• Wave icon Trip Type: Coastal, Masterclass
  • Speech bubble icon Instructors: 2
  • People icon Crew Size: Max 9
  • Cake icon Ages: 18-75
  • Pin icon Region: UK & Ireland

Adventure Rating:

Day Skipper +

Experience Required:
Day Skipper +

12 Days from £1,799

Dates, Prices & Travel

Passage Making Masterclass England-Scotland

Take your sailing expertise to the next level with our advanced sailing course from England to Scotland, specifically designed for those who have achieved the RYA Day Skipper qualification or ASA 104 or equivalent skills and experience). This masterclass isn’t just a sailing adventure; it’s a significant step up in your sailing career, enhancing your seamanship and skippering skills and providing real-world experience that can’t be found in any classroom.

You’ll be properly tested, with the challenging waters of the English Channel, Irish Sea and Outer Hebrides as your training ground. It is an area renowned for its unpredictable weather, heavy commercial traffic, strong tides, and varied sea states. This is where theoretical knowledge meets practical application. Under the guidance of our seasoned instructors, you’ll refine your navigation skills, master advanced sailing techniques, and learn to make critical decisions under pressure.

The masterclass goes beyond basic sailing; it’s about leading a crew, managing a vessel through complex situations, and gaining the confidence and competence to handle various sailing scenarios. By the end, you’ll have improved your technical skills, leadership, and problem-solving abilities, making you a more proficient and self-assured skipper. The route up to Scotand is your classroom, and you’ll emerge as a more skilled, experienced sailor ready to take on the seas with much greater confidence.

What is a Rubicon 3 Passage Making Masterclass?

A Rubicon 3 Passage Making Masterclass is an advanced sailing course designed for experienced sailors aiming to master the art of longer-distance and offshore sailing. This intensive program focuses on enhancing navigation skills, crew management, and decision-making in challenging conditions. Participants engage in hands-on learning, tackling complex weather systems, and refining their seamanship. The masterclass typically involves navigating across diverse and demanding routes, offering real-world experience in passage planning, night sailing, and emergency procedures. It’s an ideal training ground for those seeking to elevate their sailing capabilities to a professional level or for personal achievement in blue-water cruising.

Want to join?

Go to the Dates & Prices button to see the dates this trip runs. It will also give you information on connecting travel, including where to fly and when and where to join the boat.

Sailing Area

sailing scotland an england area map
sailing england to scotland route map
The Yachts
Key Information
What’s included
  • All food and accommodation on board

  • All fuel & berthing fees

  • Your own bunk and storage area

  • Use of oilskins

  • Use of lifejacket

  • Sailing tuition

  • RYA Competent Crew (supplementary fee)

What’s Not included
  • Your connecting travel to & from boat

  • Sailing & travel insurance

  • Meals you choose to eat ashore

  • Alcohol

  • Visas where required

  • Discretionary tip

Interested in dates & availability?

To see when this trip runs, its start and end locations, price to join the crew and availability, click on the ‘Dates, Prices & Travel’ button up top.

Discretionary tipping of the Rubicon 3 crew

The trip price is 5% less than we would normally charge. This is to allow you at the end of your adventure to offer a combined 5-10% tip to the Rubicon 3 skipper and mate if you feel they have delivered exceptional performance. This tip is entirely discretionary. See our FAQs here.

Got some questions?

Joining a big sailing adventure is a big thing, so don’t be surprised if you have lots of questions before you book. Who else joins, what to expect, and so many more queries are entirely normal. The home page has loads of info on this (scroll to the bottom), there are our FAQs and never hesitate to contact us by email, phone or live chat. The team are here to have a chat, discuss options, answer questions and help make sure you get on the exact right sailing trip for you.

Masterclass Overview

This advanced sailing course is designed for sailors who wish to enhance their skills in offshore/ocean sailing, navigation, and crew management. The challenging waters from England to Scotland provide an ideal setting for this intensive course, which combines practical sailing experience with more advanced theoretical knowledge.

Masterclass Objectives

  • To develop more advanced sailing skills in coastal and offshore scenarios, including navigation and piloting.
  • To enhance weather forecasting and storm tactics abilities.
  • To practice emergency procedures and safety management.
  • To refine sail trim and boat handling skills in various conditions, including rough weather.
  • To improve crew management and communication.

Syllabus Outline

Pre-Departure Preparation

  • Safety briefing and emergency procedures.
  • Overview of the voyage plan.
  • Weather routing and forecasting.
  • Crew roles and responsibilities.
breaking waves

Advanced Coastal Navigation

  • Coastal pilotage techniques.
  • Tidal calculations and current analysis.
  • Night sailing and navigation.

Offshore Passage Making

  • Open water navigation and plotting.
  • Advanced sail trim techniques for different wind conditions.
  • Watchkeeping routines and fatigue management.
  • Heavy weather sailing tactics.
ocean sailing

Weather Systems and Meteorology

  • Understanding synoptic charts.
  • Identifying and handling squalls, fronts, and storms.
  • Barometric trends and their implications.
synoptic chart

Emergency Scenarios and Drills

  • Man overboard recovery under sail and power.
  • Firefighting and abandon ship procedures.
  • Damage control and water ingress management.
rough weather

Crew Leadership and Teamwork

  • Effective communication and decision-making under stress.
  • Conflict resolution and crew welfare.
  • Leadership styles and crew motivation.

Note: This course requires high commitment and participation from all crew members. Participants are expected to participate actively in the voyage, including night watches, navigation, and daily chores.

Further considerations

Understanding the Weather

Conditions on this course during spring and summer are shaped by the dynamic North Atlantic weather systems and regional geography. In spring, from March to May, the temperatures are generally cooler, especially in the earlier months, with the sea remaining cold. This season is characterized by strong and unpredictable wind, with the possibility of experiencing the tail end of winter gales in March and April. Showers are still common and the weather can change rapidly. The sea conditions during this period can be choppy, especially when strong winds meet tidal currents.

In contrast, months from June to August are warmer, both on land and at sea. However, sea breezes can lead to cooler conditions along the coast. Winds are generally lighter compared to spring, though they can still be variable, and sea breezes in the afternoon are common. Rainfall is less frequent in summer than in spring, but when showers occur, they can be heavy and sometimes accompanied by thunderstorms. Visibility is generally good, except for occasional morning fog in coastal regions. The sea is usually calmer in summer compared to spring.

Navigational challenges

Navigating the Irish Sea, known for its strong tidal currents and significant tidal ranges, presents a great challenge for sailors, particularly due to the area’s complex tidal patterns, including some regions experiencing double high waters or double low waters. Understanding and effectively planning for these tides is crucial for ensuring safe and efficient navigation. Additionally, the Irish Sea is frequented by commercial shipping lanes, ferries, and fishing vessels.

Navigation Skills Advanced navigation skills are a prerequisite for sailing this route. The challenges it presents demand a high level of competency in chart plotting, GPS navigation, and the use of radar. It will soon become apparent that we often cannot take our preferred route. The passage will involve overnight sailing. A thorough understanding of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGs) is necessary to navigate high-traffic areas safely.

Boat Preparation and Equipment A well-prepared boat is your best ally on any passage of this nature. You are heading out into challenging waters, so we’ll show you how to check the vessel is seaworthy, with a good hull, reliable engine, and suitable bilge pumps. Rigging and sails must be in excellent condition, capable of withstanding strong winds and heavy seas. Essential equipment includes a life raft, EPIRB (Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon), VHF radio, AIS (Automatic Identification System), and a well-stocked first aid kit. Preparing for emergencies with tools and spare parts for basic repairs is also critical.

Crew Readiness The importance of a well-prepared and cohesive crew cannot be overstated. Each crew member should be experienced in sailing in rough conditions and mentally and physically prepared for the trip’s demands. Roles and responsibilities should be clearly defined and understood. Regular drills for man-overboard situations, fire onboard, and abandoning ship are essential for crew readiness.

Provisioning and Comfort While not as immediately critical as safety, the comfort of the crew significantly impacts the voyage’s success. Adequate provisioning, including food, water, and fuel, is essential. Meals that are easy to prepare in rough conditions can boost morale. Attention should also be paid to personal gear, ensuring each crew member has appropriate clothing for warm and cold conditions.

Mental Preparedness: The psychological aspect of being out in the Irish Sea is as crucial as the physical preparation. Sailors should be mentally prepared for the potentially rough conditions, and the need for constant vigilance. A positive attitude and the ability to remain calm under pressure are invaluable traits for such a journey.

Respect for the Sea Finally, a deep respect for the sea and its unpredictability should guide every decision when you set sail in the Irish Sea. Overconfidence can be dangerous in such challenging conditions. Sailors should be ready to adjust plans based on weather, crew well-being, and vessel condition.

Ready to join the masterclass? Head to the Dates & Prices tab


The difference between Rubicon 3 and a yacht charter

This is not a luxury yacht charter vacation on a private yacht but a proper sailing adventure. 

  1. Tailored Experience: Unlike many yacht charters, the Rubicon 3 team works daily to tailor the experience to your interests and skill level. Whether you’re interested in learning advanced sailing techniques, exploring off-the-beaten-path destinations, or focusing on particular activities like snorkeling or fishing, we look to help you achieve it.
  2. Expert Knowledge: Yacht charter companies will send you off with minimal instruction. Rubicon 3 has extensive local knowledge and expertise. We can find hidden gems, secluded anchorages, and the best spots that might be off the radar of the charter companies. This insider knowledge significantly enhances the sailing adventure. 
  3. Learning Opportunities: Sailing this route with Rubicon 3, you must be at least an RYA Day Skipper or equivalent . If you’re interested in learning about sailing, navigation, or seamanship, the expert Rubicon 3 instructors ensure a hands-on, educational experience. This is ideal if you see your sailing trip as a vacation and a learning opportunity.


Dates, Prices & Travel

Start Date & Location

June 17, 2024
Bristol, England

End Date & Location

June 28, 2024
Oban, Scotland




1 Place Available

Trip Information

Start Date: June 17, 2024

Start Time: 09:00

Start Country: Bristol, England

Start Port: Bristol

Start Marina: Bristol Marina

End Date: June 28, 2024

End Time: 10:00

End Country: Oban, Scotland

End Port: Oban

End Marina: Oban North Pier Pontoons

Find Flights For This Trip
Fly Into: Bristol Airport (IATA Code: BRS)
Fly Out of: Glasgow Airport (IATA Code: GLA)

* Flights are not included in the trip price.

Important Notes
Joining the boat
  • You will join the boat in Bristol, England.
  • It is scheduled to be at Bristol Marina.
  • The trip starts at 9:00 AM on June 17 2024, so you will need to be in Bristol by June 16, 2024.
  • You have two options for accommodation on the night before the start date:
    • Stay in a hotel or AirBnB in Bristol.
    • Alternatively, you can stay onboard the boat from 6:00 PM on a bed & breakfast basis. Select this option during your booking process.
Leaving the boat
  • You will leave the boat in Oban, Scotland.
  • The boat is scheduled to arrive into Oban on the evening of June 27, 2024, and you will need to disembark by 10:00 AM, June 28, 2024.
  • There is a regular train service from Glasgow to Oban. The journey takes around three hours, with full details here.
General Notes
  • We have a very strong track record of meeting the scheduled end date, with only a few exceptions over a decade of sailing and across hundreds of thousands of miles of sailing. However, given the nature and distance of ocean crossings, we can’t guarantee it and recommend booking flexible onward travel from Scotland or at least allowing an extra day in your itinerary as a precaution.
  • You cannot stay on the boat after the trip end date.
  • Once you have booked, we will connect you up with other crew so you can liaise re connecting travel, meet up in advance etc.
  • If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
5-Point Pre-Booking Checklist

Before you finalize your booking, we suggest you run through our pre-booking checklist:

  1. Check Flights: Make sure you have found the right flights for your trip. Book them as soon as you have booked your Rubicon 3 trip.
  2. Travel Insurance: Once you’ve booked your trip with us, buy some sailing travel insurance. Read our full guide here.
  3. Passport Validity: Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your planned return date. Some countries require this for entry, so it’s crucial to check and renew your passport if necessary.
  4. Visas: Most sailors will not require any visas for this trip. However, if you are concerned, check any visa requirements for both your destination and any transit countries. If you do need a visa, processing times can vary, so it’s advisable to apply well in advance of your trip.
  5. Vaccinations and Health Checks: There are no vaccinations required for this trip. Make sure you have an acceptable level of fitness and agility. You can read our guide here. This is for the safety of all on board.
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