Competent Crew Course

A Beginners Course For Anyone Wishing To Learn How To Sail

RYA Competent Crew Course – Course Syllabus
This course is for beginners and those who would like to become active crew members rather than just passengers.

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


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