Devon & Cornwall Coast for 6 day RYA Courses
You can do a RYA Course in the UK or abroad, but the Devon and Cornwall coast takes some beating for variety, scenery and challenge. Off the coast of South Devon and Cornwall, the water is deep with a few rocky hazards, but none of the complexity of the Solent's sand bars and busy shipping. Day Skippers can can dip into more challenging pilotage when you enter the ports and estuaries.
Whether you are at beginner level or learning to be the skipper or navigator, this coastline will give you a broad education. The courses are about going places, so you can experience a wide range of sailing experiences:- anchoring in remote bays, mooring in sheltered rivers, coming alongside harbour walls or pontoons, night sailing.
Headlands, Rias and Secret Coves
Both Devon and Cornwall have some great hideaways and secluded anchorages. Wherever you stop there is the SW Coast Path, which was originally created for the revenue men on horseback to patrol isolated peninsulas and bays to catch smugglers landing their contraband.
Devon as a Sailing Ground
West of Brixham is the impressive Berry Head, its high limestone cliff's home to Peregrine falcons. The other side of the Bay is equally popular with rock climbers and you can sail past the distinctive Thatchers Rock. It is rare to go East from here as the port choices are limited without covering big distances.
Dartmouth & River Dart
Only a short evening sail away is the almost hidden entrance to Dartmouth and Kingswear. The river is gorge like with a bend in the river which hides the historic ports until you are almost off Town Quay. The new harbour-master here in 2017 is actively encouraging the charter vessels to sail up the River Dart, creating a timeless scene for tourists and lots of sail handling for you.
Start Point & Hallsands
The iconic white lighthouse on this famous headland features in many maritime paintings, and marks the tide ripped Skerries sand bank. If you take the inside passage you might stop at the abandoned village of Hallsand, where buildings were claimed by the sea in a great storm.
Salcombe - Golden Beaches & Yachting Mecca
Not many harbours have such perfect golden sands revealled at low tide. Salcombe is a holiday heaven for those who love messing about in boats, but very busy peak season. If you are lucky enough to get a mooring off the town you can admire you classic boat from the waterside inns.
Newton Ferrers, Plymouth & Cawsand
You could spend 6 days on a RYA course here and not get bored. Plan your pilotage up the Tamar or the River Lyhner. Anchor at Barn Pool for a BBQ or the village of Cawsand for a seafood meal in the pub that sits on the county boundary. Behind the Breakwater you will find Navy ships, yacht races, ferries to dodge and dozens of navigational marks at night.
Cornwall as a Sailing Ground
On a 6 day voyage or RYA course from Brixham you will be pretty busy in and out of Devon ports, but if the wind is right you might venture over the border into Cornwall.
Polperro & Looe
Just about big enough for Vanity to moor in the outer harbour but not Leader or Provident, Polperro is your picture postcard Cornish fishing village. Looe is a narrow drying river port with a vast number of day fishing boats, so heading onto Fowey is often a more reliable option....unless you want to buy fresh fish.
Fowey & Polruan
A working harbour for the China Clay mines, but also a favourite sailors holiday destination. The two towns of Fowey and lesser known Polruan sit on opposite banks. Both have narrow streets, quaint pubs with great river views, and plenty to see on the water.