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Our 'Start Yacht Sailing' course


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If you would like to skipper your own yacht but you’ve never sailed before, this course could be perfect for you! Our four day ‘beginner skippers’ course can be taken when staying at the Surf Hotel Beach Club in Vassiliki. We think it is best when combined with a Stay Sail so you can practice your new skills in week two. That way, we can take you from complete novice to proficient flotilla skipper in just two weeks. It’s a great foundation for the start of a new lifestyle in yacht sailing!

This is a complete four-day beginner skippers course, (taken in week one of a stay sail), designed for pupils with no experience or for sailors wishing to brush up their skills. You will come away from the course with a Cruising Level 2 certificate after 32 hours (over 4 days) of focussed tuition with a yacht instructor aboard our tuition yacht. You’ll have lots of time on the water (not in a classroom) and it will teach you all the skills you need to skipper your yacht safely on our Ocean Elements Flotilla (with our lead crew nearby) during week two of your Stay Sail.

You can take this course whilst staying at the Surf Hotel for a supplement of £299 while your family relax back at our club enjoying the facilities. After completing your course you’ll be itching to get onboard your yacht for week two, to put into practice your new-found skills with our flotilla crew on hand to help you all the way.

The Essentials

  • Get qualified to skipper your own yacht
  • 4-day Beginner Skipper’s course
  • No sailing experience necessary
  • Take the course at Surf Hotel Beach Club in Vassiliki
  • Price £349pp. £50 discount if booked on a Stay Sail  (link this to stay sail)
  • Equivalent to £74 per day for sailing-with-tuition!
  • Course runs between 7 July – 1 Sept
  • Come away with your Cruising Level 2 qualification
  • Maximum 5 to a training yacht
  • To book: Call our sales team now (availability limited)

Get ready to sail!

Our Start Yachting Course is the perfect pre-flotilla training for our Stay Sail guests, it’s a four-day intensive course available for guests at our Surf Hotel in Vassiliki. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you can pick things up.

By the end of the week, your family will be fully refreshed from a week at our Beach Club and you’ll be ready and raring to go to sea and skipper your own yacht on our Ocean Elements Flotilla and put into practice what you’ve learned.

About the course

Even if you have no prior experience, then our four day Start Yacht Sailing course teaches you everything you need to know to skipper a yacht on our Flotilla. You’ll be staying at the Surf hotel in Vassiliki and each day you’ll join a group of (maximum) four other guests with a dedicated instructor on our training boat which is moored a 10-minute walk away in the harbour. It’s a four-day intensive course with 32 hours of tuition, designed to fit in around your stay at our Beach Club. Let the family relax while you go off to the marina each day to learn your new skills.

View the syllabus

Becoming a skipper

During the course, you will learn and develop the skills required to skipper a yacht around the islands of the Ionian, following the Ocean Elements Flotilla. After your week of training, you will have two days to relax at the Surf hotel before heading off to your yacht for week two. Our lead crew will be on hand the moment you arrive to train you up on your yachts’ systems and they will even take you out for a practice run in your new yacht (on your first morning) before you set sail to our first planned destination. 

Our crew will give you a full safety briefing and help you passage plan each day. They will also be there to help you cast off each morning and then moor up each night. They will only be a VHF radio call away, and the predominantly calm conditions of the Ionian enable us to take you through this exciting experience and have you skippering in safety after only a week’s focused training.

The skills you will learn 

Learning to sail a yacht for the first time (let alone skippering one) is an exciting and life-changing experience. Our course is quite ‘full-on’ (especially for complete beginners) but you will find it very interesting and well within your capabilities. You will learn lots of useful skills like how to sail a boat on all points, passage planning with basic navigation, safety, meteorology and boat handling to include mooring and anchoring techniques.

Our course is best taken as a two week Stay Sail package. That way, we can ensure you learn all the skills required during week one, then practice them skippering your own yacht (with us) in a controlled and relatively easy-sailing environment for week two. You will sail in calm waters without any complicated tides to worry about and navigation and route planning will be made especially easy - because most of the destinations you will be sailing to (following our lead boat if you prefer) are in your line-of-sight.

It’s a super learning curve, life-changing and extremely rewarding; and you’ll come away with your RYA Cruising Level 1 and 2 certificates which are a big leap towards taking your Day Skipper and other, more serious qualifications.

View the Syllabus

Private courses

Our Start Yacht Sailing courses are ideal for small groups of friends or families to join. You can book a private course on our training yacht with a dedicated instructor for up to five people. Our Instructor to student ratios are 1 to 4, so any extra passengers can enjoy the cruise.

The course is suitable for anyone age 16 and over and the group will go at a pace that suits all students. It’s a beautiful place to learn about yachts, you will enjoy the beauty of the Greek islands at the same time and enjoy hot weather and a cooling breeze as you learn.  

If this sounds interesting to you then do speak to our sales team for more info and how to book. Spaces are limited.

How to book

Our Stay Sail holidays with the Start Yacht Sailing course is a complete ‘learn to sail’ yachting holiday and if you’d like to know more then give our team a call.

Remember that you can't book a Stay Sail holiday online as there's a lot to sort out.

Do call us to talk through your requirements or to book on 0844 770 40 70

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