What you are saying
“I joined my first LA Girafe Costal Skipper course last Summer in August. I’d travelled from Italy to get on board of La Giraffe since that was the sailing course I wanted to join. It’s been a memorable experience. The quality of communication prior to the course is excellent. I received all the suitable information before my departure and an assessment chat on the phone to set my sailing and theory knowledge and fit the right course.
La Girafe is an amazing sailing boat, full equipped with all the safety and technological features to sail under any weather condition. It is highly performing too. The right boat to master all level of sailing, from beginner to yacht master.
The standard of accommodation is terrific: essentially furnished, clean and comfortable cabins and bathroom. The quality of catering is outstanding. Home-made healthy and nutritious food. The daily menu is already well organized before departure, not to waste time cooking while sailing (excellent fridge and refrigerator system to store the food is granted).
The staff and quality of instruction are the flagship of La Giraffe. Tom’s extended and high standard sailing and training experience grant a dynamic and intensive learning. The course is extremely well planned and covers the contents included in the program and provide you with all the material and tools essential to get the best out of this sailing experience. The theory session is always interactive and based on an active team learning.
Last but not the least, the sailing area is breathtaking. You’ll get mesmerised by the natural environment of these remote sailing areas. The night sail, if on your level, will leave you speechless.
I’ve picked LA Girafe Sailing course among others for his remote location and reliable reputation and all my expectation were met. I took much more than expected form my sailing course and learnt more in one week than in all my previous sailing experience. I would strongly recommend that you do not miss out on such an unforgettable sailing adventure!”
“After not having sailed for a few years I wanted to further my sailing knowledge and experience and hopefully achieve my Coastal Skipper certification. I was glad to find a sailing school based at Badachro on the beautiful West Coast of Scotland. From my first enquiry with Tom, the communication with him was great, I knew exactly what to expect and what was expected of me and was able to do as much prep as possible before my course.
La Girafe III is a well-equipped, beautiful, modern yacht with loads of space and a fantastic boat to learn on.
The food on our course was outstanding and well received by the students/crew. Every day was something new and interesting on the menu and no food ever went to waste… It was that good!
Tom is an experienced and incredibly knowledgeable instructor who showed a genuine interest in ensuring that his students finish his course with a working knowledge of what was being taught on the boat.
The 5 days that I spent with Tom on La Girafe III was honestly one of the best sailing/learning experiences I have had. It has renewed my confidence and my love for sailing and I look forward to doing more courses and spending more time on La Girafe III.“
“I did my Day Skipper as a solo member of a group and I was made to feel very welcome right from the start. The boat was clean and felt quite new, very well laid out and designed and felt quite roomy even though there were 5 of us on board.
Our instructor was great, very informal. We spent a lot of time drilling manoeuvres, those of us that needed it! We also spent the evenings going through theory. We had a superb dinner on-shore at the Badachro Inn too.
I would thoroughly recommend doing your Day Skipper with these guys, I not only really enjoyed the experience, I came ashore at the end desperate to book my next trip. “
“Our family travelled from America to take a cruise on La Girafe in May 2018. Starting off in Troon we wanted to sail to Jura, our ancestral island homeland, and then up the coast to Badachro.
Tom, the owner, and Chris, our skipper, communicated frequently by email before the trip. We told them what we hoped to see and they educated us about the whims of wind and currents and the need to stay flexible.
After arriving at Troon, Chris met us for grocery shopping, and helped us choose meals for the week. We were pleasantly surprised that Chris cooked all on-board meals. The food was delicious! We left from Troon and sailed to Jura the first night, arriving around 3 am.
After spending the day on Jura, we headed north the next morning. Our usual day was sailing 4-6 hours and anchoring in isolated coves for the evening. We’d take the dingy ashore for an afternoon or evening walk. We ate at The Old Forge, Britain’s most remote pub, on the Knoydart peninsula, hiked to the cave church on the isle of South Rona, walked across the island of Seil, had a drink at the House of Trousers and walked across the 1793 Bridge Over the Atlantic.
Most of the places we visited were accessible only by boat. Our one stay in a harbor was at Tobermory where we had a delicious dinner of langoustines. Tom and Chris could not have been more helpful, knowledgeable and accommodating. They made this a trip of a lifetime.”
“Following retirement in 2017, I was looking to try out sailing for the first time, and subsequently booked a RYA Competent Crew course through Tom Watson and headed for Badachro in late August 2018. As well as the sailing, I was also looking forward to meeting new people and also to enjoy the wonderful scenery the North-West Coast of Scotland has to offer, it did not disappoint.
Everything was a new and exciting experience, from setting eyes on the wonderful yacht (La Giraffe) to the feedback from the wheel whilst steering the yacht under full sail in a strong wind. The quality of the instruction from Tom was excellent, and he was very patient with the three “rookie sailors” he had to look after, our safety was always a prime consideration. If we were short of a piece of clothing or equipment, Tom always had a solution.
We quickly learned the basics, and developed all the key skills required to pass our RYA course. The accommodation on board was excellent, comfortable beds, useful storage and everything was kept shiny and clean. The food on board was to a high standard, and we all “mucked in” in the kitchen area.
The actual sailing was a real treat, including learning the key skills (raising and trimming the sails, tacking, docking, setting anchor, navigation during the day and night, knots!!). As well as the great coastal scenery, there was also the various wildlife including lots of dolphins tracking the yacht, encountering other vessels (including a Royal Navy nuclear submarine), and we even ended up assisting the coastguard on a search and rescue mission which thankfully was a false alarm.
Anybody seeking a similar experience, I would thoroughly recommend sailing with Tom on La Girafe.”
Our Seafaring Adventures
We offer RYA practical sailing courses from Start Yachting to Yachtmaster Preparation on board our 40 foot training vessel La Girafe III. Full Details including course dates and costs.