Navigation tuition

So popular there’s a reserve list

Informal navigation and seamanship tuition delivered by Colin Stracey (Premier Sailing)

Great news for URYC members who want to know more or refresh their local navigation and seamanship skills. The Club has secured the services of Colin Stracey of Premier Sailing (sailing school based at Fambridge) who will deliver seminar style classes for six evenings this winter at our clubhouse. This is a fantastic opportunity to take advantage of professional tuition at a bargain price.

Whether you are new to sailing, or fancy refreshing your skills, join fellow members for six fun sessions aimed specifically at local waters and the type of short cruises our members sail.


  • Seminar style classes held on Monday evenings commencing …….
  • 6 sessions held in the Clubhouse from 7.30pm to 10.00pm
  • Refreshment break halfway through – tea coffee and biscuits included
  • Excellent introduction to the RYA Day Skipper course for beginners
  • Great refresher for cruiser owning members
  • Informal fun sessions concentrating on local waters
  • No exams/qualifications at the end
  • No previous experience necessary 
  • RYA qualified instructor
  • Bargain price  


The 6 navigation and seamanship classes commenced on Monday 28th January. 

It has been agreed that for those wishing to pay by electronic bank transfer it makes more sense if you pay Colin Stracey direct. His bank account details are shown below.  For those wishing to pay by cheque, (made out to PREMIER SAILING LIMITED,) or cash you can do so on the first evening.

BANK ACCOUNT DETAILS   Sort Code: 23 05 80    Bank Account number: 20403888   Name of Account: Premier Sailing Limited

Furthermore, we pleased to announce that the price per head has come down from £30 and is now only £21. 

There is an additional charge of £2 the tea and biscuits. .

Anyone who put their name down for this but can’t make it, please let Ian know ASAP please email because there is a waiting list of members who want to join the course.

Please aim to arrive at the club house by 7:30pm at the latest. This gives everyone time to settle down with a warm drink from the galley and to arrange tables and chairs etc.  There will be a short break half way through and Colin aims to wrap things up by 10pm on each evening.

Portland Plotter and dividers

What do I need to bring

Everyone is required to bring their own pen and a note book. Also you will be required to bring your own 2B pencil and eraser (rubber) for chart work. Any other type of pencil is not suitable because it is not soft enough so will leave marks on the chart. If you have a calculator bring it along too – or use the one on your phone. Portland Plotter and dividers (see picture above).

Note: if you’re new to sailing or don’t own a sailing cruiser, Colin has a supply of 10 Portland Plotters and 10 Dividers that he will bring along to each session. These are used for chart work.

Before the sessions begin I would encourage you to watch this 2 minute video: showing you how to use a Portland Plotter

Charts: Please buddy-up into pairs for chart work, because the club does not have tables to spread out 18 charts! Colin does have some spare charts and these will be prioritised for dinghy/non-cruiser owners.    

So if you are a dinghy sailor who is interested, but not so keen upon buying charts just to attend these classes – please email Ian for this to be raised with Colin in advance of the first session.

For everyone else, the suggested charts are Imray Chart Y17 for the Rivers Crouch, Blackwater and Colne. Also, Imray Chart C1 covering the Thames Estuary, because it includes the Ray Sand channel for passage making between the River Crouch and River Blackwater. Experience suggests these are essential for any URYC members who sail outside of the Crouch.

Both charts cost about £18 from chandlers.  If you can only stretch to one new chart, then make it the Y17 chart. Second-hand charts are available. However a word of caution, especially if buying on ebay. They may not be up-to-date, so might fail to show the new buoyage introduced in the River Crouch in the summer of 2011. In which case. these pre 2011 charts are only useful for lighting fires!

For those who own the equivalent Admiralty charts please do bring these along.


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Participants pay £21 in advance (or on the first evening they attend) for all six sessions, so it works out at a bargain price. There is an additional £2 charge for tea, coffee and biscuits.

Please let Ian Dawson know you are interested by emailing:

Destinations this course will enable you to visit

West Mersea


Bradwell and the River Blackwater


Heybridge Basin




River Stour




And go on Club Rallies, such as this one to