Ronstan

Start Boating: Answering the Questions

Published on June 15th, 2015

Increasing participation in sailing is complicated. There is the perception of danger and cost. Public parks have grass, not water. Golf courses have driving ranges to embrace the uninitiated. Sporting goods stores have balls, not boats.

Yet, despite the challenges, sailing captures the imagination. The trick then is to convert imagination into activation.

The Royal Yachting Association (RYA), the British national body for all forms of boating under power or sail, have recognized this. Quite clearly, at the top of their website, is a tab labeled ‘START BOATING‘.

A click of the tab opens the door to large and small keelboats, dinghies, multihulls, windsurfers, and powerboats. We clicked on Start Boating: Sailing. This is what we learned…


Dinghies, small keelboats and multihulls provide an exciting and cost effective way of getting afloat to experience the thrills of sailing. You could take the family camping in places like the Lake District, participate in high octane and fast performance sailing, race or just sail on your own for fun.

The great thing about small boat sailing is that it provides one of the cheapest ways to get afloat. It is also the quickest and easiest way to learn to sail as dinghies, small keel-boats and multi-hulls are easy to rig, anyone can handle them and they are very responsive, providing limitless entertainment for everyone.

What’s it about?
Dinghies, small keelboats and multihulls are suitable for day sailing in a variety of areas both inland and on the open sea. They are fun and exciting whilst bringing you closer to nature.

Try out on the water
There are many RYA approved Training Centres in the UK and abroad which run taster sessions providing an ideal opportunity to get out for the first time.

Starter courses
The RYA’s Youth Sailing Scheme, for under 16’s and National Sailing Scheme for adults offer the Stage 1 and Level 1 courses respectively, which are perfect for beginners.

What you’ll need
The RYA training centre that you choose will provide all the safety kit and clothing that you require, you will therefore need only the minimum of personal kit to get started.

Find a club
It is worthwhile joining a local sailing club as most offer a good range of social and sailing events. Clubs offer a range of fantastic facilities and some rent out a variety of boats.

Where to buy
Chandleries in marinas and online mail order companies are good places to buy kit, as are the Boat Shows in Southampton and London and the annual Dinghy Show in London.

Books, websites and magazines
The RYA is the leading publisher and retailer of boating books so look no further for all the literature you require. A wealth of information can also be obtained from specialist websites and magazines.

More information here: www.rya.org.uk/startboating

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