RYA Level One – Start Sailing

**Please note, we have changed the way in which courses at DSWC operate due to COVID-19**
All sailing courses will take place in our Singlehanded Picos until at least the 21st of June, in line with the Governments Roadmap to Reopening

The RYA Level One course is the perfect introduction to sailing and is for beginners with no previous experience. It is the first part of the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) training scheme and its aim is to provide basic boat handling techniques and essential background knowledge. During the course, you will learn all the key skills required to get afloat under supervision in light winds in a singlehanded dinghy. We use Laser Pico’s dinghies on our courses.

Your instructor will take you through how to sail in all directions, teach you how to launch and recover your boat and explain how to recover from capsizing. Short theory sessions on the land will teach you about the basic equipment needed, tides and weather.

The RYA Level One course is for beginners who have done little or no dinghy sailing before. By the end of the course, you will be able to sail safely under supervision. It is recommended that all participants consolidate this course with the RYA Level Two (Basic Skills) course.

The RYA Level One course is run over a weekend, both Saturday and Sunday from 1030 – 1730.

This course is the minimum recognised qualification for hiring a boat at the Centre on Open Sessions.

More Information

On the day of your course we provide buoyancy aids, wetsuits and equipment. You will need to bring a change of clothes, towel, swimsuit if borrowing a wetsuit and suitable footwear (closed toe). Included in the cost of the course are the RYA Start Sailing book, RYA Logbook and Certificate.


Member Price


Non Member Price


Course Dates 2021

All courses commence at 1030 and aim to finish at 1730. Please arrive at the Centre for 1015 to sign in at reception.

1st & 2nd, 15th & 16th
5th & 6th, 19th & 20th
3rd & 4th, 31st & 1st August
14th & 15th
11th & 12th, 25th & 26th
23rd & 24th


Please use the button below to book onto a course.

All bookings are subject to our Course Booking Terms & Conditions.

Book Now

Course Plan

  • Launching
  • Rigging and Ropework
  • Sessions Afloat
    • Familiarisation
    • Going About
    • Upwind Sailing
  • Theory
    • Five Essentials
    • Points of Sail
  • Simulator Work and Sessions Afloat
    • Gybing
    • Downwind sailing incorporating gybing
    • Sailing around a triangular course
  • Theory
    • Weather
    • Suitable Clothing
    • Rules Of The Road

Frequently Asked Questions

To book onto a course please use the ‘Book Now’ button further up the page. Alternately you can drop by the Centre or call us on 020 7537 2626.

We provide wetsuits, buoyancy aids, all equipment, showers, changing rooms and course materials.

You will need to bring footwear which you are happy to get wet, a swimsuit (to wear under one of our wetsuits), a towel, and any toiletries. On sunny days, please bring sunscreen and a hat. Please also bring a packed lunch, as there are limited options nearby.

Students are not required to be able to swim, but should be confident in the water whilst wearing a buoyancy aid.

Please see sections 5 and 6 of our Course Booking Terms & Conditions in regards to rescheduling or cancelling a course.

Very rarely do we need to reschedule a course due to either a lack of wind or excessive wind. A course will still take place if it’s raining. In the event of a lightning storm, all sessions on the water will cease and students will return to shore for at least 20 minutes after the last visible lightning strike.

No fee will be payable from the student if a course is rescheduled because of the weather conditions.

The majority of the course is practical based. However, there will be short periods of time when theory is covered in a classroom.

All of our RYA sailing courses are taught by qualified RYA (Royal Yachting Association) Dinghy Instructors.

If you require more information please call us on 020 7537 2626 or drop us an email at info@dswc.org.