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Training Courses

Midland Sailing Club is a Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Recognised Training Centre. We are running a variety of sailing courses suitable for complete beginners or those with previous sailing experience, following the RYA's National Sailing Scheme Syllabus.

We will take you from total beginner to competent sailor, moving on the water with confidence. This is how we do it:

We offer taster sessions, where a club member will take you out for a short ride in their boat, so you get an idea of what sailing is like. These are on Saturday mornings; if you are interested get in touch with , who will organise this for you. There are also open days (like the RYA's Push The Boat Out) where we take members of the public out for a sail on the reservoir. 

We start training with the RYA Level 1 course, Start Sailing. This is a two-day course where you will learn how to get the boat to move where you want it to go to. As two days are not really enough to learn sailing, we give you one month's free club membership -- so you can get the benefit of our regular coaching sessions for our members on a Saturday morning. Here you can potter around in a club boat to gain more confidence in boat handling and sailing. There will be an instructor around to help you out if you get stuck, or to suggest to you things you can try out, and a safety boat will be on the water to make sure that help is near should something go wrong.

The next step is the combined RYA Level 2/3 course, Basic Skills and Better Sailing. This course will run over 4 (Sun)days, and will take you from knowing how to handle a boat to being able to sail confidently on your own (ie without anyone else helping you) in up to medium wind. That should be enough for you to enjoy cruising around, or even to start taking part in our club races on a Saturday afternoon. With this course you will get an additional three months of club membership, so you can continue to come to the coaching sessions to get more practice time on the water. After that we ask you to become a club member -- but by then you already know that sailing is for you!

We also offer more advanced courses for our members, including power boating, so if you are keen you can further improve your skills and become an accomplished sailor.  

Which sailing course is right for me?

There is an overview document from the RYA about the adult course scheme (PDF). It shows how the various courses for adults hang together.  A similar document also exists for the youth courses (PDF). We teach adults (16+) and juniors (up to 16) separately, as they have different ways of learning and usually different motivations.


We are running the introductory RYA Level 1 (Start Sailing) as a single course, so you can learn about the basics of sailing before having to commit yourself to a longer course. Then we combine RYA Level 2 (Basic Skills) and Level 3 (Better Sailing), which will turn you into a competent sailor, ready to take a boat out either on your own or with a crew. Each level takes two days of training, either run over one weekend (Fri/Sat am/Sun), two weekends (Sun), or four weeks (Sat am). You will not need any equipment, apart from some old trainers (or similar) that you don't mind getting wet. The club has a collection of wet suits and buoyancy aids that you can borrow for the duration of the course.

We are also running further coaching sessions on a Saturday morning for club members who have gone through the courses but need more time on the water to gain more confidence, practice their skills, or prepare for taking part in our club races. 

Courses for 2019

Our first batch of training courses for 2019 have now been scheduled. You can book online at the SailBirmingham website. SailBirmingham is a new initiative from Midland Sailing Club for running training courses and also social sailing sessions during the week.

For a list of training courses see the current listing on our SailBirmingham site.

For more information, please email the training team ( or come and see us on a Saturday. We look forward to welcoming you!


Oliver Mason

RYA Training Centre Principal