ESS Introduction to keelboats

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

Working aboard the keelboat we will cover safety and leaving the port before demonstrating basic helming and crewing when on the water. Students will be encouraged to try both.

Course and session timing

Our boat is moored in the port so you should be ready in your sailing clothes 15 minutes before the course start at our beach office and you can walk with the instructor to the boat, carrying any extra equipment between you.

Pre-course experience

A wonderful course suiting all and requiring no previous experience. We need 2 or 3 students to run this course.

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

Courses start daily upon request

What's provided

Buoyancy aids are provided. 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.