Course Overview

RYA Competent Crew is a popular course aimed at beginners and those who would like to become active crew members rather than just passengers, and is essentially the starting point for your RYA training. You will experience living on board a cruising yacht and really get to know the boat. Through continuous guidance from your friendly and knowledgeable instructor, you’ll find that the 5 day course is entirely hands on enabling you to enjoy getting fully immersed.

Your time on board will be spent preparing and sailing the yacht on short passages, visiting rivers, marinas and picturesque anchorages across The Solent. You will learn how to steer, handle sails, knots, keep a lookout, row a dinghy and assist in all the day-to-day duties on board. Knowledge of how to keep safe and what to do in an emergency is vital, so you will also learn how to operate flares, liferafts and how to assist the recovery of a man overboard. At the end of this course you will have become a competent crew member. The course is designed to provide fun and enjoyment in a safe and reassuring environment, leading you on to our Day Skipper course.

RYA Competent Crew is open to anyone, and it’s an opportunity for an enjoyable holiday whilst learning a new skill. It’s likely you will spend time with others who are learning other RYA courses such as Day Skipper, additionally helping them to achieve their certificates whilst building your own confidence and knowledge.

Book and complete this course between October and March and receive your RYA SRC Radio course for just £39.00 (normal price £99.00).

Price : From £399.00

Pre-Course Experience

No experience required.

Assumed Knowledge


Student Instructor Ratio

Maximum 5:1


5 days (often run over 3 weekends or 3 days plus a weekend)

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
Ability after Course

Able to steer, handle sails, keep a lookout, row a dinghy and assist in all the day-to-day routines.

Course Syllabus

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 fighting
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 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 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

Rules of the road
Is able to keep and 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 efficiency is unaffected/partially affected/severely affected by seasickness Helmsmanship and sailing

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

What’s Included

When you book a course with Bacchus Yachting we do our best to ensure there are no extra fees – everything you need to complete your course is included:

  • A shared cabin on board one of our yachts
  • Meals and refreshments whilst on board (except the evening of joining and one other)
  • Mooring fees (home marinas only)
  • All fuel costs
  • Use of safety kit (wet weather gear can be hired should you need it)
  • RYA certification for all successful students


Why not join the RYA today?

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