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Over 12 years old

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Competent Crew Syllabus

The Competent Crew is a course for complete beginners and will teach you how to become a useful crew member on a sail cruising yacht. You will learn the basics of yacht sailing, and after completion you will be able to assist in the day to day running of the yacht and participate as an active crew member, rather than just a passenger.  

At a Glance

  • Competent Crew Practical
  • Pre-course Requirements: None
  • Minimum age: 12+
  • Run time: 5 days tuition (1 day off or free-sail)
  • 1 week course, living aboard our tuition yacht

What you will learn

On completion of this course, you will become a confident member of the yacht crew. You will learn the practical aspects of yacht sailing with lots of hands-on sailing - how to helm, yacht manoeuvres and trimming sails - so it’s a lot of fun!

You will learn how 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 with plenty of time to practice all these skills. All the daily routines of yacht sailing will be covered.

Practical Syllabus 

  • Knowledge of sea terms and parts of a boat: rigging and sails – sufficient knowledge to understand orders given concerning the sailing and day-to-day running of the boat.
  • Sail handling – Bending on, setting, reefing and handling of sails. Use of sheets and halyards and their associated winches.
  • Ropework – Handling ropes, including coiling, stowing, securing to cleats and single and double bollards. Ability to tie the following eight knots and to know their correct use: figure-of-eight, clove hitch, bowline, round turn and two half hitches, single and double sheet bend, reef knot.
  • 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.
  • Personal safety equipment – Understands and complies with rules for the wearing of safety harnesses, life jackets and personal buoyancy aids.
  • Man overboard – Understands the actions to be taken to recover a man overboard.
  • Emergency equipment – Can operate distress flares and knows when they should be used. Understands how to launch and board a life raft
  • 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 responsibilities of yacht skippers to protect the environment.
  • Rules of the road – Is able to keep an efficient lookout at sea.
  • Dinghies – Understands and complies with the loading rules. Is able to handle a dinghy under oars.
  • Meteorology – Awareness of forecasting services and knowledge of the Beaufort Scale.
  • 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
  • General duties – Has carried out general duties satisfactorily on decks and below decks in connection with the daily routine of the vessel.

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