Skipper your own sailboat or charter a yacht
The RYA Day Skipper practical course assumes you have the knowledge taught on the Day Skipper theoretical course. If you have not done this course in a classroom or online, you should make sure you have the knowledge and navigational skill to that level. You must also have some sailing experience, around 100 logged miles and a practical knowledge onboard to the level of the Competent Crew training. The Day Skipper practical course is run over 5 days whilst you live on board. Learn to take charge of docking, sailing manoeuvres, pilotage, passage planning and navigation during the passage.
The course is taught in a fun learning environment mixing up practical sailing with theoretical practice whilst in harbour or at anchor. There is also time allowed to enjoy the bays and harbours you will visit. At then end of the course, you should feel comfortable skippering a yacht in familiar waters during the day. This includes joining a flotilla holiday where you are guided by experienced crew on a lead boat
You can choose to do this course in either tidal or non-tidal waters and the certificate will then be endorsed accordingly. You will find the RYA Day Skipper practical course is run at training centres worldwide. Take a look at our map below and find a centre in a location of your choice.
Previous Experience Required
- 5 days, 100 miles and preferably 4 night hours on board a sailing yacht
- Basic navigation and helmsmanship
- It is recommended you complete the RYA Day Skipper Theory course beforehand to ensure you have the correct theoretical knowledge
- If you are not familiar with all points of sailing and basic sail trim, you should consider completing an RYA Dinghy Sailing course
Min Age: 16
- Preparing a yacht for sea
- Reefing and changing sails
- Preparing the anchor, mooring warps and taking charge when mooring alongside, coming up to and picking up a buoy, and anchoring
- Meteorology: learn to interpret shipping forecasts
- Compliance with the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at sea
- Maintenance and repairs
- Engine maintenance and basic trouble shooting
- Victualling the yacht
- Emergency situations including recovery of man overboard, making a mayday call, using flares, and how to launch a liferaft
- Handling a yacht under power and sail
- Helming and trimming sails effectively
- Passage planning
- Night cruising and pilotage
Abilities gained after the course
You will be able to skipper a yacht in daylight hours and in familiar waters, ensuring the safety of the crew and the yacht at all times. Those who successfully complete the syllabus will be awarded the RYA Day Skipper qualification, endorsed accordingly.
The RYA Marine Radio VHF/SRC course is highly recommended for anyone who is going to be using a VHF radio on a vessel. If diesel engines are new to you then the RYA Diesel Engine Maintenance course is extremely useful. If you wish to improve your skills to the next level for longer passages, or if you are interested in building on your Day Skipper knowledge then the Coastal Skipper/Yachtmaster Offshore Theory course should be your next step.
Find RYA Training Centres offering the Day Skipper Practical Sailing course
- Training Schools
- Location Guide