Each year we organise a wide range of practical sailing courses.

We aim to have something for everyone from those who are new to sailing right through to yachtmasters who have aspirations to become an instructor.

  • If you have already enjoyed a sail and you want to learn more then you may want to look at doing a  Competent Crew  Course.
  • If you want to become a skipper and have completed a shorebased Day Skipper Theory course then you should consider the RYA shorebased Day Skipper theory course and the Day Skipper Practical course.
    • RYA syllabus for shorebased theory course
    • RYA syllabus for Day Skipper Practical.
  • Day skippers who want to progress may wish to consider progressing to Yachtmaster.

In CSD, our Competent Crew/Day Skipper courses are currently delivered on Sea Essay in partnership with a commercial RYA Approved Sea School.

Click here for details of a RYA shorebased Day Skipper theory course (Work in progress)

Yachtmaster exam preparation courses are delivered by an experience RYA qualified Yachtmaster Instructor.

We are sometimes also able to organise specialist short courses such as First Aid, Radar and Marine Radio.

As a not-for-profit Club run by volunteers, we offer very competitive training rates. Under the watchful eye of our experienced Skipper Instructors, we offer you a safe learning environment in which you can face-up to your sailing demons.

So far as possible, courses are run on board the Club’s yacht Sea Essay of Hamble, a modern Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 409

Non-RYA introductory events and Short Practical Courses

  • Introductory Day Sails – These are fun days out on the Solent’s sheltered waters that are intended to give a taster to novice crews to help decide whether sailing is for them.
  • Boat Handling events are either 2 or 3-day events, led by an experienced skipper, for those who have some sailing experience but wish to improve their close-quarters boat-handling skills under sail and power.  More info on our Boat Handling course.
  • Sail Trim is usually run as a 3-day event, led by an experienced skipper, for those who have sailing experience and wish to improve their practical skills under sail. More info on our Sail Trim course.
  • Electronic Plotter Course – This is an 1-day course in collaboration with Raymarine, which give users hands-on experience designed to get the best out of the kit fitted in Sea Essay.
  • Radar Practical – This is currently under development but will provide an opportunity for members to practice navigation, pilotage and collision avoidance using radar.
  • Coaching –  Members requiring coaching should seek advice from a skipper they have enjoyed sailing with or contact the CSD Training Organiser who may be able to organise a coaching event.
  • CSD Mentor Scheme – If you are interested in finding a sailing mentor or if you are a skipper interested in supporting mentees please see the CSDs Mentoring Scheme – CSD121

RYA Practical Courses

Channel Sailing Division is not an RYA Recognised Training Establishment so formal RYA courses will be delivered in association with commercial providers (details TBC):

  • Competent Crew (no previous experience required) and Day Skipper – 5-day RYA syllabus with instruction by RYA qualified Skipper Instructors.  If competent, students receive an RYA Course Completion Certificate.
  • Pre-exam refresher for RYA Yachtmaster Coastal and Offshore candidates – 6 or 7 days with candidates demonstrating their abilities in a practical examination with an independent professional RYA Examiner. Successful candidates receive a Certificate of Competence and are eligible to apply for CSSA Approved Skipper status.
  • Raymarine E125 Chart Plotter (Multi-Function Display) Courses are held at Raymarine, Segensworth, Fareham subject to demand.
    • This is a one day course conducted at Raymarine’s Demonstration Room starting at 09.30 and finishing about 17.00 on a weekday.
    • A minimum of 6 students per course is required to cover the costs.
    • This course has been specially designed for CSSA members who sail on Sea Essay and covers all navigational aspects of the use of this equipment. It is suitable for sailors who have a good understanding of coastal navigation.
    • The cost will be finalised once the response from members to this trawl has been received but as a guide previous courses have cost £30.00 per attendee.
    • Members interested in attending this course should contact Colin Smith by email
  • Radar Course – a 1-day course normally offered in November.

Sea Time Cruises

Although not formal training courses, weekend and 7-day cruises can be used to gain RYA logbook entries such as sea time, mileage and night hours that satisfy course and examination requirements. If you are lucky enough to have an RYA instructor aboard, it may also be possible to get sections of the logbook signed-off for specific practical abilities.

Further information


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Channel Sailing is a division of the Civil Service Sailing Association