RYA Cruising Level 1 – Start Sailing Syllabus

The RYA Start Sailing Level 1 Course  is taught on board a sail cruising yacht of 7 – 15 metres in length. This course will give the novice a short introduction to sailing. It is aimed to give you a basic understanding of yacht handling under sail.

You require no pre-course experience. 

The course is 16 hours and is taken as a 2 day non - residential course here at Endeavour Sailing.

Minimum age is 12.

Practical Course Syllabus

1. Rigging

Knowledge of

  • Spars and rigging; parts of the sail and sail controls
  • Wind awareness ashore


  • Use of halyards and their associated winches

2. Sailing Technique and Manoeuvres

Knowledge of

  • The Four Essentials (sail setting; balance; boat trim; and course made good)


  • Wind awareness afloat
  • Sailing upwind
  • Controlling speed
  • Sailing downwind
  • Tacking – turning the front of the boat through the wind
  • Gybing – turning the back of the boat through the wind, from a training run
  • The importance of good communication when manoeuvring


  • Reach – sailing across the wind
  • Stop – heave-to

3. Slipping and Coming Alongside

Knowledge of

  • The action to be taken as a crew member when departing or arriving at the yacht’s mooring

4. Ropework

Knowledge of

  • Round turn and two half hitches; clove hitch; bowline


  • Tie a figure of eight know; secure a rope to a cleat; secure a fender to the yacht

5. Clothing and Equipment


  • Use and correctly fit life jackets
  • Use a safety harness if fitted

6. Emergency Equipment and Precautions

Knowledge of

  • How cold-water shock can affect a casualty in the water


  • The potential hazards of fuel and gas
  • Where safety equipment is stowed and how it is used


  • Perform actions to be taken as a crew member to recover a man overboard (MOB)

Sailing Theory Syllabus

1. Clothing and equipment

Knowledge of

  • The importance of personal safety, clothing and buoyancy

2. Sailing Background

Knowledge of

  • How to be aware of other water users
  • Basic rules of the road – collision avoidance; power/sail; port/starboard; overtaking boat; windward boat


  • Use visual methods to attract attention

3. Meteorology

Knowledge of

  • Where to obtain a weather forecast


Get in touch

Office hours

Mo - Fr 9.30 - 16.30
Sa 10.00 - 14.00

Out of office contact

Mobile 0034 628 478 400


Edifico Antiguo Varadero
Bloque D No 15 - 2nd Planta
35571 Puerto Calero Marina
Lanzarote - Canary Islands


Email stephanie@endeavour-sailing.co.uk
Phone 0034 928 849 670
Mobile 0034 628 478 400

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