RYA Youth Stage 1 (Dinghy)

2 days

The course

An introductory course for Junior sailors ( usually from 11 to 14) to give them a basic understanding of how a boat sails, and some experience of steering and manoeuvring. A first step on the route to independent sailing.

Teaching method

Initially in a small dinghy with one instructor per boat, we will give all students a chance to helm and to crew the boat, developing a full range of sailing skills. The instructor will demonstrate manoeuvres and teaching students to crew the boat and and to helm in suitable conditions. We use the RYA method for two-handed dinghies for all students but can switch to single-handers when skills permit.

Course and session timing

Stage 1 is the first course in the RYA progression for youth sailors. Students must be confident in and around water and we can accommodate most people, regardless of your normal activity levels. Check with us if in any doubt. We recommend that aspiring catamaran sailors complete this stages 1 & 2 in a dinghy course before trying catamaran courses.

Pre-course experience

A wonderful course suiting all which assumes no experience. The course can be combined with a Stage 2 course over a 3-day period or equivalent hours for those who want to progress from zero to hero (nearly).

How to book

Courses can be booked by contacting the ESS office by email, phone or enquiry form on the website (a button on this page will pop-up a booking form, another button is a general info form)


  • Launching and recovery
  • Steering
  • Parts of the boat
  • Basic sailing

Course progression

Course start

Our courses run daily upon request.

What's provided

We will provide the boat, instructor and course materials such as an RYA logbook. RYA textbooks covering the activities (and more) can be purchased from the shop. You should bring your own sailing shoes or old trainers for use in the boat.

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.