RYA/SAS COMPETENT CREW – detailed syllabus


This course introduces the complete beginner to the following fundamental topics necessary to be be a useful crew member on board a sailing 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 know their correct use
    1. Figure-of-eight
    2. Rolling hitch
    3. Clove hitch
    4. Bowline
    5. Round turn and two half hitches
    6. Single and double sheet bend
    7. Reef knot

4. Fire Precautions and Fire Fighting

  • Understands of the hazards of fire and the precautions necessary to prevent fire
  • Knowledge of the action to be taken in event of fire

5. Personal Safety Equipment

  • Understands and complies with the rules for the wearing of safety harnesses, life jackets and personal buoyancy aids

6. Man Overboard

  • Understands the action to be taken to recover a man overboard
  • Understands how cold-water shock can affect a casualty in the water

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:
    1. use of burgees and ensigns
    2. prevention of unnecessary noise or disturbance in harbour including courtesies to other berthed craft
  • Aware of the responsibility of yacht skippers to protect the environment

9. Rules of the Road

  • Is able to keep an efficient lookout at sea

10. Tender Usage

  • Understands and complies with the loading rules
  • Understands the use and importance of a kill cord
  • Knowledge of safety equipment for tenders
  • Is able to handle a dinghy under oars

11. Meteorology

  • Awareness of forecasting services and where to obtain a forecast
  • 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
  • Able to steer and trim sails on all points of sailing
  • Can steer a compass course, under sail and power

14. General Duties

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