Youth Cruising Courses

Teenage Experience Sailing Courses

At BOSS, we specialise in running weekend and five day cruising courses for teenagers. Programmed to run during the school holidays a BOSS Teenagers Cruising Course provides an ideal solution for the problem of what to do with bored kids during the holidays.

These specially developed courses are open to young people between the ages 13-17. No previous sailing experience is necessary and you can book either an individual place or come along with a group of friends! Sailing adventures in the Solent. Visit interesting places. learn valuable life skills, whilst having a great time gain a recognised RYA qualification. Five day courses meet the Residential section for the Gold Duke of Edinburgh award (DofE) scheme.

Course fees include:

  • Food onboard
  • Sleeping bags
  • BBQ ashore
  • Mooring fees
  • Wet Weather Gear
  • RYA Certificate

RYA qualifications can be taken during a Teenagers cruising course. RYA Start Yachting or Competent Crew qualifications are open to everyone. For those aged 16 - 17, with the appropriate experience, and a knowledge of subjects covered in the RYA Day Skipper shorebased course, the RYA Day Skipper practical course may be attempted.

Below is an example Itinerary for the 5 day version of this course

Arrival Evening:

  • Evening - Arrive at Hamble - Check in at School reception.
  • Meet Instructor and move onto yacht - settle in.
  • Instructors safety briefing and yacht familiarisation talk - explain where everything is.
  • Go ashore for a drink and meal.

Day 1

  • Weather forecast, breakfast, showers, clean up.
  • On deck - Introduction to ropes and rigging, preparation of the yacht for sea.
  • Engine start controls, sea cocks and bilge pumps.
  • Practice manoeuvring under power.
  • Coming alongside pontoons, the use of warps and fenders.
  • Lunch on board at anchor or tied to a mooring buoy. Knots and rope work
  • Weather forecast.
  • Manoeuvring under sail, reefing and headsail changes
  • Man overboard , the correct response as crew.
  • 19:00 Enter Solent harbour. Stow sails and tidy up on deck.
  • Discuss the days events.
  • 20:00 Supper

Day 2

  • Weather forecast, clean up
  • Preparation of the yacht of sea
  • Practice pontoon moorings or mooring buoys. Set off on short passage
  • Lunch
  • Weather forecast
  • Sail off to anchorage - steering a compass course under power and sail
  • Whilst at anchor - Keeping a proper look out and Helicopter Hi-line rescues
  • 18:3 Supper
  • 20:00 Depart on night sail (weather permitting)   

Day 3

  • 08:00 Breakfast. Passage planning
  • 10:00 Depart to sail on passage.
  • During the day : points of sail, helming and crewing practice, Discussion of emergency situations.
  • Dinghy drills.
  • Meteorology.
  • 20:00 Supper (spare evening for night sail)

Day 4

  • By 08:30 Weather Forecast, breakfast, clean yacht and prepare for sea.
  • Pontoon moorings, further sailing practice.
  • 10.00 Depart to practice entry to as many ports as possible, more points of sailing and lots of practice.
  • 19.00 Arrive at a port for evening.

Day 5

  • By 08:30 Weather forecast, breakfast, and preparation for sea.
  • Sailing in the Solent - practice all aspects
  • 15:00 Return to Hamble Point. Clean up yacht, return oilskins etc.
  • 16:00 Finish Course, Debrief, sign logbooks and depart.

The aim of the RYA Competent Crew course is to introduce the complete beginner to cruising and to teach personal safety, seamanship and helmsmanship to the level required to be a useful member of the crew of a cruising yacht.

1. Knowledge of sea terms and parts of a boat, her rigging and sails

Sufficient knowledge to understand orders given concerning the sailing and day-to-day running of the boat.

2. Sail handling

Bending on, setting, reefing and handling of sails

Use of sheets and halyards and their associated winches

3. Rope work

Handling ropes, including coiling, stowing, securing to cleats and single and double bollards

Handling warps.

Ability to tie the following knots and to know their correct use: figure-of-eight, clove hitch, rolling hitch, bowline, round turn and two half hitches, single and double sheet bend, reef knot

4. Fire precautions and fighting

Awareness of the hazards of fire and the precautions necessary to prevent fire

Knowledge of the action to be taken in event of fire 

5. Personal safety equipment

Understands and complies with rules for the wearing of safety harnesses, lifejackets and personal buoyancy aids

6. Man overboard

Understands the action to be taken to recover a man overboard 

7. Emergency equipment

Can operate distress flares and knows when they should be used.

Understands how to launch and board a liferaft

In addition to the above syllabus items, the instructor may cover other methods of sending a distress signal including the use of the VHF radio to send a Mayday call. 

8. Manners and customs

Understands accepted practice with regard to: use of burgees and ensigns, prevention of unnecessary noise or disturbances harbour including courtesies to other craft berthed alongside.
Quite often yachts will be in close proximity with each other in harbour and it is therefore important for skippers and crew to show consideration to others especially at night. One of the main causes for complaint is people that play music and speak loudly in the cockpit well into the night. Sound will travel a long way in a harbour or marina at night thus disturbing the sleep of others.

Aware of the responsibility of yacht skippers to protect the environment.

During the course, the instructor will explain the law regarding the disposal of rubbish at sea and the use of heads in harbour. 

9. Rules of the road

Is able to keep an efficient lookout at sea

10. Dinghies

Understands and complies with the loading rules

Is able to handle a dinghy under oars

11. Meteorology

Awareness of forecasting services and knowledge of the Beaufort scale

12. Seasickness

Working efficiency is unaffected/partially affected/severely affected by seasickness. (Delete as applicable)

This is an assessment which will be made by the instructor. If a student is seasick during a course but can still function as a useful crew member the log book will usually be marked up as unaffected by the instructor. 

13. Helmsmanship and sailing

Understands the basic principles of sailing and can steer and trim sails on all points of sailing

Can steer a compass course, under sail and power.

14. General duties

Has carried out general duties satisfactorily on deck and below decks in connection with the daily routine of the vessel

This is where you can potentially fail the course if you do not clean the boat at the end of the course or carry out your share of the domestic duties during the course!

RYA Competent Crew Syllabus

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