RYA Competent Crew Course (5 days)

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RYA Competent Crew Course (5 days)


RYA Competent Crew course suitable for anyone learning to sail whether they have sailed before or are absolute beginner. You can take this course over 5 days or weekends.

For weekend courses click here 


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About This Course

5 Day RYA Competent Crew Course

Course Content:

The RYA Competent Crew course is the first step on the ladder for anyone wishing to learn to sail. The Competent Crew course is designed to help you become a safe and proficient crew member whilst having fun out on the water and ashore.

You will be taught basic seamanship and helmsmanship in the sheltered waters of The Solent. During the 5 day Competent Crew course you will get a chance to steer, handle sails, be part of the crew and gain hands on practical sailing experience! At the end of the course you will have become a useful crew member on a cruising yacht for charters and flotilla holidays. You will also be ready to progress to the next step in the RYA Cruising Scheme, the RYA Day Skipper Course

Go sailing for less!

Standby places – save up to 20% on course prices!

We will offer you a place shortly before the course start date.

Pre Requisites for Competent Crew:

  • No minimum age although we don’t take unaccompanied under 18s
  • No previous experience necessary,
  • This course is suitable for absolute beginners although if you have some sailing experience you will still find it a useful course.

What is included:

  • Services of experienced RYA Instructor
  • Accommodation on board your yacht
  • Breakfasts, lunches and two evening meals
  • Berthing Fees
  • Use of foul weather gear
  • Use of a life jacket and all safety equipment
  • RYA Competent Crew Certificate
  • Modern marina facilities at base within easy walking distance of public transport

What is not Included:

  • Evening meals eaten ashore
  • Secure parking at Gosport Marina (capped at £15.00 for duration of course)

What to expect:

  • Up to 5 students on board
  • There may be a mix of students including Day Skipper, Coastal Skipper or Yachtmaster students
  • You may share a cabin or saloon although we try to match boat layout to mix of students.
  • There is a sole occupancy option for anyone who would prefer the privacy of their own cabin
  • The best plans are drawn in the sand at low tide – be prepared for your instructor to make changes based on wind, tide and anything else that can effect the course.

You can take the RYA Competent Crew course as a 5 day course or over weekends.

The RYA Competent Crew course is an ideal course for beginners or anyone with limited experience wishing to learn to sail.  The course is also ideal for dinghy sailors wishing to learn to sail a cruising yacht.  This is also the ideal first course for anyone with limited sailing experience but want to learn a bit more about becoming a safe crew member.

Our team of RYA experienced RYA instructors will ensure you learn in a safe environment. Their aim is also to ensure your time on the water is as enjoyable as possible.

If you are interested to see life on board during a RYA course check out the film clip at the bottom of the page!

Upgrade to our Platinum service:

All the same benefits of our regular RYA Competent Crew course with the advantage of the following:

  • One of our newer or larger yachts
  • Course size limited to 3 students on board
  • You will have your own cabin

What next?

After the course you will have a taste to do more sailing and further your skills. You will have become a useful crew member on board a sailing yacht. The RYA Competent Crew course provides hands on sailing experience for students wishing to take the RYA Day Skipper course.

You can choose any 3 weekends from our programme to complete your course. You will be awarded a Competent Crew course certificate for completing this course. At the end of the RYA Competent Crew course you will be ready to progress on to the RYA Day Skipper theory and RYA Day Skipper practical courses.

Are you ready for Competent Crew?

Competent Crew

The RYA Competent Crew course is ideal for complete beginners. If you would prefer to try a shorter course first you might consider a weekend ‘Start Yachting’ course. You can then complete your Competent Crew by attending another 3 days or 2 weekends.

Learning the Ropes....

Learning how to be a useful crew member includes keeping the deck tidy - learn how to coil a line in this video clip:

If you cannot fit in a 5 day course you can take your Competent Crew course over weekends.

You can find more information about RYA training by visiting our Practical Course information page.

You can even book a cabin to yourself for your course.

Duration5 daysMaximum students: instructor5:1
LocationSolentMinimum ageAll ages although under 18s must be accompanied by an adult
What’s includedAccommodation on board one of our Bavaria yachts Breakfast, lunch, two evening meals ** and drinks on board, berthing fees. Free hire of wet weather gear (adult sizes only).ExtrasEvening meals ashore during the course and on joining night if required. Log books if required £6.99
WhenFriday evening 1900hrs to Wednesday afternoon 1600hrs or Sunday evening 1900hrs to Friday afternoon 1600hrs. Also 3 weekends. All year roundDon’t forgetAnything you cannot travel without as we cannot cater for everyone’s special favourites!
Let us know aboutAny special needs and dietary requirements.
Please note, we will do our best to cater for vegetarian diets but cannot cater for alternative diets or allergies. Please call the office if in doubt.
Cost £510.00 - £655.00

The RYA Competent Crew course introduces the complete beginner to cruising and teaches personal safety, seamanship and helmsmanship to the level required to be a useful member of crew of a cruising yacht. 

 1. 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.

2. Sail Handling

Bending on, setting, reefing and handling of sails

Use of sheets and halyards and their associated winches

3. Ropework

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

4. 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

5. Personal safety equipment 

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

6. Man overboard

Understands the action to be taken to recover a man overboard

7. Emergency equipment

Can operate distress flares and knows when they should be used

Understands how to launch and board a liferaft

8. 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

9. Rules of the road

Is able to keep and efficient lookout at sea

10. Dinghies

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

11. Meteorology

Awareness of forecasting services and knowledge of the Beaufort scale

12. Seasickness

Working efficiency is unaffected/partially affected/severely affected by seasickness

13. 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

14. General duties

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

  • FEEDBACK – Competent Crew Student Reviews

    I was rather apprehensive about the course but soon felt comfortable with Tom leading us. He has a good balance of incredible knowledge and humour. It was great to have a member of the crew working towards her Yacht Masters, sharing her experience, supporting and challenging us too. I loved every minute of the 5 days and its given me the appetite to do more. Thank you!

    Anna – Competent Crew, July 2019

    Instructor was very good, we left the course feeling we had learnt and moved forward a tremendous amount. Jonathon also was very good at being a host and looking after us on board. We were so impressed we’ve just booked to do our Day Skipper Combined next Easter!

    Andrew – Competent Crew, October 2018

    It’s a very well run course, and extremely good value. I’d probably pay more and be just as happy, having done the competent crew course with Commodore.

    Scott – Competent Crew, October 2018

    The course was outstanding. Richard the instructor, his knowledge and way of teaching was second to none. It could not of been better.

    Sam – Competent Crew, May 2017

    Mark was a great instructor, crew, boat & Commodore team were all brilliant, will definitely be back!

    Oliver – Competent Crew, August 2016

    A brilliant company to train with. I will be recommending you to people in the future.

    James – Competent Crew and Day Skipper Theory and Practical course , June 2016

    I had a fantastic time, I learnt a lot and I felt far more confident to go on and complete day skipper by the end of the week. Many thanks.

    Anna – Competent Crew, October 2015

    The competent crew course was such a brilliant experience. This was my first time on a sailing yacht (only been in dinghies before) so it was mostly new to me. Our instructor Emma was very skilled in not only sailing but also in the art of training people – she moved seamlessly between the role of skipper, crew member and trainer and was a pleasure to get to know. I would like to thank her and my crew mates for a unique five days and will return for a Day Skipper course as soon as I can. Thanks.

    Mark – Competent Crew, April 2015

    Neil was absolutely brilliant! He was calm, had a great sense of humour and was very knowledgeable both with the sailing skills and the area. He gave us so much confidence (something I tend to lack!) and made it a very enjoyable week. Thank you!!

    Sue – Competent Crew, February 2014

    This was my first time sailing, and so was a little worried how I would cope, Will and the other instructors put me at ease and explained everything very well, my Competent Crew course was better than I expected. After speaking to my friends about my experience they are now keen to try sailing as well.10/10

    Justin – Competent Crew, February 2014

We recommend reading the RYA Competent Crew Skills Handbook before attending this course. This book can be purchased through our website.

The Small Print

Evening meals taken ashore on weekend courses.

** We will provide breakfast, lunch and two evening meal with some cakes and biscuits for coffee / tea breaks. We are unable to provide an endless supply of food  / fruit / snacks including crisps and chocolate. Should you like to snack throughout the day or have particular food favourites we respectfully request that you purchase these yourself. 

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