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About The RYA Day Skipper Course - Frequently Asked Questions

How much will the day skipper course cost including exam fees?

Up to £900 (approx 1,400 US $ or 1,100 Euros) to include the theory and practical courses, depending on the time of year you wish to do the practical course.

What will you get out of the course?

You will be able to confidently skipper a yacht in moderate conditions during daylight hours. You will be able to lead a crew safely in a range of situations and weather conditions. Many yacht charter companies around the world recognise this qualification and you should be able to marina hop around the Mediterranean, Aegean and Adriatic on a charter yacht upon qualification.

What are your limits on passing this?

You can skipper a boat on coastal passages in daylight hours, and if pushed should be able to navigate after dark in reasonable conditions.

Is it shorebased theory, practical or both?

This involves a theory course and a practical course. You can sit the theory course at many night schools, though you can also do an intensive theory course at a sailing school. The practical course is done over five days at a recognised RYA training establishment.

Where can you take the day skipper course?

You can do this anywhere that offers RYA training.

Can you do it in another country?

Yes. RYA instructors operate around the globe!

What level of experience do you need before you begin the course?

You should have at a minimum five logged days on a yacht covering at least one hundred miles and four night hours. If you’re into sailing enough that you want to do this course, this is a very basic minimum for someone who is into sailing enough that they want to skipper a boat alone. A five day non stop passage could cover 1000 miles easily while gaining a minimum of 20 night hours. Even port hopping you could get from Dover to Penzance with a good few night hours!

How long does the course take to complete?

The Theory course requires 40 hours of learning that can be done by online distance learning, night school or on an intensive week long course at a sailing school.

The Practical course requires five days of training at an RYA recognised training establishment.

What exactly does the course involve?

You will only attain your Day Skipper once you have completed the theory and practical courses.

Theory: Seamanship basics, coastal navigation basics, chartwork, electronic chartwork, position fixing, plotting a course, weather forecasting, tides, meteorology, collision regulations, parts of a boat and a vessel’s construction, and finally emergency and safety procedures.

Practical: This will take you from being a good crewmember to being a skipper. As such you will learn the basics of preparing a passage right through to yacht handling under sail and night sailing.

How do I progress after completing it?

You should consider taking the RYA Coastal Skipper course.

Does the day skipper course give you international accreditation?

You can apply for the International Certificate of Competence through the RYA on completion of this course.

Where can I learn more?

Look around this website for an idea of where to do the course. Look at the RYA website here (practical) or here (theory) for exact details of the course.

Further resources can be found here.

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