The beginner’s sailing course is for those who want to thoroughly learn the basics of sailing. At the end of the course you can pass an exam to get a certification. It may be necessary to prove your skills if you want to charter a boat. Many sailing schools that hire out boats belong to a sailing association and accept each other’s certifications. But there is also the possibility to learn to sail in relaxed atmosphere without exams.
In the beginner’s sailing course you are introduced to the boat by experienced sailing instructors. You learn the basic sailor’s knots and every time before you go on the water you are briefed in intensive lessons for what is on the agenda that day. If there is an exam at the end of the course you will be well prepared for the theoretical and practical part of it. Often you get textbooks and other educational material to prepare yourself.
In the practical part of the course you learn all the important manoeuvres under the supervision of the sailing instructor in a relaxed atmosphere. You will hoist the sails, leave the dock and come back again. You will steer all points of sails, you will tack and jibe (or gybe), you will heave-to and get introduced to the rescuing manoeuvre. While practicing you get familiar with the proper commands.
Beginner’s sailing courses are offered after work or on weekends. It is also possible that a course lasts a week or two in one piece. You can join it alone, with a friend, with your partner or with the whole family. Combine the beginner’s sailing course with a holiday. For example in the sunny South, on native coasts or on inland waters. There are a plenty of opportunities.
In some sailing schools you operate a dinghy in sets of twos or threes independently and the instructor follows with a powerboat. There are also courses on keelboats with up to 4 students and the sailing instructor is on board. Choose by your own preferences. In the next two chapters I explain the pros and cons to you and how to learn the basics of sailing on a dinghy course or on a keelboat course.
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