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ISSA Yacht Crew Student Textbook


The ISSA Yacht Crew course takes 4/5 days to complete.  Its a 90% practical course aimed at beginners to sailing. The Yacht Crew course is designed to be a fun course which stimulates people to learn how to sail on a variety of vessels. The course ensures that you can sail on all points, by course end and be an active competent crew on a yacht.  The syllabus is outlined on our main yacht training website.  Check out the handbook syllabus for Yacht Crew.  Assessment is by constant assessment, a practical and hopefully not too demanding process.

Our aim is to ensure we train you to sail and to be compliant and aware of the IRPCS, able to interpret Weather forecast Apps, Trim sails on all points of sail and a host of other skills. The good yacht crew is someone who can listen and be an active engaged member of the crew. Teamwork and communication go hand in hand. By course end you will be familiar with your skippers communications to crew. “Stand by to gybe, bare away, head up, luff up, ready to tack, heave to” etc.  Our aim is also to get you really engaged with the sport of sailing and want to do more.

The Yacht Crew Handbook is carefully illustrated so a beginner to sailing can easily appreciate the various chapters that cover the syllabus. Safety being our priority is covered in terms of personal safety, crew safety and boat safety. The sailing skills are again carefully illustrated as are all the other chapters. This is a Millenial Style” book rather than a ‘Sixties style’ textbook that some other systems used.  We want you to access the knowledge easily and not be falling asleep at page 7. The illustrator conveys whats important in each chapter and this is reinforced by succinct notes and explanations.

topics covered include the following:

  • Safety
  • Parts of a boat
  • Handling a boat under sail
  • Berthing Basics
  • Handling a yacht under Power
  • Tides
  • IALA Buoyage
  • Collision Regulations
  • Meteorology
  • Environmentally Responsible Sailing
  • Knots and Sails



The Yacht Crew Student Handbook is written for people who have little or no experience of yachts.  The aim of the course is to increase the candidates’ nautical knowledge to competently take on the duties of a Yacht Crew on board a vessel, in daylight hours, in sight of land.

Students spend 90% of the time on the yacht, learning how to sail in every possible direction, advancing their seamanship, boat handling, rules of the road and engaging in good teamwork.  Management of the yacht is about crew co-ordination, so  this course is structured to encourage communication, and to learn by doing, rather than rote learning!  Learning to sail and having fun.

Additional information


EN – English, FR – French, PL – Polish


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