Portsmouth is the largest of our sailing schools, offering the widest range of courses. Earn your stripes in the historic sailing ground of the Solent, from beginners' sailing courses to RYA/MCA Yachtmaster qualifications. Take advantage of practical and shore-based courses as well as a host of online options.
Learn to sail in one of the world's most famous sailing areas, experiencing a wide range of conditions out on The Solent. This is a tidal location with a tidal range of up to 4 metres, so all RYA courses include tidal endorsement.
Fleet in Portsmouth
Price(1 November - 31 March)
Price(1 April – 31 October)
|Beginner||Sunsail one-day taster course||£109||£129|
|2 day RYA Start Yachting course||£199||£249|
|5 day RYA Competent Crew course||£479||£559|
|2 + 3 split weekend RYA Competent Crew course||£529||£599|
|Holiday Hero package||£649||£799|
|Some experience||Sunsail flotilla training course||£199||£249|
|Five-day ICC course||£479||£559|
|Intermediate||5 day RYA Day Skipper practical course||£479||£559|
|2 + 3 day RYA Day Skipper practical course||£529||£559|
|RYA Day Skipper nine-day combined course||£799||£849|
|RYA Tidal Conversion course||£199||£249|
|One day ICC assessment||£149||£149|
|Advanced||5 day RYA Coastal Skipper practical course||£479||£559|
|7 day RYA Yachtmaster Coastal prep and exam course||£609||£709|
|7 day RYA Yachtmaster Offshore prep and exam course||£609||£709|
Price(1 November - 31 March)
Price(1 April – 31 October)
|Shore based courses||RYA Day Skipper theory course||£359||£389|
|RYA Coastal Skipper and Yachtmaster theory course||£359||£389|
|RYA GMDSS Radio course||£69***||£69***|
|RYA Small Craft First Aid course||£109||£109|
|Specialty courses||Ladies Only course||£479||£559|
|Youth Sailing Academy (summer holidays only)||-||£609|
|9 day Combined Dayskipper Youth Sailing Academy (summer holidays only)||-||£859|
|Online courses||RYA Essential Navigation and Seamanship (ENAS)||£99||£99|
|Professional Practices and Responsibilities online course||£39||£39|
|RYA Day Skipper Theory||£295||£295|
|RYA Coastal Skipper & Yachtmaster Theory||£295||£295|
*Prices above are per person based on two people sharing the cabin. For single occupancy prices and availability please talk to our Holiday Planners.
** Call for pricing
*** plus £60 payable to RYA for the exam
What to bring
For practical courses
- Cold weather gear: fleece top, gloves, hat, scarf, thick socks, comfortable trousers or tracksuit, deck shoes, sailing boots or non marking trainers, neck towel or small towel to stop drips. We do not recommend jeans as they take a long time to dry.
- Warm weather gear: a hat, sun cream, shorts and T–shirts.
- Please note: all personal items are brought at your own risk. You may also want to bring your own waterproofs or hire some from us at £10 per day. For hygiene reasons, we do not hire out sailing footwear.
- Please note: Sunsail only provides life jackets suitable for adults or older teenagers. Waterproofs for hire come in a range of adult sizes.
- If taking part in Yachtmaster Coastal/Offshore prep week, you will need a log book showing past experience and two passport sized photographs for your examination. You will also need a valid first aid certificate and a SRC certificate or higher level GMDSS radio operator's qualification. Please ensure you bring the correct exam fees for each course. These are payable direct to the RYA examiner, not Sunsail.
RYA Practical Day Skipper and RYA Coastal
To get your certificate you will need to bring a passport size photo and a photo ID, such as a passport or driving licence.
Please note: you cannot be issued with your certificate without both of these items.
- Pens, pencils, eraser, calculator, dividers and a Bretton Plotter. A Bretton Plotter and divider pack is available to buy from us at a cost of £22.00 +£1.50 p&p or can be collected on arrival.
- It isn't all work and no play, so you'll have the chance to enjoy coffee breaks throughout the day. There are various places to buy lunch at Port Solent as well as a supermarket close by, or you can bring a packed lunch instead.
- You will be sleeping on board in shared cabins.
- We do not provide bedding so please bring your own sleeping bags, pillows and towels.
- Please bring your things in a soft holdall as there is limited storage on board the yacht.
- We are able to offer accommodation on board our yachts, subject to availability. Please ask us for further information or, if you would prefer, you can arrange your own accommodation. Subject to an additional charge.
- Breakfast, lunch and non-alcoholic beverages are provided on board. You are welcome to bring any extra nibbles you may need.
- We do cater for dietary requirements if you let us know what they are ahead of time, or bring alternative provisions as needed.
- Evening meals are at your own expense, but your skipper will be able to direct you to the best meal in town at each overnight stop with the crew.
- Helping out with the cooking, washing up and general housekeeping of the yacht will be exoected of each guest.
- You can expect some refreshments on arrival, as well as in the morning and for your afternoon break. For lunch you can dine in the great local restaurants. Lunch is not included.
Log book For RYA courses
You will need RYA log book G158 for your course. If you have not already ordered a log book you can purchase one from our office. If you ordered one when you made your booking it will be sent out to you.
Recommended reading for RYA courses
RYA practical and/or theory course books. These can be purchased in advance direct from the sales team at the Sunsail Port Solent office.
Yacht course start times
Please refer to your booking confirmation for your start day and times. Practical courses start at 9am or 7pm depending on the course booked and usually finish at 5pm. Theory courses run 9am-5pm. VHF course exam dates available on request.
Mooring/marina fees are included in the course fees.
Children on courses
- Children aged 13 to 17 are welcomed onto our family courses at any time of year, provided they are accompanied by at least one adult. Under 16s can earn Competent Crew qualifications, while over 16s can become Day Skipper qualified.
- Shore-based courses: over 16s are welcome on our courses, but need to be accompanied by an adult if they are under 18 years of age.
- If you are aged 13 to 17 and want to take to the water without your parents then our specialist teenage weeks with DBS-checked instructors are the perfect week away. Contact the sales team for further information.
Sunsail remains committed to protecting the environment and supporting local cultures in our sailing areas. Over many years our clients have helped us to ensure that our presence does not negatively impact these areas. Please continue to help us leave these areas as good as or better than we found them.
- Managing your sewerage by always using the pump out facilities in marinas, where available. Otherwise, please avoid emptying tanks in busy anchorages and marinas and prevent contamination to humans and reefs by pumping out as far as possible offshore.
- Washing off your anchor when leaving an anchorage. Your yacht is equipped with low phosphate washing up liquid, please use this and keep the bottle so that it can be refilled.
- Separating your waste and recycling on board as much as possible.
- Avoiding pumping oily bilge water or other hazardous substances into the sea. Save these for safe disposal in a marina pump out facility.
- Being litter conscious by never throwing rubbish overboard and avoiding using plastics and other non-biodegradable products.
- Observing marine law, and knowing the laws that govern fish catch sizes and the touching and handling of marine wildlife.
- Remembering to keep a safe distance from marine life, and if viewing, approach side-on and stop with propellers in neutral.
- Identifying dark water areas as possible important ecosystems, and taking care if navigating around them.
- Keeping sealife in mind when mooring. Using buoys where available instead of anchoring.
We have photographers on site at our bases throughout the season, and you'll be informed if one is present upon arrival at your base. If you have strong objections to close-up photography of yourself and your party, please indicate your feelings to the photographer at the time.
Sunsail schools sales office opening hours
The Sunsail office is open Monday to Friday and 0900 to 1730
Port Solent base opening hours:
The Sunsail base is open Mon-Thursdays from 9am-5pm (or 8pm when we have boat departures), Fridays from 9am-8pm, Saturdays from 8am-10am and Sundays from 3pm-8pm Sundays when we have boat departures.
Contact email@example.com or call 023 9222 2221 to book
(Monday to Friday 9.00-17.30)
Reception for delayed arrival 023 9222 2336
(Within base opening hours)
Emergency Sunsail UK operations 023 9222 2277
(outside base opening hours only)
Port Solent Marina