ESS Introduction to Dinghy Sailing

6 hrs

The course

Our own 6-hour course demonstrating how to sail a boat upwind and downwind. There will be plenty of opportunity to take the helm with an instructor onboard at all times. All theory is on-the-water. At the end of the course you can use this module as a key part of a formal course from the VDWS or RYA, paying the difference in costs.

Teaching method

A short safety briefing and an explanation of how we will launch allows us to get quickly on the water before demonstrating helming and crewing. Students will be encouraged to try both and do the majority of the sailing, if weather conditions permit.

Course and session timing

Usually run as a whole day or two separate sessions.

Pre-course experience

A wonderful course suiting all and requiring no previous experience but you must be confident to go out in a small boat on the lake.

How to book

Book by contacting our office by phone or by clicking ‘Check Availability’


  • Wind awareness, rigging, parts of the boat
  • Sailing across the wind, stopping (lying-to), speed control
  • Basic tacking (turning the front of the boat through the wind)
  • Basic gybing (turning the back of the boat through the wind)
  • Sailing upwind and downwind
  • Launching and landing
  • Awareness of other water users and basic knowledge of the rules of the road
  • Safety, personal buoyancy and weather conditions

Course progression

Course start

Our courses run daily upon request.

What's provided

Buoyancy aids are provided and wetsuits if required. You should bring lightweight outdoor clothing and footwear such as trainers. A spray top or cagoule is advised and there is storage for small bags for snacks, towels etc.

Other courses

See a course in progress

Please ensure that you read and understand our COVID-19 procedures and the terms and conditions of your course contract with us. Copies of these will be emailed with your course confirmation and are available, laminated, at the beach. You will be asked to sign to confirm that you have read and understood them.