A typical week

The Liberty Ethos – what to expect…..

 All the RYA instructors who work with us at Liberty Yachts Sea School must have pride in their work as well as the necessary expertise and RYA knowledge. Only experienced instructors get to work for us.  In fact our aim is to know personally all the instructors we send out on our school boats. This does not mean it is a ‘closed shop’, but gives us confidence that the product we are offering is the best it can be.

Induction and walk around

All students (even the most experienced ones!) on their first time out training with Liberty will have a thorough induction and ‘walk through’ of our procedures. Prior to arriving we will ask you to complete information form detailing your qualifications, medicals, etc.

Weather – a crucial (and variable!) element

 If a gale (F8) or worse is forecast our boats will not venture out of Plymouth Breakwater or leave (another) port without first contacting the office for further instruction.

We consider the weather forecast carefully when organising your weeks’ training. We prepared to amend your plans if the weather looks like it is going to go against you. You may have hoped to get to Falmouth or Dartmouth, but if there is a SW 7-8 predicted for Wednesday evening you should be thinking about getting back inside Plymouth Sound by lunchtime on Wednesday. This still leaves plenty of time to practise pilotage in and out of River Yealm and do a passage to Fowey. In summary, the operational area is considered with the weather in mind. Just because you can go to Falmouth doesn’t mean it’s a good idea! Your instructor will ensure you are safe and get the most out of your week.

RYA courses from QAB, Plymouth – A framework

All our instructors are experienced professionals and will have your preferred methods of delivering the RYA Yachtmaster program, but to give a framework of what we expect please read the below notes. The cruising area in and around Plymouth is ideal for training and cruising in general  – make the most of it!

We expect you to be training ‘on the water’ by 1100 on the Monday morning, all safety briefs etc completed by the instructor. For the rest of the week we aim to be doing some useful by 9.00am, meaning sail training not showering!

It will depend on the course you are attending and the combination of students. The weather will play a big part too!  But here very broad aims for the week;

Day 1

Students will be familiarised with the boat immediately and encouraged to take the wheel and get some tacks and gybes in as soon as possible. Instructors should be next to wheel and throttle! Emphasise on safety this first morning. Get an MOB done if the conditions are suitable at the earliest opportunity. Good places are Jennycliff Bay or Cawsand. They are also ideal places to anchor for lunch whilst the crew and skipper refine the plan for the week.

Day 2

Again look at the weather, but I like to try and get somewhere for Tuesday night; Fowey, River Yealm or Fowey are favourite.

Day 3

Depending on where we got to Day 2 I like to either concentrate on skills and drills and do a night navigation or do another coastal passage ending with a night navigation.

Day 4

If all has gone to plan on the first 3 days I like the students to have the opportunity to really demonstrate their ability Day 4. The Day Skippers should be generating tidal curves, passage plans etc without too much prompting and the boat should feel like a team.

Also I try to be on my way back to Plymouth (not necessarily arriving) during this day. So If I’m in Falmouth or Dartmouth on Wednesday I’m starting my cruise back to Fowey or Salcombe respectively.

Day 5

Friday. This is a ‘tidy-up’ day not just for the boat but also for those skills both technical and practical for you students. Leave yourself plenty of time for debriefs, paperwork and boat tidying. I always find Friday flies by however much contingency I thought I had allowed.

Hope this is useful.

Fair winds,


Liberty Yachts Sea School