Includes: water, sailing boats, DofE, dinghies, yachting Outdoors, Sports, Water

Activity time:
1 meeting


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Port! Starboard!

Girls will grow in confidence as they learn to control a boat using just the wind. They'll also develop spatial awareness and team work, and discover how to navigate at sea.


Sailing uses wind-propelled sail boats of different sizes for recreation or racing on various types of water.

To take girls sailing, you will need to find a reputable local activity provider with suitably qualified instructors.

Planning checklist

Safety notes

When offering this activity to participants under the age of 18, and in sea, tidal or inland water that is more than 50 metres from land, the provider must be licenced by the Adventurous Activities Licencing Authority.

You can verify the quality of a provider by checking it has one of the following endorsements: Adventuremark or LotC Quality Badge for Adventure.

AALA and the above endorsements are not applicable in Northern Ireland, where you should ask your local Outdoor Activities Adviser to recommend an approved provider.

Instructors must hold a relevant Royal Yachting Association (RYA) qualification for the type of boat and activity, and the nature of the water.

If alternative qualifications are held, please seek advice from your Outdoor Activities Adviser, the RYA, or email [email protected] to ensure the instructor’s qualification is appropriate to the nature of the activity.

To do sailing, girls must be able to:

  • swim 50 metres
  • keep afloat for five minutes in the clothes normally worn for the activity.

Girls may fulfil these rules wearing a buoyancy aid or life jacket when either is required for the activity.

Include all: If a girl has a medical condition that will affect her ability to swim, ensure that you inform the instructor and make provision to allow her to participate safely.

The Leader must:

  • make sure that safety rules and alarm signals have been explained to the girls, and they understand the need for instructions to be obeyed immediately
  • make sure the required buoyancy aids/life jackets are used
  • follow water safety guidelines and ensure that the responsible adult helpers are familiar with them.

Water should be inspected for signs of visible pollution, for example rubbish, blue green algae or chemicals.

Make sure girls and parents are aware of the dangers and symptoms of Weil's disease and what action to take if infection is suspected. On the day of the activity participants should be advised to cover cuts and grazes with waterproof plasters to help prevent infection.

Girlguiding areas that own water craft or have them on a long-term lease, should see the information on craft certification, and more guidance on water activities.

Section Number of girls per adult
Rainbows 5
Brownies 8
Guides 12

How many adults are needed?

Use this calculator to find out the ratio of girls to adults that is required for this activity

2 adults needed


  • An Activity Information and Consent form is required to participate in this activity - PDF | Word
  • A Risk Assessment form is required for this activity - PDF

Remember - you can use one consent form for multiple activities