Australia Competent Crew Sailing Course

Learning to sail in SydneyEver wanted to learn how to sail in one of the world’s most spectacular locations? If so, this is the gap year project for you! You’ll spend 5 days in the beautiful Australian water, learning the ropes about everything to do with sailing, so that you end up becoming, as the course suggests, a competent crew member! Don’t worry if you don’t have any experience, as this course will start right from the beginning and doesn’t assume that you know anything at all. What’s more, it’s a great start for those looking to work on yachts on their gap year.

The whole training course will take place within the confines of the stunning Sydney Harbour and Pittwater Bay – there aren’t many places on earth offering such an amazing location for learning to sail. You won’t be spending the whole time learning though, as there’s plenty of spare time available to explore the amazing sights and sounds of Sydney, one of the world’s most vibrant and exciting cities.

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  • Learn to sail in pristine surroundings
  • Get a recognised qualification in sailing
  • Explore Sydney and its iconic landmarks
  • Live aboard a yacht for 5 days
  • Meet fellow sailing enthusiasts and make great friendships

Once finished, many travellers decide to try and get a job aboard one of the many yachts in Australia – and what better way is there to live and work Down Under than this? Of course, exploring Australia is also another option, as is heading off and starting to get under the skin of a completely different country.

This experience lasts for 5 days, and you’ll be staying aboard a beautiful yacht for the entire time. Below you’ll find the itinerary for the week, although it is subject to change depending on weather and your own personal needs.


On the first day you’ll start with a briefing, before then learning some of the essentials. Then you’ll be off, as you sail towards Sydney Harbour. You’ll then start to learn about some of the more technical aspects of sailing – such as how to sail across the wind – before then completing some exercises to make sure you fully understand all the subjects taught today.


The second day will encompass lots of learning about the safety aspects of being on a yacht, and then you’ll move on to learning how to work with ropes. The final part of the day will be the highlight so far, as you help to pilot the yacht into port – don’t worry, there’ll be an instructor there with you!


By now you should be getting comfortable with life aboard the yacht, as well as the many jobs that it entails. The morning will begin with some fun exercises, before then moving on to learning about the basics of navigation. After that comes a real test, as you and your fellow students take charge of a short journey!


You’ll start today by going over all of the important information you’ve learned since the course started. Afterwards you’ll move onto learning about the “Man Overboard” drill – an important thing for any aspiring sailor to understand. You’ll then take a beautiful journey to Sydney Harbour, before then taking part in some more fun exercises.


You’ll start the day by understanding how to both clean and refuel the boat. Then the fun starts, as you sail back to the Sydney Yacht Club, with you and your fellow students showing off everything you’ve learned. After the final debrief, you will have finished the course, and will gain the Competent Crew certificate!

What is the accommodation like?

You’ll be staying aboard the yacht for the full 5 days. The accommodation is shared and has everything you will need for a comfortable night of sleep. After the exertions of the previous day though, you won’t need much encouragement to get to sleep though!

Is food included in the price?

You will be provided with three meals per day during your time on the yacht, and these are all part of the price. On one night you will have the chance to eat on-shore if you want to, although this will be at your own expense. Most people like the opportunity to get their feet on dry land for a bit though!

Are flights included?

Flights are not included, so you will need to arrange for your own transport both to and from Australia. Flights are not included within the project price as not everyone wants them, plus it helps to keep the price of the project as low as possible.

When should I arrive?

This experience starts on a Monday, so it is best to be in Sydney by Sunday evening. You’ll be provided with details about how to get to the yacht club when you book – get an early night on the Sunday, as Monday will be full of activity!

What should I bring?

You will be aboard a yacht for almost the entire time, so you will need to bring waterproof clothes with you, as well as suitable footwear. Safety equipment will be provided for you when you arrive, so there’s no need to haul a life jacket around with you before the project starts! For more information on what to pack for a gap year, please check out this article.

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