What is the Minimum Age for Competent Crew?

821 views  |   February 13th, 2023 

Our Competent Crew course is perfect for beginners new to sailing who wish to sail as a crew member, and not just as a passenger. The course starts and finishes in Southampton and takes place in and around the Solent, and at the end of the five days you will be a useful crew member.

We teach adults of all ages, but it’s also possible for children to take the RYA Competent Crew course. But there are some recommendations on age limits, as outlined below.

What is the minimum age for Competent Crew?

We recommend a minimum age for Competent Crew of 12 years and older. Whilst there is no set age limit on how old you must be to take Competent Crew, First Class Sailing and the RYA recommend 12 years old. Kids younger than this might not be physically capable of taking the course.

Why we recommend 12 as the minimum age

The RYA Competent Crew course provides the basic skills and knowledge necessary for one to be a competent crew member on a sailing yacht. The syllabus includes sail handling, ropework, man overboard drills, and other manual tasks.

In our experience, children younger than 12 don’t always have the strength to do some of these tasks, or the concentration span required to take a 5 day course on the water.

If your child is younger than 12 and you still want them to have an introduction to sailing, then you could consider the RYA Start Yachting Practical Course. This two-day course takes place on a yacht and offers a basic introduction to the world of sailing. The youngest age we can accept on this course are 8 year olds, and we occasionally run it from Southampton. Contact us for availability or with any questions.

The RYA also offer dinghy courses that kids can do when younger than 8 years old, but it is unusual.

Can children take the Competent Crew course by themselves?

No. Despite 12 being the youngest age to take the RYA Competent Crew course, any child under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

What is the maximum age for Competent Crew?

There is no maximum age for Competent Crew. It’s the perfect course for beginners in their fifties, sixties, or even those that consider themselves as seniors.

Want to know more?

Click here for details and further FAQs on the Competent Crew course.

Posted by: First Class Sailing


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