RYA Competent Crew Course – What is involved & What to expect

Competent Crew Course – Syllabus and Guide


The Competent Crew course introduces the complete beginner to sailing a yacht, teaching all aspects of personal safety, seamanship & helmsmanship to the level required to be a useful member of a cruising yacht.

Pre course Experience :- None

Assumed Knowledge :- None

Minimum Age :- None

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

Minimum Duration :- 5 Days. These can be consecutive or completed over 3 weekends or 3 days plus a weekend. If you have done the Start Yachting course, the competent crew course can be completed in 3 or 4 days

Next Steps :- RYA Day Skipper Course


Knowledge of Sea Terms & Parts of a Boat

  • Sufficient knowledge to understand orders given concerning the sailing & day-to-day running of the boat

Sail Handling

  • Bending on, setting, reefing and handling of sails
  • Use of sheets & halyards & their associated winches


  • Handling ropes, including coiling, stowing, securing to cleats & single & double bollards
  • Handling warps
  • Ability to tie the following knots and to know their correct use: figures-of-eight, clove hitch, rolling hitch, bowline, round turn & two half hitches, single & double sheet bend, reef knot

Fire Precautions & Fighting

  • Awareness of the hazards of fire and the precautions necessary to prevent fire
  • Knowledge of the action to be taken in event of fire

Personal Safety Equipment

  • Understands & 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 & knows when they should be used
  • Understands how to launch & board a liferaft

Manners & Customs

  • Understands accepted practice with regard to: use of burgees & 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 an efficient lookout at sea


  • Understands & complies with the loading rules
  • Is able to handle a dinghy under oars

Further details of the Competent Crew course can be found on the RYA Website.

British marine
RYA Training

Universal Yachting Ltd: Mercury Yacht Harbour, Satchell Lane,
Hamble, Southampton, Hampshire SO31 4HQ

Call Us: +44 (0) 2380 458737 Mail: info@universalyachting.com

Enter your email to get regular offers. Newsletter
© 2023 Universal All rights reserved.