Sub-menu Navigation

Small Boat Sailing 

Whether you want to escape work for the evening or explore the furthest creek of an estuary on a camping trip, sailing a small boat is a fantastic yet affordable activity.

Get Afloat - Small Boat Sailing

The Shannon Family Story

Next steps...

Tell me more...

Is it for me?

If you love an adventure in the fresh air, then there's no reason small boat sailing isn't for you. You can take your family, go with friends or even by yourself, leaving the stress of daily life behind on the shore.

Having a go

From 14-22 May, over 300 clubs across the UK will be participating in RYA Push the Boat Out, and opening their doors for everyone to have a go. You’ll quickly find sailing becomes more than just a sport because it’s so sociable. It couldn't be easier to find your local event.

People of all ages take up dinghy and keelboat sailing and there are plenty of ways to get involved.

Many sailing clubs offer opportunities to get on the water for the first time. Pop along to your local sailing club and ask to have a go. 

If you want to guarantee some sunshine and warmth, there are plenty of companies that offer great breaks for the whole family with unlimited sailing and watersports included in the deal.

RYA training is the quickest and easiest way to learn and improve. The RYA's Youth Sailing Scheme and National Sailing Scheme (adults), taught by RYA instructors will give you all the basics and beyond.

One of the best things about sailing is its a sport for all. If you have a disability, RYA Sailability can help you get on the water.

Does it cost a lot?

It certainly doesn’t have to! Ask your local sailing club if they have boats that members can hire or borrow for free. Many run social sailing sessions which are a brilliant way to practice your skills. Clubs are also great places to find other boat owners who may be happy to welcome beginners to join them as crew. They often offer affordable membership packages and some are cheaper than the cost of joining a gym!

The Dinghy Cruising Association (DCA) welcome beginners to join their cruising rallies and you don’t need to own your boat to take part. They also have lots of useful information about getting started on their website.

If you’re looking to own your own boat then often clubs have preloved dinghies for sale, often for little money. Other club members and instructors will have plenty of advice on which boat is best. Try Yachts and Yachting for class associations or visit them in person at the RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show.

Not quite right for you - how about...

Yacht Sailing

Yacht Sailing

Powered by the wind and your crew, yachts are larger boats where you can live on board, so whether you’re exploring the coast or sailing offshore get ready to create your own adventure.

          Find out more