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rya helmsman motor cruising course

The RYA Helmsman course covers basic boat handling, helmsmanship, safety and basic engine maintenance. It aims to teach boat handling & safety within a defined area.

The RYA Helmsman course is specific to the type of boat in which the course is carried out and is therefore particularly suitable as an own boat course for new owners of motor cruisers who are conscious of the difficulty and potential hazards of boat handling in the marina.


The RYA Helmsman course is useful for crews as well as skippers. Apart from the obvious safety benefits of extra boat handlers on board, it adds interest if everyone can contribute to the trip.


This course is delivered in English.

RYA Helmsman Course

The RYA Helmsman course is designed to give the beginner sailor a comprehensive introduction to sailing. Topics covered include basic boat handling, knot tying, safety at sea and understanding weather conditions. The course also covers navigation techniques, as well as visual and electronic aids. By the end of the course you should be able to skipper your own yacht confidently in sheltered waters.  You will also be awarded the RYA Helmsman Certificate - a recognised qualification worldwide.

  • Do I need previous experience or knowledge to join this course?
    No previous experience at sea or prior knowledge is required for you to join the course. If you have no experience at sea, you might consider having a look at the RYA Competent Crew Skills booklet, which would help you greatly in familiarising yourself with the syllabus before joining the course. You can easily purchase a printed or electronic version of the booklet from the RYA Shop by clicking the button below.
  • Is there an age limit for participation in the course?
    You must be at least 12 years old to join the RYA Competent Crew course.
  • What language is the course delivered in?
    Every course we offer is conducted in English, with instructors who possess fluency and proficiency in the language. This ensures a seamless and effective learning experience, allowing students to engage comfortably with the course content and instruction.
  • What is the duration of the course?
    Seven days of sailing adventure. We surpass the RYA's minimum requirement of five days, providing an extended course spanning seven full days. This extended duration allows participants to extract maximum value from their sailing journey.
  • When and where will I be departing from/arriving back?
    Our RYA Competent Crew courses depart from Pier 1 in Alimos Marina in Athens, Greece at 11h00am every Saturday morning. You can expect to be back in Athens on the subsequent Friday afternoon at 14h00.
  • Who will I be sharing the boat with?
    The cap for participants on any RYA sailing course is set at 5, ensuring optimal learning and practice opportunities for each attendee, along with dedicated attention from the instructor. Rather than relying on automatic booking systems, we prioritize direct communication with all prospective participants. This approach allows us to thoughtfully create groups with individuals who are compatible. Our groups comprise individuals from diverse cultures worldwide, creating a vibrant and dynamic environment. For added privacy, you can choose to reserve a private cabin. If you would like to book a course with your family or group of friends, you can also explore our private tuition options for a tailored experience.
  • Do I need to find accommodation for the duration of the course?
    No. You'll be sleeping in the training boat throughout your RYA Competent Crew Course, ensuring an immersive learning experience.
  • Where will I be sailing?
    The weekly boat itinerary is carefully crafted just days before your course begins, with a keen consideration for prevailing weather conditions. You will embark on an enchanting seven-day experience of island hopping throughout the course, exploring a diverse array of captivating destinations. Our primary sailing areas span across two mesmerizing regions: a) the Saronic Gulf, featuring Salamina, Aegina, Poros, Hydra, Palaia Epidavros, and the Methana Peninsula; b) the Cyclades, inviting you to discover the beauty of Kea, Kythnos, Syros, Tinos, and Andros. Over the course of the week, you will accrue approximately 170 nautical miles, ensuring not only a thrilling adventure but also the acquisition of valuable sailing expertise.
  • What will I be learning during the course?
    The Competent Crew course serves as an ideal initiation into the world of sailing, offering comprehensive instruction in various crucial aspects. Throughout the course, participants will delve into the following areas: Knowledge of Sea Terms and Parts of a Boat: Gain a solid understanding of nautical terminology and the different components of a boat. Boat Rigging and Sails: Learn the intricacies of boat rigging and the art of handling sails effectively. Sail Handling and Ropework: Master the skills involved in manipulating sails and handling ropes with confidence and precision. Fire Precautions and Fighting: Acquire essential knowledge about fire safety measures on board and learn effective firefighting techniques. Personal Safety Equipment: Familiarize yourself with the proper usage and importance of personal safety equipment for a safe sailing experience. Man Overboard: Learn the necessary procedures and techniques for responding to and managing a man overboard situation. Emergency Equipment: Understand the functionality and use of emergency equipment, ensuring preparedness for unforeseen circumstances. Meteorology: Grasp the basics of meteorology to enhance your ability to navigate and respond to changing weather conditions. Seasickness: Gain insights into preventing and managing seasickness for a more comfortable and enjoyable sailing experience. Helmsmanship: Develop proficiency in helmsmanship, refining your ability to steer and navigate the boat with skill and confidence. General Duties: Acquaint yourself with the various general duties involved in maintaining a vessel and ensuring smooth sailing operations. Manners: Cultivate proper etiquette and practices for a harmonious and respectful sailing environment.
  • Will I receive a certificate at the end of the course?
    Certainly. When you successfully finish your RYA Competent Crew course, you'll be awarded an RYA Competent Crew certificate, acknowledging your acquired sailing expertise.
  • How does a typical day on board look like?
    Each day, your hands-on sessions will kick off in the early morning and typically wrap up in the early afternoon. These sessions may involve traveling between destinations or practicing in the harbor where the boat is berthed. Following the practical sessions, there might be some theory to cover. As the afternoon progresses into evening, you'll have the opportunity to unwind, savor your dinner outdoors, and explore the surroundings through sightseeing. It's a balanced blend of learning and leisure to make the most of your experience.
  • Is there an examination at the end of the course?
    Examinations are not required for the initial levels of RYA sailing qualifications. Instead, your instructor will evaluate your competence and track your progress during the course.
  • What is included in the package?
    Utilization of the training vessel and its equipment Instructor fees Fuel and water expenses Harbor fees Course learning materials On-board breakfast and lunch Provision of fresh bed linen and towels End cleaning RYA Certificate
  • What are the prices for this course?
    S/Y First Beneteau 45F5 Pininfarina S/Y Oceania Beneteau 50 Available discounts Only one type of discount at a time can be applied. Group reservation and multiple week discount only available in high and mid-season. Former student discount available on all prices. * If you're traveling solo, you'll have your own berth in an up-and-down bunk bed cabin; we never expect participants to share a double cabin with a stranger. For couples or friends, the double aft cabin on the boat is available as an option. ** Couples of friends who would like to share a private double cabin are entitled to a 5% discount.
  • How do I inquire for availability/make a reservation?
    To inquire for availability: Use our Contact Form or call us specifying the dates or time window you're interested in joining. Expect swift responses, even for last-minute reservations. To make a reservation: A reservation is only valid after receipt of a 50% deposit, if the reservation is made over two months before the start date of the course.If the reservation is made less than two months before the start of the course, the full amount of the course fees must be paid to confirm your reservation. You will receive a Payment Analysis to that effect, which also includes our Terms and Conditions.Upon receipt of your deposit or full payment, we will get back to you to confirm your booking and provide our Booking Form and the Joining Instructions for the course.

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Get in Touch

+30 698 6764 740

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