Advanced sailing course between England to Spain
Join a more advanced sailing course between England, France and Spain that will transform your existing sailing qualifications into real world skills.
Once you have your RYA or ASA qualifications, it is hard to take the next step into skippering your own passages with no instructor on board to guide you. Added to that, skills fade without constant use. For a great many sailors with their RYA Day Skipper or Yachtmaster, that jump has not been made and there is no obvious way to progress. The Rubicon 3 Passage Making Masterclass was designed to address this exact problem. You will spend two weeks with our leading expedition skippers refreshing your previous skills, learning new techniques and getting huge amounts of real world skills and experience on real life challenges.
These are the available dates and routes. To book your place, please select the dates from the drop-down above the ‘Add to Cart’ button.
TRIP CODE: PTM031020
- Start date / place: October 03 2020. Portsmouth, UK
- End date / place: October 17 2020. Muros, Spain
- Full price: £1,799
- Deposit: £720
TRIP CODE: MTP191020
- Start date / place: October 19 2020 Muros, Spain
- End date / place: November 01 2020. Portsmouth, UK
- Full price: £1,799
- Deposit: £720
Please see ‘TRAVEL – GETTING TO & FROM YOUR TRIP’ tab for advice on start and end points.
This is 40% of the trip price and is non-refundable. On making payment, your berth is guaranteed.
Paying the balance
The balance of the invoice can be paid at any time. It must be received by Rubicon 3 90 days before the trip start date or your place will automatically be cancelled. We will remind you of the date nearer the time.
Cancellations and moving trips
Our expedition sailing yachts only have between 7 and 10 berths on them. When you book, you are committing to take one of these places. Due to these very limited numbers, we will often have turned away someone else who would have liked the berth. Unlike many other holidays, please understand this gives us little if any flexibility to make changes or to move trips. We will always endeavour to assist you (& the earlier you tell us the better), but unless we can find someone else to take your place, we usually cannot move your booking.
This is a typical itinerary. What makes the Passage Making Masterclass™ so special however is that there can be no fixed itinerary and no part of this is guaranteed. The wind and the weather ultimately shape what’s possible each day but everything is very flexible within that. This is a typical itinerary for the course heading from Portsmouth to northwest Spain. If you are on the route heading from Spain to the UK, you will, of course, need to reverse it!
Join the boat and get your belongings packed away and relax. There’s plenty of things to do in the future but right now it’s about relaxing, finding your way around the boat and enjoying the surroundings. After lunch, we’ll start to show you the boat, issue lifejackets and oilskins and teach you the most important skills when on board.
Intensive theory and skills and drills
From chart work to COLREGs, this is going to be an intensive theory session where we evaluate your current skill set and make you better. It is always a very supportive environment and at no time will you be left to flounder. This is about pushing you hard to improve, not showing anyone up. Most of all, we know the areas people usually struggle with or aren’t that confident in… and that’s where we’ll go straight to!
Sailing across the English Channel
Your first passage to plan and execute. We’ll set off across the English Channel, getting to grips with the strong cross tides and heavy commercial traffic. It is about 60-70nm, meaning a really full day of sailing and training. The wonderful Brittany coast or the Channel Islands await.
Training and exploring in the Channel Islands
We’ll spend the next few days or so sailing through and exploring the Channel Islands and getting off the beaten track to lesser-known islands such Sark and Herm. These are wonderful places to visit and the strong tides and technical harbour entrances are a fantastic classroom. Welcome to a mix of superb training and a wonderful sailing holiday!
Pilotage and traditional navigation as we explore north Brittany
Now we use the harbours, inlets, rivers and ports of this beautiful part of the world to really develop the traditional skills that still underlie proper seamanship. Pilot the yacht into tidal rivers, find perfect anchorages, reduce your reliance on GPS and build your confidence and skills to sail in these areas. There is of course always time to head ashore for some wonderful French food and the occasional glass of recuperative wine!
Sailing across the Bay of Biscay
We allow about three days and nights for our crossing and, with the right weather, this is a truly exhilarating ride across a famous stretch of ocean that really poses no problems with proper preparation and timing. The boat will usually hit double figures in boat speed and we can expect anything from downwind spinnaker runs to a close beat. It is just enough time to get a real feel for life out on the ocean and you will be in a 24-hour watch system (usually 4 on/4 off). Helming under the stars far offshore is an experience you will never forget. This passage is a chance for you to put into practice all your learning to date. The warm, sunny coast of Galicia in northwest Spain awaits.
With whatever time we have left, we will cruise the beautiful coastline and stop into little Spanish harbours and anchorages for a bit more training but also some serious sailing holiday!
Cleaning, debriefs and goodbyes
The end comes all too soon, but there’s no doubt that you’ll go home with some unforgettable memories having had a huge amount of fun. After cleaning up, swapping photos and saying goodbye to the boat and the crew, you’ll be free to disembark from 1200hrs.
JOINING & LEAVING THE BOAT
- You should join the boat at 1100hrs on the start day. It is important you are not late.
- You will disembark between 0700 and 1200hrs on the end day.
- For exact start and end locations, please see the ‘Dates & Prices’ tab
INFORMATION TO HELP GET TO AND FROM THE START AND END POINTS
- The yacht will be in Haslar marina, Portsmouth.
- The closest train station is Portsmouth Harbour.
- From there, you need to take the green ferry across the harbour (5 minutes, £3.70) and walk along the shore to the marina.
- Portsmouth harbour station is about 90 minutes on the train from Gatwick airport (IATA code: LGW). It is also possible to take a 90 minute taxi costing about £60 from Heathrow airport (IATA code: LHR)
- The closest joining airport is Santiago de Compostela (IATA code: SCQ). From there, there is a bus that runs every hour. You can see the timetable by clicking on the link here
- You can also fly to Vigo (IATA code: VGO) and travel to Muros. You need to take the bus to Santiago de Compostela (link here) and from there take the bus to Muros
AGE & EXPERIENCE
Thes Passage Making Masterclass is open to anyone who has prior sailing experience to RYA Day Skipper / ASA 103 or above. It is of great benefit right up to and including those with Yachtmaster.
CLOTHING & EQUIPMENT
We provide the foul weather clothing, life-jackets and all other technical equipment you will need. You need to bring a sleeping bag and some waterproof boots.
FITNESS TO SAIL
We believe that as many people as possible should be able to head out to sea and have a great adventure. However, it is essential for everyone’s safety that you are in a fit enough state to be on board. Ability to complete the five exercises below is a pre-requisite for joining as a crew member. They are not designed to be physically taxing and almost everyone should be able to complete them. Rather they are in place to check that you have the stability and basic physical condition to be on-board. If when you join the vessel the skipper believes you are not capable of completing these exercises, you will probably not be allowed to embark. If you have any doubts at all about your ability to complete these exercises safely, you must contact your doctor before attempting them.
Four weeks before your trip start date, you will be sent final joining instructions. At this time you will be asked to complete our medical declaration. At the time of booking, it is your responsibility to be sure that you will be able to pass all the criteria at the start date of your trip. If you cannot pass the criteria you will probably be refused permission to board.
- All crew must have adequate travel insurance in place for your sailing holiday.
- We strongly recommend that you arrange insurance as soon as you book. This ideally will cover you for any mishaps, medical or otherwise, in the build-up to your holiday so that should you have to cancel, you can reclaim your fees.
- Please note we will not refund your money or cancel your invoice due to medical issues that disqualify you from joining your trip.
- For our latest guidance on travel insurance, please read here.
TRIP CATEGORY: PASSAGE MAKING MASTERCLASS
For a full explanation of what to expect with the various trip ratings please click here.
INCLUDED IN YOUR SAILING HOLIDAY
- Fladen immersion suits. These will keep you warm in even the coldest, windiest conditions.
- Ocean-spec lifejackets. These are the best on the market.
- All on-board food and snacks.
- Daily sailing lessons and tuition from two highly experienced instructors.
- RYA sailing qualifications can be earned where applicable.
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED
- Your travel to and from the start and end points.
- Travel insurance (see our travel insurance page here)
- Any alcohol – but feel free to bring your own or buy some along the route.
- Any meals you eat ashore.
Everything’s included except for flights, travel insurance, a sleeping bag and some waterproof boots. There are no hidden extras.
- These expeditions have small numbers of people on board. When you book, you are committing to being a part of the crew.
- These are genuine adventure sailing holidays and you will be helping sail the boat, planning where we go, navigating, cooking and keeping the boat clean and tidy.
- When you book, the deposit is non refundable. It is possible to cancel subsequently, however you may still be liable for the balance of the invoice, depending on how close you are to the start date when you cancel.
- Please ensure you have read and agreed to the T&Cs and Trip Notes before booking.
What do you do with a rusty Day Skipper? After a year or so has passed, the skills you had begin to fade and suddenly you find you haven’t sailed for a few years and the confidence has gone. Alternatively, you may have got to Coastal or Offshore Yachtmaster. These are great qualifications to have but 90% of those who achieve them still have very limited real time experience. The Passage Making Masterclass is all about getting you a rapid increase in skills and experience, so that you can pass those higher level sailing qualifications or go off and charter yachts and take on more challenging passages with extra confidence. The syllabus includes
Most yachts these days have radar but few amateur sailors have the skills to use this invaluable tool properly. As part of your Passage Making Masterclass, you will look at how to set up the radar and how to use it both to aid collision avoidance and for pilotage in poor visibility.
Pilotage is both technique and art form. Entering a foreign port late at night in bad weather when the crew is tired can be a very taxing exercise. Similarly weaving one’s way through rocks to a small anchorage. We will show you the techniques we use to produce simple, easy to follow pilotage guides that work.
Helming is so much more than holding a steady course. With every slight change in wind speed, apparent wind direction changes and you need to be wise to these shifts and have some techniques for how to gauge and react to them. More than anything, you need to learn to minimise your inputs.
Anchoring is a skill that many people are nervous to try which is a great shame as it completely transforms one’s cruising range and a night at anchor can be a truly special experience. We’ll explain what size anchor you should be carrying, what type of anchor, how much chain and rope and what sea beds to anchor in. You’ll also learn how to anchor and how to ensure you stay safe through the night.
Should you file paperwork before leaving your home country and if so, what? What is one expected to do on arrival in a foreign port and when? What paperwork needs to be carried or shown? We give you the detailed low down on what is required and when.
There is a world of difference between a classroom exercise on a Day Skipper course and proper, good quality passage planning. We will bring you a level of practical techniques that will help you sail safely from A to B.
Dealing safely with commercial shipping is an essential skill. Cargo vessels are big, fast and dangerous. Yet, they are only 1-200metres long and 40 metres wide. There is no need to end up in front of them! We will help you translate collision regulations learnt by heart into practical skills.
We’ll help you get to grips with this so that you can maximise the performance of your sails. Which sail do you trim first, is twist important, what do those cars do? Lots of questions and we’ll explain everything in clear simple lessons .
Previously you may have been taught about how low pressure systems form and that’s great. What we’ll teach you is really up to date, practical weather skills. You’ll compare weather apps, learn about their strengths and weaknesses and get familiar with the various official weather sources too.