Improving Skills

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ObjectiveTo develop the skills and knowledge you need in order to set up and sail the
boat more effectively and in moderate conditions. This course will also prepare
you for the specialist courses ahead.
without assistance from your instructor.
Previous knowledge / experience
You will be expected to have completed, or have experience equivalent to,
the Basic Skills course and have been sailing regularly. If you have not been
regularly practising these skills you will need to do so prior to this course at
least 10 hrs as helm
Types of Boats This course may be completed in any type of sailing dinghy, small keel boat
or catamaran. Your certificate will show what type of boat(s) you used.
Duration4 - 10 days
AssessmentAssessment is continuous throughout the course. However, your instructor may
also choose to use a formal practical assessment of boat handling skills and a
short written paper or oral interview in assessing your level of background
By the end of this course you will be able to do the following:
RiggingRig the sailing boats used.
De-rig, secure and care for hull & equipment.
TuningIdentify and demonstrate / describe the use of the following in order to optimise
the boat / rig for a particular set of conditions:
 Sail telltales
 Jib sheeting angles
 Halyard tension
 Outhaul
 Cunningham / downhaul
 Kicker or vang
 Main sheet traveller / hawse
Use boat and rig controls to optimise the performance of the boat in a variety
of conditions includ
Boat Handling Tack effectively in all wind conditions.
 Perform a basic roll tack in light winds.
 Gybe effectively in all wind conditions.
 Demonstrate all of the skills covered in the “Sailing Manoeuvres” section
of the Basic Skills course” in windier conditions.
 Describe the principles of sailing without a rudder and sail a beam
reach without a rudder.
 Sail backwards for short distances.
Capsize recovery Right an inverted boat.
Describe what to do if someone is caught under an inverted boat
Boat SpeedBe constantly aware of and apply the “5 Essentials”.
Set the boat up, and sail efficiently:
 up wind
 down wind
 on a reach
Demonstrate how to obtain maximum leverage when hiking or trapezing.
StoppingAnchor your boat, then recover the anchor and sail away.
WeatherIdentify common weather conditions and describe how they may affect
your activities.
 Identify sources of weather forecasts.
 Explain the significance of commonly used terms in marine forecasts.
 Identify the significance to sailors of common weather patterns illustrated
on synoptic chart.
 Interpret the forecast with regard to planned activities.
Coastal KnowledgeDescribe what causes tides and how neap and spring tides might affect
Sailing KnowledgeExplain how sails and foils work, how they interact and how they drive a
sailing boat.
What next…Describe how to continue sailing and develop your sailing skills and

Course Syllabus (PDF)

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