Favorite RYA Sailing Schools in USA, Canada and elsewhere

At NauticEd we have our list of Favorite RYA practical sailing training schools and we are sharing it with you here.

RYA Training Center

NauticEd is a provider of the RYA Day Skipper Theory course online to students worldwide. Technically, we are called an RYA shore-based training school. Once students have passed the RYA Day Skipper course online they can go to a practical on-the-water RYA school for training and assessment. If a passing grade is awarded, the student will gain the RYA Day Skipper certificate.

An RYA school can issue the International Certificate of Competence which is the United Nations created International Sailing License (the ICC).

They can issue the ICC in either of two ways.

(1*) A one-day assessment of theoretical knowledge and practical skills (pretty grueling and you’d better know your theory. We recommend you take and pass the NauticEd RYA Day Skipper Course OR the NauticEd Bareboat Charter Master Bundle of courses. Don’t wing it – you will fail.)

(2*) Do the 5-day on-the-water RYA Day Skipper practical course. A prerequisite of this is the NauticEd RYA Day Skipper online theory course. Once you pass the RYA Day Skipper Course online and complete the 5-day on-the-water training with a passing grade, you automatically qualify for the ICC.

We recommend the 5-day course. Why? Because you are guaranteed to enjoy it and learn some tips even if you are an old dog.


The full list of RYA schools

Here are our favorites



The Grenadines (Bequia Island)






If you are based in the USA or Canada, you will see there are limited options for gaining the ICC. In the USA, if you can get to Charleston, SC, then Mark with YachtingEducation.com is one of the best. For Canada, the three schools mentioned above are equally as good.

Otherwise, in North America, your best option for gaining a sailing license is probably the NauticEd SLC. There are many schools and the network of qualified instructor/assessors is growing.

The difference between the ICC and SLC is nothing in terms of its acceptability worldwide. The SLC is a simple process but you must be highly competent –  and you must have 50 days of sailing experience in your past history. The standards of competence for gaining the SLC is higher than the ICC.

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My vision for NauticEd is to provide the highest quality sailing and boating education available - and deliver competence wherever sailors live and go.
Grant Headifen
Last updated on September 16th, 2022