RYA Competent Crew Learn to Sail Course

RYA Competent Crew course is for those new to sailing who would like to learn to sail and become active crew members rather than just passengers.

01a1572adced3b566d84c25b50ed3b4e96b9a49250Learn to sail while living on board and getting to know the boat. Virtually all the course is hands on. You are the competent crew – without you the sails won’t go up and the boat won’t be steered.

The course is 5 days but is often run over 3 weekends or 3 days plus a weekend. If you have done the Start Yachting course, this course can be completed in 3 or 4 days.


Learn more about our Crew briefing– joining your boat, living on board and what to bring.


5 days

Previous Experience

No previous RYA training or experience is required.

Assumed Knowledge

The RYA competent crew course is designed for complete beginners who want to learn to sail. No previous knowledge is assumed.

Minimum Age


Ability After the Course


To perform as competent crew: able to steer, handle sails, keep a lookout, row a dinghy and assist in all the day to day routines

Course Content


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

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
– Handling warps
– 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.

Fire precautions and firefighting
-Awareness of the hazards of fire and the precautions necessary to prevent fire
– Knowledge of the action to be taken in the event of fire

Personal safety equipment
-Understands and complies with the rules for the wearing of safety harnesses, lifejackets and personal buoyancy aids.

Man overboard
-Understands the action to be taken to recover a man overboard

Emergency equipment
-Can operate distress flares and knows when they should be used
– Understands how to launch and board a liferaft

Manners and customs
-Understands accepted practice with regards to:-
-Use of burgees and ensigns, prevention of unnecessary noise or disturbance in harbour including courtesies to other craft berthed.
– Awareness of responsibilities of yacht skippers to protect the environment

Rules of the road
– Is able to keep an efficient lookout at sea

– Understands and complies with the loading rules
– Is able to handle a dinghy under oars

– Awareness of forecasting services and knowledge of the Beaufort scale

– Working ability is unaffected / partially affected / severely affected by seasickness

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

General duties
– Has carried out general duties satisfactorily on deck and below decks in connection with the daily routine of the vessel.

Course Dates and Locations

Please see course calender for where and when we are running this course, view availability and secure your place through our booking system. Alternatively, you can call us on 1300 944 974 and make your booking by phone. If your chosen course is not running at the base or at the time you want, or for group bookings, please email us.