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 experience twilight racing on the Sailing School's Magic 25 keelboat, 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 Yachting Australia. Our Instructors are experienced and are all YA 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.  

All our sailing school graduates are welcome to register to participate with a qualified instructor on our Magic 25 in Friday night twilights races and then join us in the clubhouse for a meal, race results and socialising with other sailors. Register your interest in twilight racing on the Magic 25 by emailing us.

For all course bookings: book Now (using Eventbrite)

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 www.huntershillsailingclub.org.au

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

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 $480 per person, minimum of 4 enrolments required for course to go ahead, minimum age 18yrs

Yachting Australia Accredited Course

Upcoming Course Dates

  • Saturdays 11 March, break for 18th then 25 March, 1 April and 8 April from 1pm to 4pm (***SOLD OUT***)
  • Saturdays 22 April, 29 April,  6 May and 13 May from 9am to 12pm (places available) 

Book Now

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 $480 per person, minimum of 4 enrolments required for course to go ahead, minimum age 18yrs
 

Upcoming Course Dates

  • Saturdays 13 May, 20 May, 27 May and 3 June, 1pm to 4pm  (*** a few places still available***)

Start Sailing 1 Dinghy (Intrepid - Timber Dinghy)

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.  Intrepid is a beautiful traditional timber dinghy and is an ideal boat for beginners and those who prefer to get less wet.

Course fee is $480 per person, minimum of 2 enrolments required for course to go ahead, minimum age 18yrs

Upcoming Course Dates

  •     Please register your interest in this course by emailing us.
Book Now

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: $480 per person, Minimum of 2 enrolments required for course to go ahead, Minimum age 18yrs

Upcoming Course Dates

  • 2 x 6 hrs with 1hr for lunch (BYO) on Saturdays 3 June and 8 July from 9:30am to 4:30pm (**2 PLACES LEFT**)

Book Now

Start Helming (Level 2 Keelboats) on Magic 25

3 x 4 hour sessions on consecutive Sundays. For sailors who have already completed the learn to sail keelboat course on the Magic, or with "Tookie" at BSC, or at another club;  this next course will develop both your theory and practical skills to allow you to confidently take control on the helm. The course will cover preparation of the boat, helm and trim on all points of sail, recovery of man overboard whilst at the helm. Completion of the level 1 course prior is a prerequisite.  

Upcoming Course Dates

  • 2 x 6 hrs with 1hr for lunch (BYO) on Saturdays 20 May and 27 May from 9:30am to 4:30pm (***2 PLACES LEFT***)

Twilight Racing Experience for Sailing School Particpants and Graduates

All our sailing school participants are invited to participate in the twilight races on Friday evenings during Spring and Summer. You will be joined by one of our YA accredited instructors on the Magic 25 where you can put your new sailing skills to the test. You are welcome to join us afterwards in the clubhouse for a meal, race results and to meet other graduates and members. This offer is open to all sailing school participants for the period of their complimentary membership.  

  • Each Friday during the twilight races, 5.15pm to 7.30pm.  Please email us to register your interest.    

Introduction to Sailing – Competent Crew on 35 foot Cruiser / Racer

4 x 3 hours on consecutive Friday evenings. A beginners course covering basic sailing techniques to become a competent crew member on any yacht. Instruction includes detailed notes (delivered via PDF) and 3 practical sessions on a Bavaria 35 foot cruiser / racer.

The learning environment is relaxed, designed for questions and most importantly builds your confidence.  Upon completion you will know your way around a larger yacht's systems, team work and essential safety issues.  The course includes:

  • Personal Safety
  • Yacht systems
  • Wind and boat direction, points of sail
  • Rope work
  • Adjusting the sails
  • Steering

Your instructor, Ron Lilburne is a professional Coxswain and RYA Yachtmaster - learning will take place on a Bavaria 35 cruising yacht.

Cost: $540 per person, Minimum age 18yrs

Upcoming Course Dates

  • Please register your interest in this course by emailing us.

Racing Experience on 35 foot Cruiser / Racer

Experience racing on a Bavaria 35 foot cruiser as it enters the BSC twilight races.  This course is for sailors who have previously completed a dinghy or keelboat learn to sail course at the club, and who wish to progress to participating as crew in races.

The course will focus on:

  • honing skills already learnt
  • race strategy (as a group)
  • reading the weather during a race
  • personal instruction to improve techniques
  • sail trim
  • working the helm
  • efficient tacking and jibing as a team

Course cost is $240 per person and will involve 2 sessions x 3 hours on consecutive Fridays 5pm-8pm.  Minimum age 18 yrs.  

Your instructor, Ron Lilburne is a professional Coxswain and RYA Yachtmaster - learning will take place on a Bavaria 35 cruising yacht.  After the race, please join the other BSC members for a drink and bbq at the BSC clubhouse.  

Please note that this course does not include 12 months membership.  If you have not completed a course with the sailing school in the last 12 months or are not a member of BSC but wish to participate in this course, please contact the sailing school.

Upcoming Course Dates

  • Please register your interest in this course by emailing us

CatchUp Sessions

If conditions are unsuitable for your course to go ahead we will hold a catch-up session on a Saturday or Sunday morning or afternoon. Please register your preferred catch-up session with your instructor or by emailing us.

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