Learn to sail keelboats at our Discover Sailing Centre

St Kilda, Melbourne

Keelboats are larger yachts with a weighted keel attached to the bottom of the hull to assist with balance.

The Keelboat courses total 12 hours over two days, typically two consecutive weekends. Groups of 4 allow us to go ahead with the proposed dates. As sailing is weather dependent, some flexibility may be required for participants to accumulate the knowledge and skills to complete the course.

Are you looking for personalised training that suits your schedule? We offer private training at any skill level. Click here to see more details.

Start Crewing

Would you like to join the sailing community? What better way to do that than enrolling for an Australian Sailing accredited course at our Discover Sailing Centre? This course syllabus introduces you to foundation sailing skills, build your confidence, and have fun on the water with friends! Keelboat courses are designed to introduce you to the sport of sailing, progressively build your knowledge and skills and increase your confidence to sail small keelboats. The Keelboat program is a sequence of courses to build the foundation and develop you into a capable sailor, opening endless possibilities to race or cruise with our club!

This course doesn’t require any prerequisite experience and will cover the following topics in preparation for sailing:

  • appropriate clothing and safety equipment
  • Sourcing and understanding information about weather
  • parts of the boat, rigging a keelboat
  • sail handling, including hoisting
  • lowering and storing sails
  • understanding the use of sheets
  • halyards, winches
  • clutches and cleats
  • tacking
  • gybing
  • sail trimming
  • thorough understanding of points of sail
  • mooring
  • rope handling and the use of knots

Prerequisite experience: None required.

Course fee: $350

Start Helming

Upon completion of Start Crewing, participants may enjoy embarking on our Start Helming course. Learn a new role on board and take your sailing skills to the next level. Our Nationally accredited and passionate sailing instructors will guide you on your journey! As you progress through our training program, you will now be able to prepare the vessel, rig the boat appropriately for the conditions, and recognise and understand the use of deck hardware.

  • This next stage in the syllabus will build on
  • your ability to trim each point of sail
  • understand the effects and importance of heel and trim
  • use reefs and helm effectively around a triangular course.

Prerequisite experience: Start Crewing course

Course fee: $350

Start Skippering

This next stage in our Keelboat program will advance your skills and knowledge, allowing you to skipper a vessel unsupervised in sheltered waters.

Focusing on the advanced knowledge necessary to skipper a vessel, this portion of the syllabus will focus on

  • an in-depth understanding of safety and what to do in case of an emergency
  • rules of waterways
  • weather and chart interpretation
  • risk assessment
  • mooring and anchoring in various conditions
  • recover man overboard procedure
  • performing a heave-to
  • and much more!

Our experienced sailing instructors will guide you through the syllabus and share their knowledge with you to prepare you for what could be a life changing adventure.

Prerequisite experience: Start Helming and Start Crewing Courses.

Course fee: $350

Skipper Experience

This course will run on Saturday 6th & Sunday 7th April 2024 at RMYS with a preparatory evening on Thursday 4th April 6pm – 9pm.

and –

On Tuesday 7th & Wednesday 8th May 2024 at RMYS with a preparatory evening on Saturday 4th May 6pm – 9pm.

Course content

  • Discussion of roles and responsibilities
  • Chart work, plotting the course, down the West Channel.
  • Tides – planning optimum time to transit West Channel, and enter Queenscliff.
  • Weather – including deciding whether to go or not.
  • Preparing a navigation plot detailing headings, distances and times with particular attention to understanding navigation marks and timings down the West channel to Queenscliff.
  • And back – the reverse of the trip to Queenscliff.
  • Contingency plans – “bolt holes”
  • Simple catering (lunch down, and back) snacks, hot beverages

Prerequisite experience: Water confident with the skills, knowledge and experience gained from completing the Start Crewing, Start Helming courses or previous sailing background.

Course fee: $490


Is there anything more beautiful than seeing a horizon filled with the colourful and impressive form of spinnaker sails? This next stage in our Keelboat program introduces you to the fun and challenge of using asymmetrical and symmetrical spinnakers.

This advanced skill is an exciting addition to your sailing repertoire, and our experienced instructors will get you there. This syllabus covers the foundational knowledge of sheets, braces, halyards, control lines and poles.

Upon completing this course, participants will

  • understand and be able to perform the pre-hoist procedure
  • hoisting, positioning, gybing and dropping of the sail.

This challenging skill will emphasise the importance of communication, preparation, teamwork and coordination whilst on board a keelboat.

Prerequisite experience: Start crewing, start helming,

Course fee: $350


This course is delivered over three four hour sessions.

If you dream of joining a club and racing amongst the fleet, this course is for you. By this stage in our keelboat program, participants are ready to learn racing manoeuvres, crew positioning, pre-start, tacking, gybing and rounding markers on a course.

Racing requires the helm and crew to operate sail controls and achieve optimal sail shape in various conditions. This course will build on effective teamwork and communication, advancing each sailor’s skill to be on board during a race.

This course also delves into a racing theory that builds a foundation for participation, including

  • sail shape
  • start and finish procedures
  • flags and signals
  • different course types
  • of course, the racing rules.

Prerequisite experience: Start Helming & Start Crewing

Course fee: $450

Private training

Personalised training for groups or individuals that covers the Australian Sailing syllabus for dinghy training on our boats. Sessions are a minimum of 4 hours and can run with anywhere from 1- 4 participants. This course can be ran during week, weekend and holidays.

Please use the button to email your interest or click here to email us now: training@rmys.com.au

Private training cost: $125/hour (4 hour minimum session)