• Sail the Wild Atlantic Way Experience the beauty of Ireland's west coast aboard our luxury yacht as we sail the Wild Atlantic Way from Donegal in the north to West Cork in the south.
  • Yachting in Ireland Experience the rugged beauty of Ireland's western coastline with a week or weekend yachting trip.
  • Dinghy sailing courses Have fun in the most responsive sailing vessel you can get. Get ready for some fun!

Evening Classes

Are you lacking the skills to take you further afield? Now is your opportunity to develop your skills to allow you to go with confidence to places you have only dreamt of. Bow Waves have released their comprehensive winter programme which consists of Navigation courses, Diesel Engine Courses, Radar Courses, First Aid courses, SRC Marine Radio, Sea Survival and much more.

RYA Yachtmaster Offshore Navigation

Now is your chance. If you need advice on what to do and what may be best for you. Email your details to Aoife on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and request a callback at a time that suits you.
Bow Waves working with you to achieve your goals.

MCA GMDSS General Operators Certificate


Global Maritime Distress and Safety System, General Operators Certificate (GMDSS GOC) is intended to equip people who go to sea professionally and have primary responsibility for radio communications during distress incidents.

Next Course:

Monday November 17th to Friday November 28th.

The General Operator's Certificate of Competence (GOC) will be awarded to learners who have, successfully passed the written and practical exam.

The course will cover knowledge and use of The Maritime Mobile (Terrestrial Radio and Satellite ) Service

Detailed practical knowledge and ability to use the basic equipment of a ship station, Digital Selective Calling (DSC),  ship’s Inmarsat satellite systems, Navtex, EPIRBs, SARTs , Distress, urgency and safety communication procedures in the GMDSS, Search and Rescue operation

Course entry requirements

  • Ability to use English language, both written and spoken, for the satisfactory exchange of communications relevant to the safety of life at sea.

 The GMDSS GOC examination consists of three parts as follows:

  • General Knowledge written examination on Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) and Radio Regulation
  • Radiotelephone Communication (R/T) exercise simulating a Distress situation
  • Operation of Equipment

Commercial Yachtmaster

Commercial Skipper 200 Ton Yachtmaster Course (Sail and Motor)

Now enrolling for our next course which takes place from January 5th 2015

Commercial Yachtmaster CourseThe marine industry is one of the few areas that has not been affected by the current economic recession. Huge growth in the offshore industry is still underway and the yachting industry is not faring too bad either.

With this in mind Bow Waves are delighted to offer prospective candidates the opportunity to take an intensive 16 week course for Commercial Skipper’s accredited by the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) recognised worldwide. The course is also run in conjunction with the Royal Yachting Association (RYA)

Upon successful completion of the course candidates will be qualified to a recognised worldwide standard that will enable them to apply for positions as Skipper, 1st Mate or Officer of the Watch on motor vessels up 200 Ton and entry level for Super Yachts.

Enquire about this course

Those completing the Yachtmaster program will receive the following:

  1. MCA/RYA Yachtmaster Certificate of Competence (Coastal or Offshore)
  2. Medical First Aid (Optional)
  3. STCW’95 Radio Communications Certificate (Optional)
  4. STCW’95 Personal Survival Techniques Certificate
  5. STCW’95 Fire Prevention and fire Fighting Certificate
  6. Commercial Yachtmaster CourseSTCW’95 Elementary First Aid Certificate
  7. STCW’95 Personal Safety and Social Responsibility
  8. RYA Professional Practices and Responsibilities
  9. RYA/ISA Powerboat Level 2 Certificate
  10. RYA Powerboat Intermediate Certificate
  11. RYA/ISA Advanced Powerboat Certificate
  12. RYA Short Range Certificate
  13. RYA Radar Certificate
  14. RYA Diesel Engine Maintenance Certificate
  15. Over 2,500 Nautical Miles


  • Course Type: Practical and theory
  • Required Experience:.
  • Waterproofs (Optional) will be provided
  • Life jacket will be provided
  • Waterproof Deck Boots
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Water confident – swimming ability not essential
  • Passport or Seafarer Discharge Book
  • Must be able to pass a medical including eye sight test.
  • RYA-ISA Membership.

Assumed Knowledge: Basic knowledge and experience of general boating is desirable

Course Content: Skippers Responsibilities, Navigation, Boat Handling, running a vessel and looking after the needs of crew, Maintenance programs, Radar operation, Diesel engine maintenance, Marine Radio Communications, Medical training, Electrics and electronics, Fire Prevention and fire fighting, Powerboat operations, Sailing techniques and sea survival.
Ability After Course: Commercial Certificate of Competence - To be able to skipper vessels up to 200 ton and up to 24metres in coastal, offshore or ocean waters.

Commercial Yachtmaster CourseCoastal – up to 40 miles.
Offshore – up to 150 miles.
Ocean – worldwide.

Duration: 16 weeks fulltime
Start Date: January 5th 2015

Enquire about this course

Bow Waves Adult Sail Club

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Experience the beauty of Galway Bay under the careful eye of one of our highly experienced instructors.

Sessions starting from €35 per session

  • Dinghy Sailing      Sunday 10:00-13:00
  • Galway Hooker Sailing Daily


Round Ireland Yacht Race

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On June 28th 2014 Bow Waves and crew set off on an unforgettable voyage around Ireland
The Round Ireland Yacht Race is Ireland’s premier offshore sailing race and is held every two years by Wicklow Sailing Club in association with the Royal Ocean Racing Club. The 704 nautical mile race was first held in 1980 and still retains the original course; “leave Ireland and all its islands excluding Rockall to starboard.”


Sailing Holidays

Wild Atlantic Way

Wild Atlantic Way Sailing Cruises

Wild Atlantic Way Sailing Cruises

Wild Atlantic Way
Experience the beauty of Ireland's west coast aboard our luxury yacht as we sail the Wild Atlantic Way from Buncranna in County Donegal in the north, through Sligo, Westport, Galway, Limerick, Dingle, Baltimore and Cork in the south.

Learn more

Canaries Cruise

Canaries Sailing Holiday Cruise

Canary Islands Sailing Holiday Cruise

Canaries Cruise
Cruise the canaries in the new year. Get some winter sun and enjoy life on board as you hop from Island to Island.

Learn more

Sailing Holidays

Easter Cruise West of Ireland
This is a 10 day cruise venturing into harbours and Islands on the west of Ireland. An experience of a lifetime.
Spain - Portugal Cruise
Ideal for the sailor who is making their first trip abroad. Foreign port protocols and requirements, while enjoying the culture and ways of life of the Spanish and Portuguese.
Mileage Building Cruise
Mileage building cruises capable of getting a certified passage logged for your ISA Yachtmaster Ocean or RYA Yachtmaster Ocean Certificate of Competence.

Learn more

Maritime Blog

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    Mussels Mussels are tidal shellfish that are very common in Ireland. Their shells are usually dark blue, blackish or brown. Read More
  • Jessie's Game +

    To play the game, drag each sea creature to the correct habitat until you get all three right!
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    When you go out snorkelling, you must wear a mask and a snorkel. It is great fun. You can see Read More
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    Did you know that if you have an old smart phone and you install Navonics Nautical Charts on it you Read More
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Bowwaves are fully certified as a training school by the Irish Sailing Association, Department of Transport and The Royal Yachting Association.

Enrolling Now

Yachtmaster Offshore Navigation

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  • Mon Oct 27th - Fri Oct 31st

STCW'95 Basic Safety Training Package


  • EFA 02/11
  • PSSR 03/11
  • PST 04/11
  • FPFF 05-07/11

Register Now