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, as you adventure and learn the fundamentals of cruising yachts. 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, and will be issued with the RYA Competent Crew certificate of course completion.

‘Many thanks from two over 60’s who were sailing virgins but now have their own 34 footer! . “RYA Competent Crew” was fun and SAFE, a great introduction and your ongoing help and advice are invaluable – looking forward to more courses as we really get up and running.’ Lin & Brian.

‘Challenged just in and around comfort zone, never for a moment felt in danger or intimidated, vegetarians well looked after, reliable yacht, plentiful crew, great instructor.’ Scott and Almasa.

‘…a learn-to-sail experience that was also an enjoyable adventure holiday… it provided us with a superb preparation to crew a sailing boat competently… Plus the sailing was accompanied by whales, dolphins, turtles and eagles.’ Richard & Nadeia Romanowski.

I would like to especially thank James as he was so willing to impart his knowledge and was always encouraging and understanding of everyones individual abilities. His kind and considerate manner really put me at ease and ensured my first sailing adventure was an enjoyable experience. This course exceeded our expectations. Deb and Van.

What will I learn?

  • 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

How long is the course?

The course is a 5-day liveaboard course, accommodation is on board our 40-foot yacht, and all food is also included in the price. You will spend a total of 4 nights and 5 days on board with your fellow participants and the instructor.

What do I bring?

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.

What about meals?

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.

What should I do be fore the course?

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

Need more info?

Email us at, or call on (07) 5478 2299. We are more than happy to help!

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