What’s next after learning to sail?

A main sails his boat on a sunny day. The shot is taken from below, looking up towards the sails.

Learning to sail is a ‘bucket list’ ambition for many people. For some it’s a new year’s resolution which stuck. For others it’s an interest that they’ve long harboured a desire to indulge. Perhaps you’ve only just reached a point in life when you have the time to learn to sail. Or maybe you’ve always made time for this interest as a passion. After the initial period of learning, it’s natural to reach a point where you wonder: what next? How do you take your interest to the next level? 

Skills Development 

As with any interest, learning and development is all part of the experience. No one has ever learned all there is to learn about sailing! With experience, all learning becomes refined and improved. So once you learn essential skills on a boat, the obvious next steps are to continue your learning at a more advanced level. You can do this both through formal courses and through sailing experience

Advanced Sailing Skills

Sailing courses offer a great opportunity to gain extensive knowledge about sailing. They range from beginner sailing courses to advanced courses, and offer lessons in everything from basic knots to understanding weather systems. If you’re serious about learning as much as you can about sailing, courses can help you hone your skills and develop a deep understanding and appreciation of the activity.

Gaining experience

Coastal cruising involves sailing large distances, whether it is day sailing or multi-day trips. Coastal cruising can be done solo or as part of a crew. It requires navigation and communication skills, as well as knowledge of weather patterns. You should also be familiar with safety equipment and emergency procedures in case they are needed. 


Offshore sailing is for those looking for the ultimate challenge. It involves crossing oceans and sailing long distances for several days or even weeks. Offshore sailing is challenging, and requires a great deal of preparation and sailing experience. You’ll need to be familiar with weather patterns, navigation, and survival at sea. But the rewards of offshore sailing are considerable since the experience is unlike any other.

Sailing Lifestyle

Once you are confident in your skills, you can start to encompass sailing into your lifestyle. This doesn’t just mean enjoying a drink on deck in the marina! Instead, think about ways that you can use your sailing skills to explore, adventure and embrace new opportunities. You might want to invest in a tropical location, join new clubs, or even buy your own boat.


Combine your love for sailing with your next holiday. This could mean anywhere from the coast of Cornwall to the Caribbean! Cruising in the tropics especially offers a unique opportunity to explore beaches, dive amongst tropical wildlife, and enjoy warm sunshine. However, sailing in unfamiliar waters also presents unique challenges such as navigating coral reefs, avoiding storms, and managing overseas regulations. Sailing holidays are a fantastic way to extend your experience, as long as it is adequately planned.


Competitive sailing is all about speed, tactics, and teamwork. From local weekend races to international regattas, there are many opportunities to compete and challenge yourself. Racing is a great way to gain sailing experience. Participating in races can help you gain experience in different sailing conditions which can further expand your sailing skills. Racing can be challenging, but offers excellent opportunities to learn skills, gain experience on the water, and practice making quick decisions.


Joining a sailing club is one of the best ways to gain knowledge and experience about sailing. You can utilise the knowledge and infrastructure to access training in everything from rigging to navigation. In addition, you’ll have access to experienced sailors who can answer any questions you have. Not only will you gain sailing experience in a supportive environment, but you’ll also make new friends who share your passion for sailing. 

Vessel Ownership

Owning your own boat is the pinnacle of sailing experience. This is because it brings with it the freedom and autonomy to sail within your own boundaries. You can name, decorate and equip your own boat to exactly the specification that you desire. This makes your vessel very much a home from home. Somewhere you can relax and enjoy both exhilarating and life affirming experiences. 

Buying your first boat

Whether you have decided to commission a vessel to your exact specification or you’re buying second hand, or even a project to refurbish, your boat is special. Buying your first boat is a lengthy journey. So from shopping to choosing upholstery to naming and registering your boat, this is an intensely personal journey. 

Upgrading your boat

The design and facilities on board your boat are key to your sailing experience moving forwards. From weekend jaunts to long open water expeditions, your boat needs to provide functionality and comfort. You’ll need to make sure that all of your technical, communication and navigation kit is working correctly and is reliable. In addition it’s important for you and your crew mates (who are likely to be friends and family!) to enjoy their sailing experience. With high quality, stylish boat cushions and upholstery, this is absolutely taken care of!

Maintaining your boat

A boat is an ongoing concern. Like a home or a vehicle, it requires work and maintenance to keep it operating at its peak. From regular painting to fuel checks and mechanical servicing, you’ll need to keep on top of this to get the best experiences from your investment. 

Once you have mastered the basics of sailing, there’s no limit to what you can achieve!  From racing to distant travel and expeditions, there’s a whole new level of adventure to explore. The beauty of the discipline is that you can take your direction in any one of a number of ways. You may enjoy the thrill of competition or the contentment of evenings on the marina. Wherever you take your sailing journey, you’ll develop skills, knowledge, and preparation. Come what may, your sailing experience will be more pleasant with the comfort that high quality yacht upholstery brings to your vessel. 

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