RYA Whitsundays Sailing School | Whitsunday Rent A Yacht

You are here

RYA Whitsundays Sailing School

The Whitsunday region is among the best in the world to learn to sail or refresh your skills. Our partner sailing school, RYA Whitsundays offers tailored, practical courses for those with all levels of experience from the novice to the seasoned sailor.

RYA Whitsundays is accredited by the world’s premier sailing body, Royal Yachting Association and has provided sail training courses for more than 30 years. Five-day courses are run weekly, from Monday to Friday, departing from Hamilton Island Marina, all year 'round.

The 74 Whitsunday islands are set in the warm, calm Coral Sea and protected by the Great Barrier Reef. Sailing conditions here are superb. During your week of sail training, there will also be time to snorkel in pristine waters and explore secluded beaches and anchorages. You will leave with a certificate of achievement and the skills and confidence to handle charter vessels.

Practical courses offered

  • Level 1 - Competent Crew. No prior sailing experience required.
  • Level 2 - Day Skipper. Pre-requisites: 5 days' sea time, 100 miles logged (4 night hours logged), knowledge of navigation a must, moderate sailing ability.
  • Level 3 - Coastal Skipper. Pre-requisites: 15 days' sea time (minimum 2 days as skipper), 300 miles logged (8 night hours logged), navigation knowledge to yacht master theory standard, sailing ability exceeding day skipper practical standard.


Courses are $1,650 per person (based on cabin share accommodation).

Theory component

The theory component for Day Skipper and Coastal Skipper courses must be completed prior to beginning a practical course. The RYA-recognised training centre, Nav at Home, provides the theory components for these courses online.  If completing your theory via Nav at Home, use Ref: SS1 to link the theory component to your course booking. Your certificate will be sent to your instructor before you arrive to complete the practical component. Fees are payable directly to Nav at Home.

Alternatively, RYA Whitsundays provides classroom-based courses at Shute Harbour. See our Course information page for more.


  • Sunday: Arrive at 4pm to complete paperwork and board vessel. Spend your first night at Hamilton Island Marina with time to enjoy the resort and prepare to begin your course the next morning.
  • Monday 8am to Friday 5pm: Practical course guided by your instructor. The training vessel, a Jeanneau 44, has the capacity for five students and one instructor. Prices are based on a cabin/berth rate.
  • Friday: After 5pm you are able to stay onboard for the final night once the course has been completed. This is a great opportunity to reflect on the week's achievement and socialise.
  • Saturday: Students depart vessel by 10am for their return journey. If you wish to charter a yacht in the Whitsundays for a few days to use your new skills, contact our sales team to check availability and pricing. MAKE AN ENQUIRY.


  • Cabin/shared berth-style accommodation for six nights.
  • Full provisioning for course duration (Monday to Friday).
  • Overnight berth at Hamilton Island at course start and finish.
  • Five day practical course on board a Jeanneau 44 yacht in the picturesque Whitsundays.
  • RYA certification (pending prior successful completion of the theory element and practical assessment).

What to bring

  • Soft soled shoes/deck shoes.
  • Soft drinks/ beverages. (Drinking water provided).
  • Snacks (if required).
  • Personal toiletries.
  • Wide-brimmed hat.
  • Practical course notes and log book.
  • Head torch (including red globe).
  • Sailing gloves.
  • Beach towel (All other linen provided).
  • RYA Practical course notes and logbook
A couple learning to sail at sunset in the Whitsundays

Discover the joys of sailing aboard a yacht in the warm, safe waters of the Whitsundays.