How long are the RYA Training and Sailing Courses – 2023 Guide

Sailing and enjoying the water is only available if you have the proper knowledge and certificates to use a water vessel. There are a lot of people nowadays that are interested in exploring the waters on their own, however, they don’t know where to start and what to do. The Royal Yachting Association offers a wide range of training and sailing courses for those who are interested in learning how to sail and those who want to improve their skills. All of these courses will vary in length depending on the level of experience and expertise you wish to achieve, as well as the courses that you want to take. In this 2023 guide, we will explore the various RYA training and sailing courses, we will tell you how long they last, and everything else you may need to know before you choose to enroll in one.

What are some of the training courses?

The first thing we are going to talk about are the training courses. There are a lot of them, and they all depend on the level of your knowledge and experience. Keep in mind that these courses are available for those that are just learning their first steps to becoming a sailor, as well as those who already have a lot of experience, and that just want to master their skills.

The start sailing level one course is designed for beginners who have no prior experience in boating. This course will provide lessons to introduce you to the basic skills of boat handling as well as sailing. The duration varies; however, you should expect it to end within a few days.


The next level is the basic skills level two course which is designed for those who have completed the first part of the program, or those who have some prior experience in boating. The aim of this course is to develop your skills further and to teach you how to sail independently in calm waters. Just like the previous course, you should expect this one to end within a few days.

After you have completed the first two courses, you can explore the better sailing level 3 program. It is designed for those who have equivalent experience to those who have completed the first two basic levels. The aim of these lessons is to help you learn how to say how to sail confidently in all directions and in different wind conditions. This course will also take several days to complete, and if you want to explore more about the training and sailing courses, you can visit

If you have as much knowledge as you would gather in these three courses, or if you have completed them, then you can start racing. These lessons are designed for those who want to learn how to start to race in small races with confidence. These are more advanced lessons, and you should not need more than three days to complete the program.


If you don’t want to learn how to race, but if you have completed the first three basic courses, then you can opt for the seamanship skills program. These lessons will teach you how to handle a boat in all situations, and they will help you develop your seamanship expertise. This program lasts for several days, depending on what you want to learn and where you take your training.

The day skipper theory program is designed for those who want to explore the practical day skipper course and those who want to improve their navigation skills. The program covers the basics of meteorology, chart work, as well as navigation. You should expect this course to end within one week.

What are some of the sailing courses?


Now that you know more about the training courses, let’s explore some of the most popular sailing programs.

The competent crew course is designed for beginners that are willing to learn the skills of boat handling and boating. This program will teach you how to steer, sail, and handle your vessel under sail or power. The duration is usually five days up to one week.

As we previously mentioned, if you want to prepare for the day skipper course, you would need to first take the day skipper theory classes. These lessons are made for those who want to learn how to skipper a vessel in a short passage in familiar waters. This program will teach you how to plan and navigate, handle the boat under power or sail, and how to take charge of the crew. Depending on exactly what you choose to partake in, you should expect these lessons to finish within 40 hours, or up to two weeks.


Next on this list we have the start yachting course. If you are not sure if you want to start selling, then you can explore yachting. This program is made to give you a taste of sailing and teach you all the basics in a short amount of time. It is expected that you learn how to handle sails, tile knots, as well as steer the vessel. It is a great way for you to explore if you want to continue the lessons with more practical and advanced courses, or if yachting is just not for you.

Finally, the coastal skipper and the Yachtmaster courses are designed for those who want to improve their navigation skills. The program will cover advanced navigation techniques including meteorology, passage planning, as well as pilotage. You will learn how to undertake coastal passages at all times of day, including night, and you will learn how to navigate even in the most demanding conditions. This course may take up to two weeks, depending on your previous knowledge, preparation, and skills.

Everyone who wants to learn how to sail is recommended to take the first aid course, which is designed to teach you the first aid techniques that are specific to boating accidents. It is essential to partake if you want to be a part of any type of boating activities. The duration of this program is just one day.

As you can see, you have a lot of options, training and sailing programs, as well as specialized lessons for those who want to maximize their knowledge before exploring the waters. Check to see what would be the best for you depending on your current skill level, your plan for the future, and your passion. You can reach out to professionals and see what would be the best for you depending on what they recommend. All these courses will help you become a better sailor and they will help you stay safe when you are out on the water.

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