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Age range


Start port


End port





Competent Crew

Voyage code




Voyage highlights

Open to previous TSYT voyagers or those with previous outdoor learning experience
Build greater independence and resilience while experiencing leadership
Embrace challenge on an adventurous course from Plymouth - Portsmouth
Adopt a positive attitude to set targets for development
Achieve your RYA Competent Crew qualification and complete the residential section of your DofE Gold Award

Ready to take your sailing skills to the next level? Join Tall Ships Youth Trust (TSYT) on a seven-night Voyage of Empowerment from Plymouth to Portsmouth.

This is a great opportunity to challenge yourself and develop tangible life and employability skills on board one of our iconic 72ft Challenger yachts, while also considering your aspirations, setting meaningful goals and ultimately, supporting your journey into adulthood.

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

They 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 outdoor learning experience.

Not only can you use this voyage to complete the residential section of your Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award, but you will also work towards achieving your RYA Competent Crew qualification. ​

Places you'll visit

This seven-day voyage starting in Plymouth and ending in Portsmouth presents the perfect opportunity to build up your sea miles and night sailing hours while expanding and improving your sailing abilities in potentially challenging conditions.

The beginning or end of your voyage may include stopovers along the south coast such as Weymouth, Yarmouth, Poole and Cowes.

Be sure to pack your camera as you may spot dolphinsseals and fin whales along the way.

Takeaways from your sailing adventure

Life skills. Increased confidence. Independence. Resilience. Decision making. Lasting memories.

Throughout the week, you’ll experience plenty of opportunities to steer the yacht and enjoy some night and offshore sailing, as well as sail handling, ropework and learning how to keep safe on board.

We divide the crew into two teams (watches) – traditionally, known as Port watch and Starboard watch. In your watches, you’ll take it in turns to be involved in all aspects of sailing the Challenger, from deck duties to cooking and cleaning.

This voyage is a great way to escape from it all, with plenty of time to reflect on your personal development and identify opportunities for growth. There will also be plenty of challenges to build your confidence and widen your sailing experience along the way.

Each crew member will receive a personal assessment covering their leadershipteamwork 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 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 can recommend you for our Watch Leader 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


Book this voyage