Darwin Sailing Club
Start Crewing and Start Helming

Start Crewing and Start Helming

A safe and enjoyable introduction to keelboat sailing in our brand new Eliott 7s

Start Crewing and Start Helming

Course Details

The first step on the Keelboat pathway introduces you to the basics of sailing on a small boat, developing both your theory and practical skills before confidently taking control on the helm.

This program is ideal for anyone wanting to learn the basic fundamentals of sailing, without going swimming!

Classes are conducted by friendly qualified keelboat instructors in our new Elliott 7 Keel Boats.

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 keelboat. Learn the basics of crewing and helming, whilst strying relatively dry! All the equipment and gear will be provided to you. 

What to Bring 

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 to Bring 

What you will learn 


  • Understands the importance of the correct fitting and wearing of life jackets and complies with the rules of wearing a life jacket
  • Understands the importance of appropriate clothing and footwear

Boats and Equipment:

  • Can prepare the sails and rig the boat 
  • Knows correct use of halyards, sheets and associated deck hardware
  • Has a basic knowledge of sailing terms, can identify parts of a boat 


  • Can tie the following knots and know their correct use: 
    • figure of 8
    • bowline 
    • round turn and two half hitches 
    • clove hitch 
    • reef knot
  • Has a basic knowledge of the use of sheets, halyards, winches, couches, mooring lines and cleats
  • Can coil and stow a rope

Safety and Emergencies:

  • Can recover a man overboard under sail as helm 
  • Knows the location and correct operation of all safety equipment 
  • Knows how to raise the alarm in the event of an emergency 
  • Is aware of hazards on board a boat and understands how to avoid them 

Sailing Theory: 

  • Has a working knowledge of the general, steering and sailing rules and their application 
  • Can maintain a continuous lookout 
  • Knows how to source information on local regulations 

Weather and the Environment:

  • Understands where to obtain a weather forecast

Skills and Techniques:

  • Understands the theory and basic principles of sailing including tacking and gybing
  • Has basic wind awareness
  • Can steer a boat on all points of sail under supervision
  • Can trim sails on all points of sail
  • Can helm and trim sails effectively on all points of sail
  • Can helm effectively around a triangular course 
  • Can tack and gybe effectively as a helm 
  • Can heave-to
  • Understands the effect and importance of heel and trim 
  • Understands how to anchor a boat 
  • Can reef and shake out sails while underway
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Thanks to supporters of the Darwin Sailing Club