At last we have had a summer that allowed us all to enjoy our sailing. For many people they will have attended an RYA Competent Crew course and have had their first real taste of sailing.
The RYA Competent Crew course is a great course for beginners; 5 days sailing, visiting different ports and harbours, meeting new people and of course learning essential skills that will stay with them for the rest of their sailing days.
The RYA Competent Crew course is a very hand’s on course, with most of the skills being taught as they occur during your 5 days on the water. By the end of the course, students will have learnt some essential knots, the difference between halyards and a sheets and why we have different names for all the ropes.
So what’s next?
It is important that competent crew remain competent crew so that means getting out on the water as often as you can, practicing your skills and learning new ones.
Yacht or dinghy racing can be a great way to improve your skills and to put into practice the ones you already have. When cruising, changing direction takes place only when necessary, while racing it is easy to lose track of the number of changes in direction as we try to position the boat to gain an advantage against competitors, but as with everything practice makes perfect. We race regularly so if you’re interested visit our Yacht Racing page for more details about getting started.
Further RYA courses
Perhaps you don’t like the thought of sailing through the winter, then this is the perfect time to look at a theory course. As a Competent Crew you may wish to start working towards your RYA Day Skipper qualification, in which case the RYA Day Skipper theory course is a must. The course can be completed online or in a classroom, the choice is yours.
Further details can be found at – Is the RYA Day Skipper Theory Couse right for me?
Join a sailing club
Joining a sailing club, whether that is a dinghy or yacht club, can be a great way to get out on the water and practice the skills you learnt during your RYA Competent Crew course. Dinghy sailing is the best way to improve your sailing as you have to rely on your senses rather instruments so it becomes natural, allowing you to enjoy it more and concentrate on other aspects of sailing such as navigation and skippering.
That is not to say that you can’t learn on a yacht, lots of great sailors have never sailed a dinghy and for some the thought of standing in cold water in a wetsuit would put them off sailing altogether. Find a local club and get involved, boats owners are always looking for enthusiastic competent crew.