What to Try

Dinghy Sailing: Dinghies are small open sailing boats which are great for day sailing, having fun and racing. They are a popular, affordable and exciting way of getting afloat. Dinghies are a great option for beginners of all ages as they offer a direct, hands on feel to the controls of the boat and can help you progress quickly.

Keelboat Sailing: A keelboat is a step up in size from a dinghy, more like a small manageable yacht, but generally not as big as a cruising yacht. They have a fixed keel which stops the boat from capsizing. Given their stability Keelboats are a great option if you would like a slightly more relaxed approach to learning or are a little more cautious around the water.

Catamaran Sailing: Catamarans are small open sailing boats with two narrow hulls. Catamarans offer fast exciting sailing and while they are great when used for racing, due to their speed and stability they make great family boats for trips or just having some craic.

Powerboating: Powerboats, speedboats and rigid inflatable boats (RIBs) offer a fast, exciting and versatile way of getting into boating. Because of their speed and because they can easily towed behind a car they are great for trips and exploring both at home and on holiday.

Windsurfing: Windsurfing is a surface water sport that combines the exciting elements of both surfing and sailing. Windsurfers can perform jumps, inverted loops, spinning manoeuvres, and other -“freestyle” moves that cannot be performed by a sailboat.

Personal Watercraft: Personal Watercraft (Jetskis)) are small “sit on” boats powered by a water jet. Because of their relatively small size they offer exceptional acceleration and manoeuvrability. They are easy to store and can be towed and launched by a family car.

Racing: racing is the easiest way to get to sail by crewing for a boat. Of the tens of thousands of people who sail in Ireland, only a relative few own their own boat, but they always welcome people who want to come and crew with them.

Cruising: Cruising is traveling on a boat for pleasure, usually for a period of time, while visiting several places. You can cruise on a sailing yacht (a sailing boat with accommodation), or on a motor yacht (a motorboat with accommodation). You can eat and sleep on board and they are usually easy enough to manage with only 2 people.

Inland Cruising. Inland Motor Cruisers are larger motor boats with accommodation that offer the opportunity to explore Ireland’s inland waterways with family and friends. A network of hire companies means that you can cruise all over Ireland and Europe without ever owning a boat.

Sailing for all. Irish Sailing has a number of inclusion programmes to help people to get out on the water. Check out our Inclusion section for more information.

Irish Sailing affiliated training centres offer a wide range of courses to get you started, or back on the water.

Learn more


Understand the lingo

Sailing Jargon