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SYC is an RYA approved dinghy and power boat training centre

At SYC we’re committed to helping you get the most from your sailing whether you’re a complete beginner or an experienced sailor.

Members benefit from a wide range of formal and informal training opportunities. We hold courses and training sessions to develop skills in sailing and other water-based activities throughout the season.

We’re also a Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Training Centre, so we can offer a variety of high quality RYA sailing and powerboat courses leading to nationally recognised certificates and qualifications. As we’re a club we can usually offer our courses to members at a much reduced rate compared to commercial training centres.

Dinghy and Multihull Sailing

We offer a wide range of courses from the RYA Youth Sailing Scheme and RYA National Sailing Scheme for adults.
Our courses are suitable for complete beginners right up to more advanced levels. If you want to learn to sail, improve your seamanship skills, try day sailing (dinghy cruising) or fly spinnakers then we have something for you.

We also hold a Dinghy Sailing Clinic for adults on Friday nights between May and July to help you brush up your basic sailing skills, develop your sailing confidence and get a taster of some of the skills you can learn on RYA courses.


Racing is a great way to develop your sailing skills and a lot fun too! Our Class Captains are there to welcome you to the different fleets and help you gain racing experience.

Our RYA courses are ideal to help you get to grips with the basics of racing and to develop your racing skills to higher levels. Our Class Captains also occasionally organise coaching days for their fleets which can range from boat handling skills to tactics and boat tuning.

We also make sure we have a good number of members trained as Race Officers to ensure excellent racing.


Cruising is another great way to enjoy sailing whether in a dinghy or yacht. Cruising offers a much greater sense of freedom to explore the Exe Estuary or venture further afield along the coast or across the English Channel.

Our Dinghy Cruising Co-ordinator and Yacht Cruising Secretary will help you to get involved and introduce you to experienced members who can show you the ropes. A number of organised dinghy cruises on the Exe are arranged throughout the year to help you explore the Estuary in company with other boats or as crew for an experienced member.

We offer a range of RYA courses to help you develop the skills needed for successful and safe independent sailing. These include Seamanship Skills, Day Sailing, navigation theory and the RYA/MCA Short Range Certificate needed to legally operate a VHF radio using public channels.


We’re not a powerboat club but we do use powerboats to support our on-water activities. Water safety is important so we encourage a high standard of powerboat driving skills and help members to develop additional skills.

We provide training for members who volunteer to provide safety cover for racing and dinghy cruising or are training as RYA instructors. All our powerboat drivers must hold the RYA Powerboat Handling (Level 2) certificate as a minimum.

We also offer a one day Safety Boat Essentials course to help our powerboat drivers refresh their skills and learn some additional skills. And we offer the RYA Safety Boat certificate for those looking to develop a wider variety of advanced skills and to support larger sailing events.

Other training

We always encourage members to develop their skills further and we offer other training opportunities too.

The RYA offers development routes in racing and coaching at regional and national level. At SYC we offer the RYA First Aid certificate every year and help interested members learn some essential kayak and canoe skills to safely enjoy the estuary when sailing isn’t possible.

Every other month we hold a ‘Nautical Natters’ evening with an invited speaker to talk to members on a range of topics from meteorology to sea safety.

Open access

All our courses are open to all SYC members. We operate an open access policy. This means that we welcome participation in our courses regardless of your background, physical and learning ability. We do all we can to adapt our courses to the specific needs of participants.

We have safeguarding arrangements in place so there’s always an independent person to speak to confidentially about any concerns.

You can read the SYC Equality and Safeguarding Statement here.

Booking a course

SYC members can find the SYC Training Calendar and information on how to book a course in the members’ area on this website.

If you’re a prospective member you should contact the Membership Secretary for information about joining SYC and the current training programme, including courses for beginners.

We occasionally open our courses to members of other sailing clubs on the Exe Estuary. We publicise Information about available places on SYC courses through the training co-ordinator at each club.

Commercial training

If you don’t want to join a sailing club, but would like to learn to sail or drive a powerboat or do another water-based activity on the Exe Estuary, please contact one of our local commercial training centres who will be able to help:

SYC Training Officer