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RYA sailing courses in Greece

Sailing courses in Greece

The RYA Training Scheme

The RYA Training Scheme is acknowledged as one of the finest in the world. Certificates obtained by successful completion of the scheme's various levels are recognised by insurers and maritime authorities as proof of competence. At the scheme's highest levels, the certificates awarded can provide professional qualifications, recognised under maritime law and by marine related businesses.

The scheme encompasses the entire spectrum of experience, from complete beginner to professional skipper. It is a progressive process, in other words, you work your way through the levels over a period of time. You can enter the scheme at any level (provided you have the necessary experience for the course chosen). Complete beginners should start with the Competent Crew course. Thereafter, the syllabus progresses through Day Skipper, Coastal Skipper and Yachtmaster. These courses also have associated shore based theory courses which, amongst other things, teach candidates navigation, seamanship and meteorology.

Practical sailing courses are usually 5 or 6 days and take the form of a cruise around local islands and bays. In other words, you will not day sail from a marina! Your yacht will be skippered by a fully qualified RYA Instructor who will provide tuition throughout the cruise which always includes some night sailing. The ratio for teaching is 1 Instructor for up to 5 candidates.

The following RYA courses are a guide to what we can offer in Greece.

RYA courses
Learn to sail in Greece

Further details....

RYA Competent Crew

Competent Crew

: A practical course run over 5 consecutive days or 3 weekends. This course is designed to turn a complete beginner into a useful member of a yacht's crew. You will leave our home port on a school yacht and return only at the end of the course having visited a number of other local harbours and bays. You will do some night sailing, learn how to live on and operate the yacht, learn the basics of sailing, understand how to be safe at sea and become familiar with the language of sailing.

Previous Experience: None

Course length: 5 days practical (5 days and nights aboard the school yacht)

Syllabus: Knowledge of sea terms and parts of a boat - Sail handling - Rope work - Fire Precautions and fighting - Personal safety equipment - Man overboard drill - Emergency equipment - Manners and customs - Rules of the road - Dinghies - Meteorology - Seasickness - Helmsmanship and sailing - General duties.

'Day Skipper' theory (non-tidal*)

Before you can do the Day Skipper practical course, you need to have covered the navigational theory. These days it's possible to do this part of the course from home as there are a number of very good online courses available, or you can self-study by purchasing the relevant books from the RYA website. Alternatively you can sign up for the two day theory course at your local sailing school, or we can offer it (when there is enough demand) in Greece, to be taken just before your practical.

The Course: Day Skipper Theory provides a comprehensive introduction to navigation, IRPCS (International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at sea), meteorology and seamanship.

Course Duration
: 2 days (shorebased)
Online courses: varies

Previous Experience: None / basic crewing experience or Competent Crew

Syllabus: Nautical terms - Rope work - Anchor work - Safety - IRPCS - Definition of position, course and speed - Navigational charts and publications - Navigational drawing instruments - Compasses - Chart work - Position Fixing - Tides and tidal streams - Visual aids to navigation - Meteorology - Passage planning - Navigation in restricted visibility - Pilotage.

Day Skipper practical (non-tidal)

The first big step towards moving from being a crew member to a yacht skipper. After successful completion of this course you will be considered qualified to skipper a small family cruiser, in daylight and in settled weather, to and from ports you are already familiar with.This course is the foundation for anyone intending to get seriously involved in yachting, or at least to have a few more family holidays on a yacht without a professional skipper.

The Course: Teaches pilotage, navigation, seamanship and boat handling up to the standard required to skipper a small cruising yacht safely by day in non-tidal waters with which the student is familiar

Course Duration: 5 days

Previous Experience: Competent Crew or: 5 days, 100 miles, 4 night hours - Basic navigation and sailing ability

Syllabus: Preparation for seas - Deck work - Navigation - Pilotage - Meteorology - Rules of the road - Maintenance and repair work - Engines - Victualling - Emergency situations - Yacht handling under power - Yacht handling under sail - Passage making.

Pre-Course Preparation*: Obtain and read the RYA 'Day Skipper' booklets. Study, 'International Rules for the Prevention of Collisions at Sea' or contact us to have it ordered for you.

*The courses offered in Greece are non-tidal because Greece benefits from having very few discernible tides. The non-tidal licence is fully accepted for chartering yachts in Greece or anywhere else where tidal concerns are not a big issue. After completing your course in Greece, it is always possible to add the tidal element at any time by doing a short supplementary course in the UK or elsewhere where tides are predominant.

Ropes, winch

Coastal Skipper- practical course

The Course: An intermediate level course suitable for those with a moderate level of experience. The course aims to teach the skills and techniques required to skipper a yacht safely on coastal and offshore passages by day and night within any part of the Mediterranean or Baltic Seas. Note: This is the non-tidal version of this valuable qualification. We can also arrange for examination of the tidal version (if you have the neccessary tidal miles). Call to discuss.

Course Duration: 5 days
Previous Experience: 30 days, 2 as skipper, 800miles, 12 night hours. Restricted (VHF only) Radio Operator's Certificate. First Aid certificate. Navigation to Day skipper theory standard.

Syllabus: Passage planning - Preparation for sea - Pilotage - Passage making and ability as skipper - Yacht handling under power - Yacht handling under sail - Adverse weather conditions - Emergency situations

Pre-Course Preparation
: Obtain and read the RYA 'Coastal Skipper' booklets. Study, 'International Rules for the Prevention of Collisions at Sea'.


The pinnacle of the RYA Training Scheme. Yachtmaster has been designed to recognise experienced sailors capable of undertaking complex, extended passages in any weather conditions in both tidal and non-tidal waters.

RYA Yachtmaster practical sailing course

The Course: To prepare experienced candidates for the coveted Yachtmaster practical exam. This is the pinnacle of the RYA training scheme and requires considerable knowledge and experience. Successful candidates will be qualified to undertake complex offshore passages under all conditions. We can arrange for the course to conclude with the examination itself which is conducted by an independent RYA Examiner.

Course Duration: 5 days (plus 2 days optional examination)

Previous Experience
: 50 days, 5 as skipper. 2,500 miles (of which over 50% must be in tidal waters). 5 passages over 60 miles including 2 overnight and 2 as skipper. Restricted (VHF only) Radio Operator's Certificate. First Aid certificate. Navigation to Coastal Skipper theory standard.

Syllabus: Passage planning - Preparation for sea - Pilotage - Passage making and ability as skipper - Yacht handling under power - yacht handling under sail - Adverse weather conditions - Emergency situations.

Sailing courses

Yachtmaster Ocean

A 5 day theory course that teaches celestial navigation and ocean meteorology. Candidates subsequently need to complete an ocean passage of over 500 miles and sit an oral exam before the endorsement is awarded.

Commercial Endorsement

Required to work professionally as a yacht skipper. This endorsement is awarded after successful completion of a Sea Survival Course and a medical examination.

* In most cases it is possible to complete a practical course without having completed a theory course but students must be able to show that they have independently reached a similar level of knowledge. There is not enough time on a practical course to re-teach the theory syllabus! Like the higher levels of certification described below, it is the practical certificate that provides the recognised qualification. The theory part of the course is simply that - the practical course teaches you how to apply the knowledge in a real marine environment. You will be awarded a certificate only on being able to successfully demonstrate your practical competence at that level.

Odyssey Sailing
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Odyssey Sailing is registered and bonded with the Greek National Tourist Organisation (GNTO - EOT) and is a member of the Hellenic Yacht Brokers Association (HYBA). © Odyssey Sailing

Antonopoulou 158D, Volos, 38221, Greece
Tel: +30 24280 94128 | Tel / fax: +30 24210 36676
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