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Royal Navy Dinghy Team at UK Team Racing Association Championships at Bough Beech reservoir, weekend March 18-19 2006
Sail Navy
Adventurous training expedition, sailing to St Petersburg via the Kiel Canal and the Baltic, and calling at Baltic ports on the way

The Joint Services Adventurous Sail Training Centre [JSASTC]

Sail Navy Mission Statement
"To develop the personal qualities essential to members of the Armed Forces through adventurous sail training in the service environment"

The Joint Services Adventurous Sail Training Centre [JSASTC] is a small training establishment situated on the west side of Portsmouth Harbour between the Royal Hospital Haslar and the Gosport waterfront.

The purpose of JSASTC to develop the character and leadership qualities essential to members of the Armed Forces through offshore sailing in the service environment, specific details are given in the Joint Services Adventurous Training Charter and are amplified in the Statement of Training Requirement in DNPTS' Management Plan Objectives. These are achieved by providing sail training craft (STC), Skippers, Instructors, engineering and logistic support and sailing courses to train personnel of the three Services so that they are able to support and ultimately lead adventurous sail training expeditions in Service yachts.

JSASTC presently operates 24 STC, 2 of which are Ocean going Challenge 67's, 7 are Nicholson 55s and 15 are Victoria 34s. The manpower complement comprises 44 civilians, organised into 5 departments: Training/Victoria 34s; Operations/Nicholsons and Challengers; Engineering; Supply and Administration.

Approximately one third of the total capacity is dedicated to practical qualification training at sea, based on the RYA national sail-training scheme. A small number of shore-based courses are also run. The remaining capacity is made available for expeditions which are arranged at Unit, Command, Single Service or Joint Service level and are based at JSASTC, elsewhere in the UK or overseas.

Over recent years these expeditions have involved deployments and visits in the Channel area, to Scotland, Norway, Finland Croatia, Bosnia, Naples, Caribbean, Panama, Hawaii, the Far East, Cape Town, Ascension, Falkland Islands, South America, Russia and the USA. The duration of these exercises varies from one weekend for individual Units, to many months for Exercise SPOTTED DOG, is an example which takes place between the UK and the Mediterranean and includes personnel from all 3 Services for 2-week periods. The aim is to deliver and adventurous sail training facility for use by personnel in the Balkans throughout the summer. In the forthcoming year STCs will visit the Caribbean, USA, the Canary isles, the Mediterranean, the Baltic, Sweden & Russia.

The combined total annual throughput of Service men and women for courses and expeditions is approximately 4500.

The Joint Services Adventurous Sail Training Scheme
Purpose. The Joint Services Adventurous Sail Training Scheme is designed so that, through participation in a combination of scheduled basic practical qualification training and shorebased courses, experience courses, offshore and ocean sailing expeditions, members of HM Forces can progress to be adventurous sail training Skippers of Service sailing training craft. This enables Service personnel to progress from novice to RYA Yachtmaster Offshore or Ocean and become the Skipper of large yachts entirely through JSASTC courses.

Practical Qualification Training. This is conducted to the Royal Yachting Association/Maritime and Coastguard Agency (RYA/MCA) Cruising Scheme syllabus. Certificates of competence are awarded from Competent Crew, through Day Skipper and Coastal Skipper to Yachtmaster Offshore. RYA Yachtmaster Instructor and Examiner assessments are also arranged. These are all conducted in the Victoria 34s.

Shorebased Courses. These are conducted mostly during the winter months and trainees live in Fort Blockhouse. These courses include: Day Skipper, Coastal Skipper/Yachtmaster theory, Diesel Engine, Short Range Radio Certificate (SRC) and Sea Survival. Yachtmaster ocean theory courses and examinations as well as assessment of sextant sights taken at sea are also programmed and coordinated from JSASTC.

Practical in Large Yachts Training. In order to increase the number of personnel qualified to take away Nic 55s and Challenge 67s as Adventurous Training Skippers, and to raise the standard of Afterguard (Mates and Watchleaders), a programme of Nic 55 courses has been designed to cater for all levels of experience.

Experience Courses. Continuation and experience courses are programmed in all classes of STC to enable personnel to polish their seagoing skills before applying for further qualification courses.

Adventurous Sail Training Expeditions. Adventurous Sail Training expeditions can range in scope from a weekend's sailing in the Solent area, through week long channel cruises with calls at UK and foreign ports, to major expeditions Worldwide, including crew changes overseas and ocean passages. Long distance exercises are undertaken mainly in the large STCs each with berths for 12 or 14. These vessels are fully equipped for ocean going operations. The Victoria 34 STCs with berths for seven are ideal for local expeditions, particularly on the South Coast of England and North Coast of France, but with crew changes, can go as far as the Canaries and Norway. To enhance flexibility, JSASTC STC can be detached to forward operate for short periods time under the auspices of Commands or individual Units in UK, abroad, or, for example, to fit in with RN Groups or individual ship deployments.


Royal Naval Sailing Association 


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