Competent Crew: Course content

What’s covered in my RYA Competent Crew course?

The contents of the RYA Competent Crew course are listed in the RYA Yachtmaster Scheme Syllabus and Log Book (G158)

The course is modular and upon successful completion you will be awarded the Competent Crew Certificate.

The contents of the course includes:

Sea Terms and Parts of a Boat, her Rigging and Sails


  • Understand orders concerning the sailing and day-to-day running of the boat

Sail Handling


  • Bend on, set, reef and handle sails
  • Use sheets and halyards, and their associated winches


Understands how to tie and the correct use of a:

  • Rolling hitch
  • Single and double sheet bend


  • Use sheets and halyards and their associated winches
  • Handle ropes, including coiling, stowing, securing to cleats and single and double bollards
  • Handle warps
  • Tie the following knots and knows their correct use: Figure of eight; Clove hitch; Bowline; Round turn and two half hitches; Reef knot

Fire Precautions and Fighting


  • The hazards of fire and the precautions necessary to prevent it


  • Carry out the action to be taken in the event of fire

Personal Safety Equipment


  • How to comply with guidance for the wearing of safety harnesses, life jackets and personal buoyancy aids

Man Overboard


  • The action to be taken to recover a man overboard
  • How cold water shock can affect a casualty in the water

Emergency equipment


  • How to launch and board a life raft


  • Operate distress flares and knows when they should be used

Manners and Customs


  • Accepted practice with regard to: use of burgees and ensigns; prevention of unnecessary noise or disturbance in harbour including courtesies to other berthed craft
  • The responsibility of the boating community to protect the environment

Rules of the Road

Keep an efficient lookout at sea

Tender Usage


  • The loading rules and complies with them
  • The use and importance of a kill cord
  • Safety equipment for tenders


Knowledge of:

  • The Beaufort Scale


  • The forecasting services and where to obtain a forecast


  • Working efficiency is unaffected/partially affected/severely affected by seasickness (delete as applicable)

Helmsmanship and Sailing


  • The basic principles of sailing


  • Steer and trim sails on all points of sailing
  • Steer a compass course, under sail and power

General Duties


  • Carry out general duties satisfactorily on deck and below decks in connection with the daily routine of the vessel

More RYA courses

If you would like to view the contents of other courses please look at our RYA course contents page
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