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What we offer

Stepping into the world of sailing for the first time is exciting and exhilarating. The courses in the RYA Yachtmaster training scheme will help you learn to sail and build confidence, become a useful crew member and even learn how to skipper a sailing yacht and manage it’s crew.

Most courses can be taken either on your own or with friends and family, including children provided they meet our minimum age recommendations. There are also flexible options allowing you to do the course in one go or split over several days or weekends.

Our sail cruising courses can also help you progress to the RYA/MCA Yachtmaster Certificates of Competence which are recognised by maritime authorities worldwide and can be commercially endorsed for professional skippers and crew.

So whether you’re new to boat ownership, want to charter a yacht on holiday, or to venture further offshore – there’s an RYA course for every level.

check out our courses

Coral Sea Marina to Percy Island

Coral Sea Marina to Percy Island

RYA Coastal Skipper Course: Coral Sea Marina to Percy Island

7 days + 7 night

Percy Island is part of the Northumberland group, 70 nautical miles south-east of Mackay, the Percy Isles are a stunningly beautiful place of shimmering beaches and wooded hilltops - a Robinson Crusoe island rising from the indigo depths of the Coral Sea.


RYA Start Yachting

RYA Start Yachting

RYA Start Yachting - Whitsundays

2 days + 1 night

This course provides a short introduction to sail cruising for novices. By the end of the course you will have experienced steering a yacht, sail handling, ropework and be aware of safety on board.


RYA Competent Crew Course

RYA Competent Crew Course

RYA Competent Crew Course - Whitsundays

5 days + 5 nights

This is for beginners and those who would like to become active crew members rather than just passengers. By the end of the course you should be able to steer, handle sails, keep a lookout, row a dinghy and assist in all the day to day routines.


RYA Dayskipper

RYA Dayskipper

RYA Dayskipper - Whitsundays

5 days + 5 nights

The RYA day skipper practical is for aspiring skippers with some yachting experience and basic navigation and sailing skills.


All Courses

RYA Training (internationally recognised)

Whether you have never been on a yacht, or you just want to learn a bit more, we offer professionally run courses which will give you internationally recognised qualifications.

If you are planning to charter locally or internationally, we can offer courses which will give you the knowledge and ability to make it safe and enjoyable, as well as the certificate to present to the charter company.

Our practical courses are run on “Mohawk” a Bennetau 40.7, which is ideal for training in a safe and comfortable environment. Our training ground is the Whitsunday region in Queensland. All courses are run from our base at Coral Sea Marina in Airlie Beach.

Your instructors are RYA qualified and will ensure your learning experience is fun, and exciting. We adapt the courses to suit all learning styles and personal preferences. The accommodation and food will set the ideal learning environment to ensure that you have a fantastic week with us.

Current course dates

Maritime news

Mainstay Sailing

Imagine this!

Mainstay Sailing

The maiden voyage to the Percy Isles. The first of the hopefully many RYA Coastal Skipper Courses. Beautiful weather. Thanks Sonia, John, Dennis and Bob - Enjoy yourselves! 😁 If you like to join us on the next course let me know.

Sailing to Thomas Island and Goldsmith Island

A few fun days sailing to Thomas Island and Goldsmith Island 😁


Mainstay Sailing, through its owners, directors and all its staff will deliver the highest level of training and services to its customers and associates. We will keep up to date with the latest available equipment and technology, and share the information and knowledge to improve the enjoyment and safety in sailing, cruising and in boating in general. We will do our best to make it fun and interesting and stimulate a spirit of adventure in the process. We will tailor our teaching style and methods to cater for persons of all abilities and learning styles.




Who is the RYA?

The Royal Yachting Association is the national body for dinghy, yacht and motor cruising, all forms of sail racing, RIBs and sports boats, windsurfing and personal watercraft and a leading representative for inland waterways cruising.

Our internationally renowned training schemes steer 250,000 yacht sailors, power boaters, small craft leisure boaters, windsurfers and canal boaters towards confident and successful boating every year.

So whether your end goal is to spend more quality down time on the water, to travel, to compete, to work, or to advance your career; there’s a course for you.

Our ethos

Our escapades bring you back to the fundamentals of life. Spending a few days on a boat brings out the best in human nature. Living and working together we talk a lot, laugh a lot, and put the world to rights. It is more than an escape from the complexity of life ashore; the fresh air, natural adrenalin and outdoor activity give your body a good physical detox too.

How about vessel deliveries?

We have the knowledge and skills to safely deliver your boat to its new port.

We respect the trust owners place on us. Years of blue water sailing experience has ensured that careful preparation, regular watch keeping and making sure the boat is safe at all times is essential for the safety of the people on board and the yacht.

At the same time we can provide tuition for you and your crew during the planning of the passage and the actual delivery itself. Extra crew can be arranged if required.There are four stages to a delivery exercise – preparation, leaving port, passage making and arrival with debrief

Charters for a couple?

The ultimate getaway for 2! Yacht charters and sailing cruises are one of the best ways to experience beauty of the Whitsundays. Choose from romantic overnight yacht charters for two, sailing cruises with meals and drinks, hands-on sailing trips or something with a touch of luxury. Once out on the glittering waves you'll see why we think yacht charters and sailing cruises are such a treat!


Payments are taken prior to course or charter start. We have payments plans to make it easier for you.


John Paul Scholes
Outstanding experience!

Day skipper / Competent Crew Course 25-30 January 2021 From the moment Sheree and I arrived, Terence and Ron were friendly, welcoming, funny and encouraging. Terence’s vast experience and knowledge was reassuring, and his advice, tips and tricks really helped throughout the course. The food was above and beyond expectations. We all left wanting to replicate the menu and flavours that Terence seemed to produce effortlessly. Mohawk is a handsome boat and very comfortable to live and sail in. Under the expert guidance of Terence, his calm, steady manner, sage advice and humour relaxed our nerves and created a great learning environment. I can think of no better place to learn to sail than the Whitsundays, it was simply stunning. I highly recommend Mainstay Sailing. Terence and Ron are not just teaching people to sail, they are creating community through a shared love of sailing and the sea. I look forward to dropping by again to further my experience and am sure will stay in contact with fellow course crew mates; Fred and Catrin. We were a happy crew and became friends through shared experience. ‘If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the people to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea’ - The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Bruno Ribeiro Profeta
An amazing experience with amazing people

Terence (the instructor) and Ron were just the Men. Terence is a very dedicated, attentive, patient and super experienced Mentor. I did my RYA Competent Crew course with him in January 2021, and it was a blast. It was amazing to discover many different places I had never been to on the Whitsundays, sail under a storm, learn lots and lots of theory and practice, eat Terence's amazing food (that paella....!) and listen to everyone's stories. What an inspiring trip with only great people! I'm strongly thinking about keeping up with the courses to become a proper Sailor. It's definitely a must for everyone who is considering learning about the Sea and all the amazing things it brings with it. These guys have you.

James Hackney
Great Sailing, Great Company, Great Food

I completed my Coastal Skipper course with Terrence during August 2020. Whilst the world is in uncertain times, Terrence remained flexible around the border restrictions and dates of the course. When we made it up to QLD, Terrence made us feel very welcome and comfortable in his presence. This carried on through the week where the sailing was awesome, food was even better and the whole experience was 10/10. As an extremely experienced instructor Terrence shared a lot of insights into what blue water cruising is really about, and how we should look to make preparations above and beyond the RYA syllabus. I will be keeping my eye peeled for more opportunities to do some mile builders with Terrence in the near future.Thanks for an awesome week!

Rebecca Evans
Zero to Hero - I'm a sailor now!

I arrived in Airlie with no previous experience in sailing - I came away competent and qualified and loved the experience! Terence is an incredibly patient and thorough teacher (despite a few of my wobbles). I would recommend this to anyone looking to learn something new whilst adventuring around one of the most beautiful spots around! We will be back to flex our new skills - thanks Terence & the Mainstay team!