Dinghy Training at SYC
Sunderland Yacht Club is an RYA training establishment and provides Dinghy Sail Training. The best way to start sailing is in dinghies; they respond much quicker than larger boats and basic sail trimming skills are grasped quickly.

There are various ways of learning to sail;

  1. get in a boat and see how you get on without help
  2. join a general coaching session
  3. attend a formal Dinghy Sail Training course.


The first option is not recommended. We would recommend that all new starters choose the formal training course as this will teach the basic skills and hopefully leave the student with the confidence to continue sailing and join in the general coaching sessions that are run regularly at the Club.

The formal courses offered are Dinghy Sailing Levels 1 & 2.

If you are wishing to take part in these courses we do have a lower age limit of 11. For younger students we run general coaching courses where lots of assistance is provided by parents and other adults. The reason for the age limit is because the requirements of these qualifications requires people to be able to manage the dinghies themselves launching and recovering the dinghies on the beach, younger people generally do not have the strength to do this unassisted.

Initially you don't need a boat; boats and buoyancy aids are provided by the Club for the training and courses. We have a limited supply of wetsuits, but it may be better if you supplied your own.

Before you can join our training/coaching courses you will need to become a member of the Club. For adults we have an Introductory Crew membership  for the first year. Junior and Student membership is available for people under 18 and 25 respectively. See the SYC Fees and Charges for these fees

The general coaching sessions are free and take place most weekends during the summer.

Formal training courses are carried out, usually over a weekend, and these are charged at:

  • Adults £96
  • Juniors £72


Training and Coaching is carried out by experienced instructors and Club members, but as ever volunteers are essential to this program and anyone is welcome to lend a hand. No experience necessary. Full training is provided in a range of roles and activities both on the water and ashore.
For further information contact our Dinghy Training Team.
Or drop into any of our coaching sessions.
The courses are graduated to take the students through the stages, starting to sail and developing more advanced sailing skills.
The Level 1 course is an introduction to sailing and teaches the basic sailing requirements to get people started and sailing with confidence in moderate wind and weather conditions. In addition to the basic sailing skills, some of the fundamental theoretical background will be explained such as, rule of the road (Sailors equivalent of Highway Code), what to wear, how to interpret weather forecasts etc.
The Level 2 course is designed for people who have completed the Level 1 course and had at least a seasons sailing or people who have sailed in the past and need to improve their skills. This course includes more advanced skill sets such as capsize and recovery, man overboard recovery and an introduction to racing. The theory covers tides, basic first aid, meteorology and general things to be aware of when sailing on the sea.
The Level 1 & 2 courses are each designed to be completed in two full days of training but may take longer depending on the weather and the students aptitude.
The Club owns various training boats that are specifically set up for sail training. They are easy to handle and relatively stable. Once students have mastered these more sedate dinghies they may wish to progress onto something more adventurous.