RYA Sailing Courses

An Introduction to Qualifications with the RYA

RYA Courses with Classic Sailing

Classic Sailing is run by Professional Sailors to give you the best advice.

RYA Practical Sailing Courses on Classic Boats, plus Theory Courses Delivered Online.

These sailing courses from the RYA are internationally recognised for pleasure and commercial sailing.

Zero to Hero

You can start with no sailing experience and work you way up to skippers vessels of up to 200 tons sailing across Oceans.

You can do as little or as much as you like taking it one step at a time.

Recognised RYA Training Centre for 19 years.

Classic Sailing has been a recognised RYA Training Centre for 19 years. We currently offer practical sailing courses through a RYA Training Centre in Plymouth, Devon with classic boats in their teaching fleet. The boating courses we offer are RYA Competent Crew, RYA Day Skipper Practical, RYA Watch Leader (for bigger yachts), and exam preparation with intensive boat handling and navigation practice for RYA Yachtmaster Coastal or RYA Yachtmaster Offshore exams.

RYA Practical Courses

RYA Theory Courses: Delivered Online

The beauty of RYA Courses on traditional yachts.

Moosk RYA Courses
Moosk RYA Courses

Teaching RYA Courses

These are taught to Royal Yacht Association syllabus and standards by experienced RYA Cruising Instructors and Yachtmaster instructors. If you successfully complete a RYA course you will gain a certificate that is recognised all over the world. Sailing Courses that are UK based rather than the Mediterranean or Caribbean will give you a solid grounding in tidal heights and currents. With those skills the whole world is your oyster.

Our RYA Courses give you time to learn and enjoy the scenery.

The voyages are 6 or 7 days long rather than the minimum 5 days so you have more time to enjoy sailing a classic boat. We teach sailing along some of the most iconic coastal landscapes in Britain. Famous headlands like Start Point or Lizard Point. Wooded river valleys that stretch far inland in Cornwall and Devon. Wild estuaries and salt marshes with seabirds and waders. Historic ports, smugglers quays and secret coves and caves. There is plenty of variety for teaching exercises from anchoring under sail to night navigation under unpolluted skies.

The skills you learn combine traditional seamanship with modern technology like radar and GPS, with the added bonus of a holiday on a beautiful boat.

The beauty of RYA Courses on traditional yachts.
Moosk for RYA Courses

Why Learn the Ropes on a Classic Boat?

The advantages of learning a RYA Course sailing onboard a traditional boat are many fold:

Deep keeled gaff cutters are great for beginner which gives them a sea kindly motion, un-cluttered decks and high sides so you can walk safely down the deck without side stepping down a narrow strip of plastic deck.

All the ropes are in the open so you can see were they go and what they do, nothing is hidden in masts and booms. Without the mechanical advantage of winches you are more aware of the forces of nature and working as a team builds friendships and adds to the pleasure. Why fight nature when you can harness it in safe traditional ways.

Our classic boats have all mod cons for a RYA Course, GPS, depth sounders and there are plenty of yachts around in port and out on the water to show you self tailing winches, jamming cleats and more 20th century fittings and features of the sailing world.

rya with classic sailing

Why Learn to Skipper on a Boat with a Bowsprit?

It’s a great opportunity to pose.

Having a big pointy thing out the front, does help concentrate the mind and think ahead.

Manoeuvring under power you learn how to glide effortlessly and gently to a pontoon or quay. You are actually learning to ‘park’ a vessel that might be 58ft long with the bowsprit, so your instructor is not going to squeeze you into a small marina….and it is a huge buzz to bring a beautiful boat alongside under its own momentum.

Sail balance is important on all vessels but learning on a gaffer with a bowsprit or a yawl with two masts starts to teach you skills that can be applied to much bigger sailing vessels. When you get that dream job on a super yacht with three masts you will have more idea which sails to put up and in which sequence.

For skippers, the stable motion of a deep keeled vessel and a large chart table makes learning to navigate a lot easier than on many modern vessels.

Success aboard distinctive classic boats comes with a sense of achievement unmatched on a modern yacht. Your colours fly just that little bit higher.

RYA Courses on Moosk


Elegant gaff yawl Moosk has been teaching RYA courses to young people for several years, but since 2017 she has teamed up with Classic Sailing to offer RYA Competent Crew, Day Skipper and a Yachtmaster Exam Preparation Course for adults, outside the school holidays.  Moosk is 39 ft on deck and a fast and well behaved boat to sail. She feels more like a classic yacht than Golden Vanity, whilst Vanity has the bigger deck space and high bulwarks of a working boat.

Moosk runs RYA Competent Crew, RYA Day Skipper and Yachtmaster Exam Prep courses from Plymouth with Devon and Cornish coasts to explore.

Read more about  Moosk the Vessel, her instructors and courses

Moosk cracking on

Classic Sailing can also offer the following:

  • Sailing lessons and tuition on all our vessels as part of your holiday
  • Over 60 mile passages for your Yachtmaster Offshore qualifying experience
  • Over 600 mile ocean passages for astro-nav / Ocean YachtMaster – ask us, as you have to be a watch keeper
  • MCA / STCW 95 Eligible sea time for super yachts and tall ships
  • Advice on Super Yacht / Sail Training Professional Career Path- from Yacht Rating – Officer of the Watch – Chief Mate – up to Master (yacht 3000 ton)

You are more aware of the forces of nature and how you must work with the wind rather than fight it”

Andrew Green

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