Banff Keel Boat Training

To remedy the lack of local training facilities at the club and in the North-East, Banff Sailing Club, with local and national funding, purchased and kitted out 2 Hunter 707 keelboats in 2010.

These boats are ideally suited to the Moray Firth and are best sailed with 5 of a crew. The boats rely on a team of people working together enabling the yachts to sail at their full performance potential.

Learning to sail these boats improves skills and will build your self-confidence. The boats are best suited to 14+ age group because of the need for an adequate crew weight. The boats have the stability required for beginners, but also the speed and excitement of a high performance yacht.


For those new to sailing, these boats provide the perfect opportunity to enjoy a free “taster session”. You can see if sailing is the sport for you, without the need to go and buy equipment. These sessions will be run on a Wednesday evening & some weekends. Due to tides at Banff, the boats will leave the harbour at different times each week. When tides are totally unsuitable there will be a maintenance session and a good opportunity to meet the folk involved. Check the website & facebook for updates.


The boats provide a stepping stone to move from dinghy sailing to keelboats. This can be done by progressing through the levels 1, 2 & 3 keelboat courses. Sign up and progress to becoming a skipper! Courses will be run on demand; you can register your interest by email. General sailing sessions are arranged most weekends and you can join these whenever you like. Our skippers have a wealth of experience between them and are there to make sure you feel safe and have an enjoyable time learning.


There are three types of accreditation which are detailed on the “707 Helms” page. In all cases the skipper must be able to demonstrate they have the experience necessary to skipper and/or race the boat in all weather conditions as detailed. The demonstration may be by practical test conducted by the sub- committee or by evidence of previous sailing experience, or some combination thereof.

As a guide, we want our Accredited helms to be competent in:
Boat handling under sail: Sail choice, all points of sailing, reefing, sail and boat trimming.
Boat handling under engine:
Pre start check, using engine, manoeuvring on/off pontoon. Safety: Safety briefing, life jackets, VHF radio, MOB procedure
Navigation: Interpreting charts, knowing “rights of way” and small vessels responsibilities in confined waters.
Racing: Knowing racing rules, safely matching boat handling skills and crew levels to the racing conditions (wind, tide, sea state, fleet size etc.)


Once you have skipper accreditation you can use the boats at any time, full terms and conditions are available in the clubhouse. The level of contributions expected for using the boats are detailed on the website. Any non-members wishing to go out on the boats must take out Temporary membership of the club.


Hunter 707s are an excellent boat for match racing, and afford an all-round Training experience. The boats will be set up and ready to race.

The 707 is perfect for those new to keelboats (or sailing), and with it having a spinnaker it is a good all-round training boat. With the club having two 707’s it means that there is a level playing field for competing.


For information on “Taster Sessions”, improving your skills or racing email:

To become an accredited skipper email: