RYA Training & Courses

RYA Training & Courses

We are different from the rest as we do

1) 5 day courses including a weekend-only 3 days leave plus courses over a long and standard weekend.#
2) 7  day courses including a crossing to France or the Channel Islands

3) 3 Weekend course with emphasis on sailing in the Med
3) No hidden extras
4) Much better food than most schools

RYA Training Centre

Why Choose Us: Competent Crew Sailing Courses

1) We strive to make sure you enjoy competent crew course. We love sailing but teach less than 10 courses per instructor a year so we don’t go stale. Unlike some schools we don’t go in for back to back RYA courses. Running a course properly is hard work but if a job is worth doing….

2) We don’t do hidden extras like ships kitty or ‘evening meals to be taken ashore‘. We include free loan of foul weather gear, also a Log book for competent crew.(The crew often vote for a couple of evening meals ashore and we pay our way).

3) Wild Spirit does serious races like the Fastnet. We are better equipped, faster and more stable than most school yachts.Our food is also better as Phil, Nick and I like cooking, but it is a sailing course not a culinary outing!

4) We operate as part of Lymington Yacht Charters (LYC) Sea School a well established RYA training Centre who also maintain Wild Spirit. We run out of Lymington Yacht Haven, voted best marina in the country which adjoins the National Park also has free car parking.

5) We don’t try and fill a yacht then hire in free lance Instructors–you can talk to us before you book–Paul 01823 433813, Phil 07803 176 977, or email us at [email protected]. We will give you honest advice–not a hard sell.

6) The majority of our Race team and Cruising trip customers have done a RYA course with us. All of our 2106 Round ireland team have sailed with us before, the majority of our Sydney Hobart teams for 2013 and 2014 plus the Caribbean 600 in 2015 and 2016 have sailed with Paul before. We want repeat custom but we also want you to pass your RYA courses first time.

7) Paul is a Chartered Environmental Health Practitioner, until April 2013 Vice Chairman of a £900M p.a NHS Trust, Nick is an Engineer who has led flotilla charters and run an exclusive holiday resort. We are honest, give straight advice and aim to fully comply with all RYA Competent Crew requirements. If it has our name on it then it’s done right.

Updated 9/2/16

Click on the course title for more details.

Hi Everyone,

A brilliant week aboard Wild Spirit! My desk has finally stopped moving around so I’ve been able to concentrate on setting up a place to share photos. After a couple of dead-ends, I’ve created a website for us to share….

Sept 2017

Morning Paul

Just a quick note from Susan and me to thank you for the excellent training on both my day skipper and subsequently Susan’s competent crew training- it certainly has been beneficial .
Last week we brought our new boat Sambuca of Ichenor ( new to us that is !) a Southerley 28 home from an extremely tidal mud berth in the upper reaches of Portsmouth to our location in Poole .
We cannot overstate how much the training on Wild Spirit helped us to deal with what was actually an incredibly fraught and stressful collection without a single cross word or disagreement during the entire journey. Testament indeed to the benefits of good preparation and training.
In all, we dealt with getting her out of the inaccessible mud marina at the highest point of the tide at 2100 on a Friday night with less than 6 inches of water under the keel and no higher tide for two weeks- on a boat that has been on the hard for two years. and which currently has no working depth sounder. It was a little stressful .
This was followed by our arrival into Gosport Marina where upon returning from paying for the marina fee we stepped down into the cabin to discovered an electrical fire where the stop solenoid on the engine had shorted out and set fire to the cabling, destroying the solenoid and wiring back to the control panel ( Susan knew where the fire extinguishers were – we had briefed before departure )
Whilst jury rigging a solution to get us home and figuring out how I was going to stop the motor once it was running ,we then discovered a significant diesel leak ( of course emanating from the only piece of copper pipe in the entire system that I had not replaced before launching the boat). Our romantic dinner in Portsmouth was hastily substituted for a Pizza delivery and a warm beer whilst I hung upside down in the bilges stemming the flow to an acceptable drip with tape , spanners and mole grips .
Next morning as per our training we were up significantly before our planned departure awaiting the favorable tide to take us over to Yarmouth, as trained VHF on , At this point Portsmouth harbormaster informed that HMS Queen Elizabeth was on her way in and that due to the 250 m exclusion zone the harbor would be closed at 8 AM for two hours. Susan had the boat prepared and we slipped from the marina in less than 10 minutes (coffee mugs still in hand ) and made our transit at the Cenotaph in plenty of time..
Due to lack of wind we motored most of the way finding ourselves off Yarmouth by 11 AM, After a quick consultation and a check of the tides we decided to push on for Poole where I could make proper repairs. Leaving the Needles Channel the wind came up on the beam we shut down the engine ( decompressors and a rubber glove required !) and had a perfect sail all the way into Poole.

In total we did our first trip together 48 NM in 8 hours on un unknown boat with many issues in safety and had a great sail and a laugh along the way.
I cannot overstress how beneficial.it has been for both of us to have undertaken the same training with same instructor- for the skipper to know that your crew has everything prepared before you need to ask and for the crew to know the skipper has done his homework and has a route plan and alternatives in mind leads to harmony on the boat .
Susan is already looking to undertake her day skipper and as soon as I have clocked up enough miles we will be back with you for more training on Wild Spirit
My only complaint regarding the competent crew training would be the fact that when I instructed that Susan should ” Splice the mainbrace ” when we arrived in Poole she looked at me in confusion . Some improvement required for your next group of competent crew Paul .

Best regards
Pierre and Susan


What happened on the RYA course at end of July?
Two of the students were regular ‘Wild Spiriters’ and we set off about 1930 from Lymington across to Studland bay where we anchored for the night. Lulworth range was closed so, catching the tide in the morning, we sailed round to Worrbarrow bay then on to Lulworth cove and continued along the World Heritage Jurassic coast to Weymouth. That evening we were invited to a BBQ by another Wild Spirit at his house overlooking the Bay.
The next morning we sailed back after various RYA exercises and did our night pilotages before tying up in Lymington. Day 3 started by sailing across to the Buoys off Yarmouth for more RYA work then onto Ocean Village in Southampton where we visited the 2nd oldest Pub in Britain. The next day we sailed round to Portsmouth harbour and then overnighted at Haslar Marina with the crew opting for a meal out at an excellent value ‘Eat all you can’ Chinese.
On the last day we sailed back to Lymington watching the Cowes week racing as we went whilst also achieving 10 knots ourselves at times.
With little rain but up to Force 6 we covered 147 NM and as well as covering the syllabus saw a bit of Cowes week.

Absolutely great mate…Bruce, Nangus Australia (seriously he is called Bruce).

Offers: RYA Competent Crew Course

If you do a RYA Competent Crew Course with us we have offers on some cruises, otherwise you can claim £50 off a cruise or race marked as suitable for novices.
For cruises and races there is a hire charge for Oilies, for RYA courses these are included in the course fee–we don’t do hidden extras!

ID Join Likely Finish Event Price Spaces  
WS342 29 Dec
31 Dec
Xmas Charity sail 29th to 31st December £195 0 Email Wild Spirit

The festive charity sail those who have to take Annual Leave and want something useful to do.
A great way of gaining some miles and a couple of days experience, Tim from our Volvo Round Ireland team is with us so we can happily take a Novice or 2.
We will be in Marinas with hot showers etc every night and we have 2 heating systems on board.
We are only going to have a maximum of 4 plus Tim and I and Wild Spirit is coded for 10 so plenty of space.
No Holly and paper hats but we will have at least one meals ashore and a good time.
Our on board food is also good enough to enjoy a glass or 2 of wine with but we never drink and sail.
The Charity we are supporting will be Knoticat whic run a Poole based Catamaran adapted for Wheelchair and other assisted or elderly people, they are run on a completely voluntary basis and i am asking for a donation of £195 each, which can go through Wild Spirit.
[ We run Wild Spirit on a not for profit basis and support a couple of charities each year ]

WS346 1 Feb
6 Feb
RYA Comp Crew/ Day Skipper £395 3 Email Wild Spirit

Join Friday evening for a good meal on board at 2000 and finish Wednesday afternoon so only 3 days leave needed.

Yes it can be cold, but we have heating on board and will be in Marinas with hot showers every night.

A couple of Dinners out but everything else is included, food, fees, marinas, fuel, use of Oilies and Logbooks for Comp Crew.

WS347 29 Mar
3 Apr
RYA Comp Crew/ Day Skipper £425 3 Email Wild Spirit

Join Friday evening for a good meal on board at 2000 and finish Wednesday afternoon so only 3 days leave needed.

Yes it can be cold, but we have heating on board and will be in Marinas with hot showers every night.

A couple of Dinners out but everything else is included, food, fees, marinas, fuel, use of Oilies and Logbooks for Comp Crew.

WS349 9 Apr
14 Apr
RYA Comp Crew/ Day Skipper £425 5 Email Wild Spirit

Join Tuesday evening for a good meal on board at 2000 and finish Sunday afternoon so only 3 days leave needed.

A couple of Dinners out but everything else is included, food, fees, marinas, fuel, use of Oilies and Logbooks for Comp Crew.

WS356 11 May
18 May
RYA with cross channel–8 days £575 5 Email Wild Spirit

Not France but £25 off this event for first person who can identify where photo is taken from.

Cross Channel on an extended RYA course, or you can just come and build miles.
We have gone for Saturday to Saturday for those who have a way to travel.

Expect a couple of good meals ashore as after years of selfless research I know where to go.

Probably 5 night hours and 2 qualifying passages for Yactmaster.

Max of 2 Day skipper students as we want a couple of days for milebuilding sailing as well.

A bit more expensive than a 5 day course as it takes out 2 weekends. includes all on board food etc.

WS361 20 Jul
27 Jul
RYA Milebuilder to France and Channel Islands £595 5 Email Wild Spirit

Meet for 1330 Saturday at Lymington and catch the afternoon tide. Itinerary will depend on crew plus weather but Channel Islands and France most likely. At least 2 qualifying Pasages for Yachtmaster and a few meals out.
You can do Competent Crew on this trip and it is good for those wanting to build miles, experience and confidence.
Passport is essential.

WS363 14 Aug
24 Aug
Milebuilder/ cruise to the Scillies £575 5 Email Wild Spirit

Meet Plymouth Wednesday evening ready to catch tide Thursday morning and head west.
Itinerary is weather plus team dependent but the Isles of Scilly are top of the list.
We finish Lymington and the price reflects this plus it is after the Fastnet but we have several days for any repairs. In the, most unlikely, event of this trip being cancelled we will refund cost in full, but travel is down to you. In 12 years of doing trips after the Fastnet, Round Ireland and 3 Peaks Yacht race we haven’t had to cancel a single one.

You can do Competent Crew on this one and it is good for building miles plus experience.
it is quite possible we will also visit Channel Islands and posibly france so a Passport is needed.