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Whitsunday Marine Academy

Our sailing school is located in the tropical sailing paradise of the Whitsunday Islands, half way between Brisbane and Cairns. As well as learn to sail you will also have the chance to see the many wonders of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, including magnificent beaches, coral reef and marine life.

We are a sailing school with a sense of adventure where you are able to learn to sail with professionals. If you want a sailing school where you can learn to sail and complete internationally recognised sail training courses which are challenging and most importantly, fun, please contact us.

As professional sailors our instructors are qualified IYT Instructors with years of experience and qualifications. We have been operating in the Whitsunday Islands for over 10 years and have developed a reputation for personalised service and training excellence.

Our sail training vessel is of the highest standard and fully equipped for the level of course you are undertaking. It is in the requisite survey with Marine Safety Queensland and we have permits from the authorities to operate in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

Learn To Sail

The course is live-aboard while we cruise the Whitsunday Islands. Difference is that we have only limited numbers [max 7 students] and the total focus is on the course syllabus and learning to sail. On these cruises there is reduced time dedicated to other tourism activities leaving more hands-on time to practice your new skills. Courses available are from Introductory through to Yachtmaster.

Coastal Passages

The Marine Whitsunday Academy also regularly conducts coastal passages along the Queensland Coast on which we provide the opportunity for participants to complete their Int. Crew Certificate, Bareboat Skipper, Master of Yachts Mate (Coastal) and Master of Yachts Limited (Offshore) Courses. Not only an exceptional learning experience, these coastal passages also provide valuable sea time for those wishing to upgrade their sailing qualifications or use it as a Mile Builder.

Private Instruction/Tailored Training
/Theory Courses

We can also offer you courses from Introductory through to Master of Yachts Limited using a combination of shore based and/or "on vessel" training (structured to suit your needs and budget). These courses can be arranged for groups or individuals and are personalised to suit your circumstances. Specific courses can also be arranged in areas of interest such as coastal navigation

The Whitsunday Marine Academy has been the pre-eminent sail training school in the Whitsunday Islands for over 10 years. Malcolm Robertson, after a career in the marine industry in Australia, New Zealand, the Sth Pacific and SE Asia, spent 6 years working in the Gold Coast Marine Academy from about 1984.
With a Master 5 and Yachtmaster Ocean Certificate under his belt he moved to the Whitsunday Islands in 1990 and commenced sailing charters around the islands. In 1992, with good knowledge of the local area to back up his international experience, he launched the Whitsunday Marine Academy.

Over the years the Academy has focused on training sailors both recreationally and commercially, within the school. They have trained and developed a large number of deckhands through to Master 5 skippers. Some of these crew are working in the Whitsundays as charter skippers and others are now working internationally in the Super Yacht Industry.

In 2004 the Academy passed the accreditation process for International Yachtmaster Training and became one of the few schools in Australia accredited to teach the IYT program up to Master of Yachts Unlimited (Ocean). This is recognition of the quality and standards achieved by the Academy and of the professional status of its principals.

Malcolm H Robertson [Director]
Master Class V
Yachting Australia Yachtmaster Ocean Instructor and Examiner
Certificate IV in Workplace Training and Assessment
Marine Radio Invigilator
Marine Engine Driver III
IYT Master of Yachts Unlimited (Ocean) Intsructor

Malcolm Robertson has over 25 years experience teaching Yachting Australia Yacht Cruising Courses. This was initially for 5 years as an instructor at the Gold Coast Marine Academy under the guidance of experienced Yacht Master Offshore and Ocean Instructors. Here he developed the skills required to pass on his career skills and experiences to up and coming students. Moving to the Whitsunday Islands in 1989 Malcolm established the Whitsunday Marine Academy in 1992 based in Airlie Beach.

Over his teaching career it is estimated that Mal as instructed thousands of students in sailing and marine studies and many of these have now moved up to become sailing instructors and/or to develop commercial maritime careers. The courses he has taught range from Introductory through to the highest level in the Yachting Australia programme, the Yachtmaster Ocean. The courses include class room theory components and practical training, the latter aboard a registered sail training yacht.

As part of Malcolm's ongoing development he obtained his Certificate IV in workplace training and assessment and has added to his list of qualifications the Marine Radio Invigilator certificate. In recognition of Malcolm's experience he has also been appointed as a Yachting Australia Examiner to conduct examinations for students from other sailing schools on behalf of Yachting Australia.

Matthew R Bradley [Director]
Master Class V
Marine Engine Driver III
Yachting Australia Yachtmaster Offshore Instructor
RYA Yachtmaster Offshore
GMDSS Operator
Officer of the Watch (OOW)

Marine Radio Invigilator
Certificate IV in Workplace Training and Assessment

IYT Master of Yachts Limited (Offshore) Instructor

Matt has been an Instructor with the Whitsunday Marine Academy since August 2000. He started off as a basic skill Instructor and worked his way through the syllabuses to Yachtmaster Offshore Instructor, which he achieved in December 2002. Matt took up sailing as a New Millennium resolution, and did his Competent Crew with the Whitsunday Marine Academy. After being offered a job with Malcolm Robertson on Freight Train Matt was quoted as saying 'a bad day around the islands teaching is better than any good day at work".

In 2000 Matt met a student that was unlike the rest; Andrea had come to town to learn to sail on Freight Train. In 2003 the happy couple packed up everything and went travelling. They worked for 2 years on Private Luxury yachts in the Mediterranean as well as in the USA, mostly Fort Lauderdale.

In 2005 Matt and Andrea returned to the Whitsundays, and looked to settle down. It took 6 years but they were married in September 2006 on the Beach in Airlie Beach.

Matt started working again for Mal aboard Eureka II. Later an opportunity to manage a luxury charter yacht named 'Havana' was offered but unfortunately was sold in 2007. After freelancing for other charter companies in the Whitsundays, Matt & Andrea became partners in the Whitsunday Marine Academy in June 2008. While Matt is continuing his passion in teaching, Andrea has taken over the administrational side of the business.

Learning to sail can range from 3 to 13 days. Enjoy the thrill of overnight anchoring in secluded tropical island bays while our skipper prepares a sumptuous meal and discuss the days adventures. Accommodation on board is open plan living.

Whitsunday Marine Academy
PO Box 572
Cannonvale, Queensland 4802
+61 (7) 4948 3650

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