Traditional Crew Skills


Enjoy some exciting team days on Lynher learning to crew and sail a smack rigged gaff cutter.

Traditional Seamanship – Able Crew – 3 Day Course (2 nights residential)

Enjoy some exciting team days on Lynher, our wonderful restored 1896 Tamar Sailing Barge, learning to crew and sail a smack rigged gaff cutter.

You will gain the skills required to crew a traditional working boat and start forging your pathway into the maritime sector. From rope work to navigation and pilotage, these 3 days full immersion in sailing and seamanship will improve your familiarity with wooden boats. Be it a career or be it a personal interest, the best way to learn is by sailing a traditional vessel.

This course is aimed at people who wish to learn traditional sailing and seamanship skills. You will gain all the basic skills required to sail a working boat such as rope and knot work, how to use the running rigging, the traditional techniques for hoisting the sails. On a working boat that moves with wind and tide; learning to pilot and read a chart is a fundamental requirement as we sail in close proximity to land. You will learn to helm and to counteract the leeway that Lynher’s hull creates in order to navigate the waterways. This will include becoming familiar with the ‘rules of the road’ which is the water traffic that, in a naval port such as Plymouth, involves dodging warships and having a firm knowledge of buoyage signage and port operations.

By the end of the course you will be a competent deck hand able to support the skipper and your crewmates with any aspect of manning a working barge; from manoeuvring under sail to using the anchor. You will have gained wind, weather and tide awareness as well as pilotage and navigation knowledge that will will put any sailor in good stead for his or her future progression in the traditional maritime sector.

What is included: 2 nights residential on Lynher, victuals, safety equipment

What you should bring: a sleeping bag, towel and toiletries, a head torch, warm layers of clothes as well as a pair of short and tee, socks and wellington boots and/or old trainers. N.B. Bring a soft holdall as rigid suitcases are not suitable on boats!

Course duration: 3 days

Course dates: on request please contact the office