Cruising Course Details

RYA Practical Courses

RYA Practical sailing weeks in Spain start Saturday evening and finish Thursday afternoon.

Our commitment to deliver first class training in a relaxed manner is demonstrated by our low student instructor ratio of 3:1 – we are one of only a handful of sailing schools to offer such a personal service.

Attending an RYA practical sailing course at our Sea School is an excellent way of learning to sail. Complete novices can learn the ropes on a Start Yachting or Competent Crew course, whilst aspiring Skippers will gain further knowledge from the Day Skipper course which prepares them to take full control of their first command.

Seasoned salties and hardened yachties will benefit from higher level training at Coastal Skipper and Yachtmaster level allowing them to master the more intricate sailing skills on modern yachts under the guidance of qualified RYA Instructors.

Our Fastrack sailing courses are perfect for those with limited free time, novice to Day Skipper in just 3 weeks or for those wanting a career in the industry our Fastrack Yachtmaster programme may be the very ticket to open the door to an exciting new lifestyle.

We have a sailing course to suit all abilities, whatever your experience level.

Competent and knowledgeable crew are hard to find and following your learn to sail holiday with us, you will be feeling a lot more confident and comfortable around the yacht. Skippers who make sailing look easy, usually have the benefit of good crew, so by turning yourself into an asset no yacht can afford to be without, those invitations to go sailing will surely come flooding in.

We see that many sailing schools offer a Masterclass Service, but with only 3 students per yacht every class is a Masterclass.

Looking beyond the horizon we hope to include Celestial Navigation and Ocean passages as part of the go-n-sail training package, all this plus a lot more from a family run RYA recognised sailing school in Spain.

Interested in joining one of our great value sailing courses and learning new skills? Contact us to book your place or for more information.

RYA Competent Crew

Our Competent Crew course consists of a single module:

  • Competent Crew practical (afloat)

It assumes no previous experience

Time Required

  • 1 week (5 days) residential (afloat) with Go-n-Sail

The RYA Competent Crew Qualification – More Details

Good crew are extremely hard to find – our 5 day RYA Competent Crew sailing course is aimed at beginners and designed to help you learn the ropes and get to grips with the essential skills required to help crew a larger yacht.

During your learn to sail holiday in Spain you will be actively encouraged to take full part in all aspects of sailing a cruising yacht and gain a comprehensive understanding of sail handling and basic sail trim in conjunction with the points of sail. Also you will learn how to turn the yacht around by tacking/gybing and steering a steady course on the helm, whilst keeping a look-out for other craft.

Around the marina, fenders need to be put in the right places, lines need to be ready and knots such as the bowline, clove hitch and round turn and two half hitches will become second nature.

It has been mentioned by previous students that using the correct nautical terminology is comparable to studying a second language with the bizarre selection of warps, sheets, halyards, lines and guys when all the novice sailor can see is a ‘Rope’. The good news is that with a little perseverance, it all makes sense in the end.

To help you along, check out the beginners guide to Yottie lingo.

Learn to sail at our RYA sailing school in Spain, learn new skills, meet like minded people and expand your horizons.

This 5 day practical sailing course really gives a feel for life onboard a cruising yacht. Not only will you be living aboard, but you get to experience some great sailing whilst visiting new destinations, making it the perfect learn to sail holiday. By the end of the week you will leave us, having gained in confidence and feeling ready to sail with friends or as race crew at your local yacht club, dazzle them with your new skills and those invites to go sailing will come flooding in.

This is a very hands on course with many people agreeing that they learn and retain more knowledge when taught with this approach, for that reason we only ever teach 3 students per yacht on our learn to sail weeks.

We really do try harder to help you achieve your goals.

If you already hold RYA qualifications or just fancy a week’s sailing holiday, you are welcome to join us in Spain or Portugal, if you’re looking for even more adventure why not enquire about our adventure sails visiting Cadiz, Lisbon and even Morocco.

Next step after Competent Crew…. more sailing followed by the RYA Day Skipper navigation theory and practical sailing course. The adventure is just beginning!

Take your first steps into the nautical world and turn your sailing dreams into reality. Contact us to book your place or request more information.

RYA Day Skipper

Our Day Skipper course consists of a single module:

  • Day Skipper practical (afloat)

It is assumed that candidates will already hold the RYA Competent Crew certificate and have basic knowledge of navigation and sailing theory gained from having completed the Day Skipper RYA theory course.

Time Required

  • 1 week (5 days) residential, afloat with Go-n-Sail

The RYA Day Skipper Qualification – More Details

The RYA Day Skipper qualification provides you with the necessary skills to Skipper a yacht in familiar waters by day, testing your basic navigation, pilotage and sailing skills whilst taking charge of the yacht and crew. Perfect for anyone looking to charter a yacht or aspiring to purchase their own boat in the near future.

The Day Skipper training week is a 5 day residential sailing course. Whilst learning to sail at our sailing school in Spain you will gain a greater understanding of navigation, buoyage, colregs (IRPCS) and passage planning. To achieve this, your sailing theory must already be at Day Skipper level and remember – good Skippers lead by example and to earn the respect of your crew you will need to have basic skills in sail handling, trimming, wind awareness and the ability to tack and gybe efficiently. It is these skills that are taught in the RYA Start Yachting and Competent Crew courses providing secure foundations to your sailing career.

Those without previous experience may wish to consider our Day Skipper Fastrack sailing course, three courses rolled into one taking you through the initial steps of sailing larger yachts, to navigation and sailing theory before finally putting it all into practice with the fully accredited RYA Day Skipper practical qualification.

Good Skippers are like good managers, they keep their cool when things aren’t going 100% to plan, clear communication and command skills will be required to resolve the situation. Congratulations – having taken on this challenging role you have added building blocks to your sailing foundations. There are still plenty more blocks to add and this is just the start of your learning curve, but you are well on your way to becoming a competent and respected sailor.

On successful completion of the tidal Day Skipper course, students can apply for an ICC which may be required on Mediterranean sailing holidays and yacht charters. For those looking to further their sailing career, it’s back out onto the water to gain quality sea miles before taking the intermediate level RYA Coastal Skipper courses. Interested in joining our sailing adventure cruises to gain those miles and experience, just let Debbie know your interested and we’ll keep you posted with upcoming adventures…

To complement your new RYA qualification, why not attend the VHF radio and First Aid courses, helping to make your time afloat safer.

RYA Day Skipper Express & Fastrack

Our Day Skipper Express course is made of 2 modules:

  • Day Skipper Theory (on-line study)
  • Day Skipper practical (afloat)

The Day Skipper theory (on-line study) should be completed on-line, before arriving at Go-n-Sail where the practical part of the course takes place afloat in Spain and takes 1 week. The theory course takes around 45 hours of study and is suitable for the beginner. This course is delivered using our on-line training partner Navathome

The practical part of the course is designed for the people that have some sailing knowledge, i.e. are dinghy sailors or have done the Competent Crew course.

Time Required

  • 45 hours home study prior to practical course
  • 1 week (5 days) residential, afloat with Go-n-Sail

Day Skipper Fastrack

Our Day Skipper Fastrack course consists of 3 modules

  • Day Skipper Theory (on-line study)
  • Competent Crew (Practical)
  • Day Skipper practical (Practical).

This course is designed for the novice with no previous sailing experience. We will teach you everything you need to know in order to give you the confidence and experience to hire/charter your own yacht and keep you safe.

Time Required

  • 45 hours home study prior to practical course
  • 2 weeks residential, afloat with Go-n-Sail
RYA Coastal Skipper

Our RYA Coastal Skipper course consists of a single module:

  • Coastal Skipper practical (afloat)

It is assumed that candidates will already hold the RYA Day Skipper certificate (practical and theory).

Time Required

  • 1 week (5 days) residential, afloat with Go-n-Sail

The RYA Coastal Skipper Qualification – More Details

The RYA Coastal Skipper practical is an intermediate level course for the more ambitious Skipper ready to expand their knowledge and venture further along the coast either by day or night.

Ideally having completed the RYA Day Skipper course and gained reasonable cruising experience within their local area, they are ready for a new challenge. Our sailing courses in Spain and Portugal are both enjoyable and educational, plus the South of Spain has one of the best climates in Europe, throw in a fantastic sailing area and there really is no better place to further your sailing career.

A good understanding of sailing and navigation theory including the collision regulations (IRPCS) is essential. So attendance of the RYA navigation theory courses and even specialist courses such as VHF radio and First Aid are recommended beforehand as there is little time to revise these subjects once we set sail. Currently we do not teach the Sea Survival and Diesel Engine RYA theory courses but may be able to arrange them during your time with us through one of our local associates, so please ask if you are interested in these subjects.

The RYA Coastal Skipper course is delivered over 5 days as an ongoing assessment with tuition unlike the higher level Yachtmaster Coastal and Offshore prep weeks where the Instructor takes on more of a coaching role. Upon successful completion the candidate is issued with a certificate stating that they have demonstrated a skill level in line with the RYA Coastal Skipper syllabus. For those looking to sail in the Mediterranean, they can apply for an ICC directly to the Royal Yachting Association.

Want to work in the industry? The Yachtmaster Coastal (previously the Coastal Skipper DoT Certificate of Competence) is a higher level course suited to professional yacht Skippers…Read on. If you are looking for a change of lifestyle maybe our fastrack sailing courses could provide the answer, once you hold a an RYA/MCA Certificate of Competence the doors open up to delivery work and charter skipper opportunities, congratulations you can now consider yourself a professional sailor.

Whichever course you opt for by the end of the week you should be more than competent to Skipper a yacht on longer passages by day or night. Short on knowledge? Why not brush up navigation skills with a refresher course or increase your knowledge with the one day RYA theory courses such as VHF radio, First Aid and Radar. Consult our course advisor page for more information


Join us at our sailing school in Spain and get ready to take the next step in sailing proficiency. Contact us to book your place or request more information.

RYA/MCA Yachtmaster

Considered by many as the pinnacle of RYA sailing qualifications, this advanced level course is recognised and respected Worldwide.

FACT – most professional Superyacht Skippers and First Mates hold the Yachtmaster Offshore and Ocean qualifications. Testament to the high regard in which this Certificate of Competence is viewed within the Yachting Industry.

The Yachtmaster assessment is conducted by an independent RYA/MCA Examiner following a week of intensive sail training more commonly referred to as Yachtmaster prep weeks, during which time we polish your sailing skills and attempt to iron out any naughty sailing habits that you may have picked up whilst expanding on previous knowledge.

One of the really great things about the RYA sail training scheme is the progressive and natural development of sailing skills. Put simply, just because you are about to sit your Yachtmaster Coastal or Offshore Examination you are still drawing on the key skills and best practices taught during the RYA Competent Crew and Day Skipper courses.

Due to the nature of the assessment, students should fully revise the Coastal /Yachtmaster theory syllabus and ensure that their knowledge of the collision regulations (IRPCS) is second to none as there will be little time to learn these throughout the week.

All candidates must hold a current VHF radio licence and First Aid certificate, this must be presented on the big day along with the RYA Examination fee (check for current fee) and passport sized photograph.

We will do everything we can to prepare you for the assessment and it is not our intention to put your forward if your skill level is not quite there yet! To do so would be counter productive as you probably just need a little extra time before you taste success. We will discuss the best way forward and come up with an action plan that’s right for you.

To reach this level is not easy and there are no guaranteed passes – these qualifications must be earned, making it much sweeter when awarded.

Short on miles or experience then why not enquire about our complete Yachtmaster courses or as its more commonly known in the Industry Fastrack Sailing Courses. From our sailing school in Spain we offer bespoke training packages along with mile-building and delivery opportunities. So whether you need to gain additional miles, to brush up your sailing theory or simply wish to receive quality RYA training in Spain and Portugal then look no further.

There are 2 Yachtmaster options, Yachtmaster Coastal and Yachtmaster Offshore

Yachtmaster Coastal is the new name for the RYA/DoT Coastal Skipper Certificate of Competence and is considered the minimum accepted qualification for professional Skippers looking to work in the Yachting Industry.

This intermediate to higher level examination requires more experience than the Coastal Skipper practical course for which you only need 400 nautical miles. However, it remains a natural follow on from the RYA Day Skipper course and is particularly suited to Charter/Delivery Skippers or First Mates aboard larger vessels undertaking Coastal navigation by day or night, who have gained more experience and perhaps already used to fully managing the vessel on longer trips.

Yachtmaster Offshore is the advanced/higher level qualification required to Skipper a vessel upto 120 miles from a safe haven.

Considerable experience (minimum 2500 nautical miles) including several passages of 60 miles or greater are required, along with the ability to handle the yacht under power and sail in close quarter situations in all states of tide and weather.

When things are not going according to plan, you should be able to think on you feet and overcome the situation, better still drawing on experience you will have avoided the situation in the first place!

With the exception of Celestial navigation – Yachtmaster Offshore suggests sufficient knowledge to Skipper a yacht on longer crossings, giving the freedom to explore new and exciting cruising grounds.

Whichever option you choose, the yacht will naturally be available for the exam with crew. Still not sure which sailing course is for you, then check out our course advisor notes.

If you are already a Boat Owner it may be possible to arrange for the Yachtmaster Examinination to be taken aboard your own vessel, however please note that all Exams must be arranged through an approved RYA sailing school and are subject to certain conditions.

Interested in gaining the most respected and desired sailing qualification in the world. Contact us to book your place or request more information.


Fastrack Courses

Coastal Skipper & Yachtmaster Fastrack

We offer 3 Fastrack options for RYA Coastal Skipper and RYA Yachtmaster:

  • Option 1 – No experience to RYA Coastal Skipper
  • Option 2 – RYA Coastal Skipper to RYA Yachtmaster
  • Option 3 – No Experience to RYA Yachtmaster

Each of these 3 options are configured to suit the individual, as the starting experience levels can differ considerably for each student. If you are interested in one of the options, please contact us so we can put together a bespoke solution that will meet your needs.

Commercial Endorsements

The RYA/MCA Certificate of Competence can be Commercially endorsed opening up a wide range of options to the holder. These opportunities may present themselves as delivery work, charter skipper or even go on to qualify as an RYA Instructor, whatever the opportunity your starting point will require a Yachtmaster Coastal or Offshore Certificate.


Flexible Family/Group Sailing Itinerary

Many families could be understandably put off the idea of spending a holiday completing a sailing course. It may be that just one person in a family or group of friends wishes to gain an RYA qualification. The others may just want to have a wonderful experience and help out if necessary.

At Go-n-Sail we are very flexible and can design a one or two week sailing package around your needs and experience levels.

Please contact us if you would like to discuss the the idea of a bespoke adventure!

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