Whether you want to escape work for the evening, spend time with the family 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
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Is it for me?
Love an adventure in the fresh air, then small boat sailing could be for you. You can take your family, go with friends or escape by yourself, leaving the stress of daily life behind on the shore.
How can I try it?
People of all ages take up dinghy and keelboat sailing and there are plenty of ways to get involved. You’ll quickly find sailing becomes more than just a sport because it’s so sociable.
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 water sports included in the deal.
Taking a course at an RYA Training Centre is the quickest and easiest way to learn and improve. The Youth Sailing Scheme and National Sailing Scheme, taught by RYA instructors, will give you all the basics and beyond. If you're under 18 and want a weekly club to learn and have fun in try RYA OnBoard which combines the Youth Sailing Scheme with other sailing activities.
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 Dinghy Show.
Not quite right for you - how about...
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.
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