Adult Sailing Tuition

From beginner to proficient

  • One-on-one sailing instruction in safe, easy to sail keelboats.
  • Bespoke tuition to suit your ability and to fit your schedule.
  • Practical and relevant for bay sailing and racing.
  • Less theory – more time on the water.
  • Sail within your comfort level … not pushed to sail in strong wind or sea conditions.
  • Able to monitor your own progress, with specific objectives for each lesson.

Our approach to sailing tuition is like having your own personal trainer at a gym. The programme is broken down into a series of ‘exercises’ that are explained and demonstrated by the instructor, who then carefully coaches you to do the same. There are some aspects of sailing that will require that you understand the theory, however the best way to learn is on the boat … and out in the bay.

Whilst the overall goal is to help you to become a proficient bay sailor, most of our instructors have raced competitively at a national and international level and will happily develop your competitive streak, with go-faster tactics!

Start Sailing Programme Outline

Start Sailing lessons are typically 2-hour modules, co-ordinated to fit with your schedule and to allow for sailing in the most favourable conditions. Below, you can read through the different exercises and steps that make up the programme. When you’re ready, you’ll be assessed to check you are ready to cast off on your own, we’ll issue you with a HBYC ‘Proficient Bay Sailor’ Certificate.

Note: The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) requires anyone sailing a vessel over 9 metres, to be certified. However vessels under 9 metres do not require skipper certification. We strongly believe that anyone sailing in coastal waters, should have a strong level of competence, hence putting in place our own safety standards, to train people to be proficient sailors in vessels under 9 metres.

FAQ’s and Costs

Q. what does the programme cost?

​The programme is made up of six 2-hour lessons. The rate for one-one-one tuition is R450 per hour (inc VAT).
Complete Proficient Bay Sailor Programme = R 5 400 (inc VAT)
– HBYC members save 10%
This includes:-
1. Full access to HBYC Clubhouse, Marina and facilities for duration of programme
2. Use of fully equipped Hunter 19 Keel Boat and all running costs
(including fuel and marina fees)
3. Personal programme sailing instructor and assessment
4. Programme support notes and video material
5. Joining fee for HBYC waived if you elect to join the club within 2 months of completing the programme. 
6. Registration on HBYC crew database
7. Programme certificate

Q. what sailing equipment do I need?
This depends on the season and prevailing weather …
here’s a checklist:-

long sleeve t-shirt
shorts or jeans
deck shoes, sneakers or trainers with grip styled sole (may get wet)
Splashproof / windproof jacket
soft carry bag

Lifejackets and personal floatation vests supplied.

Q. can I do the programme with my spouse / child?
By all means! … we simply add an additional 4-hours of tuition to the programme to ensure you both get enough time to experience all aspects of sailing. No other fees are applicable. A Hunter 19 can comfortably accommodate 3 people (two people, plus instructor).
Q. Will I get sea-sick?

Even if you are prone to getting sea-sick on larger boats, it’s unlikely that you will experience sea-sickness on board a Hunter 19. Being actively involved in the sailing the boat, helps you adjust very quickly to being on the water, and the wave / swell height in Hout Bay is typically quite small.

Q. Are six 2-hour lessons enough time for me to learn to sail?
Other sailing courses are usually run in groups of 4-8 people and as a result, a high percentage of the learning is done by watching, rather than doing. The HBYC Start Sailing programme is designed to give you maximum hands on time, with one-on-one tuition. Within a few hours you’ll be sailing the boat comfortably and your proficiency strengthened through a series of modules designed to help you manage the boat in a different wind and sea conditions. We will also give you plenty of practice berthing the boat (do you remember the time it took to learn to parallel park a car!).
Q. Is our Proficient Bay Sailor a recognised qualification?
Proficient Bay Sailor is a HBYC qualification permitting you to sail a yacht or dinghy (under 9 metres), from the HBYC marina, out into the bay. The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) requires anyone sailing a vessel over 9 metres to hold a a minimum of day skipper certification. However vessels under 9 metres do not require this certification. We strongly believe that anyone sailing in our coastal waters, should have a suitable level of competence, hence putting in place our own safety standards to train people to be proficient sailors in vessels under 9 metres.
Should you decide to progress to a SAMSA or RYA day sailor, or a coastal sailing qualification, you will invariably find that you can accelerate your progress on the practical elements; and focus time on the extensive theory required for these qualifications.
Q. What if I am not able to complete the programme?
If ‘life’ gets in the way and you have to postpone lessons for any reason, for a period of 12 months, you will not forfeit any of the lessons you have paid for. If too much time has elapsed between your last lesson and re-joining the programme, we may recommend you add a couple more hours of tuition to complete the programme. These would be at prevailing hourly rate at the time.
Q. Once I have qualified as a Proficient Bay Sailor, how do I continue sailing?

Being qualified as a Proficient Bay Sailor, will open doors for you (boats actually!). Firstly, the owners of our fleet of Hunters and larger keelboats are always looking for crew. You’ll automatically be registered on our crew database and will be permitted to continue sailing at HBYC as a visitor for a few more weeks, before making a decision to join HBYC. If you would like to own a Hunter 19 or another type of yacht, we can assist you to source this. A second-hand Hunter 19, on a trailer, coupled with a new outboard motor, costs between R45 000 – R50 000, on the water. Mooring fees for Hunter in our Marina are currently R980 per month. Some of the Hunters are ‘co-owned’ … we can help you find a co-owner, if you’d prefer to explore this route.

Read the Wind
Learning to sail starts with understanding where the wind is coming from and to read how it is constantly changing in both direction and strength. At a basic level, this will ensure you point the boat in the right direction and trim the sails accordingly. At an advanced level you will learn how to take advantage of ‘wind shifts’ as part of your tactics, to win races!
Rig and Trim Sails
A rapid review of sailing terminology is followed by experience on the boat rigging and trimming sails. You’ll quickly learn how to set your sails to ‘tack’ upwind, how to optimise boat speed, ‘reaching’ off the wind and ‘running’ with the wind ‘astern’.

Some of these expressions might seem a little odd … but don’t panic, it will all become second nature and in a few hours you’ll know the difference between a ‘sheet’ and a ‘halyard’, you’ll be adjusting the kicking strap without blinking an eye. To make things a whole lot easier, we’ve labelled everything on the boat!

Steer Accurately
With sailing, it’s not always a case of steering the boat in the direction of your destination. Wind direction may require you to tack upwind and if you are heading downwind you’ll need to decide the best course to steer to keep your sails driving the boat with optimum performance. Combined with your ability to read the wind you’ll practise how to tack, gybe and alter course to suit wind and wave conditions.
Manage the Boat
This part of the programme focuses on safety and boat
handling skills. Firstly, we’ll show you how to cast off and leave the marina, watch for other boat traffic and know who has right of way. We’ll teach you how to brief your crew on safety issues and to deal with a man-over-board situation. You’ll learn the basics of using a VHF radio and know how to get help if you need it. Back in the harbour, you’ll practice how to berth your boat using the engine and under sail only (a sure sign you are able to handle your boat with confidence).

One-on-one Instruction

One on One Sailing

Means you’ll progress from crew to skipper at your own pace, with time to grasp everything you need to know to sail safely and effectively in the bay.

Easy to Sail Yachts

Easy to sail Yachts

Hunter 19s are ideal to learn to sail in. Berthed in the HBYC Marina, you won’t need to get your feet wet and no need to wear a wet suit! The Hunter handles like a dinghy, without the risk of capsizing!

More than Just Sailing

Its more than just sailing

Hout Bay is beautiful from land and even more special in a boat, with bird-life, seals, dolphins and occasionally whales. At the end of a day’s sailing you’ll find HBYC members very hospitable and a relaxed atmosphere in the club.

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