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RYA Day Skipper Combined Theory and Practical Course

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RYA Day Skipper Combined Theory and Practical Course

RYA Day Skipper Combined Theory and Practical Course with FREE ACCOMMODATION on board for the full 9 days!


Please contact us if you would like to reserve a place by paying just a deposit.

If the dates you require are full, do contact us to see if there is a waiting list – we do get occasional cancellations!



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About This Course

9 day RYA Day Skipper Combined Theory and Practical Course

The RYA Day Skipper Combined Theory and Practical Course is a great way to achieve both Day Skipper Theory and Day Skipper practical qualifications in one intensive Fast track Day Skipper course.

You will generally spend the first two days of the RYA Day Skipper Combined Theory and Practical Course in our classroom at Gosport Marina where you will receive a comprehensive introduction to navigation, safety and meteorology. You will then go to sea on one of our modern Bavaria yachts during which time you will be taught further theory including passage planning, basic pilotage, seamanship and safety. You will also be taught the full Day Skipper practical syllabus.

Towards the end of the 9 day course there will be a chance to return to the classroom for some revision before taking the RYA Day Skipper theory exams.

We offer a flexible approach to the itinerary of this course and the mix of theory and practical study to take individual learning requirements into consideration.

Unlike most sailing schools we provide free accommodation on the yacht for the nine days of this course including ‘Bed and Breakfast’ during the theory part so you will not need to look for a hotel and incur extra expenses.

Course fee includes course packs, berthing fees, most meals whilst at sea, hire of waterproofs and accommodation with breakfast on board throughout.

Go sailing for less!

Standby places – save up to 20% on course prices!

We will offer you a place shortly before the course start date.

Pre Requisites for the RYA Day Skipper Combined Theory and Practical Course:

  • Minimum Age 16
  • Competent Crew or
  • 5 days on board
  • 100 miles logged
  • 4 night hours

What is included:

  • Services of experienced RYA Instructor
  • Accommodation on board your yacht throughout – you do not need to find a hotel for the theory part
  • Day Skipper theory pack + training almanac
  • Meals eaten on board (excluding joining night and during theory) *
  • Berthing Fees
  • Use of foul weather gear
  • Use of a life jacket and all safety equipment
  • RYA Day Skipper Sail Photo Certificate (Bring a passport sized photo)
  • Modern marina facilities at base within easy walking distance of public transport

What is not Included:

  • Meals eaten ashore and during theory part of course
  • Secure parking at Gosport Marina (capped at £15.00 for duration of course)

What to expect:

  • Up to 5 students on board
  • You may have to share a cabin or saloon although we try to match boat layout to mix of students
  • There is a sole occupancy option for anyone who would prefer the privacy of their own cabin
  • The best plans are drawn in the sand at low tide – in order to complete the syllabus be prepared for your instructor to make changes based on wind, tide and anything else that can effect the course.

Useful pre course preparation

The RNLI have produced a series of useful quizzes and games on their interactive learning website. They are a fun way to prepare for your Day Skipper course. Check out  RNLI Interactive

What next?

After this course we recommend you build up your experience either by taking one of our milebuilding cruises, chartering a yacht or sailing on your own or friend’s boats. The next stages in the RYA cruising scheme are Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster theory and the Coastal Skipper practical course.

Upon successful completion of the RYA Day Skipper Combined Theory and Practical Course you will be awarded the RYA new style of certificate which will be registered on the RYA database. Students will be required to provide a passport size photograph when attending the RYA Day Skipper practical course.

If you have questions about the RYA Day Skipper practical course do contact us. Click here to find our most frequently asked questions.

Are you ready for Day Skipper?

RYA Day Skipper Course

The RYA  recommend that you have 5 days on the water or 100 miles before taking the Day Skipper course.

Competent Crew is the ideal course to prepare you for Day Skipper.

Can’t find the time to take this Combined Day Skipper course?

Why not take our Day Skipper on-line theory  course at home and then come down to our Gosport Marina base to take your Day Skipper practical course over 5 days or weekends.

You can even book a cabin to yourself for your course.

Duration 9 daysMaximum students : instructor5:1
LocationSolentMinimum age16 although under 18s must be accompanied by an adult
What’s includedAccommodation on board one of our Bavaria yachts, throughout, berthing fees, Day Skipper Theory pack and Training Almanac ,
breakfast, lunch, 2 evening meals and drinks on board, free hire of wet weather gear. 'Bed and Breakfast' during theory part.
ExtrasEvening meals eaten ashore during the course and on joining night if required. Lunches during theory part of the course. Plotters and dividers £24.99 and log books £6.99 available to purchase if required.
WhenUsually Friday evening 1900hrs to Sunday afternoon 1600hrs.  All year roundDon’t forgetAnything you cannot travel without as we cannot cater for everyone’s special favourites!
Let us know aboutAny special dietary requirements and needs.
Please note, we will do our best to cater for vegetarian diets or food allergies but not general food fads! Please call the office if in doubt.
Cost£799.00 - £895.00

Day Skipper Theory Syllabus

1. Nautical terms

  • Parts of a boat and hull
  • General nautical terminology

2. Ropework

  • Knowledge of the properties of synthetic ropes in common use

3. Anchorwork

  • Characteristics of different types of anchor
  • Considerations to be taken into account when anchoring

4. Safety

  • Knowledge of the safety equipment to be carried, its stowage and use (see RYA Boat Safety Handbook, C8)
  • Fire precautions and fire fighting
  • Use of personal safety equipment, harnesses and lifejacketsd.
  • Ability to send a distress signal by VHF radiotelephonee.
  • Basic knowledge of rescue procedures including helicopter rescue

5. International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea

  • Steering and sailing rules (5,7,8,9,10 and 12-19)
  • General rules (all other rules)

6. Definition of position, course and speed

  • Latitude and longitude
  • Knowledge of standard navigational terms
  • True bearings and courses
  • The knot

7. Navigational charts and publications

  • Information shown on charts, chart symbols and representation of direction and distance
  • Navigational publications in common use
  • Chart correction

8. Navigational drawing instruments

  • Use of parallel rulers, dividers and proprietary plotting instruments

9. Compass

  • Application of variation
  • Awareness of deviation and its causes
  • Use of hand-bearing compass

10. Chartwork

  • Dead reckoning and estimated position including an awareness of leeway
  • Techniques of visual fixing
  • Satellite-derived positions
  • Use of waypoints to fix position
  • Course to steer

11. Tides and tidal streams

  • Tidal definitions, levels and datum
  • Tide tables
  • Use of Admiralty method of determining tidal height at standard port and awareness of corrections for secondary ports
  • Use of tidal diamonds and tidal stream atlases for chartwork

12. Visual aids to navigation

  • Lighthouses and beacons, light characteristics

13. Meteorology

  • Sources of broadcast meteorological information
  • Knowledge of terms used in shipping forecasts, including the Beaufort scale, and their significance to small craft
  • Basic knowledge of highs, lows and fronts

14. Passage planning

  • Preparation of navigational plan for short coastal passagesb. Meteorological considerations in planning short coastal passages
  • Use of waypoints on passaged. Importance of confirmation of position by an independent source
  • Keeping a navigational

15. Navigation in restricted visibility

  • Precautions to be taken in, and limitations imposed by fog

16. Pilotage

  • Use of transits, leading lines and clearing lines
  • IALA system of buoyage for Region A
  • Use of sailing directions
  • Pilotage plans and harbour entry

17. Marine environment

  • Responsibility for avoiding pollution and protecting the marine environment

The Day Skipper course teaches pilotage, navigation, seamanship and boat handling up to the required standard to skipper a small cruising yacht safely by day in tidal waters with which the student is familiar.

  • 1. Preparation for sea
  • Is able to prepare a yacht for sea, including engine checks, selection of sails, securing and stowage of all gear on deck and below
  • 2. Deck Work
  • Can reef, shake out reefs and change sails to suit prevailing conditions
  • Can prepare an anchor, mooring warps and take charge on deck when mooring alongside, coming to a buoy, anchoring, weighing anchor and slipping from a buoy or alongside berth
  • 3. Navigation
    Is proficient in chartwork and routine navigational duties on passage including:
  • Taking and plotting visual fixes
  • Use of electronic navigation equipment for position fixing
  • Use of waypoints
  • Working up to 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
  • 4. Pilotage
  • Can prepare and execute a pilotage plan for entry into, or departure from, harbour
  • Understands the use of leading and clearing lines
  • Use of transits and surroundings as aids to pilotage
  • 5. Meteorology
  • Knows sources of forecast information
  • Can interpret shipping forecasts and use a barometer as a forecasting aid
  • 6. Rule of the road
  • Has a working knowledge of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea
  • 7. Maintenance and repair work
  • Understands and is able to carry out maintenance tasks
  • Knows the properties and uses of common synthetic fibre ropes
  • 8. Engines
  • Knows how to change fuel and water filters, pump impeller and to bleed the fuel system
  • 9. Victualling
  • Understands how to victual a yacht
  • 10. Emergency situations
  • Is able to take correct action as skipper for recovery of man overboard
  • Understands distress flares and how to use a liferaft
  • Can operate a radiotelephone in an emergency and send a distress message
  • Understands how to secure a tow
  • Understands rescue procedures including helicopter rescue
  • 11. 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
  • Can steer and trim sails effectively on all points of sailing
  • 12. 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
  • 13. Night cruising
  • Has experienced sail cruising at night, including leaving and entering harbour. Understands the special consideration for pilotage plans, keeping a lookout and identifying marks by night.
  • 14. Seasickness
  • Working efficiency is unaffected/partially affected/severely affected by seasickness
  • 15. Helmsmanship and sailing
  • Understands the basic principles of sailing and can steer and trim sails on all points of sailing
  • Can steer a compass course, under sail and power
  • 16. General duties
  • Has carried out general duties satisfactorily on deck and below decks in connection with the daily routine of the vessel

FEEDBACK – Day Skipper Combined Theory and Practical Course, Student Reviews

Thanks Guys the course was spot on.

Phil –Day Skipper Theory and Practical course, June 2019

Thoroughly enjoyed the course. I found Nick’s approach of allowing us to make mistakes, and the calmness and clarity of his instructions to correct those mistakes, was excellent for building confidence. I will recommend Nick and commodore yachting to anyone looking to do their day skipper.

Andrew – Day Skipper Theory and Practical course, October 2018

Simon was endlessly patient, full of fascinating tales and a very practical, down to earth instructor. I have learnt huge amounts over the 9 days, and can’t wait to put it into practise now. Many, many thanks

Helen – Day Skipper Theory and Practical course, April 2018

Our instructor, Simon, is one of the most competent, personable and knowledgeable mariners I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. He is an asset to your company and someone I would happily sail with again.

Stephen – Day Skipper Theory and Practical course, March 2018

Excellent course run by excellent staff. Alex was superb, very patient and highly knowledgeable. Thoroughly enjoyed my 9 days on board and would recommend to anyone looking to undertake a sailing course.

Leigh – Day Skipper Theory and Practical course, January 2017

I thoroughly enjoyed my course with excellent teaching by Simon giving good theory instruction which was then progressed to great practical tuition, improved by his vast experience and knowledge of practical yachting.

Mike – Day Skipper Theory and Practical course, September 2016

Many thanks to Commodore, Stuart and Simon for a fantastic course. Would highly recommend Commodore and the Combined Day Skipped Theory/Practical Course

Calum – Day Skipper Theory and Practical course, August 2016

A brilliant company to train with. I will be recommending you to people in the future.

James – Competent Crew and Day Skipper Theory and Practical course , June 2016

The experience and the learning on this course exceeded my expectations by a large margin. I came away having learned a huge amount and was able to achieve more than I could have hoped for. Simon’s teaching style was friendly and relaxed. I came away confident that if I was to charter a boat in the Solent I would be able to cope with the conditions without worrying. The boat, its equipment and the facilities at the various Marinas visited were all excellent.

Phil – Day Skipper Theory and Practical course, May 2016

Mark was very knowledgable, hardworking patient and calm. He clearly new his stuff making you feel relaxed and confident. I would have liked some pre read advice on material to read which would have been the only thing I would changed. I would not hesitate to come back and advance further with Commodore and would request Mark as a tutor because of his passion for sailing, knowledge and positive supportive tuition. Good show Commodore!

Craig – Day Skipper Theory and Practical course, April 2016

Just excellent in all its aspects !!

Jose – Day Skipper Theory and Practical course, March 2016

Alex made the course rewarding and found out weakness early on and pushed us where it was needed. I came away with confidence and great new skills. And will without doubt be back with Commodore for more sailing.

Shirley – Day Skipper Theory and Practical courses, February 2015

The instruction and the course overall were outstanding. Neil in particular demonstrated patience and real desire for all to get the most out of the course that they could. Given the weather over the course, the 9 day format allowed the flexibility to chop and change between theory and practical – which meant we spent as much time on the water as possible. Thanks to all involved.

Andrew – Day Skipper Theory and practical course, June 2013

Just wanted to say thanks for the brilliant Combined Day Skipper Course!  Dave made the whole thing absolutely fantastic and a wonderful learning experience as well as a lot of fun.  I’ve been recommending you to anyone who will listen!

Matt – Day Skipper Theory and practical course, May 2012

I have had a fabulous experience, the instruction was excellent and reinforced by the superb practical experience. Superb company on our yacht, the others really made it a fun experience. Thank you.

Christina – Day Skipper Theory and practical course, March 2011

We want you to pass!

What if I don't pass?

We will offer you a further weekend FREE!

In the unlikely event of you not passing by the end of the course we promise to provide extra training FREE to help you complete your Day Skipper¹. Whilst we cannot guarantee that you will pass we would like to assist as much as we can. (see below for conditions)


¹ Our ‘Free Weekend Offer’ is subject to the following conditions:

      • Students must have theory knowledge to Day Skipper level.
      • RYA Day Skipper theory course must have been passed within 12 months of the Day Skipper practical course OR the student may be asked to sit an Day Skipper theory exam paper in our classroom.
      • Students must have passed the RYA Competent Crew course.
      • Extra  training will be offered subject to the recommendation of one of our experienced RYA instructors up to a maximum of 2 days.
      • This offer excludes any expenses incurred by the student in attending the extra training.
      • Our instructor will offer instruction to Day Skipper level however we are unable to guarantee a pass.
      • Any training offered will be subject to availability.


The Small Print

** We will provide breakfast, lunch and three evening meals during the practical part of the course with some cakes and biscuits for coffee / tea breaks. We are unable to provide an endless supply of food  / fruit / snacks including crisps and chocolate. Should you like to snack throughout the day or have particular food favourites we respectfully request that you purchase these yourself. 

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