Top email2x Email us Top search2x Basket Login Join
Home / Training hub / Adult Dinghy Training (RYA National Sailing Scheme) / RYA NSS Level 1 - Start Sailing

RYA NSS Level 1 - Start Sailing

Aim of course:

The aim of Level 1 is to give students a basic understanding of sailing, its terminology, develop the ability to dress appropriately, rig, launch, sail and turn in all directions, right a capsize, recover and derig a boat, all through relaxed tuition for the purpose of safe and enjoyable recreational sailing. The course offers students the opportunity of learning in doublehanded dinghies. To book please find your preferred course on the calendar or book online tab and buy the appropriate ticket/s.



The GP 14 (General Purpose 14-foot dinghy) which can be cruised, raced, rowed or even powered by a small outboard motor. As a training boat it is stable and large enough to accommodate an instructor and two students. The GP14 is raced as a two person adult class at SSSC. This option is best for those who take a more considered approach to learning and like to understand the theory.


The RS Quest. A modern polyethylene 14 foot sailing dinghy that can be comfortably sailed with 2 but large enough to accommodate up to 5. It is ideally suited to training due to its roominess and stability and has recently been introduced into the club but specifically as a training boat only. This is to avoid influencing trainees toward a specific class of boat when it comes to buying one to sail at the club.

Instructor ratio


Will operate on ratio of 1:2 with a maximum of 6 students.


The SI will have an overview of the Doublehanded course, monitoring any safety issues ensuring the standard of course delivery and timely progress through the sessions by the DI's. The SI will brief and debrief DI's as required.

Course delivery

Classroom, Onshore and Onwater sessions will be by DI's in accordance with the relevant method.

Course structure Overview:

Day 1:


Equipment, wind, boat orientation & rigging

Launch & familiarisation

Basic boat controls, beam reach

Land drill Going about

Going about

Sailing to windward

Five Essentials

Day 2:


Sailing Downwind

Land Drill - Gybing


Sail triangular course, first Solo sail

Further sessions (inc capsize drill)

Detailed lesson plans


Fleet: GP14 or RS Quests

Safety boat: Highfield RIB

Classroom: Training Loft

Sailing areas:

The course will operate in sailing areas dependent upon wind direction.


Will use the right hand jetty and sailing areas 3 & 4 or 1 & 4, depending on the wind direction.


DAY 1:

9:00 - 9:30 CLASSROOM:

    • Introductions Instructors and participants
    • Course outline
    • Facilities and safety briefing (slipways, booms, ropes, dealing with capsizes, etc)

9:30 - 10:15 ASHORE:

    • Intro to the parts of the boat & rigging
    • Wind direction and awareness
    • Rig & launch boats
    • Check clothing and buoyancy aids

10:15 - 10:30 ON WATER:

    • Familiarisation sail: Instructor on helm
    • Reaching figure of eight,
    • Wind awareness
    • Students allocated tasks (jib sheets, observation)
    • Students balance boat

10:30 - 10:45 ASHORE:

    • Coffee Break

10:45 - 11:45 ON WATER:

    • Basic boat controls on a beam reach (students on helm except when going about)
    • Lying to
    • Sails and sheets
    • Rudder and tiller
    • Centreboard

11:45 - 12:15 ASHORE:

    • Land drill going about

12:15 - 13:00 LUNCH / DEBRIEF

13:00 - 13:45 ON WATER:

    • Practice reaching and going about back to a reach
    • Coming alongside the jetty (demo)

13:45 - 14:15 CLASSROOM:

    • Points of sail and no go zone
    • Introduction to the Five Essentials

14:15 - 14:30 ASHORE:

    • Coffee Break

14:30 - 15:30 ON WATER:

    • Upwind sailing, Shallow triangle (no gybing)
    • Finding No-Go Zone
    • Improving goiing about
    • Getting out of irons (Push Push - Pull Pull)

15:30 - 16:00 ASHORE:

    • De-rig

16:00 - 16:30 CLASSROOM:

    • Wind (onshore, offshore)
    • Beaufort Scale, know before you go
    • Knots & uses: figure of eight, round turn & two half hitches, cleating
    • Debrief & questions

DAY 2:

9:00 - 9:30 CLASSROOM:

    • Questions from day 1
    • Recap going upwind, tacking and course made good on a beat
    • Introduction to downwind sailing, training run

9:30 - 10:30 ON WATER:

    • Rig & launch boats
    • Downwind sailing
    • Bearing away
    • Finding training run using jib
    • Use of 5 Five Essentials
    • Instructor to demonstrate gybe on final run

10:30 - 11:00 ASHORE:

    • Gybing, land drill

11:00 - 11:15 ASHORE:

    • Coffee Break

11:15 - 12:00 ON WATER:

    • Leaving the jetty
    • Gybing(triangular course)
    • Coming alongside the jetty

12:00 - 12:30 CLASSROOM:

    • Rules of the road (Port/Starboard, Windward/Leeward, Overtaking boat)
    • Capsize theory

12:30 - 13:15 LUNCH / DEBRIEF

13:15 - 14:00 ON WATER:

    • Sailing a triangular course, (with instructor in the boat)
    • Demonstrate five essentials
    • First Solo sail

14:00 - 14:30 ASHORE:

    • Capsize theory

14:30 - 15:15 ON WATER:

    • CAPSIZE (not compulsory, but do it if conditions permit) de-rig all but one boat before capsize
    • Boat on line from jetty or buoy
    • Swim around back, use board to right boat

15:15 - 15:30 ASHORE:

    • Coffee Break

15:30 - 16:00 ASHORE:

    • De-rig

16:00 - 16:30 CLASSROOM:

    • Debrief and questions
    • End of course procedures: log books and next step

Last updated 20:46 on 26 November 2023

Top facebook2x Top instagram2x
© 2024 South Staffordshire Sailing Club powered by Sailing Club Manager