To ensure all candidates for the RYA Dinghy Instructor course can sail a dinghy to a good standard they must demonstrate their sailing skills and background knowledge through the RYA Pre Entry Assessment, before taking the instructor course itself. The Dinghy Instructor course can then concentrate on teaching skills rather than how to sail properly. Racing skills will not be assessed as these skills are not part of an RYA dinghy Instructor’s remit.
The practical assessment is essentially you, demonstrating a number of manoeuvres with good RYA Seamanship Skills and RYA technique, so what can you do in preparation for this?
Sailing regularly after taking an RYA Seamanship Skills course is a good place to start.
Reading the G14 RYA instructor handbook and the G12 Advanced handbook will assist your background theory knowledge.
Being comfortable sailing any dinghy. The assessment is generally done in a double-hander, but not too performance orientated, such as Wayfarer, Laser 2000, Hartley 15.
You must be aware of the 5 Essentials at all times – sail setting, balance, trim, centreboard, course sailed and have good wind awareness. The main exercises you will be required to demonstrate are:
- Sailing around a triangular course
- Sailing a tight circular course
- Sailing a follow the leader course
- Picking up a man overboard
- You may also be asked to demonstrate other skills too such as
- Rudderless sailing
- Lee shore departure and landing
- Picking up a mooring or anchoring
- Coming alongside a moored boat
- Capsize recovery
Using a PAME sequence of planning will help you demonstrate a structured approach to sailing.
Plan – your manoeuvre in advance of your
Approach – the area where you will make the
Manoeuvre – using your sailing skills before
Escape – a plan B in case your approach or manoeuvre goes wrong
Remember the assessment is measuring your competence so you may have to demonstrate the skills a number of times showing that luck didn’t play a part in your success of completing a manoeuvre. The assessor will be looking to see that you can sail in a controlled manner and that you communicate well with any others in your boat. They are also there to support you and to give you the best opportunity of passing the assessment.
Don't forget you'll also need....
As well as the RYA Pre Entry Assessment the other pre requisites are RYA Powerboat Level 2, RYA (or other accepted) First Aid, RYA Safe and Fun Safeguarding and that you are aged 16 years+.
We're here to help
There's nothing we want more than to see you pass and it's our job to help you get there. If, during the course you find that you are struggling with anything in particular then please come and chat to us and we'll do our best to give you the confidence to succeed! Don't forget that as well as the 1 day RYA Pre-entry Assessment, we also offer the 2 day RYA Pre-entry Training and Assessment. This is perfect for those of you who want a day getting used to dinghies they may not have sailed before or want to familiarise yourself with the sailing area of Poole Harbour.
You are then ready to take the RYA Dinghy Instructor course a qualification that could lead you around the world passing your passion for sailing onto others.