Always dreamed of having a boat but not quite sure where to start? Whether you’re a keen sailor, an amateur, or you’ve never laid hands on a mainsail in your life, and you’re looking to start a new hobby, you’ll find everything you need to know about sailing in Australia right here.

Where Can I Learn to Sail?

To get you started, we’ve put together a list of three of the Queensland’s most popular inland sailing destinations – arming you with a little inspiration to take your boat away for and start enjoying weekends on the water straight away. Sailing in the sunshine State is ideal as it can be done all year round. We have assembled some clubs close to Brisbane that are our favourites.

Southern Cross Yachting – Manly

Southern Cross Yachting is the largest charter boat company on Moreton Bay.

It is an accredited RYA/YA learn to sail and power boating school, offering lessons in sailing for beginners to yacht master level. The club is known for its fast track courses. For those wishing to charter in Europe, they also issue ICC and CEVNI certificates.

Queensland Cruising Yacht Club – Shorncliffe

Queensland Cruising Yacht Club boasts a busy calendar of races and events for its members including the Gladstone Yacht Race which is one of the major highlights of the Australian sailing calendar. They operate in both winter and summer so sailing is on offer all year round.

Sunshine Sailing – Mooloolaba

The professional and experienced skippers from Sunshine Sailing deliver RYA sail and power courses plus dinghy, keelboat and race training. Each course has a good balance of water activity and fundamentals of sailing including sailing techniques, rules of the road, weather and tides, navigation and boat maintenance. Once these programs are complete, juniors will be ready to sail or race from any sailing club around Australia. As well as their brilliant kids’ courses, they offer adult training courses and theory classes.

To help you find a club close to you we have included links to courses below.

Discover Sailing

Sailing Australia

Sailing is often seen as an exclusive club because of private marines and yachting clubs but beginners are welcomed with open arms. Sailing schools will provide you with all the clothing and safety equipment required for your lessons.

We do recommend you seek out the appropriate training, certification and insurance for any vessel you plan on sailing so it is important you are competent before taking out your own boat.

Do I Need a Boat Licence to Sail?

Boat licences are a reasonable confusing topic as they have so many variables. There are a number of licences available, and we’d recommend any keen sailor invests in the appropriate training to acquire one – especially if you want to take advantage of your newfound skills on holiday. The International Certificate of Competence (ICC) is widely accepted across Europe. It’s worth noting that you’ll need to show proof of this licence if you plan on hiring a yacht abroad. To find out more the course options click here.

Getting a boat licence isn’t as taxing as it may seem, and after a little bit of paperwork, you’ll be confident that you wont be slapped with a fine. The best way to check your specific requirements is to ring your local authority and explain your exact circumstances before you hit the water.

How Do I Buy My Own Sailing Boat?

If you’re hooked after your first lesson or you’ve completed a sailing course, and hiring one regularly, you may be looking to buy a sailing boat of your own. Nothing beats the freedom of being able to head out on the water whenever the feeling strikes, and owning your own boat can be both personally and financially rewarding.

While beginners often want to start small after a few hours on the water under your belt you will no doubt want to look at something bigger.

National Finance Solutions can help you with the easy bit – financing your new boat; from Catamarans to Yachts, we can help you get your dream boat! Check out our boat buying guide before committing to the boat that would suit you the most.

With Fast and easy pre-approvals, an easy application process and no deposit finance we can help you finance your new sailing boat. We can even finance used and private sales if you want to start on the lower end. To apply you can fill out a quick quote and one of our friendly consultants will call to discuss your options. Apply here for a quote.

Are you simply in just interested in seeing what you could afford? Use our calculator to see how much you are able to loan.

Now you’re armed with all of the information you’ll need to get started, what are you waiting for? Sailing is what you make of it and offers something for everyone – making it the perfect activity to try this year.