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Frequently Asked Questions About The RYA Competent Crew Training Course

How much will the competent crew course cost including exam fees?

This 3-5 day course can cost as much as £630 in high season (approx $950 or 800 Euros). You can usually save money by doing the course in early spring or autumn.

What will you get out of the course?

Over 3-5 days you will learn the skills to competently crew a yacht. You will be able to deal with a fire below, help with a man overboard situation, as well as be a reliable crew member in most situations at sea. Though you may be a complete novice when you begin, you will be considered a useful member of crew for a yacht racing around the buoys or on a coastal passage.

What are your limits on passing the course?

You will not be able to skipper a yacht, though people with the Competent Crew are considered effective and useful members of crews on all but the most racing oriented boats. This opens the door to a lot of fun cruising and day racing. 

Is it shorebased theory, practical or both?

Competent Crew is a practical course though you will be introduced to things like navigation and meteorology that will be developed as you progress through the RYA course structure.

Where can you take this RYA course?

You can take it at any sailing school in the world that offers RYA accredited courses.

Can you do it in another country?

In short, yes. There are RYA qualified instructors around the globe.

What level of experience do you need before you can take the course?

You can be a complete novice though the course will be shorter if you have done the RYA Start Yachting course as you will have some idea what to do when asked to “clean the heads” – you won’t be mopping the skipper’s brow…

How long does the competent crew course take to complete?

5 days, which can be done during the week or over a series of weekends

What does the course involve?

This is a fairly serious introduction to sailing. You will learn ropework, parts of the boat, sail handling, helmsmanship, manners and customs of sailing, safety equipment, what to do in emergencies such as a fire or someone falling overboard, how to help yourself or someone else who is seasick, the rules of the road, and the duties involved in sailing a boat.

How do I progress after completing it?

You can progress through the RYA course structure. The next course you will do is the RYA Day Skipper.

Does this course give you international accreditation?


Where can I learn more?

Look elsewhere on this website to get an idea of when and where is convenient to do a course, but also look at this section of the RYA website to see what exactly the course involves.

Other resources can be found on this Wikipedia page.

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