Sail Training and Yacht Charter

Initially established as a one boat business, focusing on day sailing for the local visitor and corporate market. Sovereign Sailing moved into specialised training in 2004. The training became so successfully that the day sailing side of the business had to be put on hold. That was until 2008 when we started expanding our fleet to our current eight yachts.

Over the years we have successfully trained several hundred sailors from Competent Crew to Yachtmaster level and have entertained several satisfied corporate and visitor clients.

We offer the full range of ISA & RYA cruising courses both sea based and shore based as well as the full range of ISA powerboat courses.

Core Team


James Lyons

James is one of Ireland's top sailing instructors with 20 years professional instructing under his belt, throughout out Ireland and abroad. Born from his passion for sailing and instructing, he established Sovereign Sailing in 2002. James gets a great buzz from sharing his love of sailing, he lives in Kinsale with his wife, and their two very active boys. In what is left of his spare time he can be found racing his beloved 1720's.

RYA Instructor Trainer
RYA Yachtmaster Examiner
Yachtmaster Instructor
ISA Powerboat Instructor
ISA Advanced Dinghy Instructor
Lost count of number of certifications
Centre Manager & Instructor

Barry O'Brien

Barry joined Sovereign Sailing in 2016. He is particularly passionate about increasing our presence as the premier Course provider in Ireland, growing our charter fleet and building our yacht charter Management Scheme. He can also be found skippering private charters and corporate groups and instructing on cruising courses He is a self-confessed 'Sailing Nut', a qualified Yachtmaster Offshore, a regular Offshore Racer, and is partial to deliveries to anywhere sunny. Barry lives in Kinsale with his fur baby, Rua .

RYA Yachtmaster Offshore
RYA Cruising Instructor
ISA Keelboat Instructor
5000+ nautical miles and counting

Mike Hines

Mike joined the team at Sovereign Sailing in 2009 and is part of the Support Team for Instruction & Skippering. He is a 'veteran sea dog' having been involved in sailing since he was 6 years old, racing since he was in his teens, and landing his first delivery job at 17 years of age! Mike is an accomplished instructor and has taught everything from dingy sailing to water skiing. He is a qualified RYA Yachtmaster Offshore, as well as a Cruising Instructor. Mike has worked all around the world as an instructor, chartered skipper, and even crewing on racing yachts. Mike lives in Cork with his wife and family and in his spare time he loves to hit the road on his bike.

RYA Yachtmaster Offshore
Sailing Jedi Master
Cruising Instructor

Eoin Keyes

Eoin joined the team at Sovereign Sailing in 2021 having worked for # of seasons in charter companies? in the Med Sailing is a way of life for Eoin and he loves sharing his knowledge and skills with others. He's not short of a story or two from some of his own adventures. Eoin lives on his own boat here in Kinsale and when not sailing or climbing a mast he can be found scaling a climbing wall.

RYA Yachtmaster Offshore
Mechanical Engineer
Engineering & Maintenance Guru

Plus our full range of RYA/ISA certified and experienced staff of instructors!

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