Preparation for Sea Knowledge of basic stability and buoyancy for small vessels. Can prepare a cruising vessel for sea, including engine checks, securing and stowage of all gear on deck and below decks and selection of sails.

Deck Work Can prepare an anchor, mooring warps and take charge on deck when mooring alongside, coming to a buoy, anchoring, weighing anchor and slipping from a buoy or an alongside berth. Can reef, shake out reefs and change sails to suit the prevailing weather conditions.

Navigation Knowledge of the use and limitations of AIS. Understands working up a Dead Reckoning (DR) and Estimated Position (EP). Use of a lead line or similar. How to work a Course to Steer to allow for set, drift and leeway. Can take and plot visual fixes. Use electronic navigation equipment for position fixing. Use secondary means of position fixing. Use waypoints and routes. Use knowledge of the IALA buoyage system. Maintain navigational records. Use and echo sounder


Can prepare and execute a pilotage plan for entry into, or departure from a harbour. Use leading and clearing lines. Use transits and soundings as aids to pilotage


Understands how to interpret shipping forecasts and use a barometer as a forecasting aid. Can source forecast information.

Rules of the road

Can demonstrate a practical understanding of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea.

Maintenance and Repair Work

Knowledge of the properties and uses of common synthetic fibre ropes. Understands maintenance tasks and is able to carry them out.


Understands the need for periodic maintenance checks on engines and electrical installations. Requirements for tool kits, spares, and lubricants. The location of filters and bleeding points for fuel.The tension of drive belts and how to adjust or replace them Can carry out checks before starting, whilst running and after stopping. Clean water filters and knows the location of the impellors. Estimate fuel consumption at various speeds and knows the effect of fouling. Basic troubleshooting


Understands how to victual a cruising vessel appropriately for the planned passage.

Emergency Situations

Understands how to issue distress signals by all available means, including distress flares and VHF radio, in an emergency. How to use a life raft. How to secure a tow. Rescue procedures including helicopter rescue. The effects of cold-water shock on a casualty in the water. The aftercare requirements of a casualty who has been in the water Can carry out the correct action as skipper for the recovery on a man overboard

Yacht Handling under Power

Knowledge of effects of waves on boat handling and crew comfort Understands different styles of hulls and propulsion systems. How to moor and leave a bow/stern-to. How to identify and take into account wind and current conditions when planning and executing manoeuvres. Can carry out the following manoeuvres under power in various wind and tide conditions: Steer a straight course. Turn in a confined space. Anchor at a pre-determined position. Berth alongside. Leave an alongside berth. Pick up a mooring buoy. Be aware of other water users

Yacht Handling under Sail

Understands the characteristics of different types of keel. How to identify and take into account wind and current conditions when planning and executing manoeuvres. Can bring a boat safely to and from a mooring buoy, and anchor under various conditions of wind and tide. Steer and trim sails effectively on all points of sail.

Passage Planning

Knowledge of marina locks. Understands the practical benefits and limitations of a chart plotter or GNS. Can plan and make a coastal passage, taking into account the relevant navigational hazards and limitations imposed by the type of boat and strength of the crew

Night Cruising

Knowledge of has experienced cruising at night, including leaving and entering harbour. Understands special considerations for pilotage plans, keeping a lookout and identifying marks.