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Safety & Sea Survival Course

Safety & Sea Survival Course

Safety & Sea Survival Course

Safety & Sea Survival courses are conducted by specialist instructors at Australian Sailing Accredited Centres throughout Australia.


The SSS course involves classroom presentations & learning activities, and practical exercises in the use of liferafts, inflatable lifejackets & distress flares. Of 16 hrs duration the course is usually delivered over 2 full days and is facilitated by Safety & Sea Survival Instructors at approved training centres. The maximum teaching ratio for this course is 20 students to 1 SSS Instructor (in the classroom) with a reduced ratio of 10:1 for pool sessions. Practical exercises are usually conducted in heated public swimming pools, but may be conducted in clean and enclosed salt-water pools and Marinas providing the water is clean, the temperature is at least 15oC, and all associated risks have been managed.


To: Provide all persons intending to go to sea, in sailing or motor yachts, whether cruising or racing, with skills and essential knowledge that will maximise their chances of survival in water or liferafts following a man overboard situation or vessel abandonment; and familiarise sailors with the latest personal and vessel safety equipment, its purpose, deployment, and most effective use; and present and discuss prevention and coping strategies for incidents and emergencies at sea


The content of the World Sailing (International Sailing Federation [ISAF]) 'Model Training Course for Offshore Personal Survival' attendees will be met, and participants will receive a Course Completion Certificate that satisfies the requirements for most Category 0, 1 and 2 races.  With a 5 year validity the certificate can be updated by attending an 8 hour (minimum) refresher course, however for those who do not go to sea regularly, it is highly recommended that a full 2 day course is completed.

What to do afterwards?

Go Boating and enjoy your Cruising or Racing adventures!

Consider aspiring to become a Coastal, Offshore or Ocean Yachtmaster, and for the very experienced, becoming a SSS Instructor.

Maintaining your Certificate

The SSS course certificate is valid for 5 years.  For sailors whose certificates have expired, a refresher (or update) course of 8 hours tuition time may be attended.  The refresher course is designed for active offshore racing sailors and anyone who does not sail regularly should seriously consider attending a full 2 day Safety & Sea Survival course.  An update course also provides a valuable refresher to cruising sailors.

Click here for more information on the Refresher (Update) Course.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

Australian Sailing recognises that professional Mariners may have attended courses with similar content. As such, you may be able to credit previous qualifications towards a Safety and Sea Survival Course Certificate.  For more information on RPL and to apply please click here.


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 on a cruising yacht.

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Ladies only sailing course- learn to crew, skipper or just have fun!

You’re invited to join us on an exclusive 3-day ladies only sailing course that teaches you how to crew, skipper and boat handling skills. It doesn’t matter if you have no experience, we will show you the ropes! This course aims to teach you what you need to know so that your days spent on the water are safe and enjoyable.

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This course covers the theory required to plan and complete coastal passages by day in familiar waters. It will increase your confidence about navigation and help you to sail your yacht with more confidence and certainty. It is a great way to understand how tides work and how they will affect your navigation and will help you to really sharpen your passage planning and position fixing. At the end of the course you will have covered the skills required to undertake coastal passages by day in reasonable weather conditions and in reasonably familiar areas.

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This is for beginners. 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 on a cruising yacht.

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

Previous Experience Required - 5 days sea time, 100 miles and 4 night hours. Navigation to Dayskipper  shorebased or equivalent and basic sailing ability (competent crew), minimum age for the award of the certificate is 16.

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Advanced training for more experienced skippers building on the Day Skipper course. This course equips you to navigate safely on coastal and offshore passages.

Above & Beyond Australia run Coastal Yachtmaster course.
Above & Beyond Australia will send log in details, RYA Coastal Yachtmaster pack, RYA almanac and send the certificate on completion.

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The aim of this course is to teach the skills and techniques required to skipper a cruising yacht safely on coastal and offshore passages by day and night. To do this well requires strong navigation, seamanship and leadership skills.

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The Yachtmaster™ Offshore is competent to skipper a cruising yacht on any passage during which the yacht is no more than 150 miles from harbour.

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The LROCP qualification allows the operator to operate both the VHF marine radiotelephony equipment and the MF/HF marine telephony equipment. The examination consists of a 50 multi-choice question paper (duration 1 hour with a 70% pass mark) and a practical component. The practical component may be conducted by either the invigilator or another person nominated by the invigilator.

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RYA Diesel Engines

This course gives you an overall awareness of the main systems of a marine diesel engine. We teach you how to take simple measures to prevent mechanical breakdown at sea and to rectify defects which do not require workshop support.

Although the Diesel Engine certificate is not compulsory, you need this level of knowledge to enter a Yachtmaster exam.

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The Australian Sailing Safety and Sea Survival course was developed following the fatalities of the 1998 Sydney to Hobart Race.  This course is an essential learning forum for anyone who takes to sea, whether by sail or motor vessel, or for professional or recreational reasons.  The intensive two day course aims to deliver up-to-date information and current techniques in an interactive environment.  Included in the course are practical exercises where candidates will become familiar with the deployment and use of liferafts, and the use of inflatable lifejackets in a pool; plus a flare deployment practice.

The certificate awarded meets the eligibility requirements of section 6.01 of the World Sailing Offshore Special Regulations for Category 0, 1 and some Category 2 offshore races.

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International Certificate of Competence (ICC)

As a skipper, you must make yourself aware of any qualifications required when visiting another country. In the countries of Europe the ICC will usually prove evidence of competence to the local authority or a charter company.

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First aid training contextualised for sailors.

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Do you have the urge to spend a fun time on the water or is there a special event that needs an adventurous celebration?

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Boat handling course

If you have just bought a boat, or even if you have owned one for years, we can spend time training you (and your crew) on your own boat.

We also help to set up systems and procedures to make your sailing easier and safer.

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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!


Absolute Best!!!

I cannot say enough about how great an experience I’ve had with Terence and Mohawk!!! I completed the Day Skipper, Coastal Skipper and LROCP courses with Mainstay and I will do more!! Terence is fun, funny, professional and most of all, patient. His teaching style is easy going, but super thorough. Mohawk is an exceptional sailing vessel, very well equipped and safe beyond measure. You cannot do better than learning to sail with Terence at Mainstay Sailing!!!


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.

Learn more about our RYA courses
RYA Courses

RYA Courses

Safety & Sea Survival Course

Safety & Sea Survival Course

RYA accredited 5 nights sail training trip

RYA accredited 5 nights sail training trip

Sustainable Sailing

Sustainable Sailing

Mainstay Sailing
Friday, January 21, 2022
Mainstay Sailing Come and see us!

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Tuesday, January 18, 2022
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The First Mainstay Sailing All Girls Course! 😎

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Friday, December 17, 2021
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Look what Chantal Henderson sent us from her last RYA Course with Mainstay Sailing ;-) Thank you for the fantastic shots of a cheeky Batfish at Armit Island Chantal!

Mainstay Sailing
Friday, November 26, 2021
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Bring your best girlfriend and come sailing!