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Details & Joining Instructions for Power, Sail & Shorebased Courses at ScotSail

Please take time to read this information as it forms part of our standard Terms and Conditions.



Where do I find ScotSail?

What time do I arrive?

What happens when I arrive?

What should I bring?

What should I not bring or do?

How many people are on the course?

Where do I sleep?

Where do we go?

What is the student fund?

Practicals - What's included in the price?

Practicals - What's not included in the price?

What are your prices?

Why should I book a ScotSail Sailing Course / Experience?

What do I do on the course / experience?

What is the food like?

What happens if there's poor weather?

What happens if a course is cancelled?

When will I know if I passed a course?

Got a different question? Ask Us!


---   Course / Experience Information & Joining Instructions    ---


Where do I find ScotSail?  

LargsCentre - All Courses

Sail, Power, Shorebased & Safety

Largs Yacht Haven, Largs, KA30 8EZ - West of Scotland.

The Largs office is located in the centre courtyard of the Yacht Haven. There is free Secure Car-Parking available and, to use this you should approach the automatic barrier. Adjacent to the access-card reader there is an intercom to speak with the office.   Give your name and that you are on a ScotSail course to gain access to the free Secure Car-Park.

A ScotSail Training Yacht

ScotSail Training PowerBoats






24hr Free


Waterproofs Rental
Late-Arrivals Board


Our LargsCentre building



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What time do I arrive?  

LargsCentre - 5 Day Practical Courses

You should arrive on the Sunday evening prior to your course for Check-In at 1800 hours*.

LargsCentre - Weekend Practical Courses

You should arrive on the Friday evening prior to your course for Check-In at 1800 hours*.

LargsCentre - PowerBoat Courses

You should arrive on the start date printed on your invoice / confirmation document, usually at 0845 hours.

LargsCentre - Shorebased

Refer to your invoice / brochure inserts or browse the details in the Sailing Courses Selection Menu.

For PowerBoat Tours and Experiences, your booking invoice will show the precise arrival date, time and location. If in doubt, please Contact Us.

Once you have booked and paid, you do not need to do anything to confirm your booking however, if you are unsure about when to arrive or you have any other questions not answered in these FAQ's, please call ScotSail on 0845 834 0335.

See the Late-Arrivals Board if you arrive much later than this time. This is outside at our LargsCentre office.









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What happens when I arrive?  

LargsCentre - Practical Courses

When you arrive for your practical course at Largs, you will be met by a member of ScotSail staff, or your instructor at the centre.

We will sit down with you and your fellow students and ask you some questions to ensure that you have all the necessary personal belongings and that you have read and understood about your course or experience.   You will also be asked to fill out a standard form with emergency contact details.   This is also an opportunity to hire any waterproof clothing that you might require. We carry a large selection in stock at our dedicated facility.

Once all members of the crew have arrived, you will taken to your Training Yacht for boarding. You won't depart until the following morning so you will have the opportunity to settle in and prepare your cabin area and store your belongings.   Your Instructor will introduce you to the yacht and make sure that you are comfortable.   You and your crew may want to have an evening meal and ScotSail normally pre-books this for you at one of the 3 bar-restaurants within Largs Yacht Haven, and prices are very reasonable.   Please advise if you DO NOT wish to participate, so that we can pre-book the correct number of spaces.

This is an ideal opportunity for you and your instructor to learn about each other and for the Instructor to get an idea of what you want to achieve on and through your course or experience.

LargsCentre - Shorebased*

When you first arrive for your Shorebased Theory Course at Largs, your Course Instructor will address you individually, and in a class context to discuss the outline for the course delivery. Any questions or concerns can be addressed when you first arrive. The Shorebased Courses are generally a very fun endevour and you can share your experiences with others who enjoy our sport.


*Remember! You will never be left 'on-your-own' and full support is always available with any ScotSail Shorebased Theory Course. Full personal and telephone support is included in the price, as well as all classroom equipment, technology and learning materials.


A typical ScotSail Training Yacht





A typical ScotSail Training Yacht





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What should I bring?  

Sleeping Bag + Pillow

Warm, casual clothing



Sun-Tan Cream & Sun-Glasses.

Comfy Shoes with a non-marking sole

Waterproof clothing - (huge selection available to hire at subsidised rates from Largscentre, if you don't have your own outdoor clothes.

Logbook - (if you have one)

A common mistake made by students is to pack too much.   A medium sized holdall is usually sufficient.   Suitcases are not suitable.

If you wish, you can bring mobile telephones, laptops etc for use with mains power which is available on board and in your cabin.   Please bear in mind that you should consider taking out suitable insurance to cover any loss or damage to these items as ScotSails insurance does not cover your personal belongings.


Suitable sun-glasses and sun-cream is essential.



"An evening anchorage"



A typical ScotSail Training Yacht.

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What should I not bring or do?  

Please don't bring your own lifejacket or safety equipment as everything you will require is supplied and coded to MCA Commerical Standards.

Alcoholic beverages are fine in moderation but we discourage excess.   The Instructor is in command at all times, and it is an offence for he or she to become intoxicated whilst in command.

Smoking is not permitted anywhere on-board, even on deck.   If you are a smoker there will be ample opportunities each day when you can smoke.

Any student found to be in possession of any illegal item or substance will be asked to leave the course.

Personal Conduct Note - Important Info

It is a requirement under the applicable law, and also under our Terms & Conditions, that all persons on-board ScotSail commercial vessels comply with all lawful instructions given by the master of the vessel.  Failure to do so may result in immediate termination of service and you will be required to leave the vessel at the first available safe port - regardless of location or onward travel arrangements.    Persistent, disruptive or unsafe behaviour where danger is posed to the vessel and/or crew may result in criminal or civil action being taken.










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How many people are on the course?  

1st ScotSail Training operates RYA Approved Practical Sailing Training Courses with a maximum of 5 students on each of our Training Yachts.

RYA PowerBoat Courses operate with the RYA maximum student : instructor tuition ratio of 3:1.

PowerBoat Tours and Experiences are not bound by this ratio and up to 4 persons may travel on each power boat.

We do occasionally run courses with 3 students but usually only if a cancellation occurs.









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Where do I sleep?    
The yachts provided are designed to accomodate up to 5 students + courses instructor in 3 to 4 seperate cabins. You are expected to stay and sleep on-board the yacht as part of your course. Normally we supply private cabins for couples. Shared cabins usually has a seperating Lee cloth. Please remember to bring your own pillow and sleeping bag
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Where do we go?  

One of the great advantages of a ScotSail Course or Experience, is that you and your crew can choose where you want to go.   Getting involved in the decision making process is vital and really is all part of the fun.   You and your crew have the power, with your Course/Experience Instructor, to decide where you will go.   This decision will of course be taken according to the dictates of the weather, course / experience requirements and other factors - perhaps you've always wanted to go to the Isle of Arran, or eat in a restaurant in Tarbert?

A typical course or experience, be it a week or a weekend sailing, will entail leaving the base at Largs Yacht Haven and engaging in sailing activities and training during the day, whilst en route to a destination.   You will likely cover many tens of miles up to 100 miles per week, and you will also have the opportunity to participate in a 4-hour night sail.




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What is the Student Fund?  

It is normal that the course / experience students will form a Student Fund or 'Kitty' to cover expenses not included in the course / experience price, such as meals & drinks ashore and visits to specific marinas or other moorings or berthings in the local area that may levy a charge for overnight stays.

Remember, all ScotSail sailing experiences are Full Board however, as the course is also designed to be an enjoyable sailing experience, it is expected that most persons will want to visit marinas and perhaps eat ashore or participate in other activities as their time allows.

The formation of this student fund is voluntary and should be formed by mutual consent between all participants.

The course / experience instructor does not hold or manage this fund and, it is normally held by the person doing the most advanced course or experience.

The fund should cover items such as the following:

  • if you all decide to go together  ashore for a restaurant / bar meal - you must take your Instructor and cover his/her main meal as your guest.
  • berthing fees if you decide to visit overnight stay marinas etc.
  • any minor losses or damage (by mutual agreement) - (capped at £50 Loss/Damage Per Person).
  • Any personal items you wish to buy or extra fun snacks or alcoholic beverages.



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What do I do on the course / experience?  

The courses and yachting experiences are designed to be an enjoyable undertaking, although it is not designed to be a cruise. ScotSail also operates Scottish Sailing Cruises so please get in touch for more information if this is what you're looking for.    Getting involved in sailing the yachts and interacting with and managing your crew is all part of the fun and, if you have booked a particular RYA Course then it could be an important part of the learning syllabus.   ScotSail staff will always endevour to ensure that you have made the right choice in course or experience-builder however, it is very important that you do your own research.   ScotSail recommends reading the 'Sail Cruising & Yachtmaster Scheme G15 Logbook' available at most good chandlerys.

The first day is usually a good opportunity for you and the course / experience instructor to gauge everyones experience and comfort levels.   If you are an experienced sailor doing an RYA Course, Mile-Builder, or you have previous sailing experience, then you will given the opportunity to use those skills.

If the course / experience Instructor feels that you have aimed at an RYA Course level that may not be achievable in the time available, or that you do not have sufficient previous practical or theoretical experience, then you can discuss this during the first days' briefing and decide on a level better suited to you.   Whatever the outcome of the course, gaining more experience can only count as a success.

Sailing and yachting is a social activity and it is expected that each member of the crew makes their best efforts in contributing to the fun and well-being of the yacht and other crew-members.

Unless you are aiming for a higher level RYA Course, there is absolutely no need to be concerned about performing or your sailing ability.   It is likely that you could find that others aboard are in the same position and are at experience level as you, even if that level is nil!

Aside from Yachtmaster Coastal and Offshore students, we don't expect near-perfection however, we do hope that you will give it your best try!






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What is the food like?  

A main part of the yachting or sailing experience is victualling (stocking-up) the yacht.   It is also a part of the RYA Syllabus.

Our practical Yachting Experiences and RYA Courses at LargsCentre in Scotland allow crew members to pick their own food.   We provide for all meals on board.    Unlike many 'all-inclusive' schemes that can be found, we give you the power to choose what food and drinks you want to have.   This allows for varying tastes and health and dietary requirements.

Good quality food and drink is so very important on a Yachting Experience, as it all adds the fun and general morale of the journey.   To that end, ScotSail will provide a very generous fund with which you and your crew with the Course / Experience Instructor will purchase quantities of good wholesome foods and drinks for the entire duration of the course.   There are many markets and shops in the towns and villages on the ports and islands around the Clyde sailing area where you can stock up on staple foods and local delicacies.   You will also have plenty of opportunties to eat ashore, if you wish, or even bring along some of your own speciality ingredients!

We ask all our customers after each Course / Experience about how enjoyable they found their sailing experience, and the food always gains great praise!

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What happens if there's poor weather?  

It is, of course,   a very common misconception that Scotland has poor weather all of the time.

Marine forecasts are generally very accurate and whilst does have Scotland gulfstream-changeable weather - summer weather can be stunningly hot (up to 30-degrees C in some cases), and wind and showers can be powerful, but short-lived in the Clyde sailing area.


If unusual or persistent poor or unsafe weather were to be forecast, we would endevour to contact you, using the contact details you provided, so that we could re-arrange suitable dates with you.


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What happens if a course is cancelled?  

Course cancellations are extremely rare however, if we cancel any course/experience due to non-weather or non-safety factors we will endevour to place you with another suitable operator, re-arrange another date or, offer you a full refund.

Cancellations due to weather factors are not normally refundable as we will never compromise on safety but, you will be able to sign up to another course date at no extra cost.   If for what ever reason you have to cancel and give us the proper notice we will either offer you a replacement date, or offer a full refund.



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When will I know if I passed a course?  

If you are taking an RYA Sailing or PowerBoat Course such as Start Yachting, Competent Crew, Day Skipper, Yachtmaster Coastal Skipper, or a PowerBoat Level 1, 2, Intermediate or Advanced, you will be taught and your skills will be assessed on an ongoing basis.   Unless you are taking a specific exam or test such as I.C.C. (International Certificate of Competence), Yachtmaster Coastal Skipper or Yachtmaster Offshore Exams, then there is no formal 'test' you must pass.   In order to receive a Certification, you should be able to demonstrate the relevant skills throughout the course.   This comes in varying degrees of competency and intensity however, you should remember that as long as you listen to the Course Instructor, and are willing to learn, you will most likely pass without issue.

There are no 'Pass or Fail' conditions: that means that if you don't achieve the standards required in the time available, you can simply return, perhaps just for a short time to complete the excersises you needed to improve upon.   That means that you needn't be concerned with having to do the whole course all over again.

If you are unsure about which level you should aim for - you can simply discuss this with your Course Intructor on the first day of the course.   If you or the Course Instructor feel that you may have aimed initially at too high a level, then you can simply complete the level best suited to you.   Similarly, your Course Instructor may suggest that you could aim for a higher level, should you demonstrate that you have the skills and/or knowledge.   There are no differences in prices for different course types, so don't worry about paying too much or not enough!

Officially, you will be awarded your Certification upon return to the ScotSail base at our LargsCentre, where you and your crew along with your Course Instructor will meet with the Principle or Chief Instructor, for a de-briefing, after which you will awarded your Certification.  

This is also an excellent opportunity to ask questions about how you can take forward your leisure sailing career, which courses you could take next and how you can use your RYA Certification (e.g. yacht or powerboat hire).


ScotSail awards hundreds of RYA Certificates each year.

Tanned and smiling faces...

Courses / Experiences run every week and weekend, Mar-Oct!




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---   Prices    ---


What are your prices?  

We have a comprehensive price-list where you can see and compare all rates on the tariff, and read the associated notes.


Click Here to View Price List

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Practicals - What's included in the price?  

For Sailing Courses:

All ScotSail Sailing Practical Courses / Experience Prices are inclusive of:

Full Board (All Breakfasts, All Lunches, All Evening Meals, Snacks, Drinks, Teas/Coffees/Refreshments etc)

Gas / Fuel (ScotSail does not charge for boat fuel, domestic gas or engine hours usage).

Tuition/Certification Free Paper Certification (Whilst Stocks Last). Photo ID Available @ £5.

All Safety Equipment (Everything you require is provided i.e. Lifejackets, Safety Harnesses etc).

For Full Board, 5 Day Courses are officially Mon-Fri and weekend courses officially Sat/Sun. Arrival is typically the evening prior.

For PowerBoat Courses:

All ScotSail PowerBoat Courses / Experience Prices are inclusive of:

Light Refreshments (Tea/Coffee/Juice/Biscuits etc).

Gas / Fuel (ScotSail does not charge for boat fuel, domestic gas or engine hours usage).

Tuition/Certification (In response to customer feedback: There are no charges for your Pass Certificate).

All Safety Equipment (Everything you require is provided i.e. Lifejackets, Safety Harnesses etc).

RYA PowerBoat Handbook (essential reading!)









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Sailing Practicals - What's not included in the price?  

Any personal shore activities such as sightseeing, restaurant meals etc.

Alcoholic beverages

Additional personal snacks/drinks

Berthing away from LargsCentre (see note).

WaterProof Clothing - (huge selection available to hire at subsidised rates! from Largscentre, if you don't have your own outdoor clothes - a jacket will do!

Berthing Fees Note - Important Info

You and your crew may choose to visit places in the sailing area, where a charge is levied for staying or using the local facilities.  There are places that do not charge, and this will be your decision at the time however, it is likely that you will want to make at least 1-2 stops at such places, during a typical 5-Day Course / Experience.

Click HERE to Read

Voluntary Student Fund Guidelines

This cost is usually minimal (£20-£25 for an overnight stay at a full-featured marina) and is split between all members of the crew (so just £4 or £5 per person.  This is completely optional during a ScotSail Course / Experience, but it does help support rural / island economies and we encourage it where the members of crew wish to visit such places.    This is normally only applicable to Practical Sailing and not our PowerBoating Products.


For Full Board, 5 Day Courses are officially Mon-Fri and weekend courses Officialy Sat/Sun. Arrival is typically the evening prior!


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---   General Questions    ---



How do I book?  

If you wish to make a booking or purchase a Gift Voucher, you can do so by submitting the Contact Form or by calling our Largs Office on 0845 834 0335.   Remember, ScotSail operates practical courses / experiences every week and weekend in the Sailing Season from March to October inclusive.

You can download a separate Booking Form by Clicking Here.

The process for purchasing Gift Vouchers is exactly the same.


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How can I pay?  

You can make payment for your ScotSail invoice using any of the following methods:


  • Credit or Debit Card (except AmEx)
  • Cheque
  • Cash
  • Electronic Funds Transfer
  • ScotSail and/or RYA Vouchers


Simply Contact ScotSail by e-mail or call our Largs Office on 0845 834 0335, to make payments securely by telephone.

Just to say thanks for being our customer...

We've scrapped ALL Credit Card Charges for 2009!


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How do I buy a Gift Voucher?  

it's easy!...

  1. Select Voucher;
  2. Pay;
  3. We send the personlised voucher to any UK address via Royal Mail - 1st Class!

See - How do I book?


Buy Online! >

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What are the boats like?  

ScotSail uses only the best modern, clean and safe training yachts, fully MCA Coded and checked to standards well above the minimum requirements.   Using yachts above the size we use can be detrimental to learning and handling skills, but all our yachts are comfortable and safe for learning and putting your skills into practice.   Brimming with technology and home comforts like well equipped kitchens or 'galleys', flatscreen TV/DVD, PC-Computers etc we are certain that you will find ScotSail yachts to be of the highest standard around.

Why not check out our Training Yachts Page to see the pics and read the details!









A typical ScotSail Training Yacht

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Why should I book a ScotSail Sailing Course / Experience?  

ScotSail Training is commited to providing the best RYA Sailing Course Experiences possible.   The ScotSail Group is family-owned and run and, our aim is to be the largest and best quality RYA Training Centre in Scotland offering the best value for money possible.   We are certain that we have achieved that goal on many fronts already.

ScotSail offers a combination of quality and personal service very difficult to come by.   We do this by offering as much as possible, for the lowest possible price, and at a stunning location in Scotland.   The sailing yachts we use are comfortable and modern machines - this has been the key to ScotSails success as Scotlands Sailing Company.


Unlike many private 'man-with-boat' operators, we offer Full Board for all our practical courses / experiences, All safety equipment and we don't charge for things like yacht fuel or domestic gas that should be included.   Not only that but all our Professional Course Instructors are some of the most experienced, qualified and friendly in the business.

Click Here to see a checklist of what to consider when looking for a Course / Experience provider, and why you could be trapped by choosing one of the many operators promoting so-called 'All-Inclusive' schemes.


Friendly faces - Click Here to View All Staff Profiles.




ScotSail Voted No.1 UK Watersports Courses provider by The Guardian! - Read

"...for sailing in Scotland - always choose ScotSail..."


We're proud of our Prices!




ScotSail gets Page 1 tribute in National Magazine Yachting Life - Read


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Call: 0845 834 0335

direct for free advice from our experienced people