Competent Crew – RYA accredited course
The Competent Crew Course provides a progression from Start Yachting, although can also be undertaken by those with no or little experience. At the end of the course you will have an understanding of the role of crew on a yacht and have practical experience of all the jobs expected for you to become a safe, proactive and valuable member of the crew.
|Minimum duration||5 Days|
|Minimum age||None (under 16’s must be accompanied)|
|Course content||Knowledge of sea terms and parts of a boat, her rigging and sails, sail handling, ropework, fire precautions and fighting, personal safety equipment, man overboard, emergency equipment, meteorology, seasickness, helmsmanship, general duties, manners and customs, rules of the road, dinghies|
We all have to start somewhere. The Start Yachting Course provides a short introduction for novices to sail cruising. At the end of the course you will have the knowledge to enable you to be safe on board and understand the basics of sailing and being a crew member.
Skippering a yacht is a significant responsibility. The course will help you develop skills and knowledge that will enable you to take a vessel to sea confidently and safely, ensuring the welfare of your crew and vessel on short passages in daylight hours.
This course is for those with good knowledge of sailing and navigation (often gained through the RYA Coastal / Yachtmaster theory course) who wish to develop their skills and experience to undertake coastal passages during the day and night.
Yachtmaster Coastal and Yachtmaster Offshore Preparation and Exam
This course is for those with considerable knowledge and experience of skippering vessels with significant sea time who wish to undertake the Certificate of Competence at Yachtmaster offshore or Coastal level. The certificate of Competence allows candidates, should they wish, to apply for their certification to be “Commercially” endorsed enabling them to use their qualification professionally. (This does have additional requirements which can be viewed here).
There is no formal syllabus for this course, but the five days of preparation will focus on areas that candidates identify through self-assessment. The final two days will be spent with the examiner on board putting candidates through their paces.
The exam will include an assessment of your skippering skills, boat handling, general seamanship, navigation, safety awareness and knowledge of the IRPCS (collision regulations), meteorology and signals. You will be set tasks to demonstrate your ability and may also be asked questions on any part of the syllabus for all practical and shorebased courses up to Yachtmaster™ Coastal level.
The difference between the Coastal and Offshore Exam is in the complexity of tasks and situations candidates will be asked to perform.
Get in touch to find out more about our courses:
Competent Crew Syllabus
The Competent Crew course introduces the complete beginner to cruising and teaches personal safety, seamanship and helmsmanship to the level required to be a useful member of crew of a cruising yacht.
1. Knowledge of sea terms and parts of a boat, her rigging and sails
Sufficient knowledge to understand orders given concerning the sailing and day to day running of the boat.
2. Sail Handling
Bending on, setting, reefing and handling of sails
Use of sheets and halyards and their associated winches
Handling ropes, including coiling, stowing, securing to cleats and single and double bollards
Ability to tie the following knots and to know their correct use: figure-of-eight, clove hitch, rolling hitch, bowline, round turn and two half hitches, single and double sheet bend, reef knot
4. Fire precautions and fighting
Awareness of the hazards of fire and the precautions necessary to prevent fireb. Knowledge of the action to be taken in the event of fire
5. Personal safety equipment
Understands and complies with rules for the wearing of safety harnesses, lifejackets and personal buoyancy aids
6. Man overboard
Understands the action to be taken to recover a man overboard
7. Emergency equipment
Can operate distress flares and knows when they should be used
Understands how to launch and board a liferaft
8. Manners and customs
Understands accepted practice with regard to: use of burgees and ensigns, prevention of unnecessary noise or disturbance in harbour including courtesies to other craft berthed
Aware of the responsibility of yacht skippers to protect the environment
9. Rules of the road
Is able to keep and efficient lookout at sea
a. Understands and complies with the loading rules
b. Is able to handle a dinghy under oars
Awareness of forecasting services and knowledge of the Beaufort scale
Working efficiency is unaffected/partially affected/severely affected by seasickness
13. Helmsmanship and sailing
Understands the basic principles of sailing and can steer and trim sails on all points of sailing
Can steer a compass course, under sail and power
14. General duties
Has carried out general duties satisfactorily on deck and below decks in connection with the daily routine of the vessel.
Download the Competent Crew Syllabus as a pdf (opens in a new tab).
What our customers say
“The 5 days that I spent with Tom was honestly one of the best sailing/learning experiences I have had. It has renewed my confidence and love for sailing and I look forward to doing more courses and spending more time on La Girafe III.“
“I was made to feel very welcome right from the start. I would thoroughly recommend doing your Day Skipper with these guys, I not only really enjoyed the experience, I came ashore at the end desperate to book my next trip.”
“The sailing was a real treat, including learning the key skills. As well as the great coastal scenery, there was also the various wildlife including lots of dolphins tracking the yacht, encountering other vessels (including a Royal Navy nuclear submarine).”