Setting Sail for Success: How Sail Training Improves Life Skills

Sail Training is more than just a sailing adventure; it's a lifelong investment in an individual.

Setting Sail for Success: How Sail Training Improves Life Skills

  • 6 min read

Imagine standing on the deck of Helen Mary R, the salty breeze in your hair, and the endless horizon stretching out before you. As you work together, communicate, problem-solve, and raise the sails, you realise that this isn't just a voyage to a destination; it's a voyage of self-discovery, leadership, and life skills that will shape your future success.

Sail Training offers a unique, exhilarating and transformative experience, immersing individuals in an environment where they can develop various life skills. Beyond just learning to sail, participants aboard engage in a dynamic process of personal growth, gaining valuable skills that extend far beyond the confines of the open sea—focusing on improving confidence, motivation, communication, adaptability, resilience, independence, problem-solving, decision-making, time management, resourcefulness, and creativity.

Personal Growth and Self-Discovery:

Setting sail on a training vessel isn't just a physical journey; it's a profound expedition of self-discovery. As participants board, they leave the familiar behind and immerse themselves in a world of uncertainty and self-exploration. The challenges and demands of life at sea push individuals beyond their comfort zones, encouraging them to tap into inner reserves of resilience, determination, and adaptability they may never have known they possessed. Through the solitude of night watches, the camaraderie of the crew, and the unbroken horizon of the open sea, participants often find themselves reflecting on their strengths, weaknesses, and aspirations, leading to a deeper understanding of themselves.

Building Confidence Through Challenging Experiences:

Sail Training is synonymous with challenges. Navigating, hoisting sails, cooking and baking bread, and braving the elements requires courage and confidence. Participants quickly learn that they are capable of more than they ever thought possible. Overcoming the fear of heights when climbing the rigging, mastering the art of sail trimming, and safely managing a ship in adverse weather conditions all contribute to a profound sense of self-assurance. This newfound confidence doesn't stay on the boat; it becomes a valuable asset in facing life's challenges on and off the water.

Learning to Adapt:

Sailing is unpredictable, and Sail Training teaches the art of being adaptable. Weather conditions can change quickly, requiring rapid adjustments to sails, changing what is being cooked, or even pushing through seasickness. Participants must adapt to new challenges daily, from baking bread to learning to navigate. This adaptability, a hallmark of successful sailors, translates directly into adaptability in everyday life. Participants learn to embrace change, tackle unforeseen obstacles, and thrive in dynamic environments, skills that prove invaluable in personal and professional situations.

Teamwork everywhere:

Sail Training is a masterclass in teamwork. On a sailing vessel, every crew member plays a crucial role; every job aboard needs more than two people to complete. Success depends on the seamless collaboration of individuals, each with their responsibilities, working in unison to achieve a common goal. Teamwork teaches participants to appreciate the strengths and contributions of every team member. It fosters a sense of interdependence and mutual reliance that extends far beyond the boat, emphasising the importance of working together to overcome obstacles and achieve shared objectives.

Effective Communication:

On a sailing boat, effective communication isn't a luxury; it's a necessity for safety and efficiency. Sailors must communicate concisely and precisely, especially in challenging situations where quick decisions are paramount. Sail Training emphasises the significance of communication skills, whether relaying orders, sharing vital information about the course being steered, or ensuring everyone's well-being. Participants learn to listen actively, convey information efficiently, and respond to instructions promptly. The ability to communicate effectively is not only essential for a smooth sailing experience but also a fundamental life skill.

Improving Leadership Skills and Practicing Being a Leader:

Sailing vessels provide a unique platform for leadership development. Each vessel, whether a small yacht or a large tall ship, operates as a microcosm of society where leadership is essential. Sail Training offers opportunities for trainees to take on leadership roles. These experiences require individuals to make critical decisions, manage the crew, and ensure the safety and success of the voyage or task being allotted. Being responsible is a transformative experience that equips individuals with a strong foundation in leadership.

Problem Solving and Resilience:

Sail Training is crucial for cultivating problem-solving abilities and resilience. It presents a realm of constant challenges and unexpected obstacles. Sail Training participants quickly come to appreciate the dynamic nature of the sea. Whether sailing in strong winds and rain, cooking in a dynamic moving environment, or charting a new course to avoid hazards, individuals on board must continuously adapt and find solutions. Navigating these challenges provides a unique platform for honing problem-solving skills while promoting resilience. Every wave and gust of wind becomes an opportunity to learn and grow. They develop the ability to assess situations, identify solutions, and execute plans swiftly and effectively. This combination of problem-solving and resilience equips individuals with the mental fortitude to tackle life's challenges head-on.

Time Management Skills:

Sail training instils valuable time management skills beyond the ship's deck. Participants must learn to make the most of their time, whether it's during watch duties or valuable off-watch time. Most vessels run a 4-hour on, 4-hour off rotation, which allows the vessel to sail for days at a time. Emphasis on the importance of schedules and planning ensures that tasks are completed, watch rotations are organised, meals are cooked, and the vessel reaches its destination as intended. Participants quickly learn that a well-structured plan can mean the difference between a successful voyage and one fraught with challenges. The time management and planning skills gained through Sail Training have a profound impact on an individual's ability to balance work, education, and personal life. Participants often find that they can juggle multiple responsibilities with ease, allocating their time efficiently to meet personal and professional commitments.


Sail Training is more than just a sailing adventure; it's a lifelong investment in an individual.

90% of young people sailing with us learn something about themselves which will make a positive change in their lives; some make profound life-changing discoveries that lead to tremendous positive change!

The benefits it provides are enduring and far-reaching. Those who have experienced Sail Training carry a treasure trove of skills that enhance their personal and professional lives. The ability to navigate life's challenges with confidence, resilience, and effective communication is a lasting legacy of sail training. Sail training, it turns out, is not just about reaching a destination; it's about discovering potential along the way.

Find Your Life-Changing Adventure


Morvargh Sailing Project is a Community Interest Company registered in England No: 07132688. Registered address: Willow Barn, Lower Bodwen, Redmoor, PL30 5AT


Fowey, Cornwall



+44 (0)7481 546577

Vessel Location:

50°20'00.8"N 4°37'46.9"W

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