Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which course is suitable for me?

In a nutshell:

  • Complete beginner, no previous experience necessary – Introduction to Sailing (1 day), RYA Start Yachting (1 weekend) or RYA Competent Crew (3 weekends or 5-day block)
  • Completed 100nm, 4 night hours and 5 days onboard a sailing vessel – RYA Day Skipper theory & RYA Day Skipper practical.  Theory pre-requisite to practical.
  • Completed 300nm, 8 night hours and 15 days (two of which as skipper) – RYA Coastal Skipper theory & RYA Coastal Skipper practical.  Theory pre-requisite to practical.

Please read through the many pages and courses that we have on this website.  If you are still unsure as to what would be best suited to your level of experience, please contact the office and we can guide you through further.

2. Where will we sail?

Year round, we set sail from Manly, Queensland with usual sailing grounds around Moreton Bay.  We undertake courses that range further afield from Mooloolaba and as far north as the Whitsundays during the months of June to October.

3. What do we eat?

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are all enjoyed onboard with your crew apart from one evening when you will head out for a meal ashore on the 5-day practical.  There is an opportunity to outline any food allergies in the medical section on the booking form which we adhere to as best as possible when provisioning.  Southern Cross is a training facility and meals are chosen according to the abilities of the boat (eg. fridge capacity) and ease of preparation after a full day out on the water.

4. What happens if it rains?

It’s important when learning to sail that all conditions are experienced ensuring your skills are broadened.  In some cases, the principal of the school will determine the weather to be unsafe due to wind or rain, in which case, your booking will be rescheduled for a more suitable time.  Majority of the time, courses are only rescheduled when winds are too strong, not for rain.

5. Do I need to be physically fit?

Somewhat. Sailing is a physical activity and requires some strength when handling sails/winches and maneuverability when undertaking activities on a moving object.  Our instructors can teach you techniques of safe sailing to individual abilities.   We have a course to suit every need but if you’d like further clarity please call the office anytime.

6. What happens if I get seasick?

Moreton Bay is sheltered by islands but it’s still possible to experience some degree of seasickness.  If you are concerned about this issue, please visit your pharmacy and ask their advice prior to arrival as we can not provide medications to students.  It is recommended to take any precautionary measures 24-hours prior.

7. Do I share a cabin?

We do our best to make sure that all crew members are comfortable in their sleeping arrangement.  Please be aware that it is not always possible to have a cabin to yourself and you may need to share accommodation.  It is less likely cabin sharing occurs during the winter (quieter) months.

We have a wooden divider between berths where necessary.

8. Alcohol, drugs and smoking?

Drugs and alcohol onboard

  • A yacht at anchor is still at sea and, in accordance with Maritime Safety Queensland for commercial vessels, a skipper must adhere to a zero blood alcohol limit.
  • Ensure a responsible attitude to alcohol at all times onboard.  SCY wants students to enjoy themselves but must remain aware of the impact of one student’s behaviour on others.  No drinking allowed by any student after midnight.
  • No alcohol to be consumed while sailing.
  • Non-prescription, illegal drugs (as specified by Australian and maritime law) are not permitted on board.

Smoking during courses

The yachts are workplaces thus smoking by students or instructors is not permitted onboard at any time.

9. Do I need any previous experience?

Depending on the course you choose, pre-requisites are outlined on this website.  We cater to all levels of experience.

10. What is the SCY refund policy?

Please see our Terms and Conditions below, question 13.

11. Is there a shower onboard?

Yes, however water on a sailing yacht is limited and lengthy showers are not possible.  Marina stops will be made during the week where you can shower ashore for as long as you like.

12. Where are my qualifications valid?

The RYA is recognized around the world.  If you need a specific country or place and are unsure of the validity of your qualifications, please contact our office to clarify.

13. Our Terms and Conditions
  1. BOOKING CONFIRMATION: A minimum of 25% is payable for bookings 28 days prior to departure. Courses within 28 days of booking require full payment. Bookings are not secure until receipt of full payment.


  1. REFUNDS/CANCELLATIONS/RESCHEDULING: Southern Cross Yachting (‘SCY’) does not provide refunds. In an unforeseen circumstance where a student cannot attend the scheduled course, the student may reschedule only once, at the discretion of SCY, and incur an administration fee of $150 for the change. If a future date cannot be decided on at the time of reschedule, a 12-month credit is held from the date of receipt of full payment, whereby the future course must be completed within this time-frame. SCY must receive the rescheduling request at least 14 days prior to departure. Any student who fails to arrive, for any reason whatsoever including illness and has not given notification, forfeits all fees paid. If SCY cancels a course, a position on a future course will be offered or the value applied to another course within 12 months. Courses require a minimum of two students and SCY reserves the right to reschedule a student who is booked on to a course where this minimum requirement is not achieved. Where a prior theory course is a pre-requisite, SCY reserves the right to cancel a student’s practical training, and forfeit all fees paid, within 28 day period prior to departure in a circumstance where completion is not reasonable and failure of certification will inhibit other students onboard. Completion of the relative theory course is the sole responsibility of the student.


  1. MINORS: Any student under 16 years old must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
  1. HEALTH: Students with medical conditions are responsible for confirming their medical practitioners consider them safe to sail and advise SCY of the relevant conditions when booking, and both the principal and instructor when attending the course. Bring any personal medication necessary.


  1. PRINCIPAL’S DECISION: Principal: The Principal’s decision is final at all times on SCY’s property and SCY’s vessels until the appointment of the Instructor. Instructor: From the moment the Instructor steps onboard their decision is final in accordance with Marine Law.  Students: All students will accept decisions given to them at all times whilst onboard or ashore, for the duration of the course until the course is complete and the Instructor is no longer onboard the vessel. Every student must act in a safe and responsible manner at all times and if the Principal/Instructor deems a student is not, the student will be asked to disembark the vessel at the nearest port with no liability, expenses or unused portions of fees attached to SCY.


  1. WEATHER: If, in the Principal’s/Instructor’s opinion, weather conditions are deemed unsafe, SCY will inform students as soon as possible. SCY is not liable for any travel expenses incurred by students in the event of a cancellation. SCY will offer credit to the value of booking for use within 12-months of the cancellation.


  1. INSURANCE: SCY, its yachts and instructors are insured for sailing tuition. SCY recommends students consider their personal insurance requirements in line with their individual lifestyle and wellbeing.


  1. DISCLAIMER: No liability is accepted for students’ vehicles parked in the Marina grounds or students’ possessions in the vehicle, on the pontoons, SCY’s property or vessels. No liability is accepted for students whilst on pontoons or SCY’s property/vessels.  All participation is done so at one’s own risk. Sailing is a sport that can cause injury.


  1. CERTIFICATES: SCY’s standards of instruction are high. Certificates are issued at the end of a course only when/if the instructor deems the students is qualified in accordance with RYA Handbook.


  1. DUTIES ONBOARD: All students are expected to engage in all duties required to run a vessel including, but not limited to, meal preparation, cleaning and/or routine maintenance as well as a final clean of the vessel at course completion.


  1. LOST PROPERTY: SCY is not responsible for any articles of clothing or other property left on an SCY vessel or property.


  1. SERVICES PROVIDED ON OTHERS’ VESSELS: SCY allocates an Instructor for a fixed number of days for travel to/from the vessel and provision of onboard training/delivery services. Fees for training/delivery are to be paid in full prior to departure; and costs for Instructor’s travel to/from the vessel outside of the Greater Brisbane area are to be reimbursed to SCY.  Onboard meals and private accommodation are to be provided (or expenses reimbursed to SCY) for the Instructor for training/delivery exceeding one day.  Vessels must be seaworthy; and required safety equipment onboard, serviceable and in-date.  When weather, mechanical or other matters outside of SCY’s control delay or prohibit the yacht’s travel or provision of training/delivery, SCY will try its best to accommodate the shifted additional days (at student’s/owner’s cost) for the Instructor to continue with the training/delivery to the agreed destination or completion of course. However, when a conflict arises with an Instructor’s prior commitments, SCY will discuss options with the student/owner when the delay is first evident and discuss options including additional delivery or transfer costs for an Instructor to return to the vessel at a later date. For ‘Own Boat Tuition’ with student/owner onboard, the Instructor provides instruction/guidance and is at no time the master of the vessel, therefore, will not accept liability or responsibility for any damage obtained during the tuition.
      An incredible adventure! The experienced owners Carly & Jamie of SCY were fantastic in booking & organising, the instructor was incredibly knowledgeable & professional, and the boat was amazing. Can’t rate Southern Cross Yachting highly enough- I’m already planning my next lesson
      Jemma - July 2023 
      Jemma - July 2023

      Massive thank you to Jamie and all the staff and other instructors at Southern Cross Yachting! 10/10 experience from booking to sailing to instruction to food whilst onboard.
      Absolutely one of the best things I’ve ever done and now I’m addicted to sailing!


      A great place to learn all things about sailing, experienced Captains who are only to happy to answer any and all questions, a great experience,

      Michael MacCormack 2021
      Michael MacCormack

      Well organized with a wonderful team and instructors. Completed my Comp Crew and looking forward to doing the Day skipper next.

      N Dashti 2020
      N Dashti

      We were lucky enough to spend a day with Jamie on Moreton bay and can’t speak highly enough about it. Three of us with varied previous experience of sailing joined with a father and son to share in a day of learning the ropes. The day was tailored to our varied needs and at all times we were able to ask questions and glean experience from Jamie’s wealth of knowledge. We would highly recommend signing up for a course if you’re interested in getting back on the water after a hiatus. Thanks so much guys! It was a priceless day!

      Maria Bukala 2021
      Maria Bukala
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