Portsmouth, United Kingdom

Sailing School

Please Note: For the safety of our crew and guests, all mixed student sailing school courses have been temporarily suspended through to September 2020. If you are a group of two or more, you are still able to learn to sail with us and enjoy the yacht and instructor to yourselves, please inquire with a Vacation Planner to find out more.

•           Booking a single household training course, paying for 3 places and sailing with 2 family members. 
•           Booking a single household training course, paying for 3 places and sailing with 3 family members. 
•           Booking a single household training course, paying for 4 places and sailing with 4 or 5 family members. N.B. we are delighted to offer the 5th place free on any RYA course for the summer.

Learn to sail in the heartland of British sailing

Portsmouth is the largest of our sailing schools, and offers the widest range of courses. Earn your stripes in the Solent's historic sailing ground, advancing from beginners' sailing courses to RYA 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, enough to put all sailors to the test.

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Pricing and Availability

Standard course prices




(1 November - 31 March)


(1 April – 31 October)
BeginnerSunsail 1 day taster course****
2 day RYA Start Yachting course****
3 day Start Yachting Follow On course****
5 day RYA Competent Crew course****
2 + 3 split weekend RYA Competent Crew course****
Some experience2 day yacht refresher course****
Intermediate5 day RYA Day Skipper practical course****
2 + 3 day RYA Day Skipper practical course****
9 Day RYA Day Skipper Classroom & Practical combined course****
RYA Day Skipper Online theory & 5 Day Practical combined package****
RYA Day Skipper Online theory & 2 + 3 split weekend combined package****
ICC Assessment****
Advanced5 day RYA Coastal Skipper practical course****
7 day RYA Yachtmaster Coastal prep****
7 day RYA Yachtmaster Offshore prep****

 2019 exam fees

Advanced Powerboat & Yachtmaster™ Coastal£189
Yachtmaster™ Offshore exams£220

Course type



(1 November - 31 March)


(1 April – 31 October)
Shore based coursesRYA Day Skipper theory course£369£399
RYA Small Craft First Aid course£109£109
Specialty coursesLadies Only course£499£579
Youth Sailing Academy-£629
9-day Combined RYA Dayskipper Youth Sailing Academy -£879

Family courses

MileBuilders course£499£579
Online coursesRYA Essential Navigation and Seamanship (ENAS)£99£99

RYA Marine Radio (SRC) Course

Professional Practices and Responsibilities online course£39£39
RYA Day Skipper Theory£295£295
RYA Coastal Skipper & Yachtmaster Theory£315£315

Prices above are per person based on a single berth upon a shared yacht and may include sharing a cabin or sleeping in a converted berth in the saloon. For single occupancy prices and availability please talk to our sailing school team.

We have sailing courses running year round here in Portsmouth. Please call the number above or email the sales team on [email protected] for available course dates.

* Call for pricing

** plus £60 payable to RYA for the exam

(The above pricelist is correct at time of publishing and subject to change without prior notice)

Sunsail Premier Courses – New for 2020!

For the ultimate training experience upgrade to one of our Sunsail Premier Courses. Running once a month, these courses are available exclusively from our Portsmouth sailing school and include a selection of added extras, including guaranteed training onboard one of our brand-new luxury Sunsail 41.0 yachts, to make your experience both on and off the water as comfortable as possible. 

sailors waving aboard the sunsail 41.0sailor on sunsail premier coursesailor at the helm of sunsail 41.0sailor trimming the main sail of sunsail 41.0

What’s included 

  • Guaranteed new luxury Sunsail 41.0 for the course
  • Own private cabin
  • Breakfast, lunch and two evening meals included
  • Wet weather gear hire
  • Mooring fees
  • Smaller classes – maximum of 4:1 participant ratio 


2020 course dates and fees  



10 April, 2020£899pp
22 May, 2020£899pp
19 June, 2020£899pp
24 July, 2020£899pp
21 August, 2020£899pp
27 September, 2020£899pp
18 October, 2020£899pp
20 November, 2020£799pp

How to book

For more information about Sunsail Premier Courses or to book your place, please call 02392 22 22 21 or click the button below. 

Contact us 

Practical Information

You can find additional helpful information in our Port Solent Sailing School Joining Instructions.

What to bring

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 (£5 per day if pre-ordered). For hygiene reasons, we do not hire out sailing footwear.Waterproofs for hire come in a range of adult sizes.

  • Please note: All practical course students are required to wear lifejackets. Sunsail only provide life jackets suitable for adults or older teenagers. We do have a small supply of children’s lifejackets (size 20-50kgs) available for hire at the Sunsail reception subject to availability (pre-booking is recommended)

  • 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.

  • We recommend bringing a torch with you on all practical courses.

Shore-based courses

  • 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 £26.00 +£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.

RYA Practical Day Skipper and RYA Coastal - Skipper Certificates 

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.


Practical courses
  • 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.

Shore-based courses
  • 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 locally. There are 3 hotels within a 10/15min walk from Port Solent. These hotels are the Marriott, Premier Inn Port Solent and Premier Inn North Harbour. There is also a Village hotel around 10 mins drive from Port Solent. 

  • Accommodation included on board a yacht for all 9 days during the combined Teenage Day Skipper courses.

Catering arrangements

Practical courses
  • Breakfast, lunch and non-alcoholic beverages are provided on board. You are welcome to bring any extra nibbles you may need.

  • We do try to 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.

  • Evening meals are included on teenage sailing weeks.

  • Helping out with the cooking, washing up and general housekeeping of the yacht will be expected of each guest.

Shore-based courses
  • 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 here in Port Solent or a short walk away is a large supermarket and food outlets. Lunch is not included.

Logbook 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 have ordered a log book when you made your booking it will be posted to you. Log books cost £8.50. 

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 or at recpetion on arrival.

Course start times

Please refer to your booking confirmation for your start day and times as these differ on different courses.

Practical courses start at 9am or 7pm depending on the course booked and usually finish at 5pm. Theory courses run 9am-5pm. Please ensure that you arrive between 10 and 15 minutes early for your course, this will allow enough time for our recpetion team to check you in and assist with any purchases or waterproof hire. 

Teenage practical courses start at 6pm and usually finish at 4pm. Teenage residential theory courses run 9am-5pm and accomdation is included on board the yacht.

Marina fees 

Mooring/marina fees are included in the course fees.

Children on courses

  • Sunsail welcomes older children (16+) on any of our courses at any time of year, provided they are accompanied by at least one adult (over 18yrs). Children under 16 are welcome to join you on a family course. However, to participate in RYA courses they must meet the minimum age requirements.

     Start Yachting Course - Minimum age 8+

          Competent Crew Certification Course - Minimum age 12+

          ICC and Day Skipper Certification Course - Minimum age is 16+

  • 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 Portsmouth’s Club Welfare Officer is Karen Rawson. Karen is responsible for implementing safeguarding and child protection policy and can be contacted at [email protected].

    Click for more information about Club Welfare Officers

Respecting destinations

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 office opening hours

The Sunsail sales office is open Monday to Friday and 9:00 to 17:30. 

Port Solent base opening hours: Monday - Thursday from 9am - 5pm (or 8pm when we have yacht departures or sailing courses),

Friday from 9am-8pm, Saturday from 8am - 10am

Sunday from 3pm-8pm when we have yacht departures or sailing courses.

Contact numbers

Contact [email protected] or call 02392 222 221 to make a booking (Monday to Friday 9.00 - 17:30)

Reception and for delayed arrivals 02392 222 336 (Within base opening hours)

Emergency Sunsail UK operations 02392 222 277  (outside base opening hours only)

Base address

Port Solent Marina
South Lockside
Port Solent

How to find us

By Train 

The nearest main line stations are Havant or Fratton station with regular connections to Chichester, Brighton, London and Southampton. The nearest local stations to Port
Solent are Portchester and Cosham. For 24 hour information on local and national train times and fares telephone: National Rail Enquiries: 03457 48 49 50.

There is a taxi rank at Havant, Fratton and Cosham train stations. Local taxi number is 02392 654 321. Uber also operate in the Portsmouth area.

On arrival at Port Solent 

Follow the main road going straight across the first roundabout. At the next roundabout, bear right (the only way). At the third roundabout, near the Odeon cinema take the second exit. Then drive over two speed bumps and take the next right, sign posted Sunsail. The car park is on the left on the gravel area. Parking at Port Solent is free. Once parked, make your way down the path to the left hand side of the marina, with the water on your right. Continue until you reach a smaller car park, and can see the marina reception. The Sunsail reception is at the front of the same building.

Course joining instructions correct at time of publication but are subject to change without prior notice.