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Sailing instructor careers

Working in a variety of locations, Sailing instructors work mainly at sea, or on inland waterways such as reservoirs, lakes, and canals. Areas of specialization include:

  • Dinghy sailing (small craft including keelboats and catamarans)
  • Yachting
  • Windsurfing
  • Powerboat driving Cruising (large yachts and sailing vessels with crews).

Sailing instructors may teach one or all of these depending upon their training. The RYA (Royal Yachting Association) is the national governing body, and they set standards for training sailing instructors and coaches. Entry requirement for courses are as follows:
  • At least 16
  • Physically fit and able to swim
  • You must be a competent, experienced small boat sailor.

The first level of instructors' certification would be the two-day Assistant Instructor Course. Successfully completing this course would allow you to work under supervision of a qualified instructor. Other higher level courses include:
  • The RYA Dinghy, Keelboat and Multihull Instructor
  • Inland Waterways Helmsman Instructor
  • Powerboat Instructor
  • Powerboat Level 2 certificate
  • Windsurfing Instructor

Each of these has its own requirements, which are a combination of first aid qualifications, RYA certifications, and of course experience on the water. For more information on all these courses, and listings of training centres offering RYA courses, check the RYA website.

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