Sussex Yacht Club is a RYA Recognised Teaching Centre and all the courses offered are internationally recognised, following guidelines set down by the national body for our sport.

Our facilities are ideally suited to teaching beginners of all ages to enjoy boating, with the benefit of our two clubhouses in Southwick, with its protected non-tidal waters, and Shoreham, which enables direct access to the river Adur and the sea. Both of our clubhouses have changing/shower facilities.

SYC is also an ideal location for shore-based theory courses and training for practical exams such as the immensely popular RYA First Aid at Sea and essential VHF Radio courses.

We also work in partnership with schools in the Solent to provide cost effective practical training and examinations in the spring, with excellent value courses designed to help members quickly and economically achieve success in Competent Crew, Day Skipper, Coastal Skipper or Yachtmaster Preparation.

The Club has a variety of sailing craft ranging from Sonar keelboats to Oppies for our youngest members to use and we have a modern fleet of safety boats with trained crews on hand at every sailing session.

Please click below to download either our Training Application Form or our 2024 Training Brochure.

Day Skipper & Coastal Skipper Practical Courses

We run practical courses in conjunction with renowned RYA recognised Fairview Sailing Limited in the Hamble. This means we can offer members competitively priced practical courses in the spring to enable you to obtain your Competent Crew, Day Skipper or Coastal Skipper practical qualification.

Fairview Sailing use superior quality yachts, we have arranged to use their Beneteau Oceanis 38s, which have 3 cabins, 8 berths. There is a maximum of 5 students per yacht.

The club provides an instructor, who has instructed Coastal Skipper and Day Skipper Theory courses at SYC for several years.

Sailing For Beginners

This two-day sailing course using the club Sonars, caters for both adults and children 13 and over, from complete beginners, or those who have attended a taster session.

At the end of these courses, you should be able to sail safely and independently in light conditions, and subject to suitable progress, you should obtain your RYA Keelboat Level 1, 2 or 3 certificate. The syllabus will include helming (steering) and crewing a sailing craft on all points of sail. This backed up with workshops and sessions ashore, so you are prepared and understand the basics of getting afloat safely. If conditions permit, we shall go to sea late in the course, which will enable the coastal endorsement to be awarded. It is suggested that you follow your training up with like-minded members with Pay & Play sessions.

Beginners sailing RYA level 1 (keelboat)

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Beginners sailing RYA level 2 (keelboat)

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RYA power boat training

This course is an introduction to power boating and is run using the club safety craft. It is aimed at complete beginners and by the end of the course you will have covered all practical and theory requirements to safely pilot a powerboat in protected waters.

You will get opportunity to learn skills both on planing and displacement craft. Subject to suitable progress you will gain your RYA Powerboat Level 2 (tidal endorsement)

The minimum age for this course is 16 except the youth powerboat course when age is reduced to 14. All participants under 18 must be members of Sussex Yacht Club before attending course.

RYA powerboat level 2

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Safety boat course

This is a weekend course for the experienced powerboat handler who provides safety cover for water sports activities.

Training covers rescue techniques for dinghies, canoes and windsurfers leading to the RYA Safety Boat Certificate.

The RYA Powerboat Level 2 Qualification or an equivalent is a prerequisite, preferably with a minimum further season’s experience.

This course run primarily for existing safety boat crews to upgrade the quality of safety boat cover for SYC dinghy racing and Sailability training, and these skippers will be given priority in booking for this course.

RYA young sailors course

The RYA Young Sailors Scheme has been developed to encourage young people to learn to sail in stages within a sound framework of safety and tuition.

No time limits are given for the different stages, as children learn at very different rates, according to their age and enthusiasm.

With each of the stages expressed in terms of competencies, it gives instructors the flexibility to sign off each part of the syllabus as competence in that skill is demonstrated. Nobody can fail – they may just need a little more time and experience.

Certificates are not awarded simply for attending a course. If your child falls into this category, we do not want them to feel they have failed in any way. Our aims are to ensure they will have had a lot of fun, learn a great deal and want to continue sailing in the future.

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International Certificate of Competence (ICC)

What is the ICC?

The International Certificate of Competence (ICC) was introduced by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, Inland Transport Committee to provide boat owners and charterers with a document issued in their own country and recognised throughout Europe.

Theory Courses

We run a number of theory courses, each designed to enhance your knowledge and skills on the water. Take a look below at the various courses we offer, from basic seamanship to advanced navigation techniques. Whether you’re a complete beginner or an experienced sailor looking to refine your expertise, we have something for everyone. Explore our course offerings and find the perfect fit for your sailing journey.

Coastal Skipper and Yachtmaster Theory

This is an advanced classroom-based course in navigation and meteorology for candidates for the Coastal Skipper and Yachtmaster Offshore Certificate and suits those who have already completed an RYA Day Skipper Course.

On successful completion of the course, you will have sufficient background knowledge to skipper a yacht on coastal passages by day and night.

The syllabus makes some provisions for the revision of subjects in the Day Skipper Course but those who have not acquired the knowledge set out in the Day Skipper Course are unlikely to be able to assimilate all the subjects covered in this advanced course in the time available.

Following on from this course you will have the opportunity to put these newfound skills into practice on a five-day RYA Yachtmaster Preparation Coastal Skipper Practical Course. Several courses are arranged by Sussex Yacht Club through our partners at Port Hamble Marina for the spring in the Solent.

Pre Course Experience: Day Skipper Shorebased course

Course Duration: 48 hours plus 3 exams

Times: 6 x Saturdays (09:00 -17:00)

Dates: 16th & 30th November, 14th December, 4th, 18th & 25th January


RYA Day Skipper Theory Course

This elementary course offers a comprehensive introduction to chart work, navigation, and seamanship, ideal for beginners. It’s invaluable for those wanting to start making decisions on board or considering the Day Skipper practical course.

The course includes exercises, which will mostly be done as homework – you should allow sufficient time for this. There are also 2 assessment papers to be sat during the course.

Being based in the Yacht Club, you’ll meet fellow boating enthusiasts and have opportunities to join skippers for club races and rallies by becoming a Member and joining the Crew Register.

The course fee includes all training materials from the RYA. However, you will require your own plotting equipment – a Breton/Portland or Parallel Rules and a set of Dividers. You can either purchase these from a local chandler or on line.

Pre Course Experience: None Required

Course Duration: 40 hours plus 2 exams

Times: 5 x Sundays (09:00 -17:00)

Dates: 17th November, 1st & 15th December, 5th & 19th January

RYA marine radio SRC course & exam

The Short Range Certificate is the minimum qualification required by law to control the operation of VHF and VHF Digital Selective Calling (DSC) equipment on any British flagged vessel voluntarily fitted with a radio. This includes both fixed and handheld equipment using international channels.

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Astro navigation

This course is for students interested in the sextant and how to use it for navigation at sea. Students will need some basic navigation skills such as those from the RYA Day Skipper Course and be able to plot latitude and longitude and measure bearing and distance on a chart. Some simple arithmetic and chartwork will be used. The course will be partly classroom theory and partly practical sessions on a public beach a short walk away.

RYA radar course

Radar is an invaluable aid for navigation and collision avoidance, but it is most useful in the hands of a knowledgeable operator. This is a one-day course popular with those on both sailing and motorboats.

Sailing and motor yachts increasingly have radar on board, and the aim of this course is to teach students to use small boat radar to assist in navigation, pilotage and avoiding collision.

RYA first aid at sea

The course is designed to provide a working knowledge of first aid for skippers of small craft working within 60 miles of a safe haven. The syllabus is based on the recommendations of the Health and Safety Executive and the Department of Transport. Upon successful completion of the course an RYA First Aid Certificate is issued and remains valid for 3 years.

Family and Cadet Evening

From May to July we run family and cadet evenings in our clubhouse in Southwick. These are informal and fun sessions, to give children the opportunity to experience dinghy sailings. The evenings run every Tuesday from 1800 to 2030. Please do note, no booking is necessary and the first 3 sessions are free.

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Questions & Booking

If you are interested in refreshing your skillset by taking part in one of our RYA training courses, please contact

Dinghy racing
Pay and play
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