5 days (Mon-Fri) and all of these offer the same high level of training – just in different surroundings. If you want more information on the best location for you, get in touch with one of our experienced consultants or your mentor to discuss the merits of each area.
Milebuilders & other training
For a less formal learning experience that will help you to build on your skills learned during your Competent Crew course, we run numerous mile builders and refresher courses in both Greece and the UK. These generally include an instructor alongside students of different levels covering a longer distance than the normal training courses. You can find details of which of these courses we have planned under the school pages here or on our mailing list – if you are not on it already, scroll to the bottom of the page to join.
Just completed RYA Day Skipper
Upon passing your RYA Day Skipper Practical course, an important milestone has been reached and it is time to look towards new horizons. The biggest advantage of this qualification is that it allows you to skipper your own sailing yacht on a flotilla or charter basis and take friends and family on the trip of their lives. One of the joys of sailing is that every day on the water is an opportunity to learn something new, perfect a technique, or just grow in the confidence that experience gives you.
One internationally recognised qualification you might have heard mentioned while learning to sail is the ICC (International Certificate of Competence). In most countries, this is as accepted as the RYA Day Skipper qualification but a lot of skippers like to add it to their sailing resume by sending proof of their Day Skipper qualification to the RYA, click here for more details.
Flotilla sailing gives you the experience of skippering your own boat but with the added support of the lead crew, whilst enjoying the social side of sailing with others. For those who have just passed their Day Skipper course, a flotilla in one of our easier destinations is the perfect beginning to your skippering journey and at certain times of the season, we’re offering extra discounts for those who have trained with us, scroll down for more details. We recommend the following flotillas as the great first step:
- Lefkas Flotilla – Easy & Relaxing sailing with short distances in sheltered waters.
- Kefalonia Flotilla – Slightly more open water in the Southern Ionian.
- Saronic Gulf Flotilla – Enjoy the protected waters of the Saronic, full of history and culture
For our other flotillas click here
If you are feeling ready to book your first flotilla holiday read the section on booking and some of the choices you have below and use the knowledge of your training mentors and our experienced consultants to pick the right yacht in the right location for you and your crew.
If the freedom of the open sea takes your fancy a bareboat holiday might be your preference. Basically your free to take the boat wherever you wish and enjoy the experience of sailing independently. Without the knowledge and support gained from the lead crew, we recommend researching the sailing area you hope to sail in and choose one with the conditions you would feel comfortable handling. We have our own bareboat fleets in certain parts of Greece and we work with long time partners to supply boats worldwide, talk to your mentor if your looking for more info on an area that could suit you. Click here for more details on bareboat sailing.
As mentioned earlier at Seafarer we don’t feel that sail training should end necessarily once your Day Skipper is done, but instead, any good sailor will continue learning, whether formally through more advanced courses or informally through their own experience. Read on for more details of the form these courses could take:
RYA Yachtmaster Scheme Courses
There are a number of further courses that continue the RYA Yachtmaster scheme, each step teaching you how to sail longer passages and further from land. Each step has its own theory requirement that gives you the required knowledge for the course and a required number of sailing miles before you can do the course.
RYA Specialist Courses
Sailing and the yachts we use for sailing are complicated and not all disciplines are covered in the main courses so the RYA offer more specialist programs such as Diesel Engine Maintenance, First Aid, Radar and Short Range (VHF) Radio courses. All of these will add to your sailing knowledge and are available at numerous RYA centres throughout the UK and further afield, click here for more details.
Specialist Seafarer Courses
One way to improve your sailing is to take part in a specialist Seafarer training programme in Greece, Croatia or the UK. These include sail handling, power handling or tidal refresher courses along with others. Click here for more details and keep an eye on our mailing list for when these are coming up.
These are exactly what they say on the tin, a great way to build your sailing skills while covering distance on a sailing yacht. We run various mile building trips through the season – and mileage counts towards more advanced RYA Yachtmaster Scheme courses. Keep an eye on our mailshots for more information on these.
Your Sailing Mentor
As part of your continued sailing development, we would like to offer you the help of a sailing mentor, someone who can best advise you on the next steps for your sailing career and help you with any issues you are having. This mentor will be an experienced sailor in their own right who understands the different troubles and tribulations we have when taking up a new sport, especially one as complex as sailing.
If you would like to sign up for the mentorship program fill out the form below and we will be in touch shortly.
Booking a Sailing Trip
There are many options and variables to consider when booking your first sailing trip, so let us help you to decide – we have first hand knowledge of sailing in many worldwide destinations. Below are some of the things you’ll need to consider:
1. Your Crew
The most important part of your sailing experience is your crew! Flotilla yachts take between 2 & 10 people of which at least two people need some sailing experience, normally this takes the form of a skipper (with Day Skipper or ICC) and a co-skipper with some experience. Generally, a group of between 2 & 6 will give the best sailing experience depending on the size of the boat.
2. The Yacht
Yachts range from 32 to 50ft+ and are generally grouped by the number of cabins and heads. The most important thing is to book a yacht that has enough space for your crew and has the features you’d prefer, for example, mainsail type or whether you want a folding swimming platform. Both your mentor and our sales consultants can advise on the type of yacht to charter but to avoid disappointment it’s worth booking early to get the yacht you want in the location you want it.
3. Flights & Transfers
Getting to your destination is part of your holiday and for UK guests you can choose if you would like flights and transfers included or not. Booking flights with us, with a small additional fee, means the holiday is ATOL bonded. Either way the boat will be waiting and ready for a great sailing trip.
In the same way as booking a hire car you generally need to place a deposit to charter a sailing yacht. These range from about £1000 to £4000 pounds and cover the excess on the insurance for any damage done to the yacht, the deposit amount being the maximum you would be liable for. This money is generally held by an external operator.
A yacht damage waiver is a one off payment of between £120 and £240 that means no deposit is required on the boat. We would always advise first time charterers to take this option for peace of mind while gaining sailing knowledge.
There are a number of extras that can be added to a flotilla or bareboat holiday to make a better experience including a Stand UP Paddleboat or safety netting. These are paid extras, but can really add to a sailing trip.
5. Fuel & End Cleaning
For a flotilla holiday with Seafarer, fuel, cleaning, linen and a welcome pack is included in the price. For bareboat charters, cleaning and linen will often be a compulsory extra and you’ll pay your own fuel, often organised by the base crew at the end of your charter.
If you would like to book a certain flotilla or bareboat request a quote or give us a call on +44 208 324 3118
Special Members Offers
We currently have the following offers available for those who have completed a Seafarer Training Course:
- 5% repeat customer discount on all holidays & courses
- An extra 5% discount for a first flotilla holiday in Lefkas, Kefalonia or Corinth
- £50 off Navathome Online theory courses when booked alongside a RYA Practical Course
We will also be posting regular offers on our mailshots, if you are not receiving them add yourself at the bottom of this page.