A few years ago I joined a group of people sharing a 70 foot, 50-year old ex-racing yacht, and to feel properly involved I needed to learn to sail!

I did the RYA Day Skipper theory course with Neill Chipping during 2008-09, and enjoyed getting to grips with a new set of skills.  These were put into practice over the following summer, and were followed by the Yachtmaster theory course over the winter of 2009-10.

This was a stimulating course, run weekly at our house for four of us by Neill – in such a small group we were able to share our own experiences, so the course was relevant and useful.  The course was well presented: Neill’s style is friendly and inclusive, and he ensures that the syllabus is covered in a professional way, with plenty of time for explanations and discussions.

I then joined Neill for an RYA Day Skipper Practical course on a charter boat in the Solent – it’s reassuring to know your instructor before you set off, and the course was a good balance of fun and instructive hard work.  Neill is a dedicated and thorough instructor, and his enthusiasm for all types of sailing is inspiring.  Since then I have also done the RYA Marine Radio course (run by Neill) at a local centre.

 feel that the practical sailing experience I gain on the boat is building on a sound base provided by Neill’s comprehensive range of RYA courses, and the thrill I get from understanding more and more about sailing is due in no small part to having attended these courses.