Pre Training

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There are many different types of charterers who hire catamarans in the Whitsundays. There are those who have substantial power boat experience but no practical sailing experience, those that have been sailing all of their life but not recently and those that have never been on a catamaran in their life. Whatever category you fall into, there are plenty of pre training options to assist so you are prepared for your catamaran charter.

From 1 to 5 day courses, pre training courses are designed to make you comfortable and confident with hiring your own catamaran.

The Prepare to Charter Course is best suited to people who just need to brush up on their sailing skills or need to obtain recent sailing experience.

The Competent Crew Course is best suited to people who have no experience at all and want to hire a catamaran in the Whitsundays. It is a very comprehensive course and very beneficial for those with no experience.

See the section below for some recommended sailing schools and/or sailing clubs in your area to get some training prior to hiring a catamaran in the Whitsundays.

Prepare to Charter Course

The Prepare to Charter course is generally either a one or two day (weekend) course and some sailing schools even base the course on specifically towards chartering in the Whitsundays.

Key points included in the course are

  • Basic knowledge of sea terms, parts of a yacht, her rigging and sails
  • Preparation for sea – safety briefing, pre trip checks
  • Introduction to navigation and tides
  • Reading charts and plotting courses
  • Working out distances with parallel rulers and dividers
  • Raising the sails and reefing
  • Handling ropes and warps, tying knots
  • Rules of the road – keeping an efficient lookout
  • Emergency equipment and precautions – hazards onboard, radio operation, distress flares
  • Steering
  • Anchoring

Competent Crew Course

The Competent Crew Course usually runs for 5 days and is a more in depth course than the Prepare to Charter course. It’s for this reason that is is best suited to people with no experience.

Key points included in the course are

  • How to prepare the yacht for light to medium winds
  • How to actively participate as crew
  • Correct ways to drop the anchor
  • How to understand weather forecasts and interpret them
  • How to tie specialist knots
  • Personal safety
  • Distress signals
  • Man overboard
  • How to liveaboard a catamaran including cooking in a galley

Sailing Schools

It doesn’t matter which state you live in, there are plenty of sailing schools and clubs available throughout the country that offer sailing courses.



Southern Cross Yachting

Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron

New South Wales

Pacific Sailing School


Sydney Sailing School

Ultimate Sailing



Yacht Training Victoria

Dockland Sailing School

Sandringham Yacht Club

South Australia

CYCSA Marine Academy

Adelaide Sailing

Academy of Sail

Western Australia

Royal Perth Yacht Club

Fremantle Sailing Club


SailTime Australia

Derwent Sailing Squadron


Canberra Yacht Club

Northern Territory

Darwin Sailing Club