Douglas Bay Yacht Club RYA Approved Courses

The Douglas Bay Yacht Club sailing syllabus is based on the RYA National Sailing Scheme. The scheme can be done in dinghies, keel boats as well as multihulls – the basic skills are all broadly the same. However the substantial advantage of our club boats, the Sonatas, is that they don’t capsize!

The scheme is a progressive one: starting at level one the course teaches you how to sail in all directions and you should be able to sail in light winds under supervision at the end of the course. Level two increases your knowledge and by now you will learn how to reduce sail (we call it reefing) if the wind is too strong as well as some more particular skills such as learning to pick up a mooring and by the end of the course you will have a greater degree of self-reliance. On completion of level three you’re now at the standard where your instructor can confidently get off the boat and leave you to it!

Having completed the basic modules you can then go on to following particular interest such as seamanship skills which may lead onto day sailing or if you choose you might prefer to start racing and at that point you would learn how to sail with spinnaker which for the uninitiated is the great big colourful flappy thing that is at the front of the boat.

Our instructors are all trained by the RYA and can teach any of the skills in the syllabus: consequently progress can be made at your own speed. In the early days we choose to go out when the weather is calmer – there is a fair amount of theoretical knowledge to get to grips with and so whatever the weather we can always meet and have a productive session.

The syllabus is a modular one and our courses are run over six or eight weeks from 6pm till 9pm and each boat has three students plus the instructor. Students, instructors and boats are swapped around each evening so that you will have a varied group of companions and although we teach the same subjects instructors inevitably have their own style and so you will learn perhaps more readily from one or the other.

If you have ever fancied chartering a yacht in the Mediterranean or the Caribbean then our sailing courses are just the thing for you. The skills are the same – albeit the Isle of Man weather is slightly cooler – and you can give it a try and see whether it is for you.

Note that you can also choose from a range of powerboat courses, taking you from a beginner up to safety boat level. And for all of you on and off the water, there are courses in navigation, diesel engine maintenance and first aid to broaden your skill set.

Summary of our currently available courses

Practical Sailing:

• Keelboat levels: one – start sailing; two – basic skills, three – better sailing
• Seamanship skills, day sailing.
• Sailing with spinnakers, start racing.

Power boat courses:

• Level one – start power boating
• level two – powerboat handling
• The safety boat course.

Onshore theory courses:

• Boating for beginners
• Essential navigation and safety
• Day skipper
• Coastal Skipper/Yachtmaster

RYA short courses:

• Diesel engine
• First aid
• VHF/ SRC