Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

Expeditions & Residentials

Quaystage training

GOLD DofE AWARD

Under Sail

Are you currently (or planning to soon start) working towards achieving your Gold Duke of Edinburgh Awards, and would like to make learning to sail part of your accomplishments?

As a DofE Approved Activity Provider, we are able to offer programmes suitable for both the Residential and Expedition section of a Gold DofE Award.

Whether you are a sailing novice and want to take this opportunity to try out something new, or you already have some sailing experience and want to take your skills to the next level – we offer a variety of different sailing programmes for your Gold DofE Award, so anyone can find just the right fit.

(Please note – As required by The DofE, you must be between 16 and 24 years old in order to complete any of the sections for a Gold level DofE Award!)

Quaystage Sail Camps

What you need to know...

Here is all the information you need to know to plan a sailing adventure for your DofE Award under sail. Any questions left unanswered? Check out the DofE section on our FAQ page or get in touch with us directly!

REQUIREMENTS...

In order to start your Gold DofE Award you need to be 16 years or older on the starting date of your first DofE section.

You don’t need any previous sailing experience in order to take part in our 14 day Expedition programme. However, if you are planning on completing any RYA qualifications in the process, we strongly recommend doing the theory elements before coming on board for your Expedition programme.

As the itinerary is much more intense on our 9 day Expedition programmes, and preparation and training time very limited, we require some previous experience in both the practical aspects of sailing (RYA Start Yachting or comparable) as well as theory knowledge (Essential Navigation & Seamanship  or comparable) before coming on board, to prevent the experience from being overwhelming and frustrating.

If you are unsure about which programme is best for you or how to best prepare yourself for this adventure, just get in touch with us and our team of instructors will be happy to assist you!

GROUP SIZE...

Both for our Open Expeditions as well as customised group bookings, we need a minimum of 4 individuals per expedition team in order for it to go ahead, as required by the DofE. For the best Expedition experience, we recommend 5 – 7 individuals per team. Please note that the number of team members is limited to 5 if the group want to work towards  RYA qualifications.

LIFE ON BOARD...

Depending on your group size and availability, our Expedition yachts are usually between 42 and 48 ft and come with all necessary safety equipment. Accommodation is in shared cabins, although – depending on the season – you may end up sleeping under the stars on deck instead. Each yacht also has a galley (kitchen), saloon (lounge area) and usually two heads (bathrooms). When spending the night in a marina, the more comfortable marina facilities can be used.

You will be involved in all aspects of life aboard: From pulling the ropes and steering the boat, planning and navigating the passages, to preparing meals* for your crew and helping to keep the yacht shipshape and clean. Sharing your home with other people requires communicating your own boundaries and respecting those of others. Under the guidance of our staff, you will become a team in no time, and learning and living together might just become the most rewarding experience of your life!

*We can serve most dietary needs on board, but please let us know in advance if you have special requirements. As not everything is available once we are under way, it is important that we can stock up on the necessary provisions beforehand.

SAFETY ON BOARD...

Taking command and responsibility of a sailing vessel (and your crew) for your DofE Expedition can be a daunting prospect. However, there is no need to worry! – Throughout your training and practice expedition, our highly qualified and experienced instructor will be there to teach you and make sure you are safe at all times. And during your qualifying expedition, your assessor will not only be there to assess you, but also have the necessary sailing qualifications and experience to ensure the safety of you and the other crew on board.

Our yachts carry all life jackets and necessary safety equipment, and are certified by the MCA (Maritime and Coastguard Agency) – who are considered to have one of the highest safety standards in the world.

All of our team members have experience working with young people, are DBS checked, and many of them we have known and worked with for many years.

PRICING...

The fee you pay for your Expedition programme includes accommodation on board as well as all equipment and food you will need for your programme. (Not included: travel to and from the programme and personal travel insurance.) Waterproof jackets and trousers can be hired from us for a £15 administration fee depending on availability.

Our DofE Expedition programmes are priced at cost. This is why you may find the same programme offered for different prices, as our costs (especially boat charters) are different depending on the season and other factors.

Group bookings tend to be more cost effective, as we have less uncertainties to take into account, and can distribute the programme cost amongst a known number of participants. As a rule of thumb: The earlier in your planning stage you get in touch with us, the better and more cost-effectively we can plan your programme!

SUSTAINABLE TRAVEL...

When under way, many resources are limited on board a yacht, so saving freshwater and electricity is a necessity and quickly becomes second nature to everyone on board. But even beyond that, sailing is possibly the most environmentally friendly way to travel!

While unfortunately we can’t yet avoid the CO2 emissions of getting to and from the marina, especially if there are flights involved, once on board we go fossil-fuel free for most of the way. It is part of the joy of sailing to challenge yourself to find the best route, and putting all your new skills to use to make use of winds and tides instead of the engine when whenever it is practicably possible.

When going ashore we follow the rule of leaving nothing behind but footprints in the sand, limiting single-use plastic and other waste as much as possible, and taking everything back on board with us when we leave. Whenever possible, we try to incorporate a quick beach clean-up in our activities, too.

DofE Award

Residential

All our Sail Camps and designated youth RYA courses qualify for the Residential section of your Gold Level DofE Award. Depending on which Sail Camp you choose, you will embark on an adventure under sail with like-minded young people for 5, 7 or 14 days, exploring the UK South Coast or Greek Islands in the beautiful Mediterranean Sea. You will learn to sail, meet new friends, try out a variety of different activities in and on the water, and come back with memories of a summer you will never forget!

To find out where your residential adventure could take you, click below to discover the Sail Camp best for you.

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DofE expedition and RYA Day Skipper course

2025 programme coming soon!

Sign up to our newsletter to be among the first to know about new dates and exclusive offers!

Duke of Edinburgh Awards dofe

2025 programme coming soon!

Sign up to our newsletter to be among the first to know about new dates and exclusive offers!
RYA Competent Crew or Day Skipper course weekend

2025 programme coming soon!

Sign up to our newsletter to be among the first to know about new dates and exclusive offers!
CHECK OUR SEASONAL DATES
LOCATIONThe Solent, UK
CONTACT INFO+44 (0)2380 173843
info@quaystage.com
WhatsApp:
+44 (0)7563 354 332

Are you currently working towards (or planning to start soon) achieving your Gold DofE Award, and would like to make learning to sail part of your accomplishments?

As a DofE Approved Activity Provider, we are able to offer programmes suitable for both the Residential and Expedition section of a Gold DofE Award.

Whether you are a sailing novice and want to take this opportunity to try out something new, or you already have some sailing experience and want to take your skills to the next level – we offer a variety of different sailing programmes for your Gold DofE Award, so anyone can find just the right fit.

(Please note – As required by The DofE, you must be between 16 and 24 years old in order to complete any of the sections for a Gold level DofE Award!)

Quaystage Sail Camps
DofE expedition and RYA Day Skipper course
2025 programme coming soon!

Sign up to our newsletter to be among the first to know about new dates and exclusive offers!

Duke of Edinburgh Awards dofe
2025 programme coming soon!

Sign up to our newsletter to be among the first to know about new dates and exclusive offers!
RYA Competent Crew or Day Skipper course weekend
2025 programme coming soon!

Sign up to our newsletter to be among the first to know about new dates and exclusive offers!

What you need to know...

Here is all the information you need to know to plan a sailing adventure for your DofE Award under sail. Any questions left unanswered? Check out the DofE section on our FAQ page or get in touch with us directly!

REQUIREMENTS...

In order to start your Gold DofE Award you need to be 16 years or older on the starting date of your first Duke of Edinburgh Awards section.

You don’t need any previous sailing experience in order to take part in our 14 day Expedition programme. However, if you are planning on completing any RYA qualifications in the process, we strongly recommend doing the theory elements before coming on board for your Expedition programme.

As the itinerary is much more intense on our 9 day Expedition programmes, and preparation and training time very limited, we require some previous experience in both the practical aspects of sailing (RYA Start Yachting or comparable) as well as theory knowledge (Essential Navigation & Seamanship  or comparable) before coming on board, to prevent the experience from being overwhelming and frustrating.

If you are unsure about which programme is best for you or how to best prepare yourself for this adventure, just get in touch with us and our team of instructors will be happy to assist you!

GROUP SIZE...

Both for our Open Expeditions as well as customised group bookings, we need a minimum of 4 individuals per expedition team in order for it to go ahead, as required by the DofE. For the best Expedition experience, we recommend 5 – 7 individuals per team. Please note that the number of team member is limited to 5 if the group want to work towards their RYA Day Skipper.

LIFE ON BOARD...

Depending on your group size and availability, our Expedition yachts are usually between 42 and 48 ft and come with all necessary safety equipment. Accommodation is in shared cabins, although – depending on the season – you may end up sleeping under the stars on deck instead. Each yacht also has a galley (kitchen), saloon (lounge area) and usually two heads (bathrooms). When spending the night in a marina, the more comfortable marina facilities can be used.

You will be involved in all aspects of life aboard: From pulling the ropes and steering the boat, planning and navigating the passages, to preparing meals* for your crew and helping to keep the yacht shipshape and clean. Sharing your home with other people requires communicating your own boundaries and respecting those of others. Under the guidance of our staff, you will become a team in no time, and learning and living together might just become the most rewarding experience of your life!

*We can serve most dietary needs on board, but please let us know in advance if you have special requirements. As not everything is available once we are under way, it is important that we can stock up on the necessary provisions beforehand.

SAFETY ON BOARD...

Taking command and responsibility of a sailing vessel (and your crew) for your DofE Expedition can be a daunting prospect. However, there is no need to worry! – Throughout your training and practice expedition, our highly qualified and experienced instructor will be there to teach you and make sure you are safe at all times. And during your qualifying expedition, your assessor will not only be there to assess you, but also have the necessary sailing qualifications and experience to ensure the safety of you and the other crew on board.

Our yachts carry all life jackets and necessary safety equipment, and are certified by the MCA (Maritime and Coastguard Agency) – who are considered to have one of the highest safety standards in the world.

All of our team members have experience working with young people, are DBS checked, and many of them we have known and worked with for many years.

PRICING...

The fee you pay for your Expedition programme includes accommodation on board as well as all equipment and food you will need for your programme. (Not included: travel to and from the programme and personal travel insurance.) Waterproof jackets and trousers can be hired from us for a £15 administration fee depending on availability.

Our DofE Expedition programmes are priced at cost. This is why you may find the same programme offered for different prices, as our costs (especially boat charters) are different depending on the season and other factors.

Group bookings tend to be more cost effective, as we have less uncertainties to take into account, and can distribute the programme cost amongst a known number of participants. As a rule of thumb: The earlier in your planning stage you get in touch with us, the better and more cost-effectively we can plan your programme!

SUSTAINABLE TRAVEL...

When under way, many resources are limited on board a yacht, so saving freshwater and electricity is a necessity and quickly becomes second nature to everyone on board. But even beyond that, sailing is possibly the most environmentally friendly way to travel!

While unfortunately we can’t avoid the CO2 emissions of getting to and from the marina yet, especially if there are flights involved, once on board we go fossil-fuel free for most of the way. It is part of the joys of sailing to challenge yourself to find the best route, and putting all your new skills to use to make use of winds and tides instead of the engine when whenever it is practicably possible.

When going ashore we follow the rule of leaving nothing behind but footprints in the sand, limiting single-use plastic and other waste as much as possible, and taking everything back on board with us when we leave. Whenever possible, we try to incorporate a quick beach clean-up in our activities, too.

DofE Award

Residential

All our Sail Camps and designated youth RYA courses qualify for the Residential section of your Gold Level DofE Award. Depending on which Sail Camp you choose, you will embark on an adventure under sail with like-minded young people for 5, 7 or 14 days, exploring the UK South Coast or Greek Islands in the beautiful Mediterranean Sea. You will learn to sail, meet new friends, try out a variety of different activities in and on the water, and come back with memories of a summer you will never forget!

To find out where your residential adventure could take you, click below to discover the Sail Camp best for you.

CHECK OUR SEASONAL DATES
LOCATIONThe Solent, UK
CONTACT INFO+44 (0)2380 173843
info@quaystage.com
WhatsApp:
+44 (0)7563 354 332

DofE Expedition Programmes

9 Day Gold DofE Expedition

9 Day Gold DofE Expedition

Nine days is the perfect length to accomplish your Gold DofE Expedition section over your Easter or Half Term holidays without missing a day of school! However, as the programme itinerary is quite intense and the time for pre-expedition training limited, we recommend that you already have some sailing experience (RYA Start Yachting or comparable), as the programme could be a little overwhelming otherwise. In order to prepare you for the challenges of planning your expedition and navigating your vessel, we will enrol you for free on our RYA Essential Navigation and Seamanship online course when you book our 9 day DofE Expedition programme.

Not sure if your sailing experience is enough to brave the challenge? Or are you in fact a complete novice to sailing, but the 9 day programme just works best into your DofE plans? Just get in touch with us and we will help you figure out the best ways to prepare yourself for this adventure!

12 + 2 Day Gold DofE Expedition + RYA Day Skipper

12 + 2 Day Gold DofE Expedition + RYA Day Skipper

In order to get ready to take on command of your vessel for your qualifying expedition, you will learn A LOT about sailing and navigation! So much, in fact, that many of the participants of our DofE Expeditions achieve the level of sailing skills necessary for RYA qualifications. This is why we created our 12 + 2 days Gold DofE Expedition programme. The extra days allow for more sailing instructions and training (which makes it a very beginner friendly programme!), and also allow us the time to practice specific skills required for RYA qualifications.

The 12 day Expedition programme will include both practise and qualifiying DofE expedition, as well as instructions to the level of RYA Competent Crew. An additional weekend can be booked at the end (see our RYA Completion Weekends), if you want to level up to the RYA Day Skipper qualification.

PLEASE NOTE:
This programme includes only the practical part of the RYA Day Skipper qualification. You will need to have navigation theory knowledge to the level of RYA Dayskipper theory in order to succesfully complete your RYA Day Skipper certificate. The easiest way to ensure this is to complete a Day Skipper theory course before the start of your DofE Expedition programme. We can book this course for you at a discounted price through our RYA training partners – just let us know in your booking form!

RYA Day Skipper

Bespoke DofE Expedition programmes

Bespoke DofE Expedition programmes

If you are part of a school or DofE group, or you would like to put together your own expedition with a group of friends, we at Quaystage can help you by giving you the necessary arrangements and skills you need to carry out your sailing expedition. All we need to know is the date that you wish to start your training and expedition week.

Your expedition can be completed over a 9 or 14 days period, or as per a format tailored specifically to the needs of your group, providing it meets the standards required by the DofE. Just get in touch with us to discuss your preferred dates and programme length with us!

SAMPLE ITINERARY

12+2 Day Expedition Programme

DAY 1

ARRIVAL DAY

Once the expedition team is complete, it is time to get to know each other and the boat that will be your home for the next two weeks. Unpack and get settled in, before it is time for safety briefings, goal setting and your first boat handling instructions and navigation revision.

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DAY 2-3

TRAINING DAYS

Your RYA Sailing Instructor will teach you everything you need to know to safely navigate your boat and crew through your Gold DofE Expedition. This will include some theory revision for navigation and passage planning, and of course lots of sailing action out on the water.

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DAY 4-6

PRACTICE EXPEDITION

It’s time to put your newly acquired skills into practice! As this is only your practice expedition, your Instructor will be there to help and guide you, so you can make the most of those three days.

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DAY 7

REST & PREP DAY

After an intense first week, it is time to take things a little more slowly today. Get some rest, take a long shower in the marina bathroom, and take some time to reflect with your team and Skipper on what went well on your practice expedition, and what might need some improvement. You’ll also use this day to finalise your passage plans for your qualifying expedition based on what you have learned over the last few days, an re-stock your provisions if necessary.

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DAY 8-11

QUALIFYING EXPEDITION

Now you get to weigh the anchor, set the sails and show off what you have learned! As it is time to prove your independence and your own seafaring skills, our Skipper will be exchanged for your DofE Assessor. Don’t worry, though – whilst it’s not part of the Assessor’s role to help you out like your Instructor did during your practice expedition, he or she will still be a qualified and experienced Skipper, and will make sure that everyone on board is save at all times.

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DAY 12

PRESENTATION DAY & FINAL ASSESSMENT

Pack your bags and tidy up the boat before you sit down one last time with your team and Assessor over tea and biscuits to reflect on your adventure. This is also the time for your presentations, if you’re not doing them at school or your home DofE group.

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DAY 13 -14

OPTIONAL COMPLETION WEEKEND

If you have opted to complete your RYA Day Skipper qualifications as well, you have another intense weekend of skills and drills ahead of you. But imagine how proud you will be at the end of this adventure, when you have not only one, but two highly valued certificates to show for it!

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A big thank you to the staff, my daughter really had a wonderful time! Thanks so much! We literally googled this camp, called, and had a good feeling. Booked it and it was such a lucky shot! She is super enthusiastic about the whole week and staff. Thank you so so much!

Caroline A.
The Netherlands

This long trip was really worth it! Simon is enthusiastic about those two weeks on board with you around the Solent and the Isle of Wight. He’s yet looking forward to coming back! It was a wonderful experience. When we listen to him talking about his stay, we wish there would be a sailing camp for recycled teenagers! Thank you to the crew and all of you for your cheerfulness, friendship and inventive spirit!

Delphine Barthelemy Maxwell
Bordeaux

My 16-year old daughter had an amazing experience on the one-week Buccaneer camp in July. The weather was great for exploring The Solent and Isle of White. The Quaystage hosts, Miriam and Ben were fantastic - balancing the right amount of freedom, fun and control! Thank you - we hope to be back next year for a longer trip across the Channel.

Alice
UK

My son spent a week sailing and he had a great time. All things worked seamlessly. Atmosphere was really good and Quaystage team is super nice and professional. Great experience for any teenager.

Davis S.
Spain

Brilliant! Our son, 17, had an amazing time. Superb organisation, extremely professional. Young people clearly had lots of fun, organisers were very careful to make the participants fit as best possible (age, goals etc.), loads learnt, great time had. Great communication too, both with parents and kids. Friendly, welcoming, uncomplicated, motivated. Could not be happier, great summer camp for young people. And they even organised splendid weather on the Solent . Thank-you!

Martina K.
UK

My son had a fantastic time,
Everyone was really nice, well organised, professional, Looked after the Kids well. Highly recommended.
10 out of 10. Thank you Quaystage

Steven
UK

Our kids had a fabulous time with Quaystage this summer. They returned home happy, confident and with lots of stories to tell and new friends. The week was a good mixture of learning new skills, experiencing sailing for the first time, enjoying the outdoors and just messing around in the water or playing games on shore. They would love to return next year and hopefully they'll carry on sailing in the future!

Holly M.
UK

Pioneer course was excellent for beginners wanting their 1st yatching experience. Lots of fun over 7 days with lots of self generated entertainment for the teenagers across teh whole week. Only small complaint was uneven storage arrangements between the crew.

Daniel d.V.
UK

Excellent camp - my son had a wonderful time.

Rebecca B.
UK
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