Junior Sailing - Which Course Should I Choose?

Cara na Mara

Cara na Mara is a new range of courses for the very youngest sailors aged from 7 upwards. Offering a fun mixture of shorebased and waterbased activities, these courses aim to give junior members an appreciation of the marine environment while learning to be both comfortable and safe in the water. 

Click here to find out more about these fun courses!

Beginners Junior Sailing Courses

Beginners sailing courses are an introduction to the fundamentals of sailing and boat handling. They combine on the water training with some basic theory. Each course builds on the lessons learned in the previous courses and develops sailing skills to allow the sailors handle dinghies in a competent and safe manner in moderate winds. The sailors will be introduced to other aspects of sailing such as racing and day sailing.

Start Sailing (beginners level 1)

This course will introduce the basic boat handling techniques and background knowledge necessary to get started in sailing. By the end of this course sailors will be sailing in light wind conditions with assistance from the instructor.

Experience required: No previous experience required.

Basic Skills (beginners level 2)

Building on the skills learned in level 1. By the end of this course sailors should have the skills and knowledge necessary to rig their boats and safely go sailing without assistance in light winds.

Experience required: ISA Level 1, Start Sailing Certificate.

Improving Skills (intermediate level 3)

This course will help sailors to develop a competent, safe and practical approach to sailing their boats in moderate winds. They will also be introduced to the different aspects of dinghy sailing such as racing and day sailing.

Experience required: ISA Level 2 Basic Skills Certificate plus 1 season logged sailing experience since then.

Please Note:

When applying for courses at the level of Improving Skills and above, it is important that the sailor has logged some sailing time following the previously completed course in order to consolidate the skills learned. For this reason, it is necessary to submit a photocopy of the personal sailing log, located in the ISA sailing logbook. A sailor moving directly up to the next level without having sailed since the previous course will find it difficult to achieve the required standard and may fail the course assessment.

Advanced Junior Sailing Courses

Advanced sailing courses build on the skills learned in the Junior Sailing Courses and develop more advanced sailing skills to allow the sailor handle dinghies in more challenging conditions. Skills such as advanced boat handling, boat tuning, racing, and spinnaker work are taught and the courses often involve longer sailing trips.

Advanced Boat Handling (level 4)

To develop advanced boat handling and tuning skills and prepare you to sail flat out in strong winds.

Experience required: You must have completed the Improving Skills course and been sailing regularly. If you have not been regularly practising these skills you will need to do so prior to the course or extend the length of this course in order to allow time to do so.

Kites & Wires (level 4)

To introduce you to the thrills and spills of sailing with spinnakers and trapezes.

Experience required: You will be expected to have completed, or have experience equivalent to, the Improving Skills course.

Start Racing (level 4)

To introduce you to sail boat racing and develop your skills and knowledge to a level where you can comfortably race at club and inter club level in Ireland.

Experience required: You will be expected to have completed, or have experience equivalent to, Improving Skills.

Adventure Skills

To introduce you to the skills and knowledge you will need in order to undertake longer trips and to sail in stronger winds.

Experience required: You will be expected to have completed, or have experience equivalent to, Improving Skills.

For more information check out the Irish Sailing Association’s web site here.