Syllabus for Helmsmanship Assessment 

September 2001


The club rules require a club helm to be in charge of any club boat taken out sailing - see CLICK HERE

The committee is keen for all members to become qualified helms for the club boats. There is a practical test for the 'limited helm' and an additional (paper) test for the 'full helm'. The 'Limited Helm' allows members to take charge of a boat in the local rivers (Roach & Crouch) and the 'Full Helm' is required before boats are taken on cruises away from these local rivers. Such trips are also subject to committee approval.

The 'Limited Helm' Test - normally taken on club boats.

The candidate shall demonstrate the following to the training officer:-

  • a) Ability to row both tender and wayfarer dinghy.
  • b) Suitable choice of sails appropriate to crew ability and weather conditions.
  • c) Rigging of boat.
  • d) Basic knots - bowline, clove hitch, figure 8,  etc.
  • e) Sailing and tacking through crowded moorings.
  • f) Sailing a set course between buoys (including jybing and tacking round marks).
  • g) Landing on and sailing away from beaches and jetties (including lea-shores).
  • h) Picking up and leaving moorings.
  • j) Man overboard drill.
  • k) Reefing procedures (both on a mooring and while underway).
  • m) Basic rules on right of way.
  • n) Capsize Drill if not previously demonstrated elsewhere.

Note that candidates will be expected to set sails efficiently for all points of sail and to keep a lookout for other vessels at all times.

The 'Full Helm' Test - A written paper covering the following topics:-

  • a) Rules of the road.
  • b) Navigation Marks.
  • c) Basic Navigation Lights.
  • d) Meaning of terms in Shipping Forecasts.
  • e) Knowledge of tidal stream directions in local areas.
  • f) Use of knots.
  • g) Requirements for gear for coastal cruising.
  • h) Anchoring Techniques.
  • j) Knowledge of local cruising area - danger spots and safe anchorages.
  • k) Sailing techniques as covered in the limited helm test.