RYA competent crew course beginners course

The RYA Competent Crew Course is a beginners sailing course and no previous experience is necessary. Enjoy a learn to sail holiday in the sunshine.

We are the only school in the Canary Islands with a MAXIMUM student to instructor ratio of 4:1. We also run 6 day RYA courses instead of the usual 5 days. Students get a private cabin.

The Competent Crew Course is for beginners and those who would like to become active crew members rather than just passengers. This course is aimed at newcomers to yacht sailing. You are the crew and without you the sails won`t go up and the boat won`t be steered. Virtually all of the course is hands on and you form an integral part of the crew.

By the end of the course you should be able to steer, handle sails, keep a lookout, row a dinghy and assist in all the day to day routines on board. You will also have had a fantastic holiday with some great sailing.

No previous experience is necessary at all! This is a six day live aboard course and you will receive an official RYA certificate at the end of the week. This is a real introduction to sailing and living aboard a yacht and will also give you confidence for sailing holidays in the future.

If you are looking for a fun learn to sail holiday living aboard a yacht, then this is the RYA course for you.

Competent Crew Syllabus

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.

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.

Sail Handling

Bending on, setting, reefing and handling of sails
Use of sheets and halyards and their associated winches


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

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

Personal safety equipment

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

Man overboard

Understands the action 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 liferaft

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

Rules of the road

Is able to keep and efficient lookout at sea


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


Awareness of forecasting services and knowledge of the Beaufort scale


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

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 deck and below decks in connection with the daily routine of the vessel