About First Class Sailing

Established in London in 2000 by the late Saul Masson, First Class Sailing is now owned by Principal Charlie Tulloch.

First Class Sailing operates from various locations in Central London, and from Shamrock Quay in Southampton on the South Coast.


We run the majority of our RYA shorebased navigation courses in London and specialise in going into offices in and around the City to run evening navigation classes. We also hold these courses over weekends in Rosebery Avenue, EC1 and at the Cruising Association in Limehouse.

In addition we run all the RYA supplementary 1 day courses – VHF, Diesel Engine Maintenance, First Aid, Sea Survival and Radar – in London, usually at weekends.


Shamrock Quay in Southampton is where Head Office is located.  From here we also run the full range of practical RYA courses and other yachting activities such as Boat Handling weekends and weekend Channel Hop trips over to France and back, from February through to early December.





Charlie is an RYA/DoT Yachtmaster Ocean Instructor. His Dad taught him to sail on a Drascombe Dabber, called Yabber Dabber Doo, as a boy on the River Dart and he has since logged over 55,000 miles. Before First Class Sailing Charlie taught people to sail at several Solent-based sailing schools, worked as a delivery skipper moving boats of all sizes around the world, worked on charter boats off the UK Coast, skippered a privately owned boat to Panama and around central America for a year, skippered and worked as mate on large 80-100ft sailing trawlers such as Keewaydin, Leader and Provident taking adults and disadvantaged young people sailing, and spent a year on container ships carting anything from onions to DVD players around the world. He has his Second Mate’s ticket and a 1st Class Honours degree in Merchant Ship Operations.




Andrew joined First Class Sailing in August 2015 having moved down from Inverness where he was selling prestige cars. Although new to the sailing world he has always had a love of the water and spent two years as a SCUBA diving instructor in various places round the world.

He regularly comes in on a Monday morning covered in scrapes and bruises from the weekend's hockey match.  He plays for Southampton.  When the hockey season is over we will get him out sailing!


Our Instructors

"First Class Sailing instructors - whether on our shorebased or practical courses - are chosen for their experience, their enthusiasm, their personality and their ability to engage with clients from all walks of life and from all parts of the world. We are conscious that our clients have high standards and even higher expectations, so we feel that the choice of instructor for our courses is key to delivering a First Class experience. I am also fully aware that instructors are the face of any sailing school"
Charlie, Principal

Whilst we appreciate that everyone has to start somewhere, we do not generally employ newly-qualified instructors, who lack the experience and judgement that our own people can bring to your RYA sailing courses, holidays or trips.

On the navigation side many of our instructors have had high-flying careers of their own, but love to impart their knowledge and experience to you on our theory courses. Our practical instructors are predominantly Yachtmaster Instructors, not newly-qualified Cruising Instructors. Some are RYA Yachtmaster Examiners; others have sailed and raced around the world. All of them are chosen to make sure your course or trip is a really First Class experience.