RYA Helmsman’s Course For Grenadian Crew

RYA Helmsman's Course | Grenada BusinessesOur two day course covers basic boat handling, engine checks and safety on board with your crew.  We tailor our courses to suit your business requirements and offer private RYA Helmsman’s course on board your vessel.


The Helmsman’s course is ideal for new crew members and employees who are conscious of the difficulty and hazards of boat handling. During the two days, the crew learns the essentials of running a motor boat. They will learn to identify parts and equipment, customer and personal safety, deck work, anchoring and steering the boat adequately. We spend our time in the bays and marinas around the Grenadian coastline where you are most likely to operate. There is no previous experience required for this course and any crew member can join in.


Helmsman’s Course Syllabus

Course Aim: To teach boat handling & safety within a defined area.


Theory Sessions

Types of craft:

  • Sportsboat, motor cruisers planing/displacement
  • Types of hull, seakeeping, wash and considerations

Engines and drives:

  • Advantages and disadvantages
  • Petrol / diesel
  • Single / twin screw
  • Shafts / outdrives, outboard, waterjets

Engine operation and maintenance:

  • Pre-start checks inboard / outboards
  • Engine checks while running
  • Routine maintenance checks
  • Fuel consumption range, reserve, and location of fuel cut-offs
  • Basic fault diagnosis

Safety and seamanship:

  • Personal safety equipment – lifejackets, buoyancy aids, flares, first aid kit
  • Anchoring – types, stowage, depth of water, preparation, check holding, weighing

Rule of the road:

  • Has a working knowledge of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea.


Practical Sessions

Boat preparation:

  • Local boating conditions and regulations
  • Preparation of boat, lines, fenders
  • Safety equipment, lifejackets, dangers, number in boat
  • CE marks, loading, effect on handling and performance
  • Use of kill cords If trailer – number of people for launching / recovery, slipway condition, steep / slippery, wind
  • Can tie & knows use of: bowline, round turn & two half hitches, clove hitch, single & double sheetbend

Boat handling:

  • Steering, controls, windage
  • Starting and stopping
  • Low speed, steering a straight course
  • Turning in a confined area
  • Effect of wind on bow
  • High speed / full power, planning, trim tabs and power trim
  • S turns, U turns, stopping from speed
  • Displacement craft: handling ahead and astern
  • Carrying way

Securing to a buoy:

  • Preparation of mooring warp and boat hook
  • Method of approach in various conditions
  • Crew communication
  • Making fast


  • Preparation and use of lines, springs, fenders, attachment to boat, stowage underway, securing to cleats
  • Method of approach in various wind and tide conditions
  • Making fast – importance of ‘taking a turn’
  • Use of springs to leave a berth

Man overboard:

  • Immediate reaction Proper observation of man overboard
  • Correct return
  • Awareness of propellers
  • Final approach and recovery of man overboard


Pre-course experience None
Assumed knowledge None – RYA Essential Navigation & Seamanship is recommended
Minimum duration 2 days
Minimum age 12
Course content Boat preparation, boat handling, types of craft, engines and drives, engine operation and maintenance, safety and seamanship, rules of the road, securing to a buoy, berthing alongside, man overboard recovery.
Ability after the course Competent to a handle motor cruiser of a specific type in sheltered waters. RYA Certified.


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