Darwin Sailing Club

Start Sailing 1 & Start Sailing 2

A safe and enjoyable introduction to dinghy sailing

Course Details

Your sailing journey starts here as you learn the fundamental skills of sailing and are introduced to the fun of dinghy sailing in a safe and supportive environment. As you master the fundamental sailing skills, you will become equipped to sail your dinghy on your own.

This program is ideal for anyone wanting to learn the basic fundamentals of sailing.

Classes are conducted by friendly qualified dinghy instructors in our Pacers and Picos. 

Length of Course 

The course usually runs over 3 consecutive Saturdays. 


Water Confident.

Who should do this course 

This course is designed for participants who wish to begin sailing in a dinghy. All the equipment and gear will be provided to you. 

What to Bring 

DSC will provide participants with life jackets and boats. We have toilets and change rooms, and water fountains.

However there are a few things you will need to bring with you to ensure safety and fun on the water:

  • Close-toed shoes (no thongs)
  • Hat
  • Water bottle
  • Sunscreen
  • Lunch for break (if desired): There is limited space in the Club esky, however if you have your own to keep your lunch cool please bring it along.
  • The Waterfront Bistro will also be open where you can purchase meals, alternatively you will have an hour for lunch if you would like to leave the Sailing Club. 
  • Stinger suit or leggings (Box jellyfish are still present in the water so some form of protection is recommended)

Expression of Interest

If any course that you wish to participate in is fully booked or not scheduled, please email an expression of interest to our Training Coordinator at [email protected] 

What you will learn 


  • Knows appropriate clothing to suit conditions 
  • Can identify and use appropriate safety equipment 
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the need for protection from environmental elements 
  • Able to perform basic pre-sailing warm up

Boats and Equipment:

  • Able to rig boat unassisted 
  • Identify all parts of the boat
  • Demonstrate correct boat, sailing gear and sail care 


  • Can tie the following knots and know their correct use: 
    • figure of 8
    • bowline 
    • round turn and two half hitches 
    • clove hitch 

Safety and Emergencies:

  • Perform capsize recovery in deep water 
  • Participate in multiple boat towing 

Sailing Theory: 

  • Identify and apply basic sailing rules while sailing 
  • Port/Starboard, Windward/Leeward, Overtaking Vessel, Avoid collisions, Commercial vessels and Power/Sail
  • Explain all points of sail

Weather and the Environment:

  • Identify wind direction and strength 
  • React by showing an understanding of gusts and lulls 
  • Able to source weather forecasts 
  • Show an awareness of local tidal conditions 

Skills and Techniques:

  • Able to launch and recover boat unassisted 
  • Demonstrate correct crewing, helming and sail setting methods while sailing on all points of sail
  • Correctly gybe 
  • Successfully sail a triangle and windward/leeward course 
  • Can perform a man overboard recovery 
  • Use tiller extension during all manoeuvres 
  • Demonstrate correct centerboard positions on all points of sail
  • Can perform a heave-to 

Thanks to supporters of the Darwin Sailing Club