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Competent Crew Course

If you are new to sailing, this is a great place to start. This course aims to take you from complete beginner and turn you into a valuable crew member on any sailing yacht. Your Ocean Elements RYA Yachtmaster instructor will deliver a fun and practical week-long course, (mostly on the water), with lots of hands-on sailing - focusing on a comprehensive syllabus - with 5 days tuition, with a day off. You will live aboard our training yacht and learn in the sun as you cruise around the Ionians with our instructor.

We think it’s ideal to combine this course with a second week on our flotilla - so you can put into practice your newfound skills - or why not combine it with your Day Skipper, as a two week ‘Beginner Skipper Fast track’ course which brings together the Competent Crew and Day Skipper into one complete course, suiting beginners with no prior experience.

At a Glance

  • From £695pp: 1-week liveaboard course
  • For ages 12+ (can be younger)
  • Experience required: None
  • Duration: 1 week (5 days tuition, 1 day off)
  • If you have 2 weeks: Try a Beginner Skipper Fast-track course

The Competent Crew Course

The Competent Crew course is designed for beginners with little or no sailing experience. It is designed to introduce you to yacht sailing and by the end of it, you will be a useful and able crew member on any sailing yacht. You can take your Competent Crew in a week-long course as you cruise the Ionian with our Yachtmaster instructor.

During the course you’ll learn sail handling and trimming, nautical terms, useful knots, and how to steer the boat on a compass course with plenty of time at the helm. The course is good fun and a great way to learn how to sail.

You will acquire important safety skills such as how to use a dinghy, how to operate life jackets, life-rafts, flares, how to wear safety harnesses and assist the recovery of a man overboard.

Full Course Details

Price: £645 for Beach Club guests

Price: £745 for Liveaboard guests

Includes course completion certificate. Excludes flights and transfers
Pre-Course Experience No prior sailing experience is required
Assumed Knowledge Theory to the level of Day Skipper. It is recommended that you complete our online theory course beforehand
Duration A week-long liveaboard course with 5 days tuition (1 day free-sail or lay-day)
Course Content
  • View the syllabus
  • Sea terms and parts of a boat
  • Rigging and sails
  • Sail handling
  • Helmsmanship and sailing
  • Ropework
  • Fire precautions and fire fighting
  • Personal safety equipment
  • Man overboard
  • Emergency equipment
  • Manners and customs
  • Meteorology
  • Seasickness
  • General duties
  • Rules of the road
  • Use of dinghies
Ability after Course At the end of the Competent Crew course you will be a useful crew member on any cruising yacht. You will be able to helm the yacht by compass, trim and handle the sails, keep a lookout, use a dinghy and assist in Man Overboard and other safety areas. All the daily routines of yacht sailing will be covered.

Competent Crew & Day Skipper ‘Fast track’

If you have two weeks then why not combine the Competent Crew course with the valuable Day Skipper as a complete beginner skippers ‘fast-track’ course in two weeks.

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How to take your Competent Crew with us

You can book onto a course as a solo, a couple or a family. Either book a course and live-aboard the yacht; or take a course whilst staying at our Beach Club.

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Our Tuition Yacht

Our Bavaria 37 is the perfect cruiser for yacht training. She comes with our own RYA Yacht Master Instructor and is based in Vassiliki and Lefkas.

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Pre-Course Experience

No prior sailing experience is required for the Competent Crew course. This is a complete introduction to sailing and although there is no minimum age requirement, we recommend a minimum age of 10-12 years old. 

Children under 12 looking to take the Competent Crew course need to be strong enough to use the yacht’s equipment effectively. If your child wishes to take part and in practice they are not strong enough, then fear not, we will award them with a Youth Sailing Certificate. At this age, it’s the taking part that counts.

You will be sent the RYA Competent Crew course book to look at before you arrive in Greece so you can practice some skills before you arrive.



Combined Competent Crew & Day
Skipper Fast track

If you have two weeks then you can combine this course with the valuable Day Skipper course as a complete ‘fast-track’ beginner skippers course. You’ll also need to complete the shore-based theory course for RYA Day Skipper which you can complete before you travel with our home-based E-learning package. 

This is the best route to becoming a yacht skipper with ZERO prior experience in only two weeks. Take this course while living aboard our tuition yacht, which you can book as a solo, a couple or privately for your group.


Your Successful Completion!

We are not in the business of failing candidates and we say that everyone can pass these courses if they are attentive and willing, and have completed the shorebased theory beforehand. If you get stuck on certain topics then our instructor will spend a little longer with you to ensure you grasp them. 

If you have young children taking the course and they are unable to take part in all aspects of sailing then they will either be awarded a Competent Crew Certificate or a Start Sailing Certificate for younger sailors. At this age, it’s the experience and the taking part that counts!

On successful completion you will be awarded the RYA Competent Crew Completion certificate.

Practical Information

Competent Crew
Book as a Live-aboard

You can book a place or places onto our tuition yacht as a live-aboard pupil in shared cabins. You will learn with your instructor over a week-long course as you cruise the Ionian. You can pay a supplement to book a cabin privately. Which is normally 50%, please call our sales team for options.

Book a Tuition Yacht Privately

You can book the tuition yacht and instructor privately for groups of 2 to 5 persons in order to complete this course. You can choose to follow our flotilla route (which is a sociable option!), and then arrange for the instructor to sleep on our lead yacht when at anchor. If you would like to do this, then please make a special arrangement at the time of booking. It’s a nice idea because it gives you 3 double cabins and some extra privacy while at anchor. As a private yacht charter, you will need to provision the yacht and remember to include your instructor in your provisioning.

What's Included

Our tuition yacht will include everything you need for your week, except flights, transfers and evening meals. Solo supplements will apply for pupils wanting their own cabin (normally 50%)

Travel from Airport

Choosing to self-travel, taxis are easy enough to pick up from outside the airport. The transfer to Lefkas marina is about 25 minutes. 

Marina Address: Lefkas Marina, East Shore Lefkada, 311 00 Greece

The Day Skipper course and tides

Our course covers the theory of tidal stream and height calculation. As a newly qualified Day Skipper, after successful completion of our course, we’d strongly advise gaining further experience in tidal waters before skippering any coastal passages in tidal waters.

Typical Itinerary

Sunday arrival

You will arrive at Lefkas or Vassiliki marina and be greeted by our yacht team and introduced to your yacht. After a short introductory briefing to help you get settled onboard, you will meet the other course members and head for a meal ashore.

Monday to Saturday

Every day will start at about 9am and finishes at approx 5-6pm. One day will be extended to allow for some night sailing. The yacht leaves the marina at 9am on Monday so training can start after a full technical safety briefing from your instructor. The tuition yacht will cruise around the islands as you learn and find an anchorage to break for lunch - so there’s always time for a swim - before arriving at the evening stopover for about 5pm. As a liveaboard-pupil, you will enjoy cruising the Ionian islands as you learn, visiting new anchorages each day - which is a fun and practical way of learning.

One day off (lay day)

There will be one day a week as a lay day or free sail day. It is a popular option for the yacht to put in to Vassiliki so pupils can enjoy a (free) day of watersports or biking and fitness classes at our Beach club, for no extra charge.

Unless you are privately chartering, the lay-day is often fixed to a Wednesday. This is a great day to explore the island or make use of the Surf Hotel for your complimentary day of activities. Private yacht charters can use this as a free-sail day if they want to keep sailing.

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