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Australia Competent Crew Sailing Course

  • In Brief
  • The Project
  • What to Expect
  • Reviews
  • Gallery
  • Extras
  • Dates & Costs
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Frontier Connect Projects

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Ever dreamed of sailing in one of the most spectacular locations on the planet? Well now you can do just that! This 5 day long competent crew sailing course in Sydney is designed to get you to grips with all the essentials required to set you on your way to becoming a skilled and accomplished yachting crew member.
The aim of the course is to familiarise beginner sailors to the breathtaking sport of sailing in a safe and controlled way, with our experienced instructors guiding you and your fellow crew members in a friendly and relaxed manner.  The action packed syllabus will teach you a variety of theoretical and practical sailing techniques, including understanding how to steer and trim the sails on all points, as well as managing the safety and seamanship issues on board; all the fundamentals for you to become a successful crew member and sailor. By the end of the week you will be able to helm the boat, handle the sails, keep a lookout, and assist in all the day to day routines of sailing a small yacht!
You will learn in the absolutely stunning setting of Sydney Harbour and Pittwater Bay, on board one of our spectacular training yachts. What’s more, the skills you acquire will be easily transferable to any type of yacht you may subsequently crew on, so there’s a lot of flexibility for any future sailing trips. Sunshine, travel, beautiful places and happy faces - no wonder a lot of people are seeking the sailing lifestyle!


  • Get hands-on sailing experience
  • Gain a recognised sailing qualification
  • Join a team of aspiring sailors
  • Explore Sydney & its iconic landmarks
  • Make lifelong friends and unforgettable memories
  • This is a Frontier Connect project!


  • Minimum age of 18 years
  • Intermediate level of English
Emergency Qualification Free Time Breakfast On-Board Family
Location Sydney, Australia

Week-long live aboard sailing excursion
Sailing theory & technique
Gain a formal sailing qualification
Explore Sydney Harbour


Instructions for transport to the sailing centre

Accommodation  Onboard, shared living area

Before you go

Pre-departure support & documentation
Travel & medical advice
Advice on visas and equipment
Discounted medical kit
Free Frontier t-shirt (UK only)


All safety equipment
Transport instructions to project site
Sailing orientation & training
In-country emergency support
24-hour international HQ backup


This is a live aboard course on one of our stunning training yachts. The course is broken into day by day itineraries that will take place in and around Sydney harbour and Pittwater Bay.


We’ll start Monday morning with a short briefing on what to expect from your competent crew sailing experience, followed by a plan of the day’s activities. Once we familiarise you with the basics of the yacht we will set off from the marina, hoist sail, and head out towards Sydney Harbour!
The afternoon session will begin with a look at the technical aspects of sailing, looking in finer detail at points of sail and how to sail across wind. You will also be shown engine checks and basic sail handling before ending the day with upwind and downwind sailing exercises.


Your second day aboard the yacht will involve crew safety drills, how to berth and unberth the ship, as well as looking in detail at some valuable rope-work techniques. You will then learn how to pilot the yacht into port, sure to be an exciting end to the afternoon!


Now that you’re acclimatised to the yacht and growing in confidence, Wednesday will begin with some fun sailing exercises to learn about wind direction awareness. Once you have been introduced to coastal navigation in the afternoon, you will have the opportunity to show off your new skills on a short sailing passage with you and your fellow crew members!


Thursday morning will begin with a recap of the theory and techniques that have been covered so far, before discussing important safety measures and role-playing ‘man-overboard’ (MOB) scenarios.
From the get-go the afternoon session will be full of excitement with a stunning passage to Sydney Harbour. Before the sun sets you will have the chance to participate in some navigation exercises with your crew members, learning how to communicate and work as a team!


On Friday morning your friendly instructors will show you all the necessary skills for cleaning and refuelling the boat. As we sail back to the Sydney Yacht Club you will have the chance to show off what you have learnt with the rest of your crew. Before your competent crew sailing experience comes to an end your instructor will debrief you on everything you have practised over the course of the week!
Please note that the above is a draft programme. Instructors may vary the detail to take account of individual needs and local weather considerations.


You will be supplied with simple, easy to follow instructions on how to reach the meeting point at our sailing school in Sydney on the Monday morning where you will be introduced to the sailing team.


Throughout the duration of your 5 day competent crew sailing course you will be living aboard the yacht with your fellow crew members and instructors! You will be staying in comfortable shared cabins with shared bathrooms facilities; all the essentials for a good night’s rest!


You will be provided with three meals a day whilst living aboard the yacht. The food on the boat will have a strong focus on healthy, wholesome meals to satisfy your hunger after an exciting day of sailing!
You may eat ashore for at least one evening during your stay on the yacht. There will be a variety of yachting clubs or marinas to choose from, giving you an opportunity to step back on land and enjoy some delicious Australian dishes.

Totally worth it  | 1 Jun 2017
As part of my ongoing professional development I decided to do the 5 day sailing course run by Fr...

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Quotes from some crew members  | 6 Apr 2017
Kirsty Kingswell: I had such a great time throughout the competent crew course and I went from ...

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After your project why not stay in country a little longer and head up the east coast to explore the range of adventure, environmental, and cultural activities that Australia has to offer. Frontier can organise a variety of projects in Australia for you, whether it’s an awesome surf camp where you can hone your skills with a surf board, rewarding conservation volunteering positions, or earn some money using your working holiday visa, we can help! Or maybe you just want a comprehensive 12 month bus pass for Australia’s stunning East coast? Check out our Oz Experience project, where travel flexibility is the name of the game!

Whether you want to travel independently or with Frontier, visits to sites like Ayers rock, diving on the Barrier Reef, canopy tours in the northern rainforests, or river rafting (as well as many other adrenalin sports) are a must. Take time out to get to know some of this amazing country's wildlife; the diving and snorkelling off the beautiful beaches is absolutely spectacular and you may even see pods of dolphins, seals or perhaps whales if you’re lucky. As you can see, there are plenty of exciting opportunities and activities on offer throughout Australia, so you’ll definitely never have a dull moment!


Project fee £ 740

Registration fee £ 180


Weekly. Please aim to arrive at the sailing centre meeting point on the Monday morning.


Five days from Monday to Friday.


Before you go

  • Pre-departure support & documentation
  • Travel & medical advice
  • Advice on equipment & visas
  • Discounted medical kit
  • Free Frontier t-shirt (UK only)


  • Sailing orientation & training
  • Food
  • Accommodation
  • All safety equipment
  • Transport instructions to the project site
  • In-country emergency support
  • 24-hour international HQ backup


Nearest airport(s): Sydney (NS) (SYD)



Flights are not included in our project costs. However, Frontier have partnered with an experienced and professional team of travel experts to help our volunteers find the best flight deals for their trips with Frontier. This travel specialist operates in the tailor-made, long haul multi-stop travel market, arranging complex airfares and transfers for independent travellers. They provide expertise, security and a vast product range along with a Travel Butler service which is a single point of contact and support whilst you are overseas.


For fast, efficient and up-to-date visa advice please contact our recommended visa consultancy partner:

Depending on your destination country and your country of origin, you might require a visa. Please see the appropriate country consular website for details or contact our affiliate visa consultancy service. Please note that your visa will usually start on the date that you enter the destination country regardless of when it was issued. Please check with the relevant embassy or high commission. If you are purchasing your visa or paying entry/exit fees in-country you will probably need to pay in US Dollars. If you have any questions please consult the relevant embassy or high commission. Please check the visa information regularly, as changes often happen without warning.


You'll need to buy appropriate travel insurance covering your participation on the project. You won't be able to go without the right travel insurance so double check to avoid disappointment. Please make sure that you're covered for the whole duration of your trip – from the day you leave the UK to the day you return. It's also best to get your travel insurance at the same time as paying the deposit for your project. Depending on your policy, this will cover you for any unexpected cancellations.

Your insurance should include the following:

  • Medical cover, including medical emergencies and medical evacuations (up to USD$3,000,000 / GBP£2,000,000);
  • Personal liability (up to USD$1,500,000 / GBP£1,000,000);
  • Cancellation and curtailment of your trip (up to the value of your project contribution).

If you are going to be scuba diving you should get coverage for scuba diving up to 30m, including hyperbaric therapy treatment (unlimited). You should consider obtaining insurance to cover you for any additional activities which you plan to do during, before, or after your Frontier project. We recommend that you obtain cover for your baggage and personal effects.

Frontier Partner Projects and Frontier group projects are run in partnership with in-country NGOs, small community based organisations, local research institutes, academic organisations and conservation agencies. Project descriptions and information are supplied directly by our partners or field staff and are accurate at time of publishing.

We aim to keep information up to date and accurate, however, the nature of our projects and in particular the fact that they are constantly evolving and developing in response to changing needs means that project activities, travel schedules, tour itineraries and daily timetables can change overnight and without notice.

To apply for this project, or to register your interest, just click on the orange "Apply Now!" button at the top of the menu. Fill out and submit a short application form and then one of our advisors will give you a call back to answer any questions and to progress your application if you wish to continue.

There is no obligation when making an application, and you do not need to pay anything at this point.