RYA Day Skipper Practical Course

If you have either done the Competent Crew course, or already have 5 days on board a yacht and have sailed over 100 sea miles then why not start to take charge of the yacht. The RYA Day Skipper sailing course is designed to teach you to lead/skipper a yacht on short passages by day.

The RYA Day Skipper sailing courses a great blend of practical sailing and the theory that you learnt during the Day skipper Theory course. You will predominantly learn and at the end of the course demonstrate an ability to safely skipper a yacht. Over the course you will cover some vital areas such as safely running through a Man Over Board (MOB) procedure, efficiently leading a team through sailing manoeuvres and safely moor a yacht in a range of conditions. All in all a lot of fun!



* Gain experience of Skippering yachts,

* Entry can be gained with Level 2 dinghy/keelboat certificate,

* Qualification enables you to charter yachts in the Med,

* Advantage of an experienced skipper, there to answer your questions,

* Minimum 5 days sailing,

* Can be done over weekends,

* Non Tidal Day Skipper sailing courses available in the Mediterranean

* Tidal Day Skipper sailing courses available abroad in places like the Canaries, Caribbean, Thailand and Australia


Pre-course experience 5 days, 100 miles, 4 night hours on board a sailing yacht
Assumed knowledge Basic navigation and helmsmanship. It is recommended you attend the Day Skipper shorebased course beforehand
Minimum duration 5 days, 3 weekends or 3 days plus 2 days
Minimum age 16


Course Syllabus

Click on the title below for more information:

Preperations 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. 

Deck Work

Can reef, shake out reefs and change sails to suit

Can prepare an anchor, mooring warps and take charge


Is proficient in chart work 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 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


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 soundings as aids to pilotage


Knows sources of forecast information

Can interpret shipping forecasts and use a barometer as a forecasting aid

Rules of the road

Has a working knowledge of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea

Maintenance and Repair Work

Understands and is able to carry out maintenance tasks

Knows the properties and uses of common synthetic fibre ropes


Knows how to change fuel and water filters, pump impeller and to bleed the fuel system


Understands how to victual a yacht

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

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

Yacht Handling Under sail

Can bring a boat safely to and from a mooring buoy and anchor under various conditions of wind and tide

Can steer and trim sails effectively on all points of sailing

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


Next Step

Once you’ve done the day RYA Day Skipper Course and got the certificate you can start to charter yachts in many countries, including the very popular Mediterranean. We do advice that you contact the RYA and use your Day Skipper certificate to get your ICC. This is an internationally recognised certificate, prooving your competence to charter a yacht.

If you’re looking to progress up the RYA courses then the next step is back to the classroom for the Yachtmaster theory course, which can be done over weekends, 5 days or online. After that you can progress onto the RYA Coastal Skipper Course.


The RYA Day Skipper course can be done in both tidal (e.g. UK or Canaries) and non-tidal (Mediterranean countries) areas. The UK is a great place to do it with most courses being run from the Solent area (Lymington, Southampton or Portsmouth). If you’re looking for a bit of warm relaxing sailing then Greece, Croatia and Turkey are all great locations. You can escape the UK winter with warmer and tidal sailing locations such as Gibraltar, Canaries, Caribbean or the slightly more exotic Thailand/Malaysia. For those going far out you can also do the RYA Day Skipper Course in Australia or Phuket, Thailand between April and October. The Canaries is a fairly fail safe year round tidal destination with good winds nearly guranteed.


Day Skipper Course Packages