Whitsundays School of Sailing | Whitsunday Rent A Yacht

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Whitsundays School of Sailing

The Whitsunday region is among the best in the world to learn to sail or refresh your skills. We offer RYA accredited practical courses for those with all levels of experience from the novice to the seasoned sailor.

Our Whitsundays School of Sailing offers the Royal Yachting Association practical courses.  The five-day courses are run weekly, from Monday to Friday, departing from our private jetty in Shute Harbour, all year 'round.

The 74 Whitsunday islands are set in the warm, calm Coral Sea and protected by the Great Barrier Reef. Sailing conditions here are superb. During your week of sail training, there will also be time to snorkel in pristine waters and explore secluded beaches and anchorages. You will leave with a certificate of achievement and the skills and confidence to handle charter vessels.

Practical courses offered

  • Level 1 - Competent Crew. No prior sailing experience required.
  • Level 2 - Day Skipper. Pre-requisites: 5 days' sea time, 100 miles logged (4 night hours logged), knowledge of navigation a must, moderate sailing ability.
  • Level 3 - Coastal Skipper. Pre-requisites: 15 days' sea time (minimum 2 days as skipper), 300 miles logged (8 night hours logged), navigation knowledge to yacht master theory standard, sailing ability exceeding day skipper practical standard.


Courses are $1,740 per person (based on cabin share accommodation).

Theory component

The theory component for Day Skipper and Coastal Skipper courses must be completed prior to beginning a practical course. The RYA-recognised training centre, Above & Beyond Boating, provides the theory components for these courses online.  If completing your theory via Above & Beyond Boating, use reference as Sunsail Whitsundays to link the theory component to your course booking. Your certificate will be sent to your instructor before you arrive to complete the practical component. Fees are payable directly to Above & Beyond Boating.


  • Sunday: Arrive at 4pm to complete paperwork and board vessel. Spend your first night at our base in Shute Harbour which will give you time to familiarise yourself with the vessel and time to unwind and relax before you begin your course the next morning.
  • Monday 8am to Friday 5pm: Practical course guided by your instructor. The training vessel, a Jeanneau 44, has the capacity for five students and one instructor. Prices are based on a per person rate.
  • Friday: After 5pm you are able to stay onboard for the final night once the course has been completed. This is a great opportunity to reflect on the week's achievement and socialise.
  • Saturday: Students depart vessel by 10am for their return journey. If you wish to charter a yacht in the Whitsundays for a few days to use your new skills, contact our sales team to check availability and pricing. MAKE AN ENQUIRY.


  • Cabin/shared berth-style accommodation for six nights.
  • Full provisioning for course duration (Sunday to Friday).
  • Shute Harbour complex start and finish.
  • Five day practical course on board a Jeanneau 44 yacht in the picturesque Whitsundays.
  • RYA certification (pending prior successful completion of the theory element and practical assessment).

What to bring

  • Soft soled shoes/deck shoes.
  • Soft drinks/ beverages. (Drinking water provided).
  • Snacks (if required).
  • Personal toiletries.
  • Wide-brimmed hat.
  • Practical course notes and log book.
  • Head torch (including red globe).
  • Sailing gloves.
  • Beach towel (All other linen provided).
  • RYA Practical course notes and logbook
A couple learning to sail at sunset in the Whitsundays

Discover the joys of sailing aboard a yacht in the warm, safe waters of the Whitsundays.