TRY-a-SAIL (Taster Sessions)



Try-a-sail Dates in 2014:

April Try-a-Sail with Adventureland NI 5th April
May Try-a-Sail 3rd – 5th May
July Try-a-Sail 4th – 12th July
August Try-a-Sail 9th August

Book a Try-a-sail Dinghy Sailing Taster Session Online


09:30-10:30 Session 1

11:00-12:00 Session 2

12:30-13:30 (not available during the July Try-a-sail) Session 3

14:00 – 15:00 Session 4

15:30 – 16:30 Session 5

There will be a number of sessions on these dates providing the weather is ok. When you apply you can tell us what date suits you and we will then allocate you a 45 minute session. You will however need to have over an hour to spare as it takes time to get geared up. The cost is £10 per person.


Try-a-sail explained: The Try-a-sail sessions came to success during the Sea Bangor Festival. Over the last few years this festival saw hundreds of children of school age try sailing for the first time. As well as this, at Ballyholme Yacht Club, we used our own model to replicate the success and get more people into sailing. This was done in April 2011 as a charity Try-a-sail for Help for Heroes as well as in August 2011. The sessions are an ideal opportunity for giving people a good safe and fun introduction to sailing. It is all about getting out there, trying something new, spending time in a different environment and enjoying the water.

Instructors: All our instructors are RYA (Royal Yachting Association) trained and certified. We use those qualified and experienced in Safetyboat driving and first aid as well as sailing.

Location: Ballyholme Yacht Club is an RYA Recognised Training Centre. You are insured while you are here participating in our programmes. We are ideally situated in a sheltered bay with a sandy sea-bed on Belfast Lough. Sometimes we do try-a-sail sessions in Bangor Harbour.

What to expect: We will look after you from when you arrive at BYC until when you finish your session. We will explain safety procedures, how to gear up, what boats you will be sailing in and we will give you an experience on the water. All our sessions are aimed at being fun and safe. We also hope that you will take away some new knowledge of the sea and appreciation for our natural environment.

What is provided: we provide wet-suits, spray jackets and buoyancy aids, boats and all the instruction. There are hot showers, changing rooms and toilets as well an indoor area to be based in should some people prefer not to go on the water. There are coffee and snacks machines also. All those sailing will be in boats with instructors and rescue cover will be provided too of course.

N.B. For the Harbour Tryasails only buoyancy aids are provided. Please bring warm clothes, shoes you can get wet, a waterproof jackey and a change of clothes and towels.

What to bring:

  • warm clothing (lots of woollen layers) for the upper body
  • a hat / cap
  • gloves (cycling gloves are good if you don’t have sailing ones)
  • trainers that you don’t mind getting wet (not wellington boots)
  • lots of warm socks or neoprene booties
  • change of clothes
  • towel
  • plastic bin bag for wet clothes
  • long hair must be tied back and is best covered with a hat / cap minimal jewellery
  • A bottle for water to stop dehydration
  • MEDICATION (inhalers etc.)
  • Flask of hot drink / soup in winter

For groups: If you request we can provide you with a thorough risk assessment and a letter / consent form, that you can edit if you so choose. We ask that people / groups arrange their own transport to and from BYC. Group leaders are encouraged to participate fully in the sailing session.

Weather: If the weather is really poor the session will have to be cancelled. We will do our best to get you out on another day.  Please keep in touch about the weather. Best to call Alice the night before for an update.

Where to find out more information: just email or call Alice on 07546198939