Boat Handling

Course content

During the week you will get the chance to do lots of boat handling in both normal and emergency situations - the things that are not always covered on an RYA course! Items covered include:

Principles of boat handling under motor

  • Turn a yacht around in confined space
  • Reversing in a straight line
  • Spring a yacht off a lee berth

Principles of boat handling under sail

  • Sailing a figure of eight
  • Sail on / off a pontoon
  • Sail on / off anchor

Emergency Situations

  • Man over board – alternate methods (retrieval methods)
  • Search patterns (expanding box, quadrant search, Williamsons turn)
  • Running aground
  • Steering failure (sails, emergency steering systems)
  • Hole in hull (sinking)
  • Mast and rigging failure
  • Storm tactics (drogue, warps etc)
  • Send a crew member up the mast
  • Towing a yacht

Fun and games

  • Gybe and tack game to a buoy
  • Blind landings
  • Sailing backwards
  • Sailing with light sails (spinnaker, genaker)

This is very much a hands-on course teaching you some extra items not normally covered on a standard course. It is normally taught by Andy (himself a Yachtmaster Examiner for Sail, Motor and Powerboats); Richard our senior instructor (with his clipper events experience) and Ovi.

(Note: sometimes not all the items listed above will be covered due to weather i.e. we need light winds for spinnakers)

Pre-course experience

10 days, 200 miles, 8 night hours

Assumed knowledge

Boat handling to the standard of the Day Skipper practical sail cruising course and navigation to the standard of the Day Skipper Theory course.

Ability after course

To be able to cope with unforeseen situations as well as being more confident in handling the yacht.


All our courses are run by one of our experienced instructors.


We ask our clients to arrive on Friday. We clean our boats and do any maintenance between 10:00 and 17:00 so if you arrive earlier we will look after your bags for you. At 17:00 we invite you to get on the yachts and meet your Instructor, and at 18:30 we hold a welcome drink in our classroom to introduce you to the crew on the other boats, and all our Instructors.

Notes: Because of our location you have the advantage that you normally arrive in our marina within 15 minutes of collecting your bags.

On the Friday we ask you to get off the yacht at 10:00 so we can clean her ready for the next week. If you have a later flight we can look after your bags for you – and why not think of our one day courses: Diesel Engine; First Aid; RADAR ; and Sea Survival

Suggested itinerary

On the Friday evening you join your Instructor for a welcome drink, before being allocated a passage plan to prepare. You are also asked to familiarise yourself with the boat ready for the next day.

On the Saturday morning you will be asked to give a safety briefing with some assistance from your Instructor. For the rest of you time with us you will be practising your sailing skills.

On the evening of Thursday we have our end of course drinks in our classroom, with the certificate presentation. A great chance to chat over the highlights of the week.

Minimum duration

6 days tuition / 7 nights on board.

As usual with Club Yachting the following is included:

  • Tuition from an expereinced Yachtmaster Instructor;
  • All our courses are overseen by our Principle, Andrew Williams, himself a Yachtmaster Ocean Examiner for Sail and Motor;
  • All our clients get their own berth – no need to share;
  • Freshly laundered bedding and towels – no sleeping bags or any need to bring your own;
  • Light weight waterproofs – just in case;
  • Food and drink on board – no need to go shopping when you arrive, and including a glass of wine or a beer after a day sailing;
  • All mooring fees, diesel and gas – no hidden extras.

Notes: We do not include: flights, travel insurance or evening meals ashore.

Must bring your own

  • Sun protection – Sun glasses, sun hat and non oily sun cream (without carotene) are a definite must!
  • Music / DVD – there is a CD on the boat (and a DVD player on Club Class boats), so please bring with you a CD / DVD or 2.
  • Mobile phone charging – There is a 12v “cigarette” style socket on board the yacht which is live even when sailing, and a 240v socket (Spanish type) for when connected to shore power.
  • Medication – If you are taking any medication please advise your Instructor on commencement of the course.
  • Health care – Health care in the Canary Islands is good, but it is a good idea to collect the EHIC form from your local post office or online at
  • Seasickness - It is advisable to bring with you a seasickness remedy if you have suffered in the past. There is a local chemist in the town of Las Galletas – ask your Instructor where it is at the Friday night drink.

Notes: All bedding, bed linen (sheet, duvet cover and pillow) and a towel are provided. Please make sure that you let us know if you suffer from allergies as we provide feather pillows as standard.

Recommended clothes

The climate in the Canaries is temperate. You are recommended to bring with you shorts and t-shirts, a jumper/cardigan, long jeans/trousers and jumper for the odd cooler evening in the winter months, shoes with non-marking bottoms for use on the boat, swimwear and something for dinners ashore. As the boat has limited storage space a sailing bag / holdall is the most suitable luggage.

Notes: We lend you a shower / wind proof jacket (normally only needed for the sea spray). Please give it back to us on the Thursday evening.

Course prices