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Age range


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End port





Competent Crew

Voyage code




Voyage highlights

Explore the Irish Sea and northwest in an immersive sailing and personal growth experience
Open to previous TSYT voyagers or those with previous sailing or outdoor learning experience 
Opportunities to complete your RYA Competent Crew qualification and the residential section of your DofE Gold Award 
Develop resilience, independence, and teamwork through hands-on sailing and collaborative challenges offshore

Join Tall Ships Youth Trust (TSYT) for a six-night Voyage of Empowerment, starting in Belfast and finishing in Whitehaven, to expand your skillset in a dynamic maritime environment. 

If you’ve sailed with us before or you have a different kind of sailing and/or residential outdoor learning experience, this is a great opportunity to challenge yourself on board one of our iconic 72ft Challenger yachts. 

As you explore the Irish coast, you’ll be able to spend time reflecting on your aspirations, setting meaningful goals towards them, and develop tangible life and employability skills which will support you on your journey into adulthood. 

Our Empowerment Voyages are the second stage of TSYT’s three-voyage programme, building on the entry-level skills learnt on an Exploration Voyage.  

These voyages support young people to develop resilience, a positive attitude towards challenge, greater independence, mental toughness, decision-making ability, self-reliance and an individual understanding of how they function within a team.  For this reason, this Empowerment Voyage may not be suitable for young people with no previous voyaging or residential outdoor learning experience.  

You can use this voyage to complete the residential section of your Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award, and work towards achieving your RYA Competent Crew qualification.  

Places you’ll visit

You’ll sail into the Irish Sea, potentially taking in anchorages along the Irish and Scottish coastlines, with potential port stops of Campbeltown, around the Firth of Clyde, Isle of Man, before ending the voyage in Whitehaven. 

Bring something to record your ideas and reflections in (this can be a digital device) and be prepared to get involved in co-creating an ocean-based sustainability project to build your awareness and skills around taking action to protect our ocean environment. 

Be sure to bring a camera as you see plenty of marine wildlife along the way. 

Takeaways from your sailing adventure

Life skills. Independence. Resilience. Decision-making abilities. New connections & memorable moments. 

Over the course of your voyage, you’ll learn about and practice Competent Crew level sailing essentials includinghelming, sail handling, ropework and emergency drills.There will be elements of overnight and passage sailing working in a watch system.

Working with your watch, you’ll take responsibility for all aspects of sailing the Challenger – from deck duties and maintenance tocookingandcleaning.   

This voyage is a great way to explore new places, with plenty of time to reflect on your personal development opportunities. 

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


During this voyage, you will work towards achieving your RYA Competent Crew certificate. 

The RYA Competent Crew syllabus includes: 

  • Sea terms and parts of a boat, rigging and sails 
  • Sail handling 
  • Ropework 
  • Fire precautions and fighting 
  • Personal safety equipment 
  • Man overboard 
  • Emergency equipment 
  • Manners and customs 
  • Rules of the ‘road’ (at sea) 
  • Dinghies  

The cost of your RYA Competent Crew certificate is included in the price. 

RYA logbooks are available for purchase onboard 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.  

Further information

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

If you share our values and are keen to do more, you may be able to support our vital work further by joining the TSYT Volunteer Crew. 

Your Skipper may recommend you join future voyages or join our volunteer training programme, if they feel you have the skills and attributes that we’re looking for. 

All meals on board are included. 


TS Challenger Current Navy 1



Vessel Details

handbook challenger


Challenger Handbook


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