Learning to sail throughout 2016 has added an element of freedom to my armoury when it comes to travel. I have always been able to drive, but the ability to be out on the water and go pretty much anywhere in good time is something rather new. Especially being able to carry lots of kit instead of just a day bag in my canoe. But whilst I felt comfortable around others, what about taking a boat out on my own and managing to get back in one piece? Well, to see if I could do it I decided to take my RYA Level 2 Sailing Course and here is the review.

Sailing: RYA Level 2 Sailing Course Review

It’s been great to have the support of such a huge brand such as Helly Hansen on the whole journey. The kit has been top notch and with it I have also managed to get access to some sailors who are at the top of their game through the ambassador programme. But what about little old me? Could I do it alone? Well I had to prove it to myself in a way more than anything – so I found myself on Day 1 of the RYA Level 2 Sailing Course having no idea really what to expect.

Whilst all of my sailing had been done out to sea, my course would actually be inland on the Norfolk Broads. I met up with ‘Jimmy James’ (a sailor if ever there was one) who would be my guide for the next week and put me through my paces. Our ‘vessel’ would be a 25 feet sailing yacht. Nothing fancy and incredibly simple. During level 1 and 2 of the course we would cover the likes of:

  • Parts of the Sail and Rigging
  • Wind Awareness
  • Controlling Speed
  • Tacking and Gybing
  • Ropework
  • Man Overboard (thankfully a dummy)
  • Coastal and Inland Waters

This is only a small selection of all of the points covered, but gives a good overview into what to expect and things you will have to try and prove. Once we were on the water, I felt confident in pretty much everything. Whilst I may not have known some of the terms (I have a memory like a fish), I had actually done most in one form or another.

Once we were out on some open water, Jimmy pretty much left me to my own devices and just set some routes and plans for me to follow so he could asses my level. Luckily he was happy with my knowledge already and it was going to be more of a case of me proving that I could sail to RYA regulations. Ultimately for me, sailing is very much like most things in life – and revolves around common sense. Don’t crash, be sensible and just think about how thing work and work best for you.

We managed to cover so much in the first couple of days (one of the many joys of 1 on 1 training) that we actually changed boats to something a little more, erm, fun! A 90 plus year old wooden sailing craft. You can read more about that and sailing on the Norfolk Broads in my other piece.

Whilst I definitely learnt a few new tricks from ‘Jimmy‘ my instructor, the RYA Level 2 Sailing Course was more of a confidence booster to assure me in my own abilities and what I had previously learnt, as well as giving me a nice piece of paper to prove to people I am capable of taking out a sailing yagcht on my own – and come 2017 I really can’t wait to get back on the water.

Hug thanks to for the lessons as well as; Norfolk Sailing School and Eastwood Whelpton Yacht Station for helping me along and supplying the boats!




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