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Home / Training / Training
Home / Training / Training


Want to learn to sail or develop your skills?

As a Royal Yachting Association Training Centre, Herne Bay Sailing Club Ltd carries all the credentials and experience you will need to get you started, or to improve, in what is the most exciting of water sports: dinghy sailing. We also run RYA Powerboat, RYA Safety boat RYA Instructor/Coach and RYA First Aid courses for adults. We've been training for more than 25 years and have a team of fully-qualified volunteer instructors. Children learn to sail through the Cadet group.

We supply all the equipment you need, and use a wide range of boats during our courses. From RS Teras and Optibats for the younger children, to RS Q'bas, RS Fevas, RS Visions and a 2000, there's a boat to suit everybody. We will provide you with all specialist personal equipment such as wetsuits, buoyancy aids, and boats. You will need to bring suitable footwear, hats and gloves, towel and lunch. Tea and coffee will be provided.

During the course of the sailing season, April - October, we run a complete training programme for adults. Whether you want to start from scratch, improve and learn new skills, or get to grips with the intricacies of racing, we've got a course for you.

The weekly Saturday Sailing sessions for recently-qualified and more-experienced sailors alike are always popular and provide a great environment to improve and learn something new, or simply to have a sail when a safety boat is on the water.

Make an enquiry

If you have questions or wish to enquire about availability, please contact the training team by email, call into the club on a Saturday morning or Sunday afternoon or write to HBSC, Beacon Hill, CT6 6BA. If you would like to express an interest in a course, but cannot make the advertised dates then please get in touch.


Throughout the season we run a number of RYA training courses for members aiming to introduce new sailors to the sport and provide more experienced sailors with new skills. Dates for 2024 are under discussion. Our training team is run entirely by volunteers.

Power Boat

In addition to dinghy sailing the club also offers RYA training courses for powerboat handling and safety boat. Please talk to Tony Herlihy or ontact the training team by email,

Training opportunities

Learn To Sail

If you are new to sailing then you start with the 2-day (or 4 half days) RYA Level 1 Start Sailing course, during which you will learn the basics of how to rig a boat, sail in all directions under instruction and return to shore.

If you have completed Level 1 or have some experience of sailing, you proceed to RYA Level 2 Basic Skills. At the end of this 2-day or 4 half-day course you will be capable of sailing independently in light winds.

After completing RYA Level 2, members may hire the club dinghies (when the conditions allow) and are ready to join the Saturday Sailing Improvers group.

Adults are usually taught in groups of 6 participants tutored by a Senior Instructor, Instructor and an Assistant Instructor. Note that you need to be able to attend day 1 and day 2 of the same course. There is a reserve day set aside in case there are unfavourable weather conditions on the designated dates.

Saturday Sailing

Saturday Sailing sessions provide an opportunity for recently-qualified Level 2 sailors who are members of HBSC to develop their newly-acquired skills alongside club members who wish to brush up on old skills and learn some new ones.

A safety boat is on the water and some sessions are coached by one of our instructors. Saturday Sailing is free for HBSC members to attend. Please see the calendar for dates and times.

Powerboat Courses

RYA Level 2 Powerboat Handling courses are run over two days with one instructor to 3 students. No prior experience of powerboat handling is required and adults do not need to have completed RYA Level 1 Powerboat before Level 2.

A half-day Safety Boat refresher course is offered to members of HBSC from time to time who hold RYA level 2 Powerboat Handling or have equivalent experience.

RYA Level 1 Start Powerboating is a one-day course run if there is sufficient interest. A HBSC cadet Level 1 course is planned.


For Herne Bay Sailing Club instructors and assistant instructors.

Dinghy Instructor and First Aid Courses

Dinghy instructor, Assistant Instructor and First Aid courses are run for members subject to sufficient demand.

Cost of courses for HBSC Adult Members

RYA Level 1 Start Sailing £170 includes RYA National Sailing Scheme Syllabus and Logbook, RYA certificate and RYA Start Sailing- Beginners Handbook

RYA Level 2 Basic Skills £140 includes RYA National Sailing Scheme Syllabus and Logbook, RYA certificate

RYA Level 1 Start Powerboating £poa includes RYA certificate

RYA Level 2 Powerboat Handling £150 includes RYA Start Powerboating book and RYA certificate

HBSC safety boat refresher for members of Herne Bay Sailing Club's safety boat team.

Additional courses

Dinghy and powerboat courses are from time to time run on demand, subject to sufficient numbers and instructor availability.

Course Descriptions

RYA Start Sailing Level 1 (minimum length two days or equivalent number of sessions)
This course provides a basic introduction to sailing. At the of the course you will have learnt everything from how to rig, launch and sail across the wind, all the way through to upwind and downwind sailing. RYA Start Sailing book is included in the course fee.

RYA Basic Skills Level 2 (minimum length two days or equivalent number of sessions)
On completion of this course you will have a basic knowledge of sailing, be capable of sailing a triangular course without an instructor. It is assumed that students starting this course will have completed or have experience equivalent to Start Sailing Level 1.

RYA Better Sailing Level 3 (minimum length two days or equivalent number of sessions)
This improver course seeks to bridge the gap between Start Sailing, Basic Skills and the five Advanced Modules. It is intended to make the transition easier for those sailors wishing to progress further through the scheme, allowing opportunity to practise and consolidate sailing techniques and experience some of the activities that the advanced modules have to offer.

RYA Start Racing (minimum length two days or equivalent number of sessions)
This course is designed to give the confidence, skills and knowledge to take part in club racing in good conditions. It is assumed that every student starting this course has already mastered the practical skills and absorbed the background knowledge required for Level 2/3.

RYA Sailing with Spinnakers (minimum length two days or equivalent number of sessions)
On completion of this course the successful sailor will understand how to sail a dinghy rigged with an asymmetric or symmetric spinnaker. It is assumed that every student starting this course has already mastered the practical skills and absorbed the background knowledge required for Level 2/3.

RYA Powerboat Handling Level 2 (minimum length two days or equivalent number of sessions)
This course teaches the student boat handling and seamanship in powerboats and covers a huge amount of material including the practical driving skills of the motor boat both highspeed and lowspeed, close quarters power boat handling, and some theory. Successful completion of this course qualifies the student for the ICC (International Certificate of Competence) which is required by most European countries as a minimum for driving powerboats or to be able to hire a motor boat. RYA Powerboat Handling book is included in the course fee.

RYA Safety Boat (minimum length two days or equivalent number of sessions)
This course introduces the techniques used in powerboats escorting racing fleets of dinghies and windsurfers, providing safety and rescue cover for training fleets, and assisting in race management. Eligibility for starting this course is RYA Powerboat Handling Level 2. RYA Safety Boat Handbook is included in the coure fee.

Training Team

  • Principal - Clare Dunning
  • Chief Instructor - Lead RYA Dinghy courses - Nathan Hudson
  • Club Coach and Internal Club Training - Laurie Dengate
  • Chief Instructor - Lead Power Boat Lead Instructor - Tony Herlihy

Small print
Priority for courses will be given to fully paid applications and by date received. If you need to cancel, please let the training team know as early as possible. The following refunds will be made: Cancellation up to 7 days before the course start date: full refund. Cancellations within 7 days of the course start date: 75% refund of course fee.

Participants need to be available on all advertised dates of a particular course.

Herne Bay Sailing Club Limited is recognised by the RYA as a Training Centre able to deliver dinghy and powerboat courses. It operates from its base at Beacon Hill, Herne Bay CT6 6BA.

Student:instructor ratios adhere to RYA requirements to be not more than:
Crewed dinghies 3:1 for beginners with instructor on board, maximum 9:1 but not more than 6 boats per instructor
Single handed dinghies 6:1
Powerboats Levels 1, 2, Intermediate and Advanced 3:1
Safety Boat 6:1 (2 boats).

RYA training courses are usually offered to over 18s only. Exceptionally a young person aged 16 or 17 may join a training course if they are accompanied by a parent or guardian who is also taking the same course. The Senior Instructor will be responsible for supervising the young person while the training group are afloat; the parent or guardian will be responsible for supervising the young person when the training group are on shore.

Herne Bay Sailing Club's Training Centre strives to make the learning experience enjoyable, safe and to provide a high standard of training. If you have a complaint about any aspect of the course, please speak to your Instructor at the earliest opportunity. HBSC's complaints procedure and form may be found here: RYA Course Complaints Form

Last updated 23:30 on 28 May 2024

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