Sailing Adventures

for Home Educated youngsters between the ages of 13 – 18

Sailing adventures for the Home Educated

During school term time we run Sail Training voyages exclusively for Home Educated youngsters between the ages of 13 to 18, with an emphasis on having a great time, learning new skills and making friends.

Sailing in the magnificent waters of the South West of England, there are plenty of hidden coves, tiny islands and harbours to visit. On an exceptionally good weather week, we are sometimes able to reach the Isles of Scilly.

You and the rest of the crew are responsible for all aspects of life on board, from helming and navigation to cooking, keeping the boat clean and tidy, getting the sails up and rowing ashore. Our professional sailing staff will show you exactly what you need to do. There’s plenty of time to chill out on deck, keep an eye out for dolphins and basking sharks, catch mackerel for supper or go ashore for beach games and a barbecue.

Voyages follow the RYA Cruising syllabus and most include the option to gain or further your RYA qualifications. All voyages start and finish in Plymouth, unless stated otherwise, and could count for your DofE Gold Residential – always check with your DofE Leader first.

Sail training is a great way to raise confidence, motivation, communication, teamwork and to gain a host of new skills.

Voyages are crafted for teenagers who are capable of benefiting from sail training without special care requirements. During the booking process your parent/guardian will be asked to fully disclose any disabilities, medical conditions or behavioural issues that may impact you or others during your time with us. If you or your parent/guardian have any doubts concerning your readiness to sail with us we will be happy to discuss any concerns with you before you make a commitment.


Most voyages give you the opportunity to work towards Royal Yachting Association qualifications such as Start Yachting or Competent Crew certificates, which are a great addition to a CV. Once you have achieved your certificates you can come back time and time again to build up your nautical miles and to work towards Watch Leader or higher.

Ocean Literacy

Jump on board our Ocean Literacy voyage for your own Blue Planet experience, and explore the marine world, above, on and below the sea. We all depend on a healthy ocean to continue living on Planet Ocean; this trip will help you understand why, what you can do to help its future, and the opportunities it offers for recreation and work. Our specialist advisor and On Board Ocean Educator will help you find, identify and record some of the amazing wildlife as we sail the waters of Devon and Cornwall, and with an underwater camera we will show you life beneath the waves.

Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Gold Residential

We are a Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Approved Activity Provider. Those working towards their DofE Gold Award need to complete an additional Residential section. You can choose from a range of residential activities, one of them being sailing. This involves spending a minimum of 5 days and 5 nights away from home on a shared activity with people you’ve never met before, but it is possible to know up to one other person. If you would like to undertake your DofE Gold Residential, please speak to us before booking your place, and always check with your DofE Leader.

Small Ships Race

On the first Saturday of October we take part in the annual ASTO (Association of Sail Training Organisations) ’round-the-cans’ Small Ships Race out of Cowes on the Isle of Wight. This is a brilliant event where around 25 boats from sail training organisations from across the UK pit their wits against each other to gain one of the coveted prizes – which include Category Winners, Best Dressed Crew and Spirit of the Race. The voyage starts in Plymouth on the last Sunday of September, sailing direct to the Isle of Wight to practice for the Racing on the following Saturday, the voyage then finishes in Gosport on the Sunday. To join us in the Small Ships Race you need to have sailed with us before. Both the passage voyage and the racing are hard work, challenging, are exhilarating, rewarding and builds a real sense of teamwork.

Handy learning aids

Before you come on your voyage you could buy yourself some easy to learn marine Flip Cards, or you could put them on your birthday or Christmas wish list! They will teach you about the codes and nautical rules and come in a handy pocket size pack. They are also a great refresher if you have sailed before. We suggest these, which can be purchased direct from Flip Cards or from any chandlery in-store or online:

  • Rule of the Road
  • IALA Buoyage – Area A
  • Lights and Shapes

For more information or to book a place, please call 01752 823007 or use the ‘Get in touch’ enquiry form at the foot of this page.

Absolutely brilliant! We fitted in so many amazing moments and experiences, had tons of fun and learnt so much.


I learnt how to tack, hoist the main sail, fenders and parts of the boat, but best of all I loved the night sailing.


It was phenomenal! I got to sea (pun intended) new people, and the best bit for me was cooking the food.


I loved every part of it - from the sailing to the cleaning at the end! I made new friends and learnt new skills.


It was great and sailing has changed my communication skills. The best bit for me was putting up all the sails, every one of them.


My sailing experience was an exciting and fun adventure. I learnt how to tie knots, put the sails up and tack.


Every time I step onto an Island Trust boat, every time I sense the presence of the ocean all around me, hear the voice of the skipper, see the faces of my future crewmates – all a little shy, but visibly glowing with excitement and the wild sea breeze – every time, I feel like I’ve come home.  Read more >



Watch our video and find out more about the benefits of traditional adventure sailing


Voyage datesPriceItinerary*Vessel and Course**
Ocean Literacy

11 - 16 August 2024
age group 13 - 18 yrs
Availability - 5 places
£525 per person5 nights
West Country
Sailing and Marine Life
Embark 4pm Plymouth
Disembark 12noon Plymouth
Includes opportunity to watch the spectacular
British Fireworks Championships
from the water on the Thursday evening.
Johanna Lucretia
RYA Start Yachting/
RYA Competent Crew
may be achievable on this voyage

Suitable for mile building
1 - 6 September 2024
age group 13 - 18 yrs
£485 per person5 nights
West Country
Embark 4pm Plymouth
Disembark 12noon Plymouth
Johanna Lucretia
RYA Start Yachting/
RYA Competent Crew

Suitable for mile building
ASTO Small Ships Race

29 September - 6 October 2024
age group 13 - 18 yrs
£625 per person7 nights
Sailing to the Isle of Wight
Embark 4pm Plymouth
Disembark 2pm Gosport
Johanna Lucretia
Suitable for mile building

(Participants need to have sailed with us before)

*We sail in the waters along the south Devon and south Cornwall coast. The destinations will be weather dependent (except for the ASTO Small Ships Race), possibly reaching the Isles of Scilly when the weather is perfect.
**All courses follow the RYA Cruising syllabus, and can include the option to gain Royal Yachting Association Qualifications.

Prices include accommodation, use of waterproofs, safety equipment and all meals on board.

In the rare event of low bookings close to the sailing date, places may be offered to non-home educated young people to ensure the voyage goes ahead.

All voyages are operated by The Island Trust’s trading subsidiary Island (Cutter) Ltd.

RYA Recognised Training Centre

Crewed by professional sailing staff, qualified at the highest level, all of our vessels have been coded by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and inspected for seaworthiness and safety.

The Island Trust and its operating company, Island (Cutter) Ltd, have robust policies and procedures in place to guarantee your safety on board including:

  • Health and Safety Policies
  • Child Protection Policies
  • Annual DBS Disclosure for all staff and volunteers

We are members of the Association of Sail Training Organisations (ASTO).

Full time staff are RYA Yachtmasters and Cruising Instructors or higher, and volunteers are qualified to levels appropriate to the responsibilities they carry in accordance with statutory MCA and RYA regulations and guidelines.

More information about RYA training can be found on our RYA courses page»



Get in touch

Please phone us on 01752 823007, email, or use the enquiry form below:

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