Learn to sail on large cruising yachts with experienced and fully qualified instructors.

Skipper a Clipper Sailing School offers a huge range of fully accredited Inshore and Offshore sailing courses in a safe and fun environment. Learn the art of sailing on the beautiful Pittwater and Hawkesbury River. We focus on learning to sail large, luxury cruising yachts. We want you totally competent to charter a luxury yacht anywhere in the world, or at least be an important and significant crew member.

One Day, Fun Day Introduction to Yachts - $550

If you have never sailed before, try our one-day, fun day introductory course to make sure you will enjoy it. You will have a fabulous day out on a large cruising yacht or catamaran with a fully qualified instructor. You will learn how to set the sails, adjust and trim the sails, the correct use of winches, how to steer the yacht and set a course. Safety and fun are the important aspects of this course. This course covers safety, steering, correct use of winches, rigging the yacht, wind direction and all points of sailing. Add in more training at a later date to have completed your introductory certificate. Pack a picnic lunch, don't forget the sunscreen, we give you a hat.

Course 1. Introductory Certificate.

Intensive course, building on your basic sailing knowledge following the one day introductory course. This course covers basic steering, knots, navigation, compass and chart work and rules of the road. Receive your AYF introductory certificate at the end of the course. Meet new friends; Don't forget your lunch and your something to write with.

Cruise around Pittwater and Hawkesbury River, check out the wildlife, fairy penguins, eagles and occasionally dolphins and whales in season. Enjoy a swim off the back of the boat. Sit back and enjoy the view or take control of the yacht yourself with a skipper on hand to offer advice and guidance.

Course 2. Competent Crew Certificate - The confidence builder

This course will give you confidence on the water and practice the experience gained from your first course whilst gaining confidence in your own ability. Learn new elements of helmsmanship, anchoring and moorings, seamanship, sail handling, ropework, fire precautions, personal safety, man overboard drill, lights and flags, flares, rules of the road, meteorology and engine maintenance. Basic Knowledge is required to join this course.

Course 3 AYF Inshore Skipper Certificate - The Bareboat Charter Skipper

Learn skills that will enable you to charter one of our luxurious yachts or catamarans on your own. Sailing the Whitsunday's or even the Mediteranean or the Carribean, this certificate is recognized worldwide and covers mandatory licensing which is required in most places outside of Australia. Elements of this course include organization of watches in harbour and at sea, Reefing, proficiency in navigation, meteorology and forecasting, maintenance and repair, victualling, emergency situations, passage planning, radio work, boat handling, mooring and docking in marinas. Basic first aid. Competent crew level plus a minimum 10 hours sea time are required to do this course. Basic Knowledge is required to join this course. See our additional packages options.

Complete Package.

The complete package not only gives you complete confidence in your ability and knowledge that you have covered every facet of the sailing basics. This course represents terrific value, both in time on the water as well as equipment. As well as 3 weekends sailing taken in your own time, you will also receive the complete navigation package, our 6 part learn to sail theory course, Log book, hat, sailing gloves and 3 twilight sailing evenings on board with our twilight crew.

AYF Coastal /Offshore Skipper - Yachtmaster preparation

3 days on board:-

Learn skills that will enable you to charter your own yacht anywhere in the world.

Discounts offered to pupils who complete this course on their first and subsequent solo charters.

Included in this course is an offshore sail to places such as Port Stephens and back, night sailing preparation of yacht for sea, organization of watches at sea, deck work, navigation, meteorology, maintenance, emergency situations, docking and mooring, passage planning, radio, heaving to.

This course is a must for the dedicated sailor. Individual programs can be undertaken whilst on our annual passage to Hamilton Island or onboard our other trips to Coffs Harbour, Southport, Port Stephens and beyond - prices vary from trip to trip.

Offshore Courses/Cruises/Races

Offshore Sailing Adventures

Let us take you offshore to exciting destinations. Travel to Sydney Harbour for a short holiday or venture further afield to the Whitsundays on our annual pilgrimage north. Individual places available on trips to Jervis bay, Southport, Hamilton Island, Coffs Harbour and others. Register for our newsletter to receive information on these trips as they appear

Personalised programs

Come with a group of friends and let us take you to Port Stephens or Jervis Bay for the weekend. From the seasoned sailor to the first time adventurer. Sail offshore with fully qualified instructors and learn their world wide knowledge gained from many ocean crossings. AYF certificates available for coastal skipper, sea miles recorded for yachtmaster examinations.

Queensland Offshore Adventure Program

  • July /August Sydney to Southport - 380 miles
  • August - Mooloolaba to Airlie Beach- 509 miles
  • August - Hogs Breath Race Week (fun week)
  • August - Hamilton Island Race week.
  • August/September - Return passage Hamilton Island to Pittwater Sydney.

The yachts are fully equipped for offshore racing, complete with spinnaker, liferaft, EPIRB, lifejackets, etc. Price includes insurance, race entry fees, meals (where applicable) and personnel safety gear. Come and join us for part or all of the above for the experience of a lifetime. Training given for AYF certificates. Register for our newsletter to receive information on these trips as they appear.

Spinnaker Workshop

Need to gain confidence, feeling a little rusty or have never flown a spinnaker before? This course includes theory on types of spinnaker, cloth weights and wind strengths. The practical course will show you how to pack spinnakers for racing, techniques in keeping it flying, steering to a spinnaker, using snuffers, spinnaker poles, gybing and racing techniques. Mastering how to get the most exhilaration out of sailing.

Racing Workshop

Focus on techniques in starting, mark rounding, sail setting, covering rules, manoeuvering at speed, light wind and strong wind sailing. Picking the right end of the starting line is always a tricky one, weight distribution. Bring along your own crew and even your own boat.

Theory Courses-

1. Sail trim and seamanship - 6 part course

This course in 6 parts covers all of the above elements and compliments your practical courses. Each part contains relevant information for the yachtsman seriously interested in getting it right.

2. Coastal Skipper / Offshore Yachtmaster Module

This theory element must be completed to award the coastal skipper or Yachtmaster certificate of competence.

3. Meteorology for sailors

Beginners and experienced sailors will benefit from this course in 4 parts containing assessment sheets. Pass mark above 85% qualifies for endorsement to yachtmaster ocean meteorology.

4. Inshore and Coastal navigation

Course in 4 parts with endorsements of the inshore skipper theory course AYF TL4. You will need the Navigation Pack with this course if you do not already have one.

5. Racing rules 2011-2012

Additional AYF rules book, ISAF case law, collision regulations required . Students should have their inshore skipper certificates before embarking on this course. Racing accreditation for TL2 dinghies and TL6 keelboats, both courses cover inshore and offshore racing. Course books will be required for this course.

Navigation Equipment Package - $275.00

Navigation equipment package is provided for practical courses, for theory courses you will need the additional equipment as supplied in this package. Included in the package are charts no 197 and 200, Dividers, parallel rule, tide tables, AYF log book, ships log book, pencils, rubber, pencil sharpener, chart and equipment holder.

Private Lessons - (minimum 3 hours)

Individual lessons with a private instructor can offer you one on one tuition in a totally private environment. Male and female instructors available, minimum sailing time is 3 hours or, alternatively, come along with a group of friends and we will design a weekend course to suit all your abilities. Price depends on the chosen vessel.

Ladies Lessons - (minimum 3 hours)

All the above courses are suitable for ladies and we even supply lady instructors if required. Learn to sail in a quiet and controlled atmosphere, practice man overboard so you can go back to pick him up (guaranteed to improve life insurance premiums!) Bring along your friends for a girl's weekend of fun and enlightenment.

Course Costs

$495 per day

$245 per 3 hour session



sailing team on yacht


hawkesbury from the air

Just cruising

summer fun

Sailing schools

happy sailing crew on sailboat 1

Sailing regattas

and the winner is


sailor pointing forward chart in hand

Family fun

summer fun boating


the man s storm sea yachting