Ocean Elements logo

Do you need help arranging your holiday?

Phone icon
Call one of our experts on 02039498363
Phone icon
Make An Enquiry
Complete our online form
How long are you going for?
Choose Your Departure Date
Where are you going?

Over 12 years old


2 to 12 years old


0 to 23 months old

Yacht & Sail Training Courses

Whether you are a complete beginner or an experienced sailor, we offer a full range of courses and qualifications to introduce you to yacht sailing or help develop your skills. Learning in the sun whilst cruising around the beautiful Greek Islands is an enjoyable way of learning to sail, gaining your skippers license or taking charge of a yacht for the first time with our expert yacht team always close by.

All courses can be paired with our Flotilla and Stay Sail holidays so you can get qualified in a week and skipper your own boat in week two. Our courses in the Ionian have been designed to encourage quick learning and safe progression.

 OFFER: Sail training courses get 10% off when you book 2 persons [more]

Start Yachting - Level 1 & 2

Level 1 and 2 ‘Start Yachting’ is a great way to give yacht sailing a try and introduces pupils with no sailing experience to our sport. Each course runs over 2-3 days and you can extend it to 5 days and do a complete Level 1 and 2 course.

It’s also a great course for younger sailors (age 10-12+) to take alongside mum and dad doing their Day Skipper on the same tuition boat. By the end of the course you will have done lots of sailing and be capable of sailing a yacht as a helm and crew.

Competent Crew Practical

If you are completely new to sailing, this is a great place to start. This course aims to take you from absolute beginner to valuable crew member as our excellent instructors deliver a comprehensive syllabus in just 5 days. It’s a fun and practical course spent sailing and out on the water. By the end of it, you will be a useful and able crew member on any sailing yacht. Recommended age from 12+.

Day Skipper Practical

Our week long course (5 days tuition) is suited to those with some prior sailing experience, (100 miles/5 days), and will help you achieve the valuable Day Skipper qualification so you can charter yachts worldwide. During the course we will teach you the basic practical skippering techniques to enable you to feel confident to set sail as the Skipper. You will take charge as skipper on a number of short passages, under the guidance of our instructor, looking at topics like passage planning, weather and mooring.


Coastal Skipper Practical

The Coastal Skipper course builds on the Day Skipper and is arguably the most rewarding course in the cruising schemes.

The training moves away from the shorter passages of Day Skipper and starts looking at passages that require watch-keeping routines, crew management and the ability to pilot a vessel both day and night. It will involve consideration of the requirements for offshore passages.

Day Skipper ‘Fast-track’ course

As a beginner with no experience, you can combine our courses in a ‘fast-track’ package which brings together the Competent Crew and the valuable Day Skipper course into one complete course taken over two weeks. On completion, you will be qualified to skipper a cruising yacht and embark upon an exciting lifestyle of yacht chartering, worldwide.



Coastal Skipper ‘Fast-track’ course

If you have some prior experience (100 miles, 5 days at sea) then you can join our two week ‘fast-track’ course which brings together the Day Skipper and the excellent Coastal Skipper course into one complete course. The course is very satisfying and quite intense and on completion, you will be able to skipper a yacht on coastal passages by day and night.



Yacht Skills (Flotilla Prep) course

Our popular one-day ‘Yacht Skills’ course is a great add-on to your Competent Crew or Day Skipper and can be done in the same week. It also suits Beach Club guests who would like to develop their boat handling skills before embarking on a flotilla or bareboat cruise in their second week.

We will practice handling under sail and power, stern-to mooring, anchoring techniques and other yacht handling manoeuvres with our chief RYA instructor right beside you.



Why learn with Ocean Elements?

We’ve been running RYA training centres for our Beach Clubs for the last ten years and we have a fantastic reputation for our standards of tuition. Our philosophy is to make learning fun and rewarding, so you enjoy the experience as a holiday, and not just a sea school. We have chosen to keep our yacht programme small and focussed, so we can deliver a higher quality service and more attention on our newly trained pupils in this exciting time of their yacht careers. 
Your first steps as a Skipper

It’s an exciting time to get qualified as a new Day Skipper, but your first steps of yacht chartering can be daunting. Our lead crew have helped hundreds of new skippers over the last few years to take their first tentative steps into yachting, whether they’ve qualified with us, or not. We think it’s ideal if you can combine your course with a second week on our flotilla. That way, our expert lead crew will be on hand to continue to assist you after you pass.


Our Tuition yacht 

Our Bavaria 37 Cruiser is a fully equipped tuition yacht based in Vassiliki.

She’s available for Beach Club guests to learn whilst staying at our Surf Hotel and for liveaboard guests to learn as they cruise around the Ionian with our Ocean Elements RYA Yacht Master Instructor.

Book a Private Course

Why not book our tuition yacht and instructor privately, for your week? Private bookings work well for groups of 2-5 and you can liveaboard as you cruise around the Greek islands, learning in the sun.

Private yacht charters (with an instructor) can often be cheaper than a skippered yacht.



What’s included?

  • 7 or 14 days aboard the yacht (for liveaboard)
  • Tuition from our RYA Yachtmaster Instructor
  • All course material, completion certificate included. Logbooks are extra
  • Provisioning for breakfast and a light lunch each day (dinner is ashore)
  • All fuel, water and marina fees
  • Bed linen and towels
  • An optional day of free watersports at our Vassiliki Beach Club on Freesail day



A key element is where we do it

Vassiliki is perfect for training aspiring skippers thanks to the local winds that make it famed as a world-class water sports venue. 

Here, budding skippers can practice new techniques in reassuringly light winds in the mornings, while building skills and understanding as the breeze increases to a force 4 to 5, with gusts in the afternoons. Therefore, after getting to grips with core techniques in a benign environment earlier in the day, our graduates also get to hone their skills while handling stronger winds. This is the biggest single challenge for new skippers and is invariably what marks out a truly competent sailor.

Will I definitely pass?

At Ocean Elements we love to introduce people to sailing. It’s our mission to ensure that every one of our pupils - be they total newcomers to sailing or more experienced - pass the course in a week so they get to skipper their own yacht for the first time, in week two.

Passing the course is within everyone’s capabilities so long as you have done the background reading (our E-learning course) and are willing to listen and learn. We have not had to fail anyone yet, and nor do we intend to. If skippers need a little extra coaching on certain topics, then that can be covered in extra time, by special arrangement.

The continual assessment nature of our courses make it easier on pupils without loading everything onto a nasty exam at the end. The emphasis is on learning. Not failing.

Need help arranging your holiday?

Request a Brochure

Ocean Elements Brochure

View our brochures online or have them delivered to your door.

View Brochures

Groups of 6+ SAVE £££'s

Booking for a group of more than 6 people, get a quote and SAVE.

Recent Blog News

Why Choose Surf Hotel

Surf Hotel Beach Club is set in the stunning Greek island of Lefkada, with the finest watersports beaches in Greece: Vassiliki Bay.

Read More

Hanse 388 Charter

Our brand new fresh-out-of-the-box Hanse 388 'Athena' has a German build quality and exciting sailing performance.

Read More