RYA Level 1 Start Sailing

Aimed at beginners this course provides a short introduction to the sport of sailing. By the end of the course, participants will have a basic understanding of boat handling techniques and background knowledge enabling them to get afloat under supervision.

Pre-course experience and assumed knowledge

None required.

Ability after course

Able to sail in light winds under supervision.


Upon successful completion of all requirements of the syllabus you will be awarded the RYA Level 1: Start Sailing certificate.

Outline syllabus

  • Wind awareness
  • Sail controls and parts of the boat
  • Rigging the boat
  • Knots and ropework
  • Sailing in all directions
  • Turning the boat
  • Controlling speed and stopping
  • Launching and recovery
  • Awareness of other water users
  • Clothing and equipment
  • Weather
  • Capsize recovery

The course will be taught in a highly practical manner using both single-handed and crewed dinghies and supported by shore-based sessions providing essential background knowledge.

What’s included

  • Instruction by Royal Yachting Association qualified instructor
  • Maximum group size of six people
  • Protective clothing and safety equipment
  • Certificate

What’s not included

  • Personal insurance
  • Towels
  • RYA Logbook


The course dates show your actual activity days and the course will run from 10:00 to around 16:30 each day. There will be a break for lunch at a convenient time. Please arrive at 9:30 on your first day to book into the centre.

What to bring

We recommend that you bring plenty of warm clothing; quick drying fleece and thermals are ideal. You will also need to bring a swimming costume, towel, trainers or wetsuit boots, hat and gloves, sunglasses and sun cream, and a flask or water bottle.

Lunch is not supplied however those attending courses at The Watersports Centre are eligible for a discount of 10% off food at the Langdale Bar at Low Wood Bay. Alternatively candidates can bring their own lunch.

Age Limits

This course is aimed at those aged 14 years and over.

Sailing Dinghy on Windermere

How to find us

We are situated at the northern end of Windermere, on the A591 between the towns of Windermere and Ambleside. We have ample car parking on site. The nearest railway station is at Windermere (4 miles) and the centre is served by a number of bus routes.

Opening Times

1st April – 31st October open seven days a week.
(Outside these dates please contact us to check availability)

All sessions are subject to availability & weather conditions.

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    Adventure Activities Licensing Authority

    Low Wood Bay Watersports Centre is registered with The Adventure Activities Licensing Service (AALS) as licensed to provide specified activities under the following headings: watersports. Licence details can be confirmed by calling The Licensing Service on Tel: 029 2075 5715. Registration number: L9072/R0178.

    South Lakeland District Council

    Our boats and operators are licensed and inspected by SLDC (South Lakeland District Council) as required under the Public Health Act 1907, Section 94.

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