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Shearwater Sailing School

Woolverstone Marina, on the River Orwell, Suffolk

Welcome aboard...

Shearwater Sailing School has 3 outstanding RYA Yachtmaster Instructors; Mark, Tom & Vernon.


When combined, they have over 100 years of training experience behind them.


This exceptional experience is backed by the following qualifications


- RYA Examiner (sail)

- RYA Yachtmaster Ocean Instructor

- RYA Yachtmaster Instructor (sail)

- RYA Cruising Instructor

- RYA Powerboat Instructor

- RYA Senior Dinghy Instructor (advanced)

- RYA Dinghy Instructor

- RYA First Aid Instructor

- RYA DSC/VHF Instructor

- RYA Senior Windsurf Instructor

Meet your skippers..

Mark Lewis is the Principal Yachtmaster Instructor at Shearwater Sailing School, Mark has over 45 years sailing experience, 11 of which was while serving in the Royal Marines.


Mark has extensive yachting experience of the East Coast, North Sea, English Channel, Scotland and Ireland, Baltic, Scandinavia, Iberian Peninsula, The Mediterranean, Atlantic and Australia’s Southern Ocean.


Mark is also a volunteer skipper for Adventures Offshore, a sail training charity for young people. Adventures Offshore also enters the annual Tall Ships Races and Mark sails as skipper on the boats during these events.


Mark passed his RYA Examiners qualification in 2017 is also a Senior Dinghy Instructor (advanced) and a RYA Powerboat Instructor.


Mark's skippers and instructs in a fun, friendly and informative manner,  passing on his passion of sailing and adventure.


Beverley has developed extensive professional and interpersonal skills in the marine industry. Her infectious bubbly personality and positive attitude being a key attribute.  


In a moment of madness (or perhaps enlightenment!!!) in 2000, she quit working in the City of London, to pursue a course in North Wales where she qualified as a dinghy sailling, kayak and mountain leader instructor. This new lifestyle choice allowed her to work at centres in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, and a great season in New Zealand, teaching dinghy sailing and kayaking to school groups and disaffected youths.


In the summer of 2005, Beverley became ‘first mate’ on board Sailing Barge Hydrogen and worked with Topsail Charters on their beautiful traditional sailing vessels, delivering memorable cruises for all types of events, such as weddings, team building days and anniversaries.


In 2008, Beverley worked for Oyster Yachts with the commissioning department before moving to work for Viking Mariners, where she assumed the role of Waterside Manager and qualified as a cruising instructor and Yachtmaster Instructor with Shearwater Sailing School.


Bev is the Sea Schools RYA First Aid Instructor


Vernon has been addicted to sailing for over 30 years and is keen to share that passion and joy with students and crew! He believes that the most important ingredient is ‘fun’ – which he tries to inject into every course.


He began his sailing career on Nicholson 55s in the Solent as a Royal Navy doctor. After doing the Fastnet race of 1983 he gained his Yachtmaster Ocean qualification and since then has been found sailing all over the world, from the Channel to the Caribbean, the Mediterranean to the Aegean, the Atlantic to Australia, sharing many of these adventures with Mark.


He has previously worked with the Princes Trust in introducing underprivileged young adults to sailing, and is now working with the RYA as their deputy chairman.


Using skills that he developed on his RYA yachtmaster instructor course and has since honed on his wife and two daughters, he is dedicated to making your trip an unforgettable and enthralling learning experience!



Tom has grown up on sailing boats and took the helm of a Wayfarer at 6 years old. He became a RYA Assistant  dinghy instructor at 14. Full instructor at 16 working with Neptune sailing and Alton Water. Tom then spent 7 years sailing in the Med at various locations as a Senior Dinghy/Windsurf Beach Manager for Mark Warner.


Tom qualified as a Yachtmaster Offshore at 21 and in the same year qualified as a Powerboat instructor and RYA Cruising Instructor and has worked at RYA Yacht centres in Malta, Croatia, Greece and UK. Congratulation to Tom who recently passed his RYA Yachtmaster Instructor course in March 2018.


He has extensive sailing experience sailing the Bay of Biscay at 13 years old and has since sailed most of Northern Europe including The Baltic, North Sea, English Channel, Atlantic, Mediterranean and has a sound knowledge of the East Coast.


"Having spent 7 years abroad I am really looking forward to sailing with the Shearwater Team in home waters bringing all my enthusiasm and experiences together to help people get the best out of our sail training and gain the same love of the marine environment that I have".  

The Yachts

Shearwater Sailing School sails two yachts.


- Shanti II, a Hallberg Rassy 352

- Vala, a Hallberg Rassy 36


Hallberg Rassy's have a hallmark reputation for quality and reliability.

Halberg Rassy's are the Rolls Royce of sailing yachts. Both our yachts are fitted out to the finest standards with mahogany wood work below and very comfortable saloons with high quality fittings, beds and seating areas. Both have two double cabins and can comfortably sleep 6.

Large teak lined centre cockpits and decks lead you to well maintained rigging, sails and all the safety equipment. Our yachts keep you safely sailing in all weathers and add comfort to your sailing adventures.

4 USB charging points onboard to help keep you charged up and in touch.


Hallberg Rassy 352 Interior

Layout Profile Tom

Shanti - Ancient Sanskrit meaning "Peace", e.g. peace in body, speech and mind.