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Although RYA and prep courses cover many topics before your Yachtmaster exams, many up and coming Sea Staff or Volunteers still struggle to get enough time on small boats. Time and experience in making your own command decisions is a vital step towards becoming a better skipper. Below are some ASTO member vessels you can use to gain that all important time on a smaller boat:

Lene Sono is a Rival 34 that was recently donated to OYT North. She runs recoginzed RYA training for the public, but also for ASTO members and OYT North volunteers. She is based in North Shields and operated from the OYT North Office. In addition to RYA courses and exam prep, OYT North offer 2-day Practical Seamanship courses.  Credit for training courses can be gained by volunteering for the organisation.

Details of courses and costs on the OYT North Training website here.

Alexander Fairey is a Robertson Holiday 34 operated by the Discovery Sailing Project. The yacht is based in the Hamble near Southampton and is available for charter by staff and volunteers of ASTO members. 'Alex' can take up to 8 people, so why not get a group of you together to practice your boat handling skills?

Minimum requirements are:

2 people with Dayskipper (you must be able to show the certificate), or one with Dayskipper and another with significant sailing experience

VHF Radio certificate

Referral from the management of the organisation you sail with.

 Booking availability and cost and contact details to book are on the Discovery Sailing Project website here.

The Jeanneau 34 'Alba Volunteer', operated by Ocean Youth Trust Scotland, regularly runs RYA Training courses. If you work or volunteer for an ASTO member organisation, you can book a place at a reduced rate. This is a great chance to brush up on small boat skills and to gain experience before your YM Coastal or YM Offshore exam, with highly experienced and supportive Instructors who understand Sail Training. The boat is based on the beatiful Clyde, one of the most picturesque cruising areas in the UK. Alba Volunteer is not available for charter unless you are an existing OYT Scotland volunteer.

The courses available are Day Skipper over 5 Days, Coastal Yachtmaster 5 Days + 2 Days Examination, Yachtmaster Offshore 5 Days + 2 Days Examination.

All students need to be ASTO members and become OYT Scotland members.

Further details -