Get the wind in your hair and the spray on your face. Northern Ireland’s vast array of unspoilt coastal waters and lakes offer sailing opportunities for all ages and abilities. Forget the stereotypical view of gin and tonic on a luxury yacht; sailing really is a sport for all. The types of sailing in which you can become involved are as varied as the range of participants.
Whether you are looking for the thrills and spills of dinghy sailing or if you prefer the idea of a laid back cruise, sailing in Northern Ireland can offer both ends of the scale and everything in between.
How to get started
There are a number of ways to get into the sport of sailing:
Have a Go:
If you just want to try it out then there are a number of activity operators that offer taster sessions in both dinghy and keelboat sailing. In a short space of time you be able to take control of the boat under the watchful eye of an instructor.
There a large number of Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Recognised Teaching Establishments in Northern Ireland. Contact RYA Northern Ireland to find your nearest club or sailing school
There are always numerous crewing opportunities available at your local yacht club. Crewing for others can save the expense of having to buy your own boat. Many clubs organise "Try Sailing" days to attract new members.
Is it easy?
Sailing is accessible to all ages and abilities. Clubs and sailing schools will have a wide variety of boats to suit all ages and abilities. Contact RYA Northern Ireland to find out your local club or sailing school.
Is it expensive?
It is a myth that sailing is an expensive sport. If you are taking a course at a sailing school or yacht club the necessary equipment will be supplied. A second hand sailing dinghy can be purchased for less than £1000. Yacht club membership starts from around £90 a year and sailing clothing can be purchased from a range of budget suppliers.