Late notice spaces available for selected courses - click here for details

RYA Day Skipper Practical

Price: from £749 (Finance now available)

Location: Starts from our base at Premier Gosport Marina, and visits different ports around the Solent and adjacent waters of the South Coast around Portsmouth, Southampton and the surrounding area.

Duration: 5 days

The RYA Day Skipper Course runs over five days and brings students with at least the RYA Competent Crew qualification and some sailing experience, up to skipper level.

Take a look at our live day skipper practical course calendar for dates for the RYA Day Skipper Practical course!

Booking details

Course Information

Joining Instructions: Please click here for course joining instructions

What is included in the day skipper course price:

  • Yacht hire
  • RYA Qualified Instructor
  • RYA course materials and certificates
  • Breakfast, lunches, snacks and three evening meals (One evening meal is taken ashore at the students own cost)
  • Tea, coffee & soft drinks
  • Accommodation on board
  • Diesel
  • Cooking gas
  • Wet weather kit hire (not footwear)
  • Hire of a Baltic automatic life jacket

We can accommodate most dietary requirements, such as vegetarian, vegan, pescatarian or gluten free. Just let us know when you fill out the booking form.

Recommended Reading: RYA Day Skipper Handbook Sail (G71), RYA Yacht Sailing Techniques (G94), RYA Yachtmaster scheme and syllabus (G158)

Course Prerequisites: RYA Competent Crew (At least 5 days on board a yacht sailing) & Day Skipper Theory (or knowledge to the level of).

Minimum Age: 16+

Holiday Insurance: We would advise ALL our customers to ensure they have suitable holiday insurance in-place. Yachtsman’s insurance is available from a variety of souces like Topsail Insurance and can cover things like cancellations and personal effects cover.

This course will enable students to safely plan and undertake day passages in familiar waters, with an introduction to making a night passage, always returning to a port of safe haven. This is the gateway course to chartering yachts anywhere in the UK and the world. With the skills learnt on the course you will have a good, solid grounding ready to start your sailing adventures.

Read more

Day Skipper Practical Course formats & details:

Courses run in a choice of three formats:

  • 5 consecutive days: (Monday to Friday)
  • 5 consecutive days: (Wednesday to Sunday)
  • 2 consecutive Weekends: (First weekend incl a Friday)

During your RYA Day Skipper Practical course you will cover practical navigation, pilotage, boat handling, seamanship, skippering techniques, customs and sailing etiquette and the all-important berthing in marinas. You will also potentially cover rafting alongside another vessel, which is common during high season.

All Students will live on board the yacht for the duration of the course. 

Fancy going VIP and having your own exclusive private course for you and your friends or family? You can book the whole yacht just for your own exclusive course from only £749 per person. Enjoy the course in style, with up to five people on the boat being taught by one of our friendly, experienced RYA Yachtmaster Instructors.

What a way to start your sailing adventure!

Read more

Who is the RYA Day Skipper Course for:

The RYA Day Skipper Practical course is designed for anyone who has successfully completed the RYA Competent Crew and RYA Day Skipper Theory course (or has sufficient theory knowledge to RYA Day Skipper Theory level) who wants to undertake the practical qualification.

Successful completion qualifies students for their International Certificate of Competence (ICC), allowing them to confidently plan and complete passages in familiar waters and charter yachts in the UK and abroad.

As a guide we would recommend an absolute minimum of five days (or 100 nautical miles) of tidal waters yacht sailing experience as an active crew member. This requirement is usually obtained by taking the RYA Competent Crew course. However, If you are short of a few days experience then why not try one of our weekend mile builders!

We sometimes find that students with less than this level of experience may struggle to pass and complete the RYA Day Skipper Practical course.

Read more

Day Skipper Practical Course syllabus:

The RYA Day Skipper Practical Course is carried-out over 5 days aboard one of our fleet yachts (36’-44’), and teaches pilotage, navigation, seamanship and boat handling up to the standard required to skipper a small cruising yacht safely by day in familiar tidal waters.

The RYA Day Skipper Practical Course Includes:

  • Preparing the yacht for sea:
    • Engine checks
    • Sail & rigging checks
    • Securing and stowing all kit and equipment
    • Preparing mooring lines to depart the berth
    • Organising the crew to their respective roles
  • Deck work
  • Navigation
  • Preparing and executing a pilotage plan for entry into, or departure from, harbour
  • Meteorology (weather!)
  • Rules of the road
  • Maintenance and repair work
  • Engines, including basic checks:
    • Oil level checks
    • Coolant level checks
    • Alternator belt checks
    • Fuel filter checks
    • Water pump impellor checks
    • Basic engine servicing
  • Victualling (stocking the boat with provisions, supplies etc)
  • Emergency situations
  • Yacht handling under power
  • Yacht handling under sail
  • Sail handing, including reefing and how to change sails to suit prevailing conditions
  • Preparing an anchor, mooring warps and taking charge when mooring alongside, coming to a mooring buoy, anchoring, weighing anchor and slipping from a buoy or an alongside berth
  • 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 Dead-reckoning and Estimated Positions
  • 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
  • Understands the use of leading and clearing lines
  • Use of transits and soundings as aids to pilotage
  • Sources of forecast information
  • Interpreting shipping forecasts and the use of a barometer as a forecasting aid
  • Working knowledge of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (Col-Regs)
  • Carrying-out basic maintenance tasks on board the yacht
  • Knows the properties and uses of common synthetic fibre ropes
  • Taking the correct action as skipper for recovery of man overboard
  • Distress flares and how to use a liferaft
  • Operating a VHF in an emergency and sending a distress message
  • Principles of towing a yacht
  • Rescue procedures including helicopter rescue
  • Bringing a yacht safely to and from an alongside berth, mooring buoy and anchor under various conditions of wind and tide
  • Steering and trim sails effectively on all points of sailing
  • Compile a simple passage plan, taking account of relevant navigational hazards and limitations imposed by the type of boat and the strength of the crew

Please be aware that RYA Day Skipper Courses completed in the Solent and other tidal waters can be demanding.

This course is held in high regard with yacht charter companies worldwide due to the challenging waters, winds, tides and busy waterways you will encounter.

Courses run in the non-tidal waters of the Mediterranean are generally not accepted by the UK yacht charter industry. Our RYA Day Skipper course also qualifies you for the International Certificate of Competence (ICC).

Our RYA Day Skipper courses have 4 to 5 students. We aim it at a mixture of RYA Competent Crew and trainee RYA Day Skipper students per boat. All Students are able to live and stay on board the yacht for the duration of the course.

In some instances sharing a cabin may be required.

Read more

The next steps:

Following completion of your RYA Day Skipper Practical course, you may be thinking about your next steps and how to best put your new skills into action.

Depending on where you want to eventually go with sailing, we’d heavily recommend the following:

  • Go sailing! -Yes, just get out there and go sailing with friends. Enjoy it and get some experience under your belt. We also offer our very popular Mile Building weekends which are great fun, and you’ll get to meet other like-minded sailors, all under the watchful eye of one of our RYA qualified instructors
  • VHF/SRC course. Well worth doing, as this will give you confidence and a whole range of new skills to properly operate a VHF radio. Carried out over one day in our dedicated VHF classroom.
  • RYA Yachtmaster Theory. This can be done in the classroom over 6-days. This course can also be done online. It’s well worth doing this before undertaking your RYA Coastal Skipper Practical course.
  • RYA Coastal Skipper Practical. This course is completed over 5-days. This teaches you about more advanced sailing techniques and longer passages. Well worth doing if you intend to sail over to France or the Channel Islands from Gosport or anywhere on the South Coast or the Solent.

From there on, the sky is the limit!

You may want to go all the way up the sailing ladder to RYA Yachtmaster, or perhaps even become an RYA Cruising Instructor which we can advise you on.

No matter what you want to do in sailing, we love a chat and will give you the best advice possible. So please either give us a call on 023 9250 4443 or contact us via email.

Read more

Our Chief Instructor says this about the RYA Day Skipper Practical Course:

Sailing is always about the journey, an adventure you embark upon every time you set sail.

To make the most out of your time on the course with us my advice is to make sure you have the right experience before doing the RYA Day Skipper course. You should have the basic skill sets of being able to tack, gybe and be able to help in hoisting and dropping the sails.

You should have some good knot skills and have theory knowledge up to RYA Day Skipper Theory level including being able to do a tidal curve, course to steer, know basic Collision Regulations, day shapes and lights, fix a position on a chart, take bearings and convert them from either Compass or magnetic back to true bearings and identify marks and hazards as you sail along on your journey.

Sailing is always about having fun, visiting new places, meeting new people and building links with fellow sailors. You are going to be put under some pressure, and your knowledge will be tested but also built up and improved. There will be some long days, and something will always not quite work, but always remember to have fun and be safe.

We also offer our Complete RYA Day Skipper Combination Package which includes both the theory and practical courses. This will take you from having a little sailing experience through to passing your RYA Day Skipper first time round.

Read more

Booking details

Please select your preferred start date below.

Related courses

Subscribe to our newsletter for the latest news & offers

Subscribe Now