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Learn Real Skills

What is a ‘Real Skill’

You can watch countless instructional videos on how to bring a yacht alongside a quay but until you actually have a go, it is only virtual reality. The real skills takes practice and feedback from your tutor. Until you actually get on a full sized boat and try and combine the mental focus of the task you have been shown, the communication skills for the crew and the muscle memory of what to do with tiller and engine controls, and actually achieve the task, then you haven’t really got the skills to moor a boat. When you do achieve the real skill then you can start to believe in yourself. Its a great feeling and we are here to help.

We are not just talking about advanced sailing skills. Even living on a boat for the first time, or signing up for a beginners woodwork course, will immediately teach you ‘real skills and experience’ you can add to your human skill set.

Our ethos is ‘hands on sailing’ but we could equally call it ‘hands on learning.’ In 2024 we want to celebrate what we do with a special focus on learning new skills and personal development, even if you are on holiday too.

Debbie Purser – co-founder of Classic Sailing

See our brand new section on our website about Courses – both Formal syllabus based courses like RYA and other ways of learning skills

menu of types of courses

If you want to get straight to some great voyages and courses that teach skills click here

Voyages with learning Opportunities

Why are sailors a resourceful bunch?

My friends say ‘You’re so practical’ but why are sailors such a resourceful bunch?

The reason has not really changed for centuries. Once you sail away from the land, the internet, and a phone signal you are purely dependant on the skills and knowledge of the humans on board, and the resources to hand. How much do you really know and what skills do you retain without reference material? Sadly it is getting less and less. Before books and the internet, skills and experience were passed down from human to human. We can still do that, and being on a sailing boat is the perfect classroom for learning real skills and feeling more resourceful.

RYA sailing Courses Boat building, woodwork, sail making

How Impressive is your ‘Skills Tool Box’ ?

Can you bake bread without a recipe, draw a map, mend a sail, row a boat safely ashore, broker a peace between aggressors, take a bilge pump apart and fix it, steer a big schooner to windward, or know what to do if a crew member went overboard? When will you feel confident to step in a dinghy on your own and sail it any direction you want? What practical skills would you have as a volunteer going to help with an emergency afloat or ashore? Could you cope if your were made a refugee? None of this may ever happen, but wouldn’t you want to feel resilient, useful and ready in these difficult times?

As you get older, what wisdom, practical skills and experience can you pass on to the younger generation?

Special voyages & challenges

Learning New Skills for Wellbeing

Why does learning practical skills matter? It might purely be to achieve a feeling of purpose and control in a world where it seems technology is trying to do everything for us and there is a certain amount of dumbing down with the information we are served.

A much more positive spin off is to do something creative and practical that gets you ‘in the flow. There is nothing so stress busting as getting lost in the process of making something with your hands, or having a go at yoga or open water swimming for the first time. Likewise the collective satisfaction of getting that 1 ton gaff main sail up with a team is something to celebrate.

Yoga, sailing & Swim retreats

Learn Maritime Skills for a career

Last but not least, Classic Sailing website is the place to come for learning new skills at every stage of your sailing career journey. This can be hard skills like a RYA course and soft skills like a workshop on sailing business leadership. Classic Sailing website is a place to find careers advice and or learn about inspiring role models or possible mentors. We like to think we are sail training for adults and a worldwide community of sailors to feel part of.

The reason why we can offer such a huge range of learning opportunities is that we are not just one company. Each vessel is run by different businesses or charitable organisations. We currently have Dutch, Swedish, British, German, Danish and Portuguese vessel operators – all teaching skills in different ways.

Ashore we have partnerships with The Boat Building Academy and their links with the professional boat building industry. Organisations like the RYA, Maritime Coastguard Agency, Sail Training International and the Historic Ships Register all create events and training schemes which add to mix of career skills, apprenticeships and qualifications

Articles with careers ideas

Ocean Classroom for other career skills

We also get involved in marine science, climate change research and a whole range of ocean related career sectors. Currently at least 2 of our tall ships are offering the chance for the general public to work with scientists and environmental activists as they sail on scientific missions to remote parts of the world. We have vessels that are at the cutting edge of sail cargo or passenger travel under sail. There are so many unique ways to improve your CV through sailing our remarkable vessels and meeting individuals who have some of the best jobs on the planet.

Citizen Science in the arctic

training future Environmental leaders

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