A Keelboat Start Helming course is an introduction to helming (steering) a small keelboat. The course is Australian Sailing Accredited and instructed by qualified Australian Sailing Instructors. Start Helming covers the basic safety, theory and practical skills involved in helming a small keelboat.
Our Start Helming course is conducted on our club 7.5m (25ft) keelboats which are perfect for teaching and learning. We will provide you with a life jacket for your course and a wet weather jacket if you need one. You will not need any special clothing for your course, however we request that you wear non-marking (or light coloured) soled shoes and make sure to bring warm clothing that you are able to get wet. On rainy or windy days it is a great idea to bring a towel and a change of clothes.
Each participant will receive a theory book and a log book during the Start Crewing Course. Please remember to bring your books with you to all of your keelboat courses. If you do not have them and would like to purchase them they are available for $45 from the boating office. You will receive a certificate of participation which may be emailed to you after the course.
We will have a lunch break each day and you are welcome to bring your own lunch or purchase lunch from our Member’s Bar. For safety reasons we are unable to take anyone on board who has consumed alcohol before or during the course.
- 12 hour Two Day course (2 x 6 hr days)
A makeup date is also scheduled in the event of bad weather.
Start Helming Outcomes
|Preparation||o Understands the importance of the correct fitting and wearing of lifejackets and complies with the rules for wearing lifejackets
o Understands the importance of appropriate clothing and footwear
|Boats and Equipment||o Can prepare the sails and rig the boat
o Knows correct use of halyards, sheets and associated deck hardware
|Ropework||o Ability to tie the following knots and know their correct use: figure of eight, bowline, round turn & two half hitches, clove hitch, reef knot|
|Skills and Techniques||o Can helm and trim sails effectively on all points of sail
o Can helm effectively around a triangular course
o Can tack and gybe effectively as helm
o Can heave-to
o Understands the effect and importance of heel and trim
o Understands how to anchor a boat
o Can reef and shake out sails whilst underway
|Safety and Emergencies||o Can recover a man overboard under sail as helm
o Knows the location and correct operation of all safety equipment on board
o Knows how to raise the alarm in the event of an emergency
|Sailing Theory||o Has a working knowledge of the general, steering and sailing rules and their
o Knows how to source information on local regulations
|Weather and the Environment||o Understands where to obtain a weather forecast|
Start Helming Pre-requisites
Over 16 years or 12 years with a guardian.
Completed Start Crewing including all outcomes (or equivalent skills)
Who should do this course?
Anyone wanting to learn the basic fundamentals of helming a small keelboat.
Following the Start Crewing Course there are a number of options to continue your sailing:
- Apply for a Season Pass membership for unlimited courses over 12 month
- Repeat your Start Helming course to consolidate your knowledge and achieve all outcomes
- Continue onto a Start Racing course to learn the basics of racing
- Consider a spinnaker course to learn more about using Symmetrical or Asymmetrical Spinnakers
- Join a crew looking for members and start club racing
- Explore our other courses