What do I need to bring with me?
All students - RYA Logbook, (or you can purchase one from us for £10.)
Dayskippers, Coastal Skippers or Yachtmasters please bring a passport size photo for your certificate. Sleeping bag or sheet and blanket, pillow, small torch, ear plugs. Clothing: 2 t-shirts, 1 shorts, 1 long pants, 1 warm jumper, underwear, socks, non-marking sole shoes (shoes must be worn at all times when on deck), sunglasses, hat, sun block, toiletries, towel, book, CD’s, wet weather gear (or we can supply), sailing gloves, water bottle and some favourite nibbles. Packed in a small, soft bag – no hard bags, wheel cases.
If you require medication please ensure that you have enough for the entire course as we may not have access to a pharmacy.
What about seasickness?
You should take seasickness prevention. An early night, healthy food and no alcohol for 24 hours prior is recommended. Ask your pharmacy to recommend a seasickness tablet, but always test for possible side effects well before the course. It may be advisable to start taking tablets the night before the course.
Syllabus and on board activities
Depending on your current experience we will cover all aspects of the RYA syllabus along the way with practical demonstrations and drills plus daily seamanship and navigation sessions at your level. If any of the crew have particular areas of interest or want to practice more advanced skills just talk to your Instructor who will be happy to accommodate your requests. You will be expected to participate in all the tasks and activities involved in living aboard the yacht including helming, sailing, cooking, victualling and cleaning.
What is our itinerary?
The itinerary will depend on wind conditions and weather forecast. We will sail offshore and include port and harbour entries. There will be some night sailing and time for theory sessions. There will be a lot of sailing but the emphasis will be on the RYA syllabus rather than the distance sailed.
What sort of boat will I be on?
Our yachts are all modern with at least 3 cabins and wheel steering so you will be learning to sail on the same kind of yachts that are usually available for charter both in the UK and abroad.
Where will I sleep?
You will be accommodated throughout the course on a comfortable cruising yacht that can sleep up to 8 people in 3 cabins and the saloon. We try hard to avoid students having to share a double berth with a stranger however sometimes this is unavoidable, so we recommend that you bring appropriate sleeping gear and earplugs. If you would prefer guaranteed sole occupancy of a cabin we are happy to assist – simply tick the 50% single occupancy surcharge option on the booking form.
How many other students will be on the boat?
There will be a maximum of 5 students on the boat and a skipper.
What is included in the course fee?
The course fee is fully inclusive and includes accommodation on board, breakfast and lunch, free hire of waterproofs, all berthing and marina fees, all safety equipment.
If the weather is really bad, what happens?
As we are based in Portsmouth Harbour it is very unlikely that a course would be cancelled owing to bad weather. Should the weather be really windy we can use the sheltered waters of the harbour for training. Our boats are heated to ensure you get a cosy night’s sleep.
I would be arriving by train, how far is the sailing school from the station?
We are based at Gosport Marina and it takes about 5 minutes to cross the harbour from Portsmouth Harbour station on the Gosport ferry which can be found just outside the station. We are then 5 minutes walk from the Ferry port. We are also within easy walking distance of the national coach drop off points.
Where can I park my car?
There is ample, secure parking at Gosport Marina. There is a charge of £8.00 per day for parking although all Fastack South customers pay no more than £10.00 regardless of the length of their course or charter. The car park is controlled by a barrier and has security cameras and a night watchman patrols at night. You need to take a ticket when you arrive at the barrier and ask our staff to stamp it before you leave. The Marina Office staff will then apply the reduced rate to your parking fee.
When will I receive my certificate?
The RYA certificate will be issued after the completion of the required number of days and satisfactory demonstration of the skills as described in the RYA log book. If you have not completed a course with us please email through a brief resume of your sailing experience.
What happens if I have to cancel my course or charter?
When you make your booking we make a commitment to you to provide you with a course or charter. This means that we set aside a boat and if it is an RYA course we reserve a place and book a skipper to teach you. As we can only take up to 5 students on a course once we have reserved a place for you we cannot offer it to anyone else. Your deposit is therefore non-refundable. We do try to be fair however, so if you cancel a course within 30 days of the start date and have paid the full course fee, we will refund 80% of your course fee if we can find another student to take your place. We recommend that you take out insurance to cover any potential cancellation fees.
I’m an RYA member is there any discount?
Unfortunately we do not offer discounts for RYA members. We feel that our prices are very competitively especially as we include berthing fees, free use of waterproofs, breakfasts and lunches. To enable us to do this we do not give any course discounts.
I want to take a Practical Day Skipper Course, do I need to take the theory course first?
You may be able to take the Day Skipper practical course without having completed the theory, although you will need to demonstrate that you can master navigation theory to the level of the RYA Day Skipper Theory Course.
Be aware that instructor may decide you need to do some more study before awarding you a Day Skipper certificate.
I want to charter a yacht, which sailing qualification do I need?
The Day Skipper course is very comprehensive and will teach you how to skipper a cruising yacht on short passages by day . The qualification is accepted by most charter companies in the UK and abroad for anyone wishing to charter a yacht under about 40 feet. A less exhaustive course which will give you the skills required for chartering a yacht on holiday is our Holiday Flotilla Course which will enable you to obtain your International Certificate of Competence (ICC), accepted in many countries for yacht charter.
Day Skippers go through a more through a more rigorous theory course in addition to the practical course and are also eligible to apply for the ICC (subject to the ICC terms and conditions). There is a charge of £40.00 for this unless you are a RYA member whereby you can obtain an ICC free of charge.
If you wish to charter a larger yacht you may need to prove that you are an experienced skipper or pass a Yachtmaster Coastal or Yachtmaster Offshore exam. You should also hold a VHF (SRC) Radio Licence in order to use a VHF radio on board a boat. In some countries you will not be able to charter unless you have this licence.
Can’t find the answer you need here? Call Dave on 07506 122584 and he will be happy to help.
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