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Watch Leader

Voyage code




Voyage highlights

Develop leadership skills
Work towards RYA Watch Leader, developing Day Skipper theory level skills
Learn how to plan, execute and review a sail training voyage
Career development, including access to expert training and mentoring
Take part in research projects around ocean health and sustainability

Are you keen to develop your leadership skills and learn more about your strengths and opportunities for growth?

This challenging voyage along the south coast is ideal for experienced sailors looking to perfect their skills on board one of our world-famous 72ft Challenger yachts.

For this ‘Voyage of Leadership’, you must have sailed previously sailed on one of TSYT’s Voyages of Empowerment or have a similar level of experience in an alternative outdoor learning setting.

Our Leadership Voyages offer an intense, challenging and immersive voyage experience and will involve learning to navigate, passage plan and lead a watch in addition to experiencing potentially challenging offshore and overnight sailing.

For this reason, Leadership Voyages may not be suitable for young people who have not completed the previous phases of our three-voyage journey or the RYA Competent Crew course.

This voyage provides a great opportunity to challenge yourself, while building the skills you need to achieve your life goals, and above all, learning what it means to be a leader in your community.

Sailing alongside other young people on a similar journey, you’ll develop the skills you need to work towards careers in the maritime sector and the blue economy.

As well as deepening your understanding of ocean science and sustainability, you can also learn from the knowledge and experience of your highly-qualified TSYT Crew mentors.

If you already hold a RYA Competent Crew certificate, you will be able to start working towards completing the RYA Watch Leader course, and get an introduction to navigation and passage planning skills at RYA Day Skipper theory level.

If you have relevant skills and experience, but have not yet completed a RYA Competent Crew course, there will be the opportunity to have this certificate awarded on the voyage.

Places you'll visit

The beginning or end of your voyage may include stopovers on the Isle of Wight, in Cowes or Yarmouth, or in Weymouth or Poole along the south coast.

Depending on the weather conditions, we may sail to Alderney, Sark or Guernsey in the Channel Islands, or you may voyage along the South Coast and explore the historic port of Falmouth.

Takeaways from your Voyage of Leadership

Navigation and passage planning. Team leadership. Challenging sailing. Training and mentoring.

Throughout the week, you’ll cover essential safety drills before you take charge of the yacht to plan, prepare, execute and review each component of the voyage.

You will take turns to lead the team in all aspects of sailing the yacht, from deck work to provisioning, cooking, cleaning and day-to-day maintenance.

This voyage is a great opportunity to make tangible progress towards achieving your goals, with time to reflect on your achievements and opportunities to learn about yourself as a leader and team player, and to develop the optimism, aspiration and expertise you need to influence your community as well as your own future.

Each crew member will receive a personal assessment covering their leadership, teamwork and communication skills — a great addition to your CV.

Further information

The Skipper will determine the final route depending on weather and other variables.

Your Skipper can also recommend you for our volunteer crew training programme, if they feel you have the skills and attributes that we’re looking for. You can speak to your TSYT crew if this is something you’d be interested in and you’d like to find out more.

Our Leadership Voyages have clear learning objectives and outcomes and can qualify for an authorised absence from school/college. Please ask for more details of how we can support your application.

All meals on board are included.


You’ll hopefully get the chance to sign off some of the competencies needed to complete the RYA Watch Leader course while you’re on board.

The RYA Watch Leader syllabus covers the following up to the standard required for taking charge of a watch at sea or in harbour. It is at an equivalent level to RYA Day Skipper, designed specifically for sail training vessels.

  • Watchkeeping
  • Seamanship
  • Navigation
  • Safety

RYA logbooks are available for purchase on board at a cost of £6 (Skippers are only able to take cash for this).

Duke of Edinburgh's Award

All voyages of four nights or more qualify for the residential section of the DofE Gold Award.

Please let our Reservations Team know before sailing if you want to use the voyage for this.


You’ll be asked to enter your passport details as part of the booking process. If you don’t have these to hand, please contact us as soon as possible after submitting your booking form to let us know your details, as we cannot accept your booking without this information.


You will also need to present your valid passport to the Skipper at the start of the voyage.

TS Challenger Current Navy 1



Vessel Details

handbook challenger


Challenger Handbook


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