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Competent Crew

Recommended books:

You will be living on board a sailing yacht during the course.

This course is not only for beginners you will be learning important skills and techniques that will be the foundation of any future sailing courses. There is no minimum age for this course and is a great course to introduce children to sailing.

Experience living on board and really get to know the boat. Virtually all the course is hands on. 

By the end of the course you should be able to steer, all points of sail, compass course, tacking gybing, using the winches, etc. You should also have visited some interesting places and had an enjoyable holiday.

Requirements & Outcomes

Pre-course experience: None

Assumed knowledge: None

Minimum duration: 5 days. Often run over 3 weekends or 3 days plus a weekend. If you have done the Start Yachting course, this course can be completed in 3 or 4 days

Minimum age: None

Course content:  

Knowledge of sea terms and parts of a boat her rigging and sails, Sail handling, Ropework, Fire precautions and fighting, Personal safety equipment, Man overboard, Emergency equipment, Meteorology, Seasickness, Helmsmanship, General duties, Manners and customs, Rules of the road, Dinghies

Ability after the course able to steer, Handle sails, Keep a lookout, Row a dinghy and assist in all the day to day routines

Course Programme


20.00 Arrive at Alcaidesa Marina and meet at Alcaidesa Loungue Bar

Meet the instructor and board the yacht

Stow personal kit

Instructor's safety briefing and yacht familiarization talk


0900 Breakfast and get weather forecast

Recap safety procedures on deck. Introduction to deck gear, ropes and rigging and various parts of the yacht.

Engine start controls and rigging/slipping of mooring lines and fenders

Slip mooring and sail into Gibraltar Bay giving everyone a chance to steer the yacht

Practice coming alongside and leaving various pontoons

Short sail to an anchorage giving everyone the chance to set the sails using the sheets

1300 Lunch at anchorage

Discuss the use of life rafts

Practice the basic points of sail with each person having the opportunity to helm

Practice putting in and shaking out reefs

Practice headsail changes or furling

Sail to overnight destination practising what a crew member should do in the event of a Man Overboard situation

Enter harbour and moor up. Stow sails and tidy up on and below deck.

Dinghy rowing drills followed by debrief on the day's events


0900 Breakfast and get weather forecast

Prepare the yacht for sea and undertake a passage to an anchorage for lunch. On route each crew member will experience helming the yacht on different points of sail.

Learn how to tie the basic three knots used by sailors and when they are used

Prepare to enter anchorage. Learn how to prepare the anchor and foredeck in anticipation of arrival

1300 Lunch at anchorage

Set sail for evening destination learning the basic collision regulations on route

1700 Arrive at a new harbour and prepare supper

Debrief the day's events


0900 Breakfast and get weather forecast

Carry out some more manoeuvring under power using pontoons and mooring buoys

1300 Lunch at anchorage

Depart to evening destination. Practice tacking, gybing and general sail trim on route

Practice steering a compass course and maintaining a lookout

Supper prepared on route

Each student practices MOB on route

Arrive at new harbour and learn how to secure to a town wall. General discussion about emergency procedures

Debrief on the day's events


0900 Breakfast and get weather forecast

Practice mooring in harbour

Set sail for lunch time destination practising Man Overboard on route

Practice taking sights with the hand bearing compass and keeping a look out

1300 Lunch at anchorage

Depart for evening destination with discussion on route about weather and some more information on collision regulations


0900 Breakfast and get weather forecast

Sail back to Alcaidesa Marina practising all aspects

1300 Lunch at anchorage

Arrive back at Alcaidesa Marina

Clean up yacht, return wet weather gear followed by debrief and issue of certificates

1600 Depart

Courses normally start on Monday at 9:00 and finish 16:00 on Friday.

You are welcome to join the boat on the Sunday at 20:00 and depart the boat at 10:00 on Saturday.  We normally meet up in Alcaidesa Marina Lounge Bar.

Course price: €850 per person

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