RYA Day Skipper Practical Course

Aspiring day skippers

An introduction to navigation, boat handling and skippering skills, leading to the ability to skipper a small yacht on short daylight passages in fair weather.

About the course

This course is for aspiring Day Skippers and can be used to obtain an International Certificate of Competence and satisfies the minimum experience requirement for bare boat charter.

The Day Skipper practical course concentrates on pilotage, navigation and boat handling under both sail and power. It will also improve your sail setting and deck work, as well as developing your knowledge and understanding of seamanship and safety issues. During the course you will be able to take charge of the yacht on short tidal passages, under the guidance of the instructor.

Includes all food and accommodation on-board.

You may also be interested in:
International Certificate of Competency (ICC ) Application

If you would like to add on your ICC to you booking please inform our advisors at time of booking. There is a direct fee to the RYA for this, for more information please click here.


5 days aboard a yacht, including 100 miles sailed and 4 night hours.
You will also be required to have assumed knowledge of theory to the level of RYA Day Skipper, please be aware that the instructor will test you on this level of knowledge.

It is recommended you attend the RYA Day Skipper shorebased course beforehand.

Minimum Age: 16


The syllabus is taught in a ratio of (5:1) students to instructor and covers the following:

Preparation for sea
  • Ability to prepare a yacht for sea, including engine checks, selection of sails, securing and stowage of all gear on deck and below
Deck work
  • A reef, shake out reef and change sails to suit prevailing conditions
  • Can prepare and anchor, mooring warps and take charge on deck when mooring alongside, coming to a buoy, anchoring, weighing anchor and slipping from a buoy or an alongside berth
  • Taking and plotting visual fixes
  • Use of electronic navigation equipment for position fixing
  • Use of waypoints
  • Working up DR and EP
  • Estimating tidal heights and tidal streams
  • Working out course to steer to allow for tidal stream, leeway and drift
  • Knowledge of IALA buoyage
  • Maintenance of navigational records
  • Use of echo sounder and lead line
  • Can prepare and execute a pilotage plan for entry into, or departure from harbour
  • Understand the use of leading and clearing lines
  • Use of transits and soundings as aids to pilotage
  • Know sources of forecast information
  • Can interpret shipping forecast and use a barometer as a forecasting aid
Rules of the road
  • Working knowledge of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea
Maintenance and repair work
  • Ability to understand and carry out maintenance tasks
  • Understand the properties and uses of common synthetic fibre ropes
  • Understand how to change fuel and water filters, pump impeller and to bleed the fuel system
  • Understand how to victual a yacht
Emergency situations
  • Ability to take correct action as a skipper for recovery of man overboard
  • Understand distress flares and how to use a life raft
  • Can operate a radiotelephone in an emergency and send a distress message
  • Understand how to secure a tow
  • Understand rescue procedures including helicopter rescue
Yacht handling under power
  • Can bring a boat safely to and from an alongside berth, mooring buoy and anchor under various conditions of wind and tide
Yacht handling under sail
  • Can bring a boat safely to and from a mooring buoy and anchor under sail in various conditions of wind and tide
  • Can steer and trim sails effectively on all points of sailing
Passage making
  • Can plan and make a coastal passage, taking account of relevant navigational hazards and limitations imposed by the type of boat and the strength of the crew

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