Whether you want to sail in closed waters or circumnavigate the world, attending a sailing school can be a great choice. Sailing schools are sure to have a course for just about bootsführerschein online anyone interested in sailing for pleasure. They offer training and education in a wide range of skills including crewing, steering or rowing, handling sails, seamanship and navigation.
Many schools are affiliated with the British Royal Yachting Association (RYA) training programme. The main instructors are qualified as both RYA instructors and RYA examiners. The RYA program is widely recognized as the most comprehensive training program for recreational sailors in the world. The accreditation that the school issues upon successful completion of the course has worldwide recognition. Some schools also get approval from the local Coast Guard.
The schools offer professional training in the classroom and on the boat. It’s fun and safe. Thousands of Australians of all ages have successfully completed sailing courses.
The full RYA course program starts with Competent Crew Unit, then Day Skipper, Coastal Skipper and finally RYA Yachtmaster. The courses build on each other and impart core competencies. The Competent Crew unit is 5 days of instruction and experienced dinghy sailors will usually find it beneficial to complete at least part of the programme.
Individuals do not have to complete all four RYA courses from start to finish to earn RYA Yachtmaster status. You can join the program at any time, provided that your previous knowledge is considered sufficient. Those with no previous knowledge will usually have difficulties as the program progresses.
The courses are designed for recreational sailing. They do not impart any commercial qualification. However, those with commercial objectives should note that a number of European charter boat operators require RYA Day Skipper Training as a minimum qualification for their skippers. An RYA qualification may also be beneficial for insurance purposes. The schools conduct both classroom and hands-on training on the water aboard full-size yachts. The practical training usually takes place in wet or stormy weather up to storm force. Students will learn how to get the most out of a yacht regardless of the weather conditions.
RYA accredited sailing schools train individuals on their own boat if they prefer and even offer private lessons upon request. However, they do not change the basic content of the instructional program, as all students must meet the competency criteria set by the RYA worldwide.
The beginning and end of our first boat
As boys we always dreamed of owning our own boat. My two friends, Terry, Melvin, and I spent hours drooling over the small cabin cruisers and sailboats that were moored on the mud banks of the Rhymney River, which was a half-hour walk from our homes in Splott. During the school holidays and on sunny weekends we went swimming in the river. The river was very tidal with high rise and fall. At low tide the river was quite wide and flowed quite fast. At low tide, the width of the river was greatly reduced, but it was still wide and deep enough for swimming, but it added an additional attraction.
At low tide, the steep banks were covered with a thick layer of mud, causing a large slide into the water. We used to spend hours fooling around in the mud and hopefully bootsschule washing most of it off before getting dressed to return home, but the river’s main attraction were the boats.
One evening Melvin came running to my house very excited. He was holding a newspaper with a ring around an ad. He had found a boat that he thought we could buy. The advert described it as a 16ft Shetland skiff with engine, sails and oars and the price was £18. Melvin was at the time employed as an apprentice electrician on the ships in the Cardiff docks and had savings of £11 which he willingly contributed if Terry and I could raise the rest.
I was newly married and living “in rooms” with my mom and dad. My earnings from the furniture factory were completely consumed by the hire purchase of the little furniture we had just bought and our living expenses. I had no savings at all. However we went to see Terry and he said he could come up with £5 of the balance. I was embarrassed not being able to contribute so decided to ask my dad if he could help me with a loan over the other £2. I was delighted when he said he would, but he said it was much against his better judgment. With that settled, we rushed to the phone booth to call the seller. We didn’t want to pass up the opportunity, so we called every hour that evening until finally the salesman answered at nine o’clock. Then, to our dismay, we learned that the boat was lying on the river at Briton Ferry. This was a complication as the Briton Ferry was some 30 miles up the coast from Cardiff. We said we’d call him back once we’d discussed the options amongst ourselves. By now we were so wrapped up in the prospect of owning a boat that the mere detail of distance wouldn’t stop us.
We decided that we would get up early the next morning as it is a Saturday and catch the train to Briton Ferry as early as possible, arriving around noon. This would then give us all afternoon and evening to motor or sail the boat back to Cardiff docks. We called the seller back and told him about our arrangements and agreed to meet him at noon where the boat was moored. I had to borrow money for the train journey but we decided to just buy single tickets as we were going to be sailing back to Cardiff.
The next morning we left in high spirits, it was a beautiful day when we left Cardiff. Around noon we actually found our way to the boat. We met the seller and paid him after inspecting the boat and its equipment. He described with great care how we should fix the shear pin on the propeller that would break if the propeller hit something solid. He gave us a spare copper needle for such an emergency.
We noticed that there was now a rather stiff wind blowing downstream, and when the seller learned that we were determined to set out for Cardiff at once he became very concerned and explained that the water outside the estuary would be very choppy because of the wind. We were a mile upriver at this point and couldn’t see the mouth, so he couldn’t stop us from our mission. With some hesitation he said goodbye and left us to deal with it. Five minutes later we had untied the boat, started the engine and were putting down the river. Like intrepid travellers, the three of us felt terrified by the boat and the adventure that awaited us. 10 minutes later we were in the mouth of the river. The wind was sharper and the water was churning as the river plowed into the sea. The skiff floated lightly and rode well on the waves that built up as we continued into the Bristol Channel. Because the boat was so light, it rose and fell on every crest and valley as we headed straight for the oncoming surf. While it was a bit discouraging, we weren’t overly concerned. The little engine ran quite well. Soon it was time to turn to port as Cardiff docks lay to the left along the coast.
This is when the problems started. We were sideways on the waves now and the boat was rolling back and forth and up and down. As the pitch of the boat increased, the propeller came out of the water and hit back on each of the big waves. 20 minutes after a particularly large wave, the propeller hit the water with a bang. The engine was racing like crazy and we found that the copper pin had sheared off. The outboard motor was attached to the stern of the skiff, with the propeller shaft outside the transom.
To fix the copper pin we had to get the motor on board, but we didn’t have tools to remove it from the transom. Terry tried desperately to secure the new copper pin in the propeller shaft as it rose and fell in the water, but there was no way he would succeed. Very soon he was soaking wet and shortly thereafter he became severely seasick. When I saw Terry getting sick and with the extreme movement of the boat both Melvin and I soon gave way and the three of us all three leaned over the edge of the boat feeling very miserable. We had turned off the engine because it was of no use in driving the boat and consequently no longer helped us steer. We realized we had to do something or we would capsize and we were too far out to swim in a sea like this. Next we tried to hoist the sail but we had no tools to hold the mast up so we couldn’t. Our only option was to pull out the oars and row. We took turns pausing while two rowed, we found that there was no way we could get to Cardiff in the state we were in. The best we could do would be to beach the boat if we could get close enough to the shore.
So we turned the boat around and headed straight to the beach which seemed about half a mile away. We were now running with the waves one minute on the crest and the next minute in the valley which made rowing quite difficult. One punch would dig deep into the water, while the next would dig into the fresh air and send us off our seats. However, as long as we managed to keep the bow pointed towards the shore, the rushing sea carried us towards it at considerable speed. As we neared shore, the breakers were in turmoil. Just before reaching the beach we noticed that there was a ridge of rock about a hundred yards from the waterline. We had the oars over the stern and used them to try to steer the boat in a straight line. If we had turned the side to face the water, we would have capsized. We sped towards the breakwater and eventually drove over the rough surf into shallow water where we quickly climbed out of the boat. We were waist deep in the water but the three of us dragged the boat up the beach to the water. We all collapsed from exhaustion on the pebble beach. When we had gathered some strength, we decided that the only thing left to do was to get the boat over the high water mark on the beach. We couldn’t do it ourselves as the beach was steep and the gravel made it difficult to pull the boat, so we went in search of a farmer with a tractor and asked him to tow it further up the beach for us. We decided to leave it there until next weekend. We would then come back and try to continue our way to Cardiff.
Luckily Melvin had enough money in his pocket to get us three single train tickets back to Cardiff. We arrived that evening, very late, very miserable and disheveled. When I told my father about our experiences he said he would take the three of us back to Briton Ferry in his car the next Saturday morning.
When Saturday came, we set off well prepared with lots of tools and food and drink. We got to the beach, the boat was where we left it but we found it was half full of boulders and pebbles. It was evident that the local children had been playing around and in it and filling it with the pebbles. We set about unloading the boat and then, to our horror, found that the floor planking had broken in several places. There was no way the boat could be sailed again in its current condition. The only remaining hope we had was that it had two flotation tanks under the seats, which supposedly could keep it afloat should it capsize or flood.
Then I got the idea to dredge it off the coast into deep water. If we could do that we could float it around the headland to Porthcawl where there was a small pontoon and dock. It would be safe from children there and we might be able to work on that in the future.
The idea behind the dredging was this: while the tide was high, we tied the anchor to the boat with a long rope and set it in the sand far down the beach facing the sea. When the tide came in it covered the anchor and finally when the tide reached the boat and it started to float due to the buoyancy tanks. Once the boat was floating we could board, we would pull the rope that would bring the boat to anchor, we would then be in deeper water and we could weigh the anchor and go from there. We would row until we got around the headland to our destination. That was the theory. First we had to get the boat below the waterline on the beach where we had towed it from the week before or the water would never reach it. Meanwhile some people had arrived at the beach and stood around and watched us. We asked some of them to help us pull the boat down the beach. We laid out the line with the anchor at the end and waited for the tide to come up the beach. It took half an hour to drop anchor, but it took another hour to reach the boat. By now quite a crowd had gathered around us on the beach waiting to see what would happen. The tide rose and eventually the flotation tanks began to work but the oncoming waves now began to push the boat up the beach, the anchor dragged because it was not big enough to hold the boat as it was pushed back from the sea. The situation was about to get lost, so I decided to make one last ditch effort to get the boat floating.
We untied the rope and some of us lined up like a tug of war team to untie the anchor and retrieve it to where we were standing. In the meantime the crowd on the beach had increased and there must have been a few hundred people around us, watching our every step. I picked up the anchor and struggled with all my might to get it over my head, and then I started to go into the sea. I kept walking until the water sloshed around my shoulders, and with one last tug I dropped the anchor as far ahead as I could into the deeper water. Up until then I had neglected everything but putting the anchor in deep water. As it left my hands, I noticed that there was a lot of noise coming from the shore behind me. As I turned to go back, I saw my dad, Terry, and Melvin gesturing at me like crazy. I thought they cheered me on. A lot of the people were laughing, which I found strange, but it wasn’t until I got back to the boat that I realized what was going on. They all laughed because in my haste I had forgotten to tie the anchor to the boat and now it was of no use to us at all. That was the most embarrassing moment of my life.
Now there was nothing we could do to save the day. The tide rose rapidly, and any hope of saving the boat was long gone. All we could do was leave the crime scene as soon as possible to avoid further embarrassment.