RYA Sailing Courses in Gibraltar

Trafalgar Sailing Instructors and Shore Based Crew

RYA Sailing Courses in Gibraltar Trafalgar Sailing-Instructor Jim Field 2


Principal RYA Yachtmaster Instructor and Examiner

Jim teaches the Competent crew, Day Skipper and Yachtmaster RYA courses and charters. He has sailed as race crew together with Team New Zealand on the famous J class yacht Velsheda for 15 years, sailing at Antigua Race week, The Rolex Cup Sardinia, Voile de St Tropez and Cowes week. For 20 years he was a Saturation Diver working at depths of 200m. He is now Principal of Trafalgar Sailing, an RYA examiner and RYA Cruising Instructor. He is totally enthusiastic about sailing and an excellent RYA Instructor.

Clients’ comments:

It was a steep learning curve and already after the first day I felt like I’ve learnt a lot. Jim was always friendly, helpful and passionate about sailing. Also, had many interesting stories and was a great fun in our post-sailing meetups.

Rimvydas Natkins

I wanted to say hello and that we miss Jim 🙂 Training in Gibraltar was such a great experience! Both extremely informative and we also felt very much at home. Jim’s friendliness added a huge value to the training you guys offer. So now, as we’re sitting here in Poros, we’re finding that we miss his presence dearly.

Tomas Tombakas

Just a quick mail to say thanks for a great week of sailing. Had a good time and learnt a whole load about boat handling so feeling much more confident about maneuvering my 40ft boat into tight spaces now. If I ever decide to take my Coastal Skipper practical I’ll be in touch and will have no hesitation in recommending you to friends.

Keiron Shatwell

Just to let you know, today we went out for the first time on our own. Amazing! The difference between ‘know what’ and ‘know how’ is incredible. Probably the best sail I have had in a very long time without some one who knows what they are doing being on board..Many thanks to you both for working with Helen and I to get us where we are. I’m very, very pleased with what I’ve learnt. It was a gentle day going up and down on a ‘close reach’ Helen was very happy. Could have pumped it a bit more but step one is to continue Jim’s good work in building up her confidence.

David Killington
Trafalgar Sailing RYA Instructor Charlie


RYA Yachtmaster Instructor

Charles enjoys teaching Competent crew and Day Skipper RYA sailing courses and family charters. He was manager of a yacht charter fleet in the Greek islands before joining Trafalgar Sailing. Charles is a natural sailor and teacher. He is calm, patient and has a great sense of humour. He has been teaching RYA courses for Trafalgar Sailing for years and we hope he stays for many more.

Clients’ comments:

Dear Cathy,

From the outset I have been thoroughly impressed with Trafalgar Sailing, both yourself, Charlie and Brodie Boy far exceeded my expectations of what the week could have been. Trafalgar Sailing’s location was ideal for myself, Alex and Steve who is now looking forward to his future sailing trips, there is no doubt in my mind that his enthusiasm for the sport was helped by the kind, calming, funny and helpful nature of our instructor Charlie.

Charlie’s clear knowledge and relaxed approach to the week was fundamental for us enjoying ourselves. He constantly challenged us at every opportunity providing the perfect atmosphere to complete both the Day Skipper and Competent Crew course. Alex and I left the course with the confidence and knowledge that we can now charter a yacht safely with our friends and family. Steve is now confident with turning the kettle on whilst at 30 degrees heel 😉

Once again thanks for a fantastic experience, I will be recommending Trafalgar Sailing to all who ask, I hope to see you soon and safe sailing.

Kind Regards,

Matt Dickenson

Matt Dickinson

ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT! Charlie has excellent coaching skills and the ability to encourage the best from his students, without having to adopt an officious approach. He has a friendly, pleasant manner and maintained a calm persona, during even the most difficult of situations. I would wholeheartedly recommend Charlie to any potential students and would gladly sail with him on any future course I might consider.

Ron Davies

I would like to thank Charlie for his efforts throughout the week, he made everybody feel at ease.He is a asset to Trafalgar Sailing. My wife was quiet nervous about completing the course and he handled it in a very professional and confidant way. We both enjoyed the time sailing with you and would personally recommend anybody to use Trafalgar sailing. So a big thank you to yourself, your team and especially Charlie. I hope Trafalgar sailing goes from strength to strength.

Paul & Vicky Houghton

Many thanks again for all your help with our joining in and especially great help for mum, we all had fantastic time with Trafalgar, great experience with Charlie, he is a very good instructor and easy to get on with.

Tianyu Kennedy

Just a quick note to say thanks so much. I really enjoyed my course with Trafalgar. It was a windy old week, we made the most of it & I am absolutely delighted to have my Day Skipper badge! Jambo was perfect, Charles is an excellent instructor, the other crew good company – all in all, I can’t think how it could have been any better. We must now get our boat fixed, then back in the water for lots of practice, but feel I have the confidence to do so.

Kate Wreglesworth

The week went really well – so much so I want to repeat the experience in the near future. Charlie is a good instructor – I was particularly impressed by his man-management and leadership. I also need to mention that his seamanship was of a high order – he is a high value asset. Good luck.

Donald Montgomery

Family all liked Charlie, very knowledgeable and easy company.

Gavin Kennedy

Just a few words to thank you for a very enjoyable and educational week . Charlie is an excellent instructor, one of the best I have ever come across, with his patience and knowledge he is a credit to your company and I will not hesitate to recommend you to anyone. Thanks again

Davy Maclachlan
Trafalgar Sailing RYA Instructor Andy


RYA Yachtmaster Instructor

Andy is passionate about sailing.  When he is not instructing for Trafalgar sailing he is a sports teacher in a Swiss school, so teaching comes naturally to him. He is brilliant with kids (has four of his own). He has been skippering in Croatia, U.K., France, Canaries, Madeira and Portugal.  He has the wonderful ability to stay positive and calm while helping other gain the confidence to master their sailing skills.

Clients’ comments:

I wanted to just let you know that Anna and I had an amazing time on the sailing course. Andy was superb and we learnt so much from him during our week. I would definitely highly recommend you and the team for anyone looking to do a RYA accredited course. We felt safe and supported throughout the course. Andy’s attention to safety and helping us all learn, his patience and his sense of humour made it both fun and secure.
Thank you again for the experience, I am certain we will be back for the next step!

Lynn and Anna Ware (Portugal)

Andy was well liked by all of us. Very even tempered and accommodating. Knowledgeable of the content. Imparted clear instructions to follow.

Graham Hobbs (Australia)

Just a quick word to tell you how much me and my two boys enjoyed the week. Another soul taken with the sailing bug.

I also wanted to let you know how much Andy added to our whole experience. My boys were engaged in the day’s program and came away feeling more confident and with a genuine sense of accomplishment. Andy somehow managed to get the very best out of them. Thumbs up to him.

I look forward to returning for future adventures with Trafalgar.

Julian Browne (Hawaii)

The past week was just superb fun and Andy was a truly wonderful instructor with infinite patience and knowledge and endless good humour. I am looking forward very much to the next week!

Chris Parnell (UK)

I had a brilliant time, really enjoyed it, learnt so much, Andy was great too.

Jonathan Hughs (UK)
Trafalgar Sailing RYA Instructor Rob


RYA Yachtmaster Instructor

Rob is so enthusiastic about the outdoors, he is an inspiration. When not teaching sailing he is racing his sigma 33, rock-climbing, or doing the 3 peaks race. He is modest, but a bit of a navigation brain on the quiet.  Having studied Maritime Hydrographic Survey, Ship Design and Navigation Systems he worked as a seismic navigator aboard the Oceanic Champion.  He has taught sailing to young offenders so knows all about  patience.  Loves the sea.

Clients’ comments:

The week on board Brody Girl doing the competent crew course was fantastic. I badly needed to be pushed out of my comfort zone regarding wind and wanted to gain experience and confidence, and I feel like I’ve achieved this. Our instructor and skipper, Rob, was patient and relaxed at all times which made the passages fantastic for learning and gaining the confidence I needed. We visited Smir in Morocco where Rob organised a walking tour and dinner in Tetouan which was fantastic. The following day’s sail to Ceuta was gentle, and that evening we did a night sail from Ceuta to mainland Spain. We had the full moon behind us and a steady westerly breeze of 25 knots. The week before the course I would not have had the confidence to attempt such a journey, and I loved every minute of it.

My husband, Jim, joined me for doing the regatta with your husband and Rob onboard ‘CloudNine’ and we just had the most fantastic day. The wind climbed to over 30 knots, the guys all got soaking wet and rather than panicking (which I would have done previously) I had a brilliant time. I’m covered in bruises and all my muscles ache from rope work and trying to maintain my balance — and I hope we can join them again for the next regatta in June!

I wanted to thank you for the meals you prepared, and the sandwiches for the regatta. Much appreciated and delicious!

Janet Floyer (Spain)

I thoroughly enjoyed my two weeks sailing with Trafalgar and I have nothing but praise for your organization, the quality of your boats and the skill, patience and professionalism of your instructors. I certainly hope to return in future to gain further experience and mileage.

Chris Parnell (UK)

I heard about Trafalgar through my brother-in-law and decided to book based on his recommendation. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience which included the RYA course content, instruction & food. Rob was particularly good and maximised the available sailing opportunities whist appearing to recognise the obvious difference in trainee abilities and confidence. The accommodation was clean and very much what I hoped for. Thanks again for the great experience and hopefully we can arrange the Day Skipper course in the future.

Kevin Nangle (UK)

Both Ian and I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience and although we were a bit anxious about the other participants and the skipper, we got on really well with Dick,  Seb and Rob was patient, professional with buckets of experience and made us feel comfortable and at home. Rob’s incredible experience meant that in a handful of days from zero I learnt to sail and grasped the rudiment and basic techniques that makes me want to broaden my experience and learn more about sailing. Our experience was enhanced by the fact we were with Dick and Seb who were very experienced and who were also patient with us answering the numerous questions we bombarded them with.

I really liked his relaxed way to explain things sailing which he provided as we went along. His experience allows to impart teaching by encouraging learners to raise questions and learn by experience – following what he does. We were impressed with the food and snacks available and its variety. I am a very fussy eater and I like grazing and I never felt hungry. Loved the biscuits! Loved the ragu and curry!

Our accommodation was excellent considering we were sharing such a small and confined environment. The toilet was good and Rob explained to us how to use it etc.

Roberto & Ian (UK)
Trafalgar Sailing RYA Instructor Dave


RYA Yachtmaster Instructor

Two words come to mind when describing Dave, calm and kind. As well as that he is a good teacher and an experienced sailor having sailed in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand on a 100ft sailing yacht. He has also sailed  The Balearics, Sardinia, Sicily, Italy, Greece and Spain.  Sweden to U.K. via Dutch inland waterways and more recently an Atlantic crossing to St. Lucia and onto Bahamas and the East Coast of U.S.A.  Now he is a Dad settled in Europe, and we are lucky to have him on the team.

Clients’ comments:

Really great week with Dave. A skilled professional sailor and has patience to instruct too, and a nice guy. A good combination. Nice ship too. Thanks for everything.

Ivor (Israel)

It was absolutely awesome. Dave is an absolutely amazing instructor and even better human being. Patient. Thorough. Clear. He puts everything in context to help you visualize the experience before you have to execute.

Perhaps his best trait is that he legitimately cares about how you learn. He then pivots to that to continually give you absolutely every chance to be successful and continually build confidence.
I couldn’t recommend him or your school more. The absolute best experience.

Thank you so much for having me!

PS Oh and your cooking! Amazing. Where do you find the time?

Thom Cordner

Dave is a fantastic and knowledgeable sailing instructor and we were very fortunate to be taught by someone with such a wealth of experience. His amiable, calm manner and great sense of humour made him very easy to relate to and learn from.  We thoroughly enjoyed our experience with Trafalgar Sailing and hope we can sail with them again in the future.

Viv and Adrian

Dave has been an amazing Instructor who instantly became part of our group. His ability to break down a manoeuvre into easy-to –follow steps was particularly appreciated when mastering new skills. His experience and calm composure made our learning experience stress free, while his friendliness made it an unforgettable trip.

Marja (U.S.)
RYA Sailing Courses in Gibraltar - Tom


RYA Yachtmaster Instructor

Tom teaches Competent crew and Day Skipper RYA sailing courses. He was an RYA windsurfer Instructor and met Jim while doing his RYA Yachtmaster in Gibraltar. They made friends and sailed a Spirit yacht to Croatia where he worked for a yacht charter company. Jim saw he had all the characteristics of a great RYA Instructor and asked him to join our RYA sailing school. He now teaches RYA Sailing Courses in Gibraltar. He is passionate about sailing and our clients’ love him,

Clients’ comments:

Tom’s a great instructor. Great personality and demeanour. His teaching style is clear, flexible and relaxed and he pitches himself well against the level and experience of the crew he was teaching . He shows great maturity, patience and knowledge beyond his age. He’s a great guy to be around and made the whole sailing experience hugely enjoyable. I would highly recommend Tom as an instructor and Trafalgar Sailing to anyone wanting to learn or improve their sailing.

Steve Brown

The course was perfect. I feel I have a very strong foundation of practical knowledge and methods to grow from. Tom is great guy who had a good structure to his teaching starting from the ground up with rope work, docking and house keeping before actually sailing. He had loads of little practical tips and explained the methodology behind why certain things are done. These gems keep coming up all week on the various aspects of sailing.Most importantly he was patient with a good sense of humour.

Lunch was a big hearty baguette sandwich which was perfect as it could be eaten on the go. The evening meals were great too. Great pillows too. Even in hotels I struggle to sleep well with 2 decent pillows. I slept better on the boat than in many hotels.

Cathy, I had a great time sailing and I’m certainly interested in doing my day skipper with you, probably in a couple of months.

Neil Murphy

Tom is a friendly, motivated and outgoing chap who works hard to make the week as informative and enjoyable as possible. He’s never afraid to answer challenging questions and always makes you feel comfortable in doing so. His experience shines through in his teaching and his knowledge and skills made for some incredible sailing, although he’ll never forget to ask questions to make sure you’re learning along the way! Rarely without a smile on his face or a bad joke to tell, it was a real pleasure to have Tom as an instructor with Trafalgar Sailing.

Matt Bill

Tom was a great teacher – he went through everything really clearly and was always willing to re-explain or give practical examples. Equally, he got the mix between teaching and making the week fun exactly right

Holly Cova
RYA Sailing Courses in Gibraltar - Cathy


Shore Based Crew

Cathy has been running the RYA school in Gibraltar for over 21 years. She knows the most important factors for a successful sailing course; Excellent RYA Instructors, well maintained and comfortable yachts, good home-made food and wine onboard and the personal care a family business can give. She studied Travel & Tourism and worked in America organising educational tours for American students in Europe. She returned to Spain to work on corporate events and started Trafalgar Sailing at 21.

Clients’ comments:

Just wanted to thank you and Jim for a fantastic week of sailing. The boat was great and your food was brilliant.   Can’t tell you how good Tom was, great instructor and all round nice guy. Shall make sure I mention you to my friends and look forward to seeing you all again.

Mike Thornton

Just wanted to send my thanks and appreciation to you, Jim and Tom for a superb weeks sailing on Jambo last week. Tom was an excellent instructor who gave us some really useful tips and pointers, he is a credit to you and your team, his manner and way of conveying sailing was very much appreciated, nothing was too much trouble and he certainly made the entire week very enjoyable for all on board.
We also shouldn’t forget to say that the boat was very stocked well and the meals provided were superb once we had got over the novelty of eating in Tapas bars along the coast.
We will certainly be planning a return trip next year and look forward to seeing you then. Once again thanks for all your help.

Andy Braund

Eric recommended you to me, I have always wanted to come to Gibraltar and it is definitely warmer than the U.K. The course was brilliant and despite the weather, I learned a lot, Charlie was amazing, so cool and confident, I am a very nervous sailor and he inspired me with confidence.
I don’t know much about marketing, you could definitely say that “whatever the weather you get the maximum sailing experience on a fantastic boat”. You could also push the home cooked food and excellent facilities in most marinas
The food was good, can you send me the recipe for the last veggie meal you did please it was fabulous.
I hope to see you again maybe next year

Celia Jones

I had a great week sailing, here’s my response to your survey:
The information provided on the site and the opportunity to speak with you about the course convinced me.  The course was perfect. I feel I have a very strong foundation of practical knowledge and methods to grow from. Tom is great guy who had a good structure to his teaching starting from the ground up with rope work, docking and house-keeping before actually sailing. He had loads of little practical tips and explained the methodology behind why certain things are done. These gems keep coming up all week on the various aspects of sailing. Most importantly he was patient with a good sense of humour.
The food was fine. I usually have cereal for breakfast so the boat was perfectly stocked for me. Lunch was a big hearty baguette sandwich which was perfect as it could be eaten on the go. The evening meals were great too. Great pillows too. Even in hotels I struggle to sleep well with 2 decent pillows. I slept better on the boat than in many hotels.
The course itself was perfect as it was, 5 days of practical sailing. The waters around the tip Gib are challenging and with the constant westerly. No need to change anything. Cathy, I had a great time sailing and I’m certainly interested in doing my day skipper with you, probably in a couple of months.

Neil Murphy

I found you on the internet.
I booked with you as you were better priced.
The course was very informative.
Our instructor was great very informative very knowledgeable even down to spending time showing us around engine far superior to course I did in UK.
The food was exceptional and we were give fresh bread and cakes, fruit etc without asking each day, she thought she was feeding the 5000, she was lovely.
The bedding was clean fresh as were the heads and the rest of the boat.
I think the course is fine as it is and after watching a couple of other schools working and mooring beside us I am so happy we sailed with you.

Ken Maybury
RYA Sailing Courses in Gibraltar Trafalgar Sailing Team 2

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If you would like to speak to an RYA Instructor about your RYA sailing course please send us your tel number.

Send me an email or call me on: +34 699 411 194

Cathy O’Hanlon
Trafalgar Sailing – RYA Sailing Courses in Gibraltar