Family sailing holidays are great fun, and not just for the privileged few any more. Anyone can pick up boating skills, from dinghy basics to yachting and windsurfing, at training centres and beach clubs worldwide. Learning together is an amazing experience, kids as young as eight earn valuable qualifications, and find a passion for sailing which – as any keen sailor will tell you – lasts for life.
The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) has 1,600 training centres in the UK alone, as well as RYA-qualified instructors teaching worldwide. RYA-recognised centres and beach clubs are everywhere from the Canary Islands to Croatia: basically if the conditions are right for sailing, there could be an RYA-recognised training centre on hand to show you the ropes.
But, incredible as learning is on holiday, honing new skills and building up experiences on home territory is just as rewarding. From two-day beginner yachting to week long Day Skipper certification, you’ll find perfect courses to suit every ambition and level of experience.
Ready to set sail? Have a look at the range of RYA training courses available all over the UK right now, and decide which one is right for your family.
Learning yachting skills is an incredible holiday experience for families. Kids as young as eight are more than ready to pick up the basics, and as far as locations go: you’ll find RYA recognised training centres from the Mediterranean to the Caribbean. Or you could try a European flotilla holiday, for sociable and fun skill building in the company of other first time sailing families.
Whether you’re bitten by the boating bug on holiday and want to continue learning at home, or keen to get started straight away, RYA have yachting courses all over the UK for beginners and more experienced sailors.
Photo credit: Sail Ionian
photo credit: Learn 2 Sail
Getting to grips with the fundamentals of crewing on a motor yacht is a great introduction to sailing for younger kids, fantastic for boosting confidence, and an excellent way to start building the type of team skills that last a lifetime.
RYA Motor Cruising courses start kids from age eight with the basics of seamanship, and progress right through to valuable Day Skipper qualifications for young sailors of 16 and over.
RIBs and sports boats are fast, easy to handle and fun for family days out cruising round the UK’s incredible coastline and discovering secret spots where only boats can go. They’re also a good introduction to boating for both kids and adults.
Powerboating gives over 12s the experience of helming a powerboat during the two-day RYA Level 2 Powerboating course.
photo credit: Mylor Sailing and Powerboat School
photo credit: Minorca Sailing
Holiday companies worldwide now offer RYA recognised dinghy courses, and they’re a fantastic first taste of boating for kids. No experience is necessary, centres supply everything from boats to safety equipment, and fully qualified RYA instructors get young sailors off to the best start. Plus, families can take lessons together, pick up basic dinghy skills quickly, and spend precious holiday time really sailing, instead of just learning the ropes.
Getting to grips with dinghy sailing is great fun on holiday, and just as easy to do at any RYA training centre in the UK. Level 1 courses are ideal for beginners of any age, and kids also have the option of learning with the RYA Youth Sailing Scheme.
photo credit: Minorca Sailing
photo credit: RYA
Learning to windsurf gives kids a real sense of achievement, and it’s fun to do on holiday in locations around the world.. Companies like Minorca Sailing, Mark Warner, Ocean Elements, and Neilson are RYA recognised, and offer fantastic windsurfing courses from Greece to the Balearics during spring and summer: it’s amazing how much easier it is to start windsurfing when the sun’s up.
If you want to pick up some windsurfing basics before your holiday, or continue honing your new found skills once you’re back home, RYA have training centres all over the UK providing tuition for beginners, and windsurfing is also covered in the RYA Youth Sailing Scheme.
photo credit: Neilson
Easy-going freedom and a sense of complete escapism are just a couple of reasons families love cruising the inland waterways. Along with the fact that many of the UK and Europe’s inland waterways are idyllically lovely. Start as you mean to go on and learn the sailing basics together too. Then just pick your stretch of peaceful water and make your own family adventure.