Zero to Keelboat Instructor

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Zero to Keelboat Instructor

We offer an extensive training course taking a beginner through all the levels to become a Keelboat Instructor. We will also give you an opportunity to experience being an assistant instructor joining in with our instructors as they are running courses.

The course includes:

  • RYA Keelboat Level 1
  • RYA Keelboat Level 2
  • 3 months membership of our Coastal Sailing Club giving you unlimited practice time on the keelboats and dinghies
  • RYA Powerboat Level 2
  • RYA Smallcraft First Aid
  • RYA Sailing with Spinnakers
  • RYA Daysailing
  • Keelboat private lessons in seamanships skills and performance sailing, 10 x 2 hour lessons (£325 per 5 lessons)
  • Keelboat assistant instructor course
  • Skills assessment prior to the instructor course
  • RYA Keelboat instructor course – 5 days


The instructor is a competent, experienced sailor capable of sailing a training boat in strong winds and handling small powerboats. The instructor has been assessed as competent to teach adults and children, beginners and improvers. Although responsible for teaching individuals and small groups, the instructor has not been assessed as competent in running a sailing centre, and should always work under the supervision of an RYA Senior Instructor (for dinghy and multihull courses) or the chief instructor of a keelboat training centre. Eligibility – Prior to the course candidates must fulfil the following requirements:

*Please note that if you wish to attend a coastal instructor training course, both the pre-entry assessment and Powerboat Level 2 should be completed at a coastal location.

Pre-entry Assessment

Before being accepted into an instructor training course, candidates need to pass an assessment of sailing skills. Full details and description are in G14 National Sailing Scheme Instructor Handbook. Candidates should be able to complete the tasks, such as those listed below, sailings at all times with an awareness of the ‘five essentials’, and confirming they can sail in a controlled and confident manner, showing consideration for preparation, communication, approach and execution, at all times.
Assessment : During the assessment the candidate will be asked to complete the following:

  • Sail around a triangular course of 100m (minimum) legs to the best of their ability using all the boat’s normal equipment, including spinnaker if carried.
  • Sail a tight circular course around a stationary boat, making only one tack and one gybe.
  • Sail a ‘follow my leader’ course behind another boat.  The course may include all points of sailing and may be behind another sailing dinghy or behind a powered boat.
  • Pick up a man overboard dummy; the boat to be stopped and more than one attempt should not be needed.

You may also be asked to complete some of the following:

  • Sail without a rudder, or with the tiller on a loose elastic around a triangular course.  You will be expected to make good progress around the course in a seamanlike manner (not applicable to keelboat or multihull instructor candidates).
  • Lee shore landing and departure
  • Anchor or pick up a mooring – wind against tide (if appropriate)
  • Come along-side a moored boat – wind against tide (if appropriate) Recover a capsized dinghy and sail away (not keelboats)


Training in teaching techniques afloat and ashore is provided during the instructor training course, which is staffed by RYA Coach/Assessors. The course will be based on a five-day week or 50 hours, but may take the form of a number of weekends, single days or sessions. Courses run on a protracted basis may take slightly longer than 50 hours to allow for revision time.
Moderation/Assessment – The moderation will usually take place on the final day of the course and will be carried out by a Coach/Assessor who has not been involved in training the candidate. Candidates will be required to demonstrate competence in course preparation, delivery and management, as well as customer liaison.
Certificate Validity : Instructor certificates are valid for five years from the date of issue, provided that a valid first aid certificate is maintained.

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