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International Crew

A five-day live-aboard course that teaches you everything you need to know to be an effective member of the crew.  This is your first step on the way to becoming a skipper, an opportunity to experience cruising firsthand and decide if a life on the high seas is for you.



  • No previous experience necessary


Aims and Objectives:

This course aims to introduce you to all the skills needed to participate in yacht cruising as a crew member.  Over five days you will learn everything from knots and rope work to how best to set and trim a sail, and participate in all activities onboard





Theory (Free pre-learning online course)


  • Introduction - aims and objectives of the course

  • Safety Briefing - location and use of safety equipment (flares, lifejackets, liferaft, sea-cocks); fire safety; gas safety

  • Preparing to Sail - preparing the boat; engine checks; appropriate clothing and footwear; do's and don'ts aboard the yacht

  • Passage Planning - charts and publications; weather forecast; effects of tide; watch-keeping; log-keeping; how to plan a passage

  • Nautical terminology - parts of the boat; directions (port, starboard, windward, leeward)

  • Rules of the Road - collision avoidance between sailing vessels, sail vs power, behaviour in channels; introduction to lights and shapes

  • Meteorology - how to source and interpret a weather forecast; suitable sailing conditions

  • Sailing Theory - how a sail works; points of sail

  • Navigation - using a compass; three-point fixes; the concept of 'course to steer'; working out ETA




  • Rope Work - useful knots; coiling rope; use of cleats, jammers and winches

  • Sail Handling - hoisting and lowering sails; reefing; trimming on different points of sail

  • Manoeuvres - tacking; gybing; recovering a Man Overboard; picking up a mooring

  • Marina Berthing - the crew's role when berthing and unberthing

  • Boat Handling - steering a compass course under sail and power; effects of prop-walk and prop-wash



What can I do with this qualification?

Your certificate allows you to crew on any vessel up to 78ft, no more than 20 miles offshore, in fair conditions and daylight hours.  It also allows you to skipper a vessel in sheltered waters where help is immediately available.


Once you've gained your International Crew certificate, the next step is to learn to skipper your own boat.  Our Bareboat Skipper course options are a natural progression.

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