About us

John & Deirdre have both sailed for over 30 years. In the early days this was mostly racing in dinghies and keelboats. Later they turned to yacht cruising in Scotland, Ireland, UK, France, Spain and in John's case across the Atlantic.

They bought 'Lily' their 22ft yacht/keelboat in 2009 to provide sailing tuition for the public on Morecambe Bay. In 2012 they formed Bay Sea School and gained recognition as a sail training centre by the Royal Yachting Association (RYA). 

The inspiration to do do this came from John's observations at the number of sailing students he taught on the RYA Day Skipper practical courses who hadn't really learnt how to sail yet. Like many people on the RYA Sail Cruising courses, they didn't know that the best way to learn to sail is actually on a small boat, not a large cruising yacht.

There was a real need to provide the basic dinghy 'learn to sail' courses for adults on a small yacht. Morecambe Bay on the North West coast is an ideal location for this with the added benefit of fantastic tidal experience. In fact, Bay Sea School is the only place you can do an RYA learn to sail course on the sea on a small yacht in the whole North of England! There's some theory to cover but you'll be on the water sailing most of the time. 

Splicing rope on 'Lily'John Parlane

John is the Training Centre Principal and Chief Instructor at Bay Sea School in Morecambe, on the North West coast. He's a winner of the RYA 'Instructor of the Year' award in recognition of the quality of his teaching.

He's a full-time professional Skipper & Yachtmaster Instructor & Examiner. 

John's also an RYA instructor in many other subjects too. His very broad knowledge covers VHF radio, Diesel engine, Radar, First aid, Essential Navigation & Seamanship, Day Skipper,  Yachtmaster Offshore & Ocean, Advanced Powerboat as well as qualifying as a Keelboat Senior Instructor. That's a lot of qualifications! So, depth of knowledge & experience is what you'll get at Bay Sea School.

"...I just wanted to thank you again for giving me such a great time on board. I enjoyed it enormously, learnt a vast amount and thought you had an exceptional ability to teach!.."


Deirdre Ward

Deirdre is an internationally trained concert violinist. She has recently retired from teaching violin at Chetham's School of Music and the Royal Northern College of Music Junior School in Manchester. She still teaches locally from her home in Morecambe. You can read more about Deirdre on her website at www.violinguru.co.uk

She's a RYA Dinghy Instructor, Keelboat Instructor, Shorebased Instructor & VHF Radio Assessor. Deirdre also holds a 'Yachtmaster Offshore' Certificate of Competence, the ultimate sailing qualification for professional and amateur sailors alike.

Why choose Bay Sea School?

  • Top quality tuition from a patient & friendly Yachtmaster Instructor/Examiner 
  • Opportunity to complete your Day Skipper & Coastal Skipper practical courses with John in Scotland at another TC.
  • Online facility provided by John for continuing study at home during the theory courses
  • Continuity of learning from beginner to professional skipper over a full range of RYA courses 
  • Make new sailing friends and network for possible crewing opportunities
  • Private own-boat coaching and 1:1 tuition also available
  • Enthusiasm, support & guidance with all your boating dreams 

Bay Sea School Ltd. Registered in England. No. 8333391
8 Coniston Road, Morecambe, Lancs LA4 5PS