Man on the yacht – RYA Start Yachting

RYA Start Yachting Course – Your Questions Answered – How To Start Your Adventure

PrerequisitesNone required
ExamNone, constant assessment by the instructor
AimIntroduction to steering, sail handling, ropework, and safety

The goal of the RYA Helmsman’s Course is to introduce boat handling and seamanship on motor cruising vessels and make you fee comfortable and confident in basic boat handling situations.

What Is the RYA Start Yachting Course

The goal of the RYA Start Yachting course is to introduce the complete beginner to sail cruising. The course will allow you to be introduced to steering a yacht, handling sails and ropes and being aware of basic safety on board.

What Does the RYA Start Yachting Course Allow You to Do?

The RYA Start Yachting course is aimed at being a 2-day course that teaches you the basics and beginnings of becoming a useful crew member on a sail cruising vessel.

With an RYA Start Yachting completion certificate, you can then complete the RYA Competent Crew course over 3 days or 2 weekends.

Who Can Do The Start Yachting Course?

The RYA Start Yachting course is open to anyone, including those who have never set foot on a boat before. The only criteria is those under 8 are unfortunately not eligible for the course completion certificate.

If you are a complete newbie to sail cruising, then this is the course for you.

How Long Does It Take?

The RYA Start Yachting is a 2-day liveaboard course.

Nobody will become an expert crew member overnight on these RYA Start Yachting courses, but these early crewing skills taught will enable you to progress to future challenges, safe in the knowledge that your initial learnings were taught by an experienced instructor.

Is There a Set RYA Start Yachting Syllabus?

There is indeed a syllabus. Each of the following topics represents a specific part of the learnings that will be covered on an RYA Start Yachting course in varying levels of detail.

The Yacht, ropework, underway, rules of the road, meteorology, man overboard recovery, clothing and emergency equipment detail the various aspects of the syllabus.

Read on to learn in a little more detail about how each of these is covered in a little more detail.

A picture from an RYA Start Yachting Course where you will be required to learn the ropes.

What Might I Learn on an RYA Start Yachting Course?

To begin with, students will be instructed on the basic personal safety methods to be aware of onboard, how to look after yourself, both in moving around the vessel and in what safety equipment to wear and of course, what to do in the event of an emergency.

The main task throughout the course is to equip you with the necessary knowledge that you can be a useful crew member on board a sail cruising vessel. This will include learning about the parts of the sailing yacht, steering the yacht under sail and the actions to be taken in the event of a casualty overboard.

You will also learn about the crewing tasks associated with ropework, both in how to tie knots, securing ropes to cleats when berthing the vessel and securing various ropes on board the yacht while under sail.

Finally, you will have the chance to see where we get our nautical weather forecasts from and also understand some of the basic rules of the road we need to be aware of.

What Is the Cost of an RYA Start Yachting Course?

As ever, many schools differ in price. We would recommend that you take a look around at the various options and find what suits your needs the best. Cheapest is not often better.

This can range from knowing whether food and berthing charges are included to how many other students you will be sharing your course with.

Where Should I Do My RYA Start Yachting Course?

There are many thoughts on where is best, but to be truthful, it is what works for you best. 

One thought is to do it in an area that you plan to sail in in the future, that way, any specific learnings you take on your RYA Start Yachting course will be incredibly valuable to your future sail cruising. Another is to consider those factors above, such as associated costs and food.

What Is the Pass Mark for the Course?

There is no specific pass mark as such, but very few students fail to reach the desired safety level to complete the RYA Start Yachting course.

A successful pass is achieved so long as you are not a danger to yourself or your fellow crew members whilst onboard and during your RYA Start Yachting course.

What Comes Next?

After your RYA Start Yachting, we suggest going on to do your RYA Competent Crew course. 

You may also want to consider doing the RYA Essential Navigation and Seamanship Theory course which will help provide you with theoretical knowledge suitable for your continued practical learning going forward.

About the Author

Written By Stuart Cook, RYA Examiner

Find out more about Stuart here:

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