Helmsman: Course content

What’s covered in my RYA Helmsman course?

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

The course is designed to be taken over two days - either over a weekend, or combined with a Day Skipper course over a week. Upon successful completion you will be awarded the RYA Helmsman Certificate and be ready to move on to the RYA Day Skipper Practical course.

The contents of the course includes:

Safety and Seamanship

Understands:

  • The importance of crotch straps
  • The difference between manual and auto-inflating life jackets
  • Appropriate clothing

Can:

  • Correctly fit a life jacket

Engine Operation and Maintenance

Knowledge of:
Fuel consumption range and reserve

Understands:

  • Engine monitoring while running
  • Routine maintenance checks
  • Basic fault diagnosis

Can:

  • Perform pre-start checks
  • Locate fuel cut offs
  • Perform close down procedure

Boat Preparation

Knowledge of:

  • Local boating conditions and regulations
  • CE marks, loading, effect on handling and performance

Understands:

  • Safety equipment, lifejackets, dangers, the need for crew
  • use of kill cord (if fitted)
  • Secure stowage of equipment

Can:

  • Tie and know the use of: round turn and two half hitches, bowline, clove hitch
  • Prepare boat, lines and fenders

Boat handling

Knowledge of:

  • Differences between hull shapes and propulsion systems

Understands:

  • Steering, controls, and windage
  • The effect of wind on the bow
  • Carrying way
  • Movement around the yacht and crew positioning at sea
  • Boat control in waves
  • Use of power trim and trim tabs

Can:

  • Start and stop the engine
  • Steer a straight course at low speed
  • Turn in a confined space
  • Handle a boat at planning speed
  • Use trim tabs / power trim (where fitted)

Securing to a buoy

Understands:

  • The importance of crew communication
  • Methods of approach in various wind and tide conditions
  • Taking way off
  • The procedure when overshooting

Can

  • Prepare mooring warps
  • Use a boat hook
  • Make fast
  • Approach and secure to a buoy

Berthing Alongside and Leaving

Understands:

  • Preparation and us of lines and springs
  • Methods of approach in various conditions

Can:

  • Attach fenders
  • Coil a warp
  • Throw a mooring warp
  • Secure warps to cleats
  • Make fast alongside
  • Use springs to leave berths

Man Over Board (MoB)

Knowledge of:

  • Various methods for recovering the person from the water

Understands:

  • That engines should be switched off unless it is unsafe to do so
  • Drift down approach

Can:

  • Take immediate action
  • Observe the MoB
  • Carry out the correct return with awareness of the propellors
  • Approach and recover the MoB dummy

Anchoring

Knowledge of:

  • Types of anchor
  • Depth of water, holding ground and scope required

Theory

Knowledge of:

  • Types of craft
  • The advantages and disadvantages of different hull types with respect to seakeeping ability and wash considerations
  • Engine and drives - advantages and disadvantages of different drive systems
  • The choice and use of fuel

Details of 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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