Learn to sail in exotic Thailand
Improve your sailing skills in the distant waters of the Andaman Sea and discover a land of beautiful scenery, incredible wildlife and delicious food. Hone your technique, learn to sail from scratch or gain new qualifications from one of the world's most awe-inspiring cruising grounds.
Phuket offers year-round sailing, meaning you can always enjoy the dramatic scenery, pristine beaches and friendly people of this picturesque region. We can arrange on shore accommodation to help you make the most of your Thai adventure, letting you spend some time exploring the sights of these distant islands and stunning shores.
August and September
October to July
|Beginner||RYA Competent Crew||£497||£644|
|Intermediate||RYA Day Skipper||£497||£644|
*Prices above are per person based on two people sharing the cabin. For single occupancy prices and availability please talk to our Holiday Planners.
Please note: All Thailand sailing courses are conducted in English, so all sailing school students must understand English.
What to bring
Bring airline tickets, money, passport and an international driving licence if you plan to hire a car.Thailand enjoys a pleasant temperature all year round, but be prepared for all weather conditions.
- Warm weather gear: a hat, sunglasses, sun cream, shorts, T-shirts, a beach towel and swimwear.
- Cooler weather gear: it is much warmer to wear multiple thin layers than one thick layer. A thin sweatshirt is also useful. We do not recommend jeans as they take a long time to dry. Sailing gloves if you have them, although they are also available for purchase from the office.
RYA Day Skipper practical and RYA Comptent Crew
Candidates are encouraged to read the RYA practical and/or theory course books. These can be purchased in advance from our UK Office, at a local marine store or online. Day Skipper candidates are strongly encouraged to complete the Day Skipper theory course prior to arrival for their practical assessment. Day Skipper theory courses can be taken at our Port Solent, UK school or online.
Successful completion of this course will provide you with RYA Competent Crew or Day Skipper (tidal) qualification. For the Day Skipper course candidates should bring two passport photos for certification paperwork.
Recommended reading and log book
RYA practical and theory course books and the RYA logbook G15 are not included in the course fee. We recommend that they are purchased in advance direct from the RYA at www.rya.org.uk/ so that you can study them prior to arrival. They can also be purchased from the Sunsail Phuket office on arrival at the base but due to high import duties are more expensive than buying direct from the RYA.
Flights and transfers
Most students will arrive via Phuket International Airport, which is a 1 hour 20 minute flight from Bangkok. The transfer from Phuket airport to the Ao Po Grand marina takes approximately 30 minutes. If you have booked a Sunsail transfer our driver will be waiting outside the Phuket airport domestic arrivals door with a Sunsail sign with your name on it.
If you have not yet booked a transfer but would like to do so, please contact our holiday planners providing your flight number, arrival time and the number of people who require a transfer. If you wish to organise your own transfer, fixed price airport taxis are available from a counter inside the airport building and meter taxis are available outside. If you are arriving at Phuket before the start of your course, we can transfer you from the airport to your hotel and from your hotel to the base.
The training yacht is a GibSea 43 foot monohull with a maximum number of five students. On board accommodation in shared cabins is provided Sunday to Friday night inclusive. Couples will get their own cabin. Sheets, pillowcases, pillows and shower towels are all provided. Sleeping bags are not required. Bring your things in a soft holdall, as there is limited storage on board the yacht.
No suitcases please.
Course start and finish times
All courses start on Sunday at 4pm. Students must not arrive at the base later than 3.45pm so they can be ready for a prompt start at 4pm. Courses will finish on the following Friday around 4pm. Students are advised not to book departure flights out of Phuket on the Friday earlier than 7pm for domestic or 8pm for international flights.
Ao Po Marina resort information
If you wish to book accommodation ashore for the nights before or after your charter, we are able to book rooms at discounted rates at the nearby Supalai and Chandara resorts. The transfer time to the Supalai resort is 10 minutes and costs 200 baht each way. The transfer time to the Chandara resort is two minutes and the hotel will transfer you free of charge. All rates include breakfast, service charge and taxes at 17.7%. To make a booking please send an email stating which resort you would like to book, which room type and the number of rooms required and the check in and check out dates to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunday night is always spent in the marina. The yacht is available for sleeping on board, but students may book a room at the nearby Supalai or Chandara resorts at their own expense. Students should arrive at the base no later than 3.45pm on the Sunday ready to start the course at 4pm. The skipper will introduce you to the rest of the crew, allocate your berth and and provide a basic safety briefing. After the briefing, students generally go for a social drink to get to know each other better. If there’s anything you’d like to know at this time about your boat, the marina or the island itself please ask your skipper, however a full yacht and safety briefing will be given on Monday morning.
Monday to Thursday nights
Students must sleep on board from Monday to Thursday night inclusive. These nights are almost always spent at anchor but if in another marina the costs, equivalent to approximately £10, are shared amongst the students. The yacht leaves the Ao Po Marina on Monday morning and returns on Friday afternoon. You do not return to the Ao Po Grand Marina each night. Each day starts at approximately 8.30am and finishes at approximately 5.30pm. You will finish later on one night of the week so that you may experience night sailing.
Your course ends back at Ao Po Grand Marina on the Friday at around 4pm. Crews usually enjoy drinks and dinner together ashore that night. All meals taken ashore are at the students' own expense. Students not flying out on the Friday night may sleep on board the yacht if they wish, but they must vacate the yacht by 9am on Saturday morning. Alternatively we can book them a room at the nearby Supalai or Chandara resorts or offer advice on hotels on the West coast of Phuket.
Your yacht is provisioned for the five day course with inclusive breakfasts, lunches and two dinners on board. You are welcome to bring any favourite foods with you. You will eat ashore on Sunday and Friday nights and there is normally the opportunity to eat ashore on two nights while on the course. All meals taken ashore are at your expense. The average cost of a meal is less than 1,000 baht per person including drinks. Your skipper will recommend good restaurants at each relevant overnight stop and crews normally eat together. We can cater for vegetarian or other dietary needs if you let us know your requirements at least two weeks in advance, and you're welcome to bring alternative provisions as required.
Alcoholic beverages are not included in the course but you are welcome to bring along any favourite beers, wines or spirits for a sun downer once the yacht is safely anchored for the night. Please note that you will be expected to do your fair share of the cooking, washing up and general housekeeping of the yacht as part of the course.
Money and national park fees
The local currency is the Thai baht. National park entry fees are not included in the course. The cost of entry to a national park is 200 baht per person per day.
Waterproofs and footwear
The sea school is run during the southwest monsoon season, so you can expect some rain with possible prolonged periods of wet weather. For hygiene reasons, we do not hire out sailing waterproofs or footwear so you must bring your own lightweight waterproof jacket. Waterproof trousers are also useful if you have them. If you have deck shoes bring them along, although most people wear either white soled training shoes or reef type sandals which are especially useful when going ashore in the dinghy.
Children under 16 years of age
Under 16s are only accepted if the family has privately chartered the whole boat, and there must be at least two adults in the group. Children of any age are accepted but the adults in the group should be aware that the children should be able to look after themselves on board and not need close supervision, or the adult will not be able to fully participate in the course.
Children’s lifejackets for four years and above are provided subject to availability, but parents must supply their own life jackets for children under four. Although young children can be accommodated there should be at least three students on board who are capable of handling the yacht in stronger winds to be able to complete all aspects of the course. There is no minimum age for the competent crew course.
Children 16 to 18 years of age
Children over 16 but under 18 years of age are accepted onto shared boat bookings if accompanied by an adult, and will be expected to share a cabin with that adult. The minimum age for the day skipper course is 16.
Sharks and other marine animals
There are sharks around the cruising area but most aren't dangerous. Leopard sharks feed on shellfish and whale sharks, although very large, eat only plankton. They are not a threat to sailors or swimmers. There are several species of jellyfish in these waters, and there have been a number of instances where swimmers have required hospital treatment after being stung by jellyfish. All these incidents were attributed to a severe allergic reaction to the sting, therefore any clients with strong allergies are advised to wear stinger suits or refrain from swimming. Non-swimmers must notify the skipper at the start of the course and will be expected to wear a lifejacket at all times.
Sunsail Schools sales office opening hours
The office is open all year:
Mon-Fri from 8am-7pm
Saturday from 9am-7pm
Sunday and Bank Holidays from 10am-5pm
Reservations 023 9222 2224
Aftersales 023 9222 2894
Base opening hours
The Sunsail Phuket base is open all year round.
8am-5pm, seven days a week.
Ao Po Grand Marina
113/1 Moo 6
Base telephone: 0066-89-871-1670
Manager: Mark Roy