• 02 9327 1166
  • Rushcutters Bay, Sydney Harbour

Frequently Asked Questions

EastSail Location / Parking & Public Transport

Where is EastSail located, how do we get there and where can we park?

Click here for details on EastSail Location, public transport options and parking

Sailing School Questions

How do I know which course is best for me?

You should contact our Sailing School on training@eastsail.com.au to discuss your previous experience and goals to determine the best course of action for you.

Do I need to be fit and strong?

No, fitness and strength are not pre-requisite - our instructors will teach you that sailing is all about technique and not brute force. Sailing is a universal sport ideal for people of all ages and fitness levels.

Will I be learning on modern, state of the art yachts?

Yes, all of our courses are taught on a range of performance Dufour, Sydney and Beneteau yachts in full commercial survey. The inshore courses are taught on Sydney 36 & Dufour yachts and the offshore courses are conducted on stylish, Beneteau 40.7, Beneteau First 40 and Beneteau 47.7 yachts.

Will my instructors be qualified?

Yes, all EastSail Instructors hold dual qualifications - they are RYA Yachtmasters and also hold commercial NSW Maritime Coxswain / Master Class 5 certification. The EastSail team of instructors have been hand-picked for their wide range of experience and teaching skills. Most have been with us for over 5 years.

Will the boats I am taught on be fully compliant, exceed the requirements of Australian legislation and not rely on an exemption from law?

All EastSail vessels are in full commercial survey with NSW Maritime for sheltered and offshore waters. They also carry additional safety equipment to comply with RYA regulations.

Can I choose to have a variety of instructors or remain with the same one if I prefer?

EastSail is very flexible; you can choose to remain with the same instructor throughout your course or you can request a different instructor for different lessons if you wish.

Will I waste valuable lesson time being ferried out to the yacht?

No, all EastSail yachts are moored alongside at our marina in Rushcutters Bay, so you step straight aboard!

Are my lesson times flexible?

We operate lessons every Saturday and Sunday, morning and afternoon and on weekdays by request. You can change the time of your lessons each week or miss a week if required to suit your other commitments - we just ask that you give at least 48 hours notice postpone a booked lesson. We require more notice to cancel an offshore or shorebased course - check our terms and conditions, or ask us.

Is there a variety of boats for me to progress through?

Yes, EastSail has a range of yachts from the Regatta-Start-LineDufour 335, Dufour 36p and Sydney 36's to the Beneteau 40.7's , First 40's and 47.7's. We commence lessons on the smaller yachts and as you progress through the levels you will be exposed to larger vessels. Once competent, our fleet is available for you to charter (Students who have completed 3 or more courses are eligible for a discount on charter rates)

What happens if there is no wind / lots of wind / it is raining?

EastSail believe that it is important to experience all weather conditions in your sail training as once you are out on your own, anything may happen. If there is little wind we will take advantage of the calm waters to teach you new drills commensurate with your experience eg reefing, sail changes, man over board under power, anchoring, mooring etc. If there is a lot of wind we will teach you heavy weather techniques eg rigging storm sails, reefing, sail changes, heaving to and give you a chance to steer the vessel in a stiff breeze (We will cancel the lesson if we consider the conditions to be dangerous). If there is rain we will supply you with wet weather gear.

Will I have to stay overnight on board a boat with other people?

We have both inshore and offshore courses. The inshore courses incorporate day sailing so you can go home after your lesson. The offshore courses are live-aboard and you will be sharing a cabin with one other person of the same gender or if you are completing the course with a friend / partner you can share with them. On offshore courses there will be 5 students plus an instructor on board the vessel which has 3 double cabins and 2 berths in the main saloon.

Is there a toilet on board?

ALL of the vessels that EastSail use for sail training are equipped with marine toilets, wash basin and shower facilities. All yachts are equipped with a Grey and Black water waste management system to ensure that our environment is protected.

What do I do after I have completed my course?

Once you have received your initial sailing foundation, EastSail has a wide range of courses catering to your needs eg courses designed for budding racers and career courses qualifying you to be employed in the white boat industry

I am new to town and want to meet new people - do you cater to this?

EastSail runs a range of social activities, from regular club races and social days to singles sailing afternoons.

I need to cancel or postpone a lesson, is this possible?

Yes - but there may be costs associated with this, it depends on how much notice you give us. Please refer to the Sailing School terms and conditions. Also the lesson payments have an expiry date - if you are unsure of this please ask.


Yacht Equipment

Do the yachts have a stereo system?

All boats have AM/FM radio, all except Dufour 36ís have CD player. All can play music from a USB memory stick (max 8GB) or a mobile phone or portable music player via a male to male 3.5 to 3.5 or 3.5 to 2.5 mm analogue cable. Stereos will generally will not recognise or charge apple products connected via USB cable however they will charge and play music stored on most android phones. The Beneteau Oceanis 40 Liberte has an Ipod dock, a CD player and a 3.5 to 3.5 MM cable fitted in the chart table.

Are the yachts equipped with a BBQ?

Our Beneteau Oceanis 40 has a BBQ. Each vessels are equipped with a 2 burner gas stove and a small oven.

Is there a fridge on board?

All vessels are equipped with an fridge/ice box. Ice can be purchased from the EastSail office on arrival or can be pre-ordered when you make your booking.

Is there a toilet on board?

All vessels are equipped with a marine toilet. Full instructions on its use will be given during your briefing and are also posted on the toilet.

Is tea and coffee supplied on board?

EastSail do not supply any food or beverage items but you are more than welcome to BYO. There is a kettle and crockery aboard.

Does EastSail Supply Linen on bareboat charters?

Towels, sheets / blankets and pillows can be hired from us for the duration of your charter. This needs to be ordered in advance. (Please note that linen is included on our overnight indulgence and opulence packages)

Does EastSail supply Dinghies?

We have a limited supply of dinghies and oars available. These needs to be ordered in advance and there is no cost, except over the Christmas / New Year period.

Does EastSail supply Awnings?

We have a limited supply of awnings available, these needs to be ordered in advance. There is a charge for these over the Christmas / New Years period.


General Questions


What should I wear?

We strongly recommend that you wear comfortable, casual clothing and soft soled, non marking shoes. A hat, sunglasses with a strap and sunscreen are strongly recommended. Even in the summer months we suggest that you bring a jumper as it can be cooler on the water. We can supply spray jackets in the case of inclement weather.

Can I take an Esky on board the yachts?

We do not allow rigid eskies on board as they can damage the varnish work and yacht interiors ("Soft" or polystyrene eskis are fine). There is an ice box on board that you can stow your cold items in.

Does EastSail supply sunscreen?

We have a limited supply of sunscreen available in the office.

Will we go sailing if it is raining?

Yes, EastSail can supply spray jackets if required. Please request these at reception on arrival. In the case of thunderstorms we may delay departure until they have passed over.

Can we sail outside Sydney Heads?

We have one Beneteau First 40 in survey for offshore bareboat charter to experienced skippers. No other bareboat charters are allowed offshore under any circumstances. Some vessels can go offshore with an EastSail skipper aboard if pre-arranged (please note than the number of guests allowed on board is reduced in this instance). Extended sailing school courses regularly sail offshore.

Can you suggest where we can anchor?

We will cover suitable anchorages and moorings in your comprehensive charter briefing prior to departure - suggestions can also be found in the charter manual on board all vessels.

What happens to my security bond after the charter?

Assuming that you have not damaged the vessel or other vessels your bond pre-auth will drop off within 5 days. If you have damaged the vessel we will contact you as soon as possible after your charter to advise charges.

Why do I have to pay a bond on skippered charters?

A bond is charged on skippered charters to cover interior damage that may arise whilst you are out eg red wine stains on upholstery, damage to our marine toilets etc

What Qualifications do I need to charter a yacht?

We recommend that you have achieved RYA Day Skipper Level or equivalent or have skippered a yacht of a similar size in the past. We do not need to see these certificates but ask you to fill out a resume on arrival.

I can't sail can I still take a yacht out?

Yes, you can still take a yacht out with one of our knowledgeable skippers who will show you the ropes and guide you around the harbour. Your skipper will let you take the ropes and steer the yacht if you want to have a go or you can sit back and relax and take in the scenery.

Why can't I sail after dark on a bareboat charter?

Local maritime regulations require all bareboat charter vessels to be anchored between sunset and sunrise. If you wish to sail after dark you can take one of our knowledgeable skippers with you.

Where can I dock?

You are only allowed to dock at our marina on bareboat charters as other jetties are not suitable for fibreglass yachts. If you have our skipper onboard there are a few alternative locations where we can drop you ashore. eg King Street Wharf at Darling Harbour.

What are the minimum and maximum charter times?

There are none but you will be charged for a minimum 4 hour period on our sailing vessels.

Can I cancel my booking or get a refund if I change my mind?

The simple answer is no as we do not issue refunds under any circumstances but you may be able to transfer your booking to another date or the money to another service - please see our charter terms and conditions and corporate event terms and conditions and sailing school terms and conditions.


Catering & Drinks


Can I BYO my own food and drinks?

Yes - this is fine on board all of the EastSail vessels (please note that on MV Yarranabbe there is are BYO fees covering corkage and staff costs P.O.A) If you prefer to use our on board catering service you can check out our Onboard Catering Menus and Catering and Drinks Order Form or for MV Yarranabbe Menus by Foodz by ML and our MV Yarranabbe Wine List.

Are we allowed to take alcohol on board?

Yes, you are able to take a reasonable amount of alcohol on board but if we think you have brought or ordered too much through our cellars we may request that you leave some ashore for your return or reduce your cellars order. We also strongly recommend that you take plenty of water and soft drinks as it is easy to become dehydrated in the sun and wind.


Would you like more information?

Our friendly staff are ready to assist with your enquiries

Enquire here

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