RYA Start Yachting - Yacht or Catamaran

The RYA Start Yachting course is an introduction to sailing cruising yachts, essential to build a solid and correct foundation on which to develop your knowledge of sailing.

Take the two days to learn the essential skills and techniques of sailing, get the feel of a real yacht with a friendly and helpful instructor and have a great time on the water

At the end of this course you will be issued with the RYA Start Yachting certificate of competence.

Course Details

Course Duration:
Start and Finish Times: Start at

What’s next?

After successfully completing the RYA Start Yachting weekend, the next step is the RYA Essentials – Navigation and Seamanship (online) course, followed by the RYA Competent Crew course. As an alternative, an additional two Start Yachting weekends will also enable you to obtain the RYA Competent Crew certificate.

Who is this course designed for?

The RYA Start Yachting course is the perfect learn to sail course aimed for complete beginners. It’s best for those who have spent very limited time or no time on sailing vessels, but want to be able to go sailing with a basic understanding of what is happening on board.

During the course your instructor will provide plenty of fun on board, as well as lots of opportunities to learn the basic sailing skills necessary for sailing on cruising vessels.

What will this course enable you to do?

After completion of this course you will have a basic knowledge of yachting that will provide more confidence when you head out on the water as a member of the crew. You will have learnt basic knowledge of the syllabus topics and will feel that you can start using this knowledge on board.

You might decide to use your knowledge and get more involved in local sailing as a member of the crew on small yachts or keelboats, or enjoy cruising with friends or family with a bit more knowledge under your belt.

Course Content (Syllabus)

While you’re out cruising the waters of the Sunshine Coast, and under the guidance of our expert RYA instructors, you will learn the basics regarding the following course syllabus topics and more:

  • The yacht
  • Ropework
  • Underway
  • Rules of the road
  • Man overboard recovery
  • Clothing and equipment
  • Emergency equipment and precautions
  • Meteorology.

The RYA Start Yachting course is the perfect course to start to learn to sail on cruising yachts. If you have more time, you can go directly to the RYA Competent Crew course and spend a full five days on the water learning the basics and finishing as a competent member of crew.

Click below to view the detailed course syllabus for RYA Start Yachting:

RYA Start Yachting Syllabus

What qualification do you receive?

The RYA Start Yachting certificate presented upon successful completion of your course. The RYA is the worlds largest and most well-regarded sail training organisation. The qualifications obtained through RYA training can be used commercially around the world, speaking to the quality of the training courses.

Vessel Options

Whether you have a desire to sail a monohull or a catamaran we have you covered. You have the option of deciding to be on either vessel when choosing your training dates.

Cruising Yacht (Beneteau First 44.7)

The Beneteau First 44.7 is the monohull training vessel in our fleet. A modern racing and cruising vessel the Beneteau First 44.7 provides a good balance of comfort and performance.

Cruising Catamaran (Lagoon 380)

The Lagoon 380 is the catamaran training option in our fleet. Boasting 4 double berths down below, and a kitchen up design. If you imagine yourself sailing on a catamaran then choose this vessel to complete training on.

Read more about our training vessels here: Our Fleet (opens in new tab)

What We Offer

Pro Instructors

We constantly strive to recruit and develop the most experienced and professional instructors. We expect our instructors to not only guide you through the course syllabus, but to do this in a way that meets your learning style, and to always go above the minimum requirements of the course.

Perfect Locations

Our training locations are chosen to provide you with a broad opportunity of learning experiences on the water. All of our locations have access to open ocean, busy waterways, and a range of different learning opprotunities.

Expert Advice

The team at Sunshine Sailing Australia are here to talk to you. Whether you are a recreational sailor, or someone who would like to enter the commercial superyacht industry, our team is always up for a friendly chat. We can assess your needs and will help guide you down the path that suits your experience and goals.

FAQ's and COVID-19


Is accommodation provided or do I need to provide my own accommodation?

Accommodation is provided onboard the vessel for all liveaboard courses. The training vessels have ample comfortable accommodations on board. Couples will be provided with their own cabin and double berth. Individual participants may be provided with their own cabin or be in a shared cabin depending on the ratio of the course.

Is food provided and do you accommodate dietary preferences?

Yes, we provide all food onboard for the duration of the course. After registering, you will be asked for your dietary preferences so we can accommodate those. We can accommodate students who are vegetarian, vegan, gluten/dairy free, etc.


We recommend taking out travel insurance to cover you against any impacts of  COVID-19 on your ability to attend a course. If you are required to isolate or quarantine due to COVID-19 infection and that interferes with your course dates, we will not be able to provide a credit unless we are able to fill your spot at short notice. Therefore, you may like to have insurance in place to cover you against this unlikely, but unfortunate event.

While it is highly unlikely, in the event that we need to reschedule a course due to COVID-19 affecting out ability to run a course for any reason, we will reschedule your course at no cost. The health and safety of our clients and staff is our top priority. We we will not be liable for any additional costs born out of needing to reschedule the course.

More Information

You are the captain of your journey, and we’re here to make that voyage as smooth sailing as possible. Our friendly team is ready at any time for a question you might have about this course, or which training plan will work best with what you want out of your time on the water. Please touch base with any questions you may have.

Continued and Supplementary Learning

After completing this course, move on to the RYA Essential Navigation and Seamanship (online) course to build out your knowledge before completing the RYA Competent Crew course.

2-Day Weekend Course

FROM $895

Enquire About This Course


Nathan Day course completed 30th October 2021

David Wood, Sherwood course completed 19th July 2019

‘I cannot speak highly enough of Sunshine Sailing Australia. I loved it and learn’t so much from it.’

Ross Mitchell, Brisbane course completed 20th September 2019

‘A great learning experience, lots of information, very capable instructors who know how to deliver.’