RYA Competent Crew


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About this course

The RYA Competent Crew is an essential introductory course for both the complete beginner and those who have some experience of either dinghy or keelboat sailing or cruising.

The course is planned to give you as much fun and enjoyment as possible. While you cruise you will learn about safety at sea and will be given lots of opportunities to master the seamanship skills of steering, changing sails, reefing and tying the essential knots as well as whats is like to live on a yacht for an extended period.

Living onboard throughout the course, each night is spent in a new place, allowing you to experience the delights of a real cruise. You will visit many of the quiet bays, anchorages and yacht harbour’s of Moreton Bay, Southeast corner of Queensland or the Whitsundays (depending on chosen course) and in the evenings there is time to relax and reflect on the events of the day.

By the end of the RYA Competent Crew course the successful Competent Crew will have sufficient knowledge and skill to be a useful and able crew member.

  • How to prepare the yacht for light to medium winds in enclosed waters
  • How to actively participate as Crew
  • Correct ways to drop the anchor
  • Sail Handling
  • Helmsmanship and Sailing
  • How to understand weather forecasts & interpret them
  • How to tie specialist Knots
  • Personal safety
  • Distress signals

Course starts 0930. Bring a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, bathing suit, a warm jumper, change of clothes (minimal wardrobe needed), spray jacket. Be sure to pack this in a flexible soft bag.

All meals are provided. If you have special dietary needs, please be sure to indicate this in advance when you register for the course and we will do our best to accommodate.

Although there are no pre requisites for this course we do advise undertaking the Online Essential Navigation course. This ensure that you can get the most out of your RYA Competent Crew program.

Both the RYA Competent Crew certificate and logbook presented upon successful completion of your course.

The 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 fireb. 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 rulesb.
  • 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

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