Basic Keelboat Course

Published by Swain Sailing School and Yacht Charters on Tuesday, 26th July 2016 - 12:21PM


Learn to Sail- Basic Keelboat Sailing Course BVI

Training Boat: Beneteau 235

Swain teaches on a Beneteau 235 (23' with a tiller); a popular day sailor with an edge on performance.  The 235 is safe, responsive and fun to sail. 

The sail plan is generous, yet forgiving. This boat goes well in both light and heavier breezes and is easily handled by two people. It is tiller steered as opposed to wheel steered which greatly enhances the boat's reaction time to a person's movement of the tiller. This is of paramount importance when learning how to sail, i.e. the faster a boat reacts to your action, the quicker you will know that what you did was correct. 

Two and Three Day Basic Keelboat Course

Our two day Basic Keelboat course is structured around a schedule which challenges every level of person and rewards each with the objective and subjective know how to command a boat of this size. This course is offered every weekend as well as weekly: Tuesday & Wednesday or Thursday & Friday. The format combines classroom time and on the water training each day. The classroom portion is one hour concentrating on terminology, parts of the boat, knots and theory. This time is also spent focusing on translating what you have read in the book into the simple dynamics of sailing.

On the water you will spend three and one half to four hours each day practicing what you have read and what you have been taught.

Course Curriculum 

Day 1


  • Parts of the boat
  • Bowline, cleating,clove hitch
  • Points of sail
  • Standing and running rigging
  • Tacks and jibes
  • Basic sail trim
  • Irons(how to go in, how to get out)
  • Mooring balls
  • Rights of way
  • Commands

On The Water

  • PFD's and safety gear
  • Outboard operation
  • Dock line and fender handling
  • Sail raising and leaving dock/anchorage
  • Using tell tales
  • Going head to wind, bearing away
  • Tacks and jibes
  • Sail to dock
  • ID all standing and running rigging
  • Straight line steering
  • Points of sail
  • Proper boat put down

Day 2


  • Square knot,slip knot,rolling hitch, stopper knot
  • Apparent and true wind. Headers and lifts. Veers and backs
  • Sail shape and sail trim
  • Sail controls (backstay,vang, Cunningham, sheets, halyard, outhaul etc.)
  • Reefing
  • Slot effect (Bernoulli principal)
  • Anchoring

On The Water

  • Windward Leewards
  • Zig zags with sail trim (heading up, falling off)
  • Mooring balls under sail
  • MOBS
  • Heave to
  • Reefing
  • Anchoring
  • rudderless steering

Day 3 (optional)

  • More time on the water (with or without instructor) practicing and refining learned skills


To confirm availability for your preferred dates and register for the course, please contact us at .

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