Let us design a program that will enhance your boat handling skills on your own yacht or powerboat. This practical course is designed to build your safety awareness personalized to your own requirements and vessel, build close quarter skills, such as berthing and mooring techniques plus building confidence in your own ability to take command. We can take you from your own Backyard to the Bay and across Oceans!

Each client is given the opportunity to develop a personal program that might include navigation both electronic and traditional, taking control in close quarter situations and gaining better understanding of sails and engines. Your instructor is there to ensure that your first, perhaps hesitant steps as skipper are taken in safety.

During the course, you will be given the opportunity to practice your boat handling in a variety of mooring situations, either power or sail and whilst at sea your instructor will cover subjects such as watch keeping, deck work, sail trim and how to cope in emergency situations. Improve your understanding of navigation, from the basics through to advance coastal hopping techniques.

A skipper is totally responsible for the management of a yacht, so the course could include meteorology, basic engine checks, passage planning, preparing the yacht for sea, and rules of the road. In addition, night work could be experienced to give you a taste of skippering in the dark.

By the end of this specially designed personalized program, you the Skipper, will have a better understanding of your own vessel within your own parameters, you will have a deeper understanding of the skills and techniques required to make you more confident allowing you to be a safer and smarter skipper.

‘Having done all the theory up to RYA Yachtmaster Offshore, I then turned to John to accompany on my ocean qualifier from Brisbane to Port Villa – principally to provide a confidence factor for my first ocean passage. My seamanship improved dramatically, the theory became reality and the desire to tackle more oceans increased.

As a classic baby-boomer retiree trying to pack years of experience into a compressed time frame so that dreams can be realized with maximum safety and enjoyment, my association with John and Sunshine Sailing Australia has been indispensable [this is, apart from his ability to eat hearty meals in gale force conditions!] Peter Johnson, ‘Ika-tere’

Previous experience necessary:

No experience necessary, though a good understanding of your own vessel is recommended.

What will I learn?

When you engage one of our instructors for tuition on your own vessel, we are guided by you and what topics you would like to cover. Some of the topics that we frequently assist with are:

  • Docking and Berthing the vessel
  • Knowledge of boat systems
  • Pilotage
  • Bar Crossings
  • Collision Regulations
  • Operating under power
  • Sail Trim
  • Boat handling
  • Basic coastal navigation
  • Radio Operation
  • Meteorology


Private own boat tuition is charged at different rates depending on who is specifically engaged. Prices start at $110 per hour, or $770 per day.

Make an enquiry about this course.