This course is designed to advance your sailing skills and safety knowledge to enable you to sail unsupervised in sheltered waters.

Length: 12 hours

Outcome: This course really builds on the lessons learnt in Start Crewing and Helming and teaches the participant true sailing skills such as sailing without the use of a rudder, sailing on and off anchor, and starts to touch on very basic navigation.

Pre Requisites: Start Helming Course

Who should do this course: Anyone wishing to take charge of a small boat for a short sail in familiar sheltered waters.

Cost: $350.00


1. Safety, responsibility and risk management

  • Knows what safety equipment should be carried on board, its location and operation
  • Demonstrate the correct use and fitting of personal safety equipment, PFD’s and safety harnesses
  • Can assess risks on board and understands how they may be avoided
  • Knows how to raise the alarm in the event of an emergency

2. Sailing skills.

As helm can:

  • Come to and weigh anchor under sail in various conditions of wind and tide
  • Pick up and leave a mooring under various conditions of wind and tide
  • Recover a man overboard
  • Handle a boat in confined areas under sail
  • Berth alongside a pontoon under sail
  • Heave to
  • Sail a figure of eight without use of the tiller/rudder
  • Sail backwards under control for a short distance

3. General Seamanship

  • Can carry out basic maintenance on a boat
  • Understands the differing properties and care of synthetic fibre rope
  • Can prepare for tow by a power vessel
  • Knows actions to be taken in the event of major gear failure, such as rig or rudder damage
  • Launch and recovery
  • Handling under power (optional)


  • Knows the following: General rules, steering and sailing rules, sound signals, distress signals 
  • Is aware of local regulations

5. Meteorology

  • Understands where to obtain a weather forecast and interpret its use

6. Local knowledge

  • Can interpret a chart of the local area
  • Has basic knowledge of factors such as: Buoyage, depths, areas suitable for anchorage, tidal heights and streams (where applicable)
  • Assess risk, traffic density, local regs, narrow channels
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