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Competent Crew

Voyage code




Voyage highlights

An immersive and exhilarating voyage along England’s iconic south coast
Build resilience and independence navigating challenging waters with expert guidance
Achieve your RYA Competent Crew certificate and complete the residential section of your DofE Gold Award
Open to previous TSYT voyagers or those with previous sailing or outdoor learning experience

Set sail on this eight-day Empowerment Voyage along the south coast with Tall Ships Youth Trust (TSYT), starting and finishing in the great waterfront city of Portsmouth, at Gunwharf Quay Marina.  

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

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

Our Voyages of Empowerment are the second stage of TSYT’s three-voyage programme, building on the entry-level skills learnt on a Voyage of Exploration. These voyages support young people to develop resilience, a positive attitude towards challenge, greater independence, and an individual understanding of how they function within a team.  For this reason, this Voyage of Empowerment may not be suitable for young people without prior voyaging or residential outdoor learning experience.  

You can use this voyage to complete the residential section of your Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award if this applies to you, and you can also work to achieve your RYA Competent Crew certificate.   

Places you’ll visit

You’ll sail away from the Solent and then along the stunning south coast. You may spot dolphins and seals along the way. Likely stopovers include Cowes or Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight, and Poole or Weymouth along the coast. 

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. 

Takeaways from your sailing adventure

Life skills. Increased resilience. 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.

Each crew member will receive apersonal assessmentcovering theirleadership,teamworkandcommunicationskills – 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 safety 
  • 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 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.

All meals on board are included. 


TS Challenger Current Navy 1



Vessel Details

handbook challenger


Challenger Handbook


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