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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.


Start Yachting - Level 1 & 2

If you have an RYA Level 1 Dinghy qualification or the ‘Yacht Cruising’ Level 1, then this is a great two-day follow-on course designed to introduce you to yacht sailing. It’s also very popular with our Beach club guests.

The course is aimed at yacht handling and sailing, so it’s very interesting. It covers yacht anchoring and manoeuvres under sail and power with some sailing theory, basic navigation and much more.

It is also a very useful course for improving the skills of more experienced sailors - Competent Crew or Day Skipper - to help them develop their yacht handling.

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. You can liveaboard our training yacht or take it whilst staying at our Beach Club in Vassiliki. It’s a fun and practical course which is mostly 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

If you have some prior sailing experience, the Day Skipper Practical is a course designed to introduce you to skippering a yacht. During the course we’ll 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.

You’ll need some sailing experience (about 100 miles) and a basic knowledge of theory and navigation to take part. Before arrival, we recommend you complete an RYA Day Skipper Shorebased Theory course which can be done by E-learning (from £245) in about 35 to 40 hours from your home. From ages 16+.


Combined Competent Crew & Day Skipper

Our Beginner 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.

Flotilla Prep course

We also run a 1-day ‘Flotilla Prep’ course for our Stay Sail guests who are embarking on a flotilla or bareboat cruise for their second week. It’s a great chance to practice your stern-to mooring, anchoring techniques and other sailing and yacht handling manoeuvres with our chief RYA instructor right beside you. He will help you develop your skills and confidence for your second week...

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 great to get qualified as a new skipper! This exciting & intensely rewarding experience is one that we enjoy almost as much as you. Once you’ve qualified, we prefer not to ‘push you out on your own’ so soon after your training. It is 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 during your first steps of skippering. They are very used to helping new skippers find their way, whether it’s help with your navigation or getting mooring up at the end of each day.


Join a Training yacht 

You can book onto a course as a solo, a couple or a family. Our tuition yacht will take up to 5 pupils, but we mostly run with 3 or 4 pupils to one instructor. You can choose to join the tuition yacht each day (whilst staying at our Beach Clubs); or book a liveaboard course by booking a cabin for the week. You can also book our tuition yacht and instructor privately and cruise the Ionian as you learn in the sun.

Book a Private Course

Why not book our tuition yacht and instructor privately, for your week?  Private bookings work well for groups of two to five and you can liveaboard or stay at our Beach Club and join the yacht each day. It’s fun to learn together as a family or a group of friends and all our courses from Start Yachting to Day Skipper can be taught together, (for ages 10-12+), which always works well. The yacht will cruise the Greek islands as you learn and there’s space for up to five pupils or passengers.



What’s included?

  • 7 or 14 days aboard the yacht (for liveaboard)
  • Tuition from one of our instructors
  • Sunshine and swim stops
  • Full online theory course to do before you arrive. For day Skippers only, from £245
  • All course material. 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 for Freesail day

Where do we train you?

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.

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