Sailing and Powerboating

A: There’s no need to buy a boat when you start out. Most of the clubs and training centres have boats available for you to learn in and share with others. Crewing on board the larger yachts is also a great opportunity to get out on the water. If you have some basic skills, just let your club know that you are interested in crewing. Many clubs have WhatsApp groups to match boats to sailors.

A: All clubs and centres have a stock of buoyancy aids, wet suits and waterproof jackets for you to borrow. If you’ve decided sailing is the sport for you, you can then choose to invest in a buoyancy aid, wetsuit and booties for dinghy sailing or windsurfing, or lifejacket, waterproofs and wellies for yachting or powerboating.

A: You’re never too old to start. There are so many different types of sailing available. Dinghies are small boats that come in different shapes and sizes, and can be sailed by 1 or 2 people. We recommend you contact the club or centre near you and ask what type of dinghies they use. Cruising and Keelboat Sailing as well as Powerboating are suitable for 2 or more people, and can be a more comfortable option for achy knees.

A: No, you don’t need to know how to swim. You should always wear a buoyancy aid or lifejacket afloat and let your instructor or fellow sailors know if you are a non-swimmer.

A: You don’t need to be fit to start sailing. The different types of boats available mean there will be a boat to suit your level of fitness. Sailing will not only help to get you physically fit, but it will also help your mental fitness too!

A: Irish Sailing has a network of clubs and centres that cater for sailor with disabilities. Contact the venue near you and talk to them about your capabilities and they will welcome you aboard. This year we’re hosting the annual Watersports Inclusion Games in Galway, so keep an eye on our website to see how you can get involved.

A: There are different categories of courses on offer depending on your experience and ability level. “Start Sailing” consists of four or five training sessions over 2-3 weeks.


A: Windsurfing can be done by nearly everyone from 7 to 77 years old. If you love water and the outdoor life, don’t wait – have a go!

A: Windsurfing can be done by nearly everyone from 7 to 77 years old. If you love water and the outdoor life, don’t wait – have a go!

A: You don’t have to be a particularly sporty person to have fun windsurfing and with the equipment available today there’s the possibility for everyone to enjoy windsurfing in every situation.

A: Like all adrenalin sports, there are certain risks but if you get training and windsurf within your limits and take the necessary care, it is a low risk sport. All windsurfers have to evaluate the strength of the wind and waves (helped by those with more experience) understand their own capacity and work to improve their technique. Use good equipment (wetsuit, buoyancy aid, helmet) to reduce the risks and always make sure you know the area where you are planning to windsurf.

A: We recommend taking an Irish Sailing Windsurfing course at one of our accredited training centres across the country. The training centres will have all the equipment necessary for you to start.

A: Initially you can rent what you need from windsurfing centres, but once you understand what type of kit suits you and your level best, it is worth investing in the following a wetsuit, shoes, harness, and a buoyancy aid. You might also want to get your own board and sail and your training centre can advise you on this.