A course for aspiring skippers with some yachting experience and basic navigation and sailing skills.

Skippering a yacht for the first time can be a daunting yet exhilarating experience. The RYA Day Skipper practical course is designed to teach you to “take charge” safely and confidently. A skipper does much more than navigate, they are responsible for the complete safety and wellbeing of the yacht and crew. These responsibilities include weather forecasting, victualling, engine maintenance, sail selection and handling, passage planning, watch keeping, navigation and pilotage.

We will teach you these skills and you will put them into practice as you skipper the yacht on short passages around the Coast. There is particular emphasis on boat handling for Day Skippers and during the course you will practice mooring under various conditions. Students live aboard for the duration of the course and visit many different beautiful harbours and anchorages to practice pilotage techniques which, like boat handling, is an essential skill for the aspiring skipper. You will complete at least 4 night hours sailing to experience night pilotage and identify lights.

At the end of the RYA Day Skipper course you will be confident to skipper a cruising yacht on short passages by day.

Students who successfully complete the Day Skipper course are awarded the RYA Day Skipper practical course completion certificate.

This course will also enable you to apply for the ICC (International Certificate of Competence). This qualification is required by most European countries to validate your competence to own or charter a boat. The ICC, obtained by presenting your RYA Day Skipper certificate, will cover sailing yachts up to 24 metres in length in coastal waters. If you are looking for a commercial endorsement you will also need to complete the PPR course (See One-Day Support Courses).

Pre course experience
5 days, 100 miles, 4 night hours on-board a sailing yacht
Assumed knowledge
Theory to the level of Day Skipper. Recommended you complete the Day Skipper shorebased course beforehand.
Minimum duration
5 days, 3 weekends, or 3 days plus a weekend
Minimum age
Course content
Preparation for sea, deck work, navigation, pilotage, meteorology, rules of the road, maintenance and repair work, engines, victualling, emergency situations, yacht handling under power, yacht handling under sail, passage making, night cruising
After course ability
Be capable of safely skippering a small cruising yacht by day in waters with which they are familiar.