Sail Training and Licencing

Licence and Training Information

Think this could be the best job in the world but don’t have the correct experience or qualifications to attend Skipper Academy?

No Experience

It’s possible to go from zero-to-hero in a short period of time but it will require 5+ weeks of intensive sailing and study. Please contact our partner schools below to help you develop a program to reach your goals. We recommend taking an introductory sailing lesson at your local sailing club before committing, so you know what you are getting yourself into.

As a skipper you will be responsible for the safety and wellbeing of up to twelve guests. It is essential to be a confident sailor and able to handle a yacht in any weather conditions. It’s not always sunshine, ocean breeze, and tan lines–Storms can come in quick, yachts can break, emergencies can happen and you must be prepared. It is not an easy journey starting with no experience, but with the right drive and determination it can be done and will be extremely rewarding. Some of our best skippers came from the corporate world, quit their jobs, and have since been sailing the world... It all started with a zero-to-hero program.

RYA Day Skipper Course and VHF Licence

Build Miles and Experience

RYA Yachtmaster Theory

RYA Yachtmaster Prep Course

RYA Yachtmaster Exam

QD Skipper Academy

Some Keelboat Experience

If you have some experience sailing keelboats, it isn’t a big leap to the Yachtmaster Coastal. If you have been sailing on family vacation or completed some introductory sailing courses you may only need a couple more weeks of practice to fine tune your yacht handling, hone your sail trim, build your miles and learn emergency procedures such as MOB.

Please contact our partner schools and they will create a tailored course to help you reach your Yachtmaster. Depending on your level of experience this may take 1-3 weeks. We highly recommend taking an online Yachtmaster theory course.

Dinghy Sailors

Transitioning from dinghies to keelboats is easy for experienced dinghy sailors. Dinghy sailors generally have excellent wind awareness and sail trim. There are some nuances to keelboats such as the forces and load on the sails, the responsiveness and all the technical equipment/yacht systems.

It will take 2+ weeks of practical training learning docking maneuvers, how the yacht handles differently, learning emergency procedures and building miles before you would be ready to take your Yachtmaster exam. Our partner schools will give you recommendations on training. We highly recommend taking an online Yachtmaster theory course.

Experienced Sailors without a licence

Are you a salty sea dog? Could you sail before you could walk? Is Wind your all time favorite movie? Is a licence the only thing stopping you from throwing off the bowlines and sailing away from the safe harbour? Do you hold the RYA Yachtmaster minimum requirements? All you need is to take your Yachtmaster practical exam.

We recommend that even experienced sailors take a 5 day Yachtmaster prep course to learn tips and tricks, common mistakes, and RYA methodology to help you be successful. Our partner schools offer a 5 day prep course (we recommend 8 days if you do not have the YM theory course) and Yachtmaster exam combination. While not essential, we highly recommend taking an online Yachtmaster theory course. The most common reason for failing the Yachtmaster exam is lack of theoretical knowledge.

More information on the RYA Yachtmaster

Partner Schools

MT Power and Sail


View site

Cheapest travel from Barcelona to Split

  • Flight: Barcelona to Split, Vueling
  • When: Saturdays and Tuesdays
  • Price: €50-100
  • Flight: Barcelona to Dubrovnik, Vueling
  • When: Thursdays
  • Price: €50-100
  • Bus: Dubrovnik to Split
  • Time: 4-5 hours
  • Price: €20

Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School


View site

Cheapest Travel from Dublin to Split

  • Flight: Dublin to Zadar, Ryanair
  • When: Monday and Wednesdays
  • Price: €50-100
  • Bus: Zadar to Split
  • Time: 2.5-4 hours
  • Price: €15

Sail Due South

South Africa

View site

Cheapest Travel from South Africa to Split

  • Flight: Cape Town to Split via Emirates Airlines
  • When: Mid Week
  • Price: €350-400

*Note: Course price is cheapest on offer due to exchange rate