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Sailing courses Print E-mail
COVER_Sailing_Courses Want to learn how to sail? Or are you an experienced skipper wanting to sail the Cape? Zipping Zebra offers an exciting assortment of courses and tours for anyone who wants to take to the seas. These are offered by our experienced partner, a Royal Yachting Association accredited maritime academy near Cape Town.



*Introduction weekend
*Competent crew course
*Skipper theory
*Skipper practical
*Coastal skipper
*Ocean theory



DURATION: 1 Weekend. – Maximum of 5 students per course
COURSE PROFILE: An enjoyable introduction to yachting for novices

Start Yachting is run throughout the year. This course is a wonderful introduction to yachting for all novices. By the end of the weekend you will have experienced sailing around Robben Island, steering a yacht, rope work, sail handling and be spoilt by the magnificent scenery of Cape Town from the water. Food and drinks are supplied for the 2 days.

Ideal for a get-away on the water and to introduce family and friends to the enjoyment of yachting.

Completing a further 2 weekends of the Competent Crew course and you could obtain a Competent Crew certificate.


DURATION: 5 days (Monday to Friday) or 3 weekends, or 2 weekends for those who have completed the Start Yachting course  – Maximum of 5 students per course

The Competent Crew course is run throughout the year and is an ideal introduction to yachting for all. No previous sailing experience is necessary. During the 5 days you will learn how to be an efficient, confident and useful member of the crew. Steering a yacht, putting up the sails and handling them, nautical terms as well as living on a yacht are some of the fundamentals you will be taught. Safety is of utmost importance and you will learn how to assist in the recovery of a man over board, operate flares, lifejackets, harnesses, life rafts and enjoy at least one night sail.

You will sail over 100nautical miles, enjoy at least 4 night hours of sailing, and visit many of the harbors and anchorages of the Cape. A confident and competent member of any crew. Food is supplied for the course and there are no extra costs.

DURATION: 5 days or 2 weekends
PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE: Some practical experience required.

The Day Skipper Shore based Theory is run throughout the year. As an aspiring skipper you are introduced to the fundamentals necessary to take a yacht to sea. You will be taught basic navigation and pilotage covering chartwork, position fixing, plotting a course to steer, weather forecasting, tides and the international regulations for preventing collisions at sea.

Included on the course is parts of yacht, emergency and safety equipment, points of sail and theory of sailing. The Day Skipper Theory course is conducted in our lecture room over-looking Hout Bay Harbour and Chapman’s Peak – 5-minute walk from the beach. All course materials will be supplied along with tea and coffee.
Accommodation is on board your training yacht (should this be part of the practical course), however food is for your own account.

DURATION: 5 days (Monday to Friday) or 3 weekends – Maximum of 5 students per course
PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE: Competent Crew certificate or previous sailing experience including basic navigation

Day Skipper is run throughout the year. Taking charge of a yacht can be a daunting yet rewarding experience. Under the guidance of our expert instructors students will be patiently given the means and hands on experience to confidently skipper a yacht in varied conditions.

Completing short passages as skipper, each student covers weather forecasting, victualling, engine maintenance, sail selection, passage planning, watch keeping, navigation, pilotage and importantly boat handling under power and sail.

Students to live aboard for the duration of the course and food is included. Upon successful completion of the course, students will receive a Day Skipper Course Completions Certificate. Those students who wish to sit a South African Sailing assessment may do so. This would entitle them to a certificate of competence and allows them to skipper a yacht along the coast of South Africa in daylight hours.

DURATION:  9 Day combined course (Saturday to following Sunday) – Maximum of 5 students per course
PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE: Some sailing, preferably a competent crew course or equivalent experience.

Day skipper combined is run throughout the year. Complete both the Day Skipper Theory and Practical over 9 days – starting on a Saturday and finishing on the following Sunday means only 5 days off work. If successful you will finish with a Day Skipper Certificate of Competence allowing you to skipper a vessel in daylight hours (Day Skipper Ticket)
Saturday – Tuesday (Shore based)
Tuesday night – Sunday afternoon (Practical)
Price includes accommodation on board during theory and meals included during practical.


DURATION: 7 Days or 3 weekends – Maximum of 5 students per course
PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE: Knowledge of navigation to Day Skipper level and practical experience

Coastal Skipper/Yachtmaster Shore based theory is offered throughout the year. This is an advanced course in navigation and meteorology, for those wishing to work toward taking the Coastal Skipper or Yachtmaster offshore exam. It is also ideal for those wishing to skipper a yacht on longer coastal passages.

Navigation aspects of the course include: position fixing, course shaping and plotting, tidal knowledge and the use of Almanacs, Admiralty publications and electronic position finding equipment (GPS).

The meteorology section includes the taking and interpretation of forecasts, plotting of weather systems and weather prediction by observation and using a barometer. International Regulations for Prevention of Collision at Sea is dealt with in detail. Time is spent showing how to apply this information when planning and executing passage plans. The course is conducted in our lecture room in Hout Bay and includes all course materials.


DURATION: 7 days (Monday – Saturday) – Maximum of 5 students per course
PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE:     A knowledge of navigation to Coastal Skipper shore based level. 15 days aboard, 2 days as skipper,
300 miles logged and 8 night hours.

Coastal skipper Practical is run throughout the year and reinforces navigation, seamanship and leadership skills.
During the course you will be guided through navigation both offshore and in limited visibility, weather forecasting and passage planning, watch keeping and preparation for sea. Each student will have an opportunity to plan and execute passages while taking complete command of the yacht. A thorough debrief by the instructor to assist in developing skippering ability and confidence.

Upon the successful completion of the Coastal Skipper course you will confidently be able to skipper a boat on coastal passages safety.


DURATION: & Days (Monday to Sunday), 5 day preparation and 2 day exam weekend with a maximum of 5 students per yacht.
COASTAL SKIPPER: 30 Days aboard, 2 days as skipper, 800 miles logged, 12 night hours, VHF Operators Certificate, First Aid Certificate. If a Coastal Skipper Course Completion Certificate held, only 400 miles required.
YACHTMASTER OFFSHORE: 50 Days aboard, 5 days as skipper, 2500 miles logged, 5 passages of over 60 miles including 2 overnight and 2 as skipper. VHF Operators certificate and a valid First Aid Certificate.
This course teaches advanced skippering and boat handling techniques in preparation for RYA/MCA exams. Includes navigation, pilotage, man overboard recovery and over-all confident yacht management skills.


DURATION: 5 Days (Monday – Friday)
PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE: Yachtmaster Offshore Certificate of Competence, First Aid certificate.
This course focuses on celestial navigation, satellite navigation system, great circle sailing, meteorology and passage planning. Oceans theory is run throughout the year.

Please contact us for details and dates.

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Thanks for a most enjoyable stay at Buffelsdrift Game Lodge. We all had the most amazing time- adults and children alike. The staff were friendly and helpful and the luxury tents were extremely comfortable. Not to mention the beautiful setting and awe inspiring elephant feeding experienc...

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Zipping Zebra

PO Box 26533
Hout Bay
Cape Town
South Africa

T: +27-(0)21-7907148
F: +27-(0)21-7907147