RYA Competent Crew


The starting point for many sailors and a great way to take the first step into yachting. The Competent Crew course introduces the complete beginner to sailing and is all about participation in the activities on board – raising sails, helming, working with ropes, mooring, tacking. This course teaches you about your own safety on board and the safety of others. Other than learning a few knots, the Competent Crew course is five days of joining in the activities on board a yacht.


Prior Experience

No experience is required for the Competent Crew course … the first day of the course might be the first time you ever set foot on board a yacht! If you want to be a step ahead, and maybe for a little light reading on the plane, order a copy of the Competent Crew book and start to familiarise yourself with some sailing terms and knots.

There is no mimimum age for the Competent Crew course.


Course Content
• Boat parts and sailing terms
• Raising and lowering the mainsail, furling and un-furling the Genoa (front sail), making both sails smaller if the wind increases (“reefing”) and using winches
• Names and functions of the different ropes on board, what rope to use and when
• Various knots that are used on board
• Seamanship
• Helming, using a compass to steer the yacht and keeping a lookout
• Personal safety and how to use the available safety equipment
• What to do in the case of emergency
• Using a dinghy

Further details can be found on the RYA website.



We aim to turn you into a useful crew member so try to get more sailing experience following the course. Dinghy sailing is an accessible and inexpensive hobby and is great for improving wind awareness and sail trim. Before taking the next qualification, RYA Day Skipper Practical, ideally you should undertake the RYA Day Skipper Shorebased course which covers the basics of navigation, weather and skippering a passage.



Prices for RYA training courses may be found on the prices page. Please contact us if the sailing experience you have in mind is not listed and we will be happy to discuss your requirements.