Specific Summer Yachtmaster Pro + racing 1-2-3

Other Events

Other Events

Specific Summer Yachtmaster Pro + racing  1-2-3

Join as an absolute beginner and become an RYA Yachtmaster Offshore & Yachtmaster Ocean in just 16 weeks. Not only does this programme cover the full RYA syllabus, but it gives you the options to gain miles in some fantastic areas of the world dependent on your schedule

What the Girls Had to Say

"Having lived and worked in London for years, I was looking for a change of pace - so the idea of starting a new career as a sailor ticked all the boxes. I loved every minute of the course - and now have my sights set firmly on becoming an instructor so I can help inspire other girls like me to take up the sport!"  Zoe, 2014

Starts: 10am, Monday 11 July, Cowes

Finishes: Ends, Sunday 30th October

About The Event

This fantastic, 16 week programme takes you from absolute beginner right through to a qualified RYA Yachtmaster Offshore - your starting point for a career in the sailing industry, or simply an amazing break from the daily grind!

The focus of the course is ensuring that you achieve the necessary skills, experience and requirements to be able to take the Yachtmaster Offshore exam at the end of the 16 weeks, achieving the Yachtmaster Offshore Certificate of Competence and ensuring you are competent to skipper a yacht on passages up to 150 miles from harbour. 

By the end of our Yachtmaster Pro course you should have gained the following:

Seatime: 63 days, 2,500 miles in tidal waters, at least five passages over 60 miles, of which you will have acted as Skipper on at least two and which at least two will have involved overnight passages. A minimum of five days' experience as Skipper.

A Radio Operator's Qualification

A valid First Aid certificate

We split our Yachtmaster Pro course into three distinct modules, meaning that you can choose to join us later in the programme if you already have some sailing experience:

Module 1 over 4 weeks (1-4)

1: RYA Competent Crew 

This course introduces the complete beginner to cruising. You'll learn about personal safety, seamanship and helmsmanship to the level required to be a useful member of the crew of a cruising yacht.

2: RYA Day Skipper Theory 

A comprehensive intro to chartwork, navigation, meteorology and the basics of seamanship for Competent Crew. This is an invaluable course if you want to start making decisions on board! You should expect some homework during the week!

3: RYA Day Skipper Practical 

You'll learn pilotage, navigation, seamanship and boat handling up to the standard required to skipper a small cruising yacht safely by day in waters in which you're familiar.

4: Marine SRC Radio, Essential First Aid, Sea Survival,

These one day courses are designed to complement the Yachtmaster syllabus, and the radio and first aid are essentual for all candidates for this qualification.

This should deliver you as a confident Day Skipper


Module 2 over 5 weeks (5-8)


5: Racing or milebuilding

Racing helps develops sail trimming and navigation skills - and a thorough understanding of the International Regulations for the Prevention of Collision at Sea ('Colregs' for short!) is vital when you're racing alongside many boats whilst avoiding the many other commercial and leisure boats in the Solent

 6: Day Skipper Plus 

Develop the skills you'll have started to learn during the previous 3 weeks and take them onto the next stage - we'll start to introduce more advanced practical subjects during this course.

Module 2

Week 7: RYA Coastal Skipper & Yachtmaster Offshore Theory (6 days)

This is an advanced course in navigation and meteorology, building on the subjects covered during the Day Skipper theory and concluding with an exam at the end of the week. Expect homework in this intensive 6 day course!

Week 8: Milebuilder Week (5 days)

Your first foray offshore and a chance to put your newly acquired Yachtmaster theory to good use - we may sail to the West Country or east to Brighton during this week, perfect for planning and executing your first longer passages!

Week 9: RYA Coastal Skipper Practical (5 days)

This week long course gives you the chance to develop your skippering skills to the level needed to be safely in charge of a yacht on coastal or offshore passages by both day and night.

Week 10: Skills and Experience Week (5 days)

We spend the week learning and practicing more advanced manouevring techniques under both sail and power and introduce subjects such as blind navigation and finding unlit marks at night. 

Week 11: Sail to France (5 days)

Weather permitting you'll head to France this week, giving you the opportunity to plan and skipper a multi-hour, cross-tide passage and experience the challenges of crossing the busy shipping channels, not to mention arriving into a foreign port for the first time!

Week 12: Week off!

A much-needed break from study and chance for you to refresh, catch up on sleep and allow everything you've learned over the previous weeks to sink in ahead of your final module.

Module 3

Week 13: Milebuilder Week (5 days)

A week of sailing with the aim of developing those skippering skills yet further - another chance to gain skippered passages and explore new destinations. Your confidence should be growing by this point and you should feel more comfortable with more challenging weather conditions or trickier navigation.

Week 14: Milebuilder Week (5 days)

Your final chance to gain longer skippered passages - where you decide to sail to this week is your choice - your instructor is there to advise you but she'll be happy to take more of a back-seat role leaving you to make key decisions and problem-solve when needed.

Week 15: Skills and Experience Week (5 days)

We spend the week focusing on close quarters manoeuvres, sail trim and practicing subjects such as blind navigation, finding unlit marks at night and man overboard recovery under sail and power.

Week 16: Yachtmaster Prep Week and Exam (7 days)

Your final week of practice before the exam itself, this is the week to make those last minute mistakes and iron out any wrinkles in your knowledge! You'll use the week to revise both theory and practical subjects to make sure you feel ready for anything the examiner may ask of you during your exam. Dependent on the number of candidates for the exam, expect it to last from the Friday evening through to the Sunday (the exam will take about 8-12 hours for one candidate and between 5-9 hours per candidate where more than one candidate is being examined).


If you are intending to work in the industry as a qualified Yachtmaster, then you will need to have your Certificate of Competence commercially endorsed. To become commercially endorsed you will need the following:

A valid ML5 or ENG1 medical certificate*

Completion of the Professional Practices and Responsibilities Course (a compulsory online course for RYA Commercial Endorsement holders)

*We strongly advise anyone hoping to use their Yachtmaster qualification professionally to have a full eyesight test prior to booking the course to ensure that you aren't colour blind. This is less common in females than males but it would be a huge shame for you not to discover until the end of the course that you are colour blind and therefore unable to become commercially endorsed to work in the industry. Equally, if you are in any doubt about your medical fitness and ability to become commercially endorsed then we would advise you to seek medical advice prior to booking.


The boat

We mostly coach on yachts of between 37 and 41ft. Our yachts have been specifically chosen as they are easy to handle, great for learning! There is no denying us girls sometimes don't have the physical strength of the boys but with our technical ability and a well-chosen yacht we can do just as well. You will usually find yourself aboard an Élan 37, Jeanneau 37 or a Beneteau 40.7. All of your time will be spent living as crew-mates on your yacht. 

Most of the yachts have 9/10 berths with 3 cabins and a saloon so the boats will normally have 2 persons in each cabin i.e. 6 - this is always the case for an RYA course, MAX 6 persons on-board. On some events e.g. races we use the saloon which can sleep an additional 2-4 person. 


About Cowes 

Cowes is widely credited as being the birthplace of UK yachting, seeing hundreds of 'yachties' descend every year on the seaside town and swelling its resident population multifold!

With a wealth of activities on and off the water and a year-round mild, sunny climate the island attracts loyal visitors and second home owners alike all year round but especially during the spring and summer months when the world class sailing conditions attract professional sailors from around the world to take part in famous regattas and races - as well as thousands of spectators who gather shoreside to watch the dramas unfold.

Easily reached by high speed passenger ferry, car ferry or even hovercraft (the island has one of the few remaining commercial hovercraft services in the world) from Lymington, Southampton or Portsmouth on the mainland, the island is the perfect destination for young and old alike with plenty to see, eat and do.

Additional Info

What's included?

  • Fully coded yacht with safety equipment
  • Fully qualified RYA skipper
  • All safety equipment
  • Accommodation on board the yacht during the practical, sea-based courses and events*
  • Diesel, water, electricity
  • FUN, FUN, FUN!!

What's excluded?

  • Transport to and from meeting points
  • Flights
  • Alcoholic drinks and food when not on board a yacht
  • Mooring fees
  • Departure taxes/customs entries per person
  • Any clothing unless specified in a particular event
  • Exam fees (click here for up to date RYA Exam fees)
  • *Accommodation upgrades where available

What next?

As a newly qualified RYA Yachtmaster Offshore you're now permitted to skipper a yacht up to 150 miles from harbour - congratulations! If you wish to work commercially then you must have your Certificate of Competence commercially endorsed (see above) - you can then work as a skipper of a commercial vessel up to 24m or less than 80gt in most places in the world.

As a holder of the Yachtmaster Offshore Certificate of Competence you could then choose to sign up for the RYA Yachtmaster Ocean Theory and with the subsquent completion of a qualifying ocean passage followed by a written and oral exam, obtain the pinnacle of acheivement - the RYA Yachtmaster Ocean Certificate of Competence! This qualification enables you to skipper a yacht on passages of any length in all parts of the world - essential if you'd like to pursue a career as a delivery skipper.

Ask us about adding the five day RYA Yachtmaster Ocean Theory course to the Yachtmaster Pro programme!

Or why not follow your Yachtmaster exam by training as an RYA Cruising Instructor - and use your experience and skills to inspire a whole new generation of girls to learn to sail?! There is a huge shortage of female instructors so you will find yourself very much in demand as a qualified Cruising Instructor - you may even find yourself back teaching for Girls for Sail!

Ask us about adding the five day RYA Cruising Instructor Practical course on to the Yachtmaster Pro course!

Optional Extras

**If you wish to work on commercial vessels over 24m then you must also be in possession of the full STCW95 Basic Safety Training, which covers four separate modules: STCW95 Essential First Aid; STCW95 Sea Survival; STCW95 Fire Prevention and Firefighting; and STCW95 Personal Safety & Social Responsibilities.

We offer the option to complete the full STCW95 BST with us during Week 4 for an additional cost of £850. You would then complete your Marine Radio and Diesel Engine Maintenance courses over one spare weekend during the programme. This MUST be agreed at the time of booking the Yachtmaster Pro programme.

Why not add on the one-day RYA Radar course and complete this on one of your spare weekends? Cruising boats increasingly have radar on board and the Colegs require that if you have radar you must know how to use it.

Again, ask us about adding this course on when booking!

If you're hoping to work as a charter skipper or as superyacht crew, then adding the two day RYA Powerboat Level II to your sailing CV will stand you in good stead. This course teaches you how to drive a RIB safely, perform a man overboard recovery and manoeuvre at high speed and in close quarters.

Why choose Girls for Sail?

  • First of all we want to give you some freedom, we want you to feel absolutely able to do anything onboard, so we will greet you, make you feel welcome, confident and safe, and of course you won't have anyone rushing you! You can learn at your own pace with our skippers and feel the benefit of this in your handling of our yacht!
  • We pride ourselves on our levels of tuition.  There's no such thing as a 'silly' question!  There's no shouting onboard and as it's also your holiday, we want you to have fun and go home relaxed and satisfied with your time here! Not to mention you get to meet new lifelong friends! 

Our values are simple: Encourage, Support, Challenge and Respect!

How to book?

Click on the link above to view available dates - or if you have any questions please feel free to get in touch with us!

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