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RYA Competent Crew

The Competent Crew Course is designed to teach the complete beginner the basics of sailing a cruising yacht. You will experience living aboard with a crew of others and really getting to know the yacht. By the end of the 5 days you will have taken the helm, hoisted the sails, learned all about the various lines on the yacht and what each line does.  You will also learn to the tie the eight knots which are needed for the day to day running of the boat. You will be involved in keeping watch, ensuring the boat responds correctly in relation to other vessels and learn how to row a dinghy. This RYA Competent Crew course is for those who would like to become active crew members undertaking tasks essential to the running and sailing of the boat. So come and join us in Portsmouth on the South Coast sailing the Solent, one of the busiest and best sea areas to learn to sail. Find more about what to expect  If you have never been on a boat before we do recommend that you buy and look through the RYA Competent Crew Skills book before the course, this book is available to purchase when you book the course, it will be posted out to you giving you time to read through before your course.

If you are a complete beginner, the Competent Crew sailing course will last for 5 days. If you've already done the RYA Start Yachting course then it will only take 3 days. All our sailing courses are ALL INCLUSIVE with NO HIDDEN EXTRAS

Free Resit Guarantee*

Our guarantee is that we won't give up on you: in the unlikely event that you fail or can't complete one of our RYA courses, you can resit or rejoin another at NO EXTRA COST (includes practical courses up to Day Skipper and all theory courses less exam fees where applicable) (*see Terms & Conditions).


Course Information

We include everything you will need with your course fee:
  •     5 days Top Notch Tuition!!
  •     Accommodation on board
  •     All food on board - three meals a day plus snacks and refreshments
  •     Home made tray bake (when Lou is able!)
  •     All mooring fees and marina costs
  •     Use of waterproof clothing
  •     Use of personal safety equipment
  •     Any incurred fuel costs
  •     Free extra days if you do not reach the required standard (see Free Re-Sit Guarantee)
Topics for this course include the following (review the full syllabus)

  • Preparation for sea
  • Knowledge of sea erms and parts of a boat, her rigging and sails
  • Sail handling
  • Ropework and knots
  • Fire precautions, personal safety equipment
  • Man overboard and emergency equipment
  • Helmsmanship
  • Keeping lookout
  • Use of dinghies
  • General duties
  • Manner and customs
  • Night sailing

The course will start and end at Gosport Marina - PO12 1AH

We typically visit some of these ports and harbours

  • Cowes
  • Hamble
  • Southampton
  • Beaulieu
  • Yarmouth
  • Lymington
  • Chichester
  • Poole

No previous experience or theoretical knowledge is required for this course, just the desire to have fun and learn.

How do I Book?

Check out the available course dates and then contact us or book online. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact Lou or Jim for more information.

Course Name Dates Cost
Retrieving course dates


Matt was a fantastic teacher and the whole course was a great experience. Brilliant balance between learning and enjoying time on the water.

Having never never set foot on a 'big boat' I decided to do my Competent Crew course with Nomad after seeing their fantastic reviews.

From the second I got to the marina I was warmly welcomed by Jim. I found Nomad Sailing to be extremely well run and organised in every detail. It was the best experience that I've ever had and with Jim's awesome laid back teaching approach and vast knowledge, I felt at ease and incredibly comfortable from start to finish. I learnt so much in that week.

I would recommend anyone thinking of booking such a course with Nomad to do so without hesitation, DO IT NOW you will not be disappointed in any way shape or form.

Nomad Sailing provided excellent teaching throughout the course. Thorough, patient and knowledgeable during both the theory and practical courses, Nomad Sailing gave everyone the attention they needed to gain confidence and make progress. Sailing on a comfortable, well equipped Jeaneau 37 Sunfast was a pleasure. 

Instruction was terrific. The instructors provide guidance, example and encouragement so that, on the practical course, everyone gained confidence and skills, no matter how much or how little sailing experience each of us had.
The Solent is a great place to practice tidal sailing with lots of opportunities for chart work, passage planning, piloting and navigation.
This may well be my first ever five star review; its well deserved.

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