BSC Sailing School - Learn to Sail - Short Sailing Courses in Sydney

This is your chance to enter the exciting world of sailing, which can be technical and competitive – or old-style and relaxed! Learn to Sail on Sydney's beautiful harbour.

Once you’ve learned the ropes of sailing at the Balmain Sailing School, there are many options available to you: - you can join the crew of a yacht and join in our regular races, sail a laser or skiff on your own or just relax on board a boat that’s cruising the Sydney harbour or heading up and down our beautiful coast.

The Balmain Sailing School is conducted from the clubhouse of the BSC, at the bottom of Water Street Balmain in Sydney, and offers a full mix of theory and practice of twelve hours of lessons in four by 3 hour, or three by 4 hour, sessions on a variety of boats.

The Balmain Sailing School is a Discover Sailing Centre accredited by Australian Sailing. Our Instructors are experienced and are all Australian Sailing certified.

Once you sign up for a course, you'll automatically receive membership to the Balmain Sailing Club and a certificate upon completion. Membership runs from July to June, so your membership will be current to the next June anniversary.  

For all course bookings:

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Our courses cover:

  • Rigging
  • Going about
  • Gybing
  • Reefing
  • Sailing techniques
  • Sail setting
  • Rules of the road
  • Safety procedures
  • Parts of a boat
  • Ropework and knots
  • Anchoring and mooring
  • Heaving-to
  • Winds and tides
  • Basic meteorology

NOTE: Balmain Sailing School courses cater for adults (minimum age is 18 years old). The Hunters Hill Sailing Club runs learn to sail courses designed for children aged 7 - 12 years, visit their website for more information

Private Lessons

Private lessons for 1 to 2 persons are also available on the Magic 25 by enquiry.  Please contact the sailing school for more information. 

Sail Courses

Introduction to Sailing – Magic 25

2 x 6 hour sessions (or 3 x 4 hour sessions) on consecutive Saturdays or Sundays. Learn to sail with 3 others on a Magic 25. She's a small yacht with a keel, so she won't ever tip over! On the Magic 25, you'll learn all the basics of yachting including hoisting sails, tacking, gybing, helming and sail trim.

Cost: $550 (+ GST) per person, Minimum of 2 enrolments required for course to go ahead, Minimum age 18yrs.

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Start Sailing 1 Dinghy (Lasers)

This is an introductory course to sailing with 4 x 3 hour Saturday or Sunday Sessions or a weekend intensive course over Saturday and Sunday.  Be prepared to get a little wet and be prepared for a whole lot of fun as you learn to sail a Laser.  Lasers are small, simple to rig and sail.  Lasers can be sailed by either one or two people.

  • This course is conducted with a minimum of a YA certified Instructor and an Assistant Instructor with a rescue boat.
  • Course fee is $550 (+ GST) per person, minimum of 4 enrolments required for course to go ahead, minimum age 18yrs
  • Yachting Australia Accredited Course.

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Start Sailing 2 Dinghy (Lasers)

4 x 3 hour Sessions held over 4 weeks on alternating mornings and afternoons. This course is designed to consolidate the experiences and knowledge gained in the BSC Start Sailing 1 Dinghy (Lasers) course, and to introduce skills and knowledge that will enable the successful participant to safely and competently sail a small boat in controlled conditions (light winds, enclosed waters) without guidance.

Yachting Australia Accredited course

This course is conducted with a minimum of a YA certified Instructor and an Assistant Instructor with a rescue boat.

Completion of a YA Start Sailing 1 - Dinghy course is a prerequisite for this course, and this can be completed at BSC or other Discover Sailing Centres.

Course fee is $550 (+ GST) per person, minimum of 4 enrolments required for course to go ahead, minimum age 18yrs.

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What to Bring – ALL COURSES

  • Bring a hat that won’t blow off - or get knocked off
  • Sunscreen and sunglasses
  • Long-sleeved shirt
  • Drink
  • Soft shoes with light-coloured soles that you don't mind getting wet
  • Shorts and a sweater or sailing jacket (or similar)
  • Buoyancy vests will be supplied.

Water safety awareness is an integral part of the syllabus. Sailing Lessons will not be conducted in winds of 20 knots or if a gale warning is in force. Rain will be ignored (you’re a sailor now!) Shoes must be worn on the Club’s timber deck.

Connect with Balmain Sailing Club Activities

The BSC Sailing School is part of the Balmain Sailing Club - a community club run by volunteers. We’re proud of our friendly, relaxed atmosphere.

BSC yacht and dinghy races are almost always followed by a delicious dinner and drinks - or our famous sausage sizzle - at the Clubhouse.  Check out the calendar to see when we'll next be racing.

New crew members are ALWAYS welcome, and sailing school participants are encouraged to try out their new-found skills on members’ boats. When you finish your Introduction to Sailing course and are keen to crew on other BSC yachts, please email us to register your interest.

Proud Sponsors of the Balmain Sailing Club