Please find the answers to some frequently asked questions about courses at OSC and the booking process. If you have any questions not answered here please don’t hesitate to contact us.
These answers are intended as a guide, please refer to the course booking conditions before booking on a course.
What benefits are there to my child of learning to sail?
✓ An exciting new sport with opportunities to progress and a sense of achievement
✓ Free sailing sessions available to members throughout the summer.
✓ Connections with the outdoors and nature
✓ Learning risk assessment skills in a safe environment
✓ A sense of freedom, adventure and challenge for all ages, helping to develop confidence and independence
✓ Meeting a wide variety of new friends with a common interest
And of course much of this also applies for adults!
Can I borrow wetsuits and other specialist clothing and equipment?
Yes, OSC can lend you all the kit that you need to join in a course, including wetsuits, buoyancy aids/lifejackets, cag tops (waterproof jackets to keep off the wind and rain) and helmets. Equipment hire is included in the cost of the course. Specific lists are sent out beforehand for all courses, but as a guide here’s what you’d need to take with you for our courses:
Dinghy courses – towel, swimwear for under the wetsuit, and a second set of trainers for on the water that can get wet.
Powerboat courses – waterproof jacket/trousers and warm layers.
Shorebased courses – no specialist kit is required.
Do I need to be a member of OSC to do a course?
Generally, yes. However, some of our beginners courses such the high school learn to sail course and our junior beginners summer weeks include a non-members rate that gives a discounted membership for the rest of the season. See the cost section of the course page for details about a specific course. If you’d like to find out more about how to join OSC, please have a look at our membership page.
How can I pay for a course?
You can pay online via credit/debit card, via Bank Transfer, Cheque and cash by arrangement.
Please be aware that your course / event booking is reserved for until payment is cleared into our account. If payment does not clear within 72 hours we reserve the right to cancel your booking and offer the space to someone else.
The course I’m interested in isn’t available to book, what can I do?
As a small volunteer run club we are only able to run a limited number of courses. If the course you’d like to do is not available to book it will say in the dates section of the course page either that the dates for this course are not yet confirmed, or that we don’t currently plan to schedule this course in the near future.
Either way, what you can do now is register your interest
in the course. We’ll then send you an email when we next schedule this course. If there is interest in a course we don’t currently plan to run soon, then we’ll look at scheduling some dates for the course.
What happens if there aren’t enough people on a course?
We make every attempt possible to run any course we advertise, however very occasionally there are not enough participants booked onto a course and OSC may then have to cancel the course. If this happens then a full refund will be given. OSC rarely may have to cancel a course due to another operational reason, and wherever possible any cancellations will take place at least two weeks prior to start the course. Please see the booking conditions for more details.
Can I withdraw from a course?
If you are unable to attend a course you have signed up for, then you can withdraw from it. If you withdraw from a course more than 4 weeks prior to the start date or within 5 days of booking, then a full refund will be given. Closer to the start of the course refunds depend on other factors, please see the booking conditions for full details.
What if the weather is not suitable?
The one thing we cannot control is the weather – for example there may be too much or indeed too little wind to complete all aspects of a course. Safety is our number one priority, and in these circumstances our instructors will adapt the content of the course to the best of their abilities, such as providing shore-based practical or clubhouse theory instruction instead.
This, sadly, may mean a participant is unable to reach a level of on-water experience required to complete a formal qualification. Such circumstances are outwith our control.
Whilst we will try our utmost to help all participants succeed, our courses are not intended to guarantee completion of training to a specified level, e.g. “RYA Level x”. Rather, our courses provide training working towards a specific level, given the abilities of the candidate and the prevailing conditions.