RYA Day Skipper Theory

Price: from £359

Location: Starts from our base at Premier Gosport Marina

Duration: 5 days

The RYA Day Skipper Course is the most popular sailing course in the UK. Running over five days, this course brings students with at least the RYA Competent Crew qualification and some sailing experience, up to skipper level (Theory only).

Take a look at our live course calendar for dates for the RYA Day Skipper Theory course!

Course Information

Joining Instructions: Please click here for course joining instructions

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

Course Prerequisites: Some sailing experience is helpful, although not essential

Minimum Age: No minimum but Under 16’s must be accompanied by adult. Persons aged 16+ can be unaccompanied subject to other pre-requisites having been met

This course will enable students to safely plan and undertake day passages in familiar waters, understand navigational lights and buoys, with a theoretical introduction to making a night passage, returning to a port of safe haven. This is the gateway theory 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 adventures.

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Who is the course for:

The RYA Day Skipper Theory course is designed for anyone who has a basic sailing knowledge who wants to undertake further training in order to become a safe and competent Skipper. Successful completion of this course and the RYA Day Skipper Practical course 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 sailing mile builders!

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

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What we cover on the course:

The course covers the basics of seamanship, nautical terms, rope-work, anchor-work, the essentials of coastal navigation and pilotage, chart-work, and publications for navigation, electronic charts, position fixing, plotting a course to steer, dead reckoning and estimating your position, weather forecasting and meteorology, tides, collision regulations, day shapes and lights, construction, parts and equipment of a cruising boat, stability and boat characteristics, emergency and safety procedures including distress calls, use of flares, safety harnesses, lifejackets and liferafts.

Please be aware that RYA Day Skipper Courses completed in the Solent and other tidal waters are 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 Day Skipper course also qualifies you for the International Certificate of Competence (ICC).

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Course formats & details:

Courses run over 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)

The course includes free overnight accommodation aboard our immaculate, well-maintained yachts, and free tea and coffee, although no meals are included in the course cost.

All meals are at the students own cost and are taken at any of the great local establishments in Gosport, or a short ferry hop across the harbour to Portsmouth.

We also offer the additional benefit that any students travelling from further afield can arrive the evening before the course starts and have free accommodation on board the boat, so you are refreshed and ready for the start of your course the next day! Students wishing to utilise this benefit will need to provide their own food for that particular evening however. Please let us know if you would like to take advantage of this, so we can ensure we reserve a bed for you.

Please note that during high season accommodation on-board cannot be guaranteed, so please ensure if you need to take advantage of this benefit you inform us of your requirements well in advance. Should we have no free boats available, you will need to arrange overnight accommodation at your own cost.

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 £350 per person. Enjoy the course in style, with up to five persons on the boat being taught by one of our friendly, experienced Yachtmaster Instructors! What a way to start your sailing adventure!

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

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

The RYA Day Skipper Theory course is one of the best introductions to navigation that a budding Skipper can get. This course will give you a good working knowledge of how to pilot a boat from port to port. It’s a perfect starting point to give you the best foundation, enabling you to continue your sailing career all the way through to a professional Skipper.

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 course. You should have the basic skill sets of being able to identify all the parts of a sailing yacht, know how a compass works and ideally have some practical sailing experience. We always recommend that the student does some advance reading of books included in our “recommended reading” list at the top of the page.

It’s generally a good idea to bring along a selection of pencils, sharpener, eraser, calculator and ruler, as there is a lot to write down and good notes taken during the day are worth their weight in gold! Make sure those pencils are well-sharpened! It’s also well worth buying your own Plotter and Dividers before the course, or on the day (We have plenty in stock at all times!).

We give our students a little bit of homework each night to ensure they’ve grasped what was taught during the day. It all helps soak up the incredible amount of information and knowledge you’ll learn on this course, which is held

from 9am to 5pm each day with one of our brilliant Yachtmaster Instructors.

Our course fee includes all the equipment and tools needed to successfully complete the RYA Day Skipper Theory course, with no extras needed (use of our plotters and dividers is included). Also included within the course fee is the RYA Day Skipper Shorebased Notes book.

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 if you follow the instructors advice.

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