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Courses & Cruises

Courses & Cruises

RYA Competent Crew Course | West Cork | Ireland
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RYA Competent Crew

RYA Competent Crew is a five-day intensive course which marks the real start of your RYA training.

RYA Competent Crew - West Cork - Ireland

The absolute beginner will experience the delights of sailing aboard an Ocean cruising yacht and the course is an ideal stepping stone for dinghy sailors who want to move up to yachting. The course will also give more experienced sailors the chance to improve their skills.

From our base here on West Cork’s unspoilt Sheep’s Head peninsula, you’ll tackle the varied sailing experiences posed by Dunmanus, Roaring Water and Bantry bays in a safe and reassuring environment. Our five days of fun and challenging training will equip you with the confidence and skills you need to be an asset and competent member of any crew.

During the RYA Competent Crew course you will spend all 5 days living on board and really get to "live" in the environment of a cruising yacht. Virtually all the course is hands on. You are the crew - without you the sails won't go up and the boat won't be steered. Safety is paramount in all RYA courses and you will learn how to operate flares, lifejackets, safety harnesses, liferafts, how to assist the recovery of a man overboard and participate in at least four hours of night time sailing during the course.

By the end of the course you should be able to steer, handle sails, keep a lookout, row a dinghy and assist in all the day to day duties on board. You should also have visited some interesting places in West Cork and had an enjoyable holiday besides gaining your RYA Competent Crew Certificate.

The course will finish about 4 pm on the final day, after boat cleaning and individual debriefings.

Cabin Prices

Single person (cabin sharing) €700
Two persons (cabin sharing) €1300

RYA Competent Crew

If you know when you want to take a RYA Competent Crew course, give us a buzz and we will endeavour to fulfill your chosen time.
Book now +353 (0)27 29101

RYA Competent Crew

To book the exclusive use of our Hallberg-Rassy 'Merlin' for a RYA Competent Crew course for family or as a group of friends let us know your dates and we will endeavour to accommodate your request.
Call us now +353 (0)27 29101

  • Course Duration 5 Days (Tuesday to Sunday)
    Previous Experience No experience needed – just enthusiasm!.
    Assumed Knowledge None!
    Course Content Learn parts of the boat, knots, preparing a yacht for departure, steering a yacht, sails up/down, handling lines for berthing and leaving a berth, MOB (Man Overboard) drills, keeping a lookout, handling the anchor and rowing a dinghy.
    Experience Gained A more complete and confident yacht crew member.
  • The Yacht

    • Basic knowledge of nautical terms, parts of a yacht, rigging and sails.


    • Ability to tie the following knots:

    1. figure of eight
    2. round turn and two half hitches
    3. bowline


    • Has experienced sailing a yacht on all points of sail.

    • Can steer a yacht under sail or power.

    Rules of the Road

    • Can keep an efficient look out at sea.


    • Knows where to obtain a weather forecast.

    Man Overboard (MOB) Recovery

    • Understands the action to be taken to recover a MOB.

    Clothing and Equipment

    • Understands and complies with the rules for the wearing of safety harnesses’.

    • Understands the use of lifejackets and personal buoyancy aids.

    Emergency Equipment and Precautions

    • Is aware of hazards on board a yacht.

    • Knows the action to be taken in the event of an emergency.

  • NOTE: Sailing itinerary is weather permitting and we reserve the right to change the destinations and order for your safety.

    Day 1 - Tuesday

    You will be met in Ahakista by your skipper and showen around Merlin and meet your fellow sailing crew. A trip to the Tin Pub or Arundel's by the Pier for a drink and get to know each other following an onboard evening meal.

    Day 2 - Wednesday

    After the initial safety briefing, you will learn the ropes and be shown how to prepare a boat for departure. Our first port of call will be Sherkin Island. As we sail up Dunmanus Bay you will be introduced to reefing (reducing sail area). This is to help you feel comfortable and (for some of you) familiar with your new surroundings on board. You will be introduced to boat preparation and handling in and around a marina on arrival to Sherkin Island.

    Day 3 - Thursday

    Instruction on boat handling will continue on prepartion of a boat to leave a marina before making the passage to Bere Island. You will explore Roaringwater Bay sailing past many of it's islands as sail training instruction continues. You will be introduced to Man Overboard (MOB) procedures and continue to practice reefing.

    Day 4 - Friday

    The schedule is flexible and depends on crew development, the level you are working at and the winds. We aim to sail to Glengarriff Harbour and prepare for our night sail passage. Berehaven situated between Bere Island and the Beara peninsula provides an ideal training area for sailing exercises before making the sail down Bantry Bay to anchor for the evening in Glengarriff.

    Day 5 - Saturday

    Following a late breakfast you will fine-tune your sailing, anchoring and general boat handling skills in Dunmanus Bay.

    Day 6 - Sunday

    Following a tidy up sailing session on Sunday morning we begin the de-briefing, cleanup and issuing of your certificates. Finally the course ends at about 4 pm.

Included in your course

  • RYA qualified instructor/skipper
  • 5 nights accommodation on 'Merlin'
  • Breakfast and lunch with coffee and tea
  • Safety gear including auto life jacket and safety harness
  • Marina fees and diesel

Next Step: After completing the Competent Crew course it is really important to consolidate what you have learnt by completing some more sea miles. This could be achieved by joining us for a 3 Day Wild Atlantic Way cruise or take a Competent Crew Plus course. Following this you should look to join the RYA Day Skipper Theory or Fast Track Day Skipper courses.

Prices exclude:

  • Flights & transfers.
  • Meals and drink ashore.
  • Travel and Medical Insurance.
  • Wet weather gear.

Carbery Sailing specialises in beginner's sailing and Fast Track RYA Day Skipper courses. We also undertake adventure sailing cruises on Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way, Ocean Passages to Spain, Madeira, the Azores and the Canaries on a Hallberg-Rassy 46.

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Contact us

+353 (0) 27 29101
  +353 (0) 852 256901

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Write to:
  • Ahakista
  • Durrus
  • West Cork
  • Ireland