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RYA Dinghy Level 1 – Start Sailing

How much will the RYA Dinghy Level 1 course cost including exam fees?

This can cost £125 - £180 (Approx US $195-$280 or 160-230 EUROS) depending on where you do it, the time of year, and whether you get a club membership discount.

What will you get out of this dinghy course?

You will learn the very basics of sailing a dinghy – how to launch, sail on various points of sail, and how to land the boat safely.

What are your safe limits on passing this?

You’ll be able to sail a dinghy in calm to moderate conditions under supervision.

Is the course shorebased, practical or both?

There will be some shorebased instruction, including how to rig the dinghy, but it is entirely practical. You won’t have to sit a written exam!

Where can you take the RYA Level 1 Dinghy course?

You can do the course anywhere in the world there is a RYA accredited dinghy sailing school.

Can you do it in another country?


What level of experience do you need before you begin?


How long does the 'Start Sailing' course take?

Two full days. You can do the course over one weekend.

What does the RYA Level 1 course involve?

You will have an instructor in the boat with you, who will guide you through the basics of rigging the boat, launching, and then manoeuvring the boat through the wind – so-called tacking and gybing. You will learn how to land the boat safely at the end of a session.

How do I progress after completing it?

You can progress in a number of directions. Learning to sail dinghies is far more about sailing a boat than yachting courses – by becoming a good dinghy sailor you can arguably be a better yachtsman too, in terms of manoeuvring a boat.

The formal route from here is to an RYA Level 2 course, though you can also do the RYA yachting syllabus as well.

Does the RYA Level 1 course give you international accreditation?


Where can I learn more?

Have a look at the RYA syllabus here

Do some background reading on sailing dinghies via the RYA website.

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