Why Day Skipper is the Most Popular RYA Course

Take the helm, command your own crew, and safely take control of a beautiful modern yacht with the Royal Yacht Association’s most popular course, the RYA Day Skipper Certification. Make the important transition from crew to skipper as you develop practical skills and build your sailing confidence with a fun, informative, 5-day, hands-on course under the safe supervision of qualified instructors.

This course prepares sailors to take complete charge of the yacht and the crew on short passages. You will concentrate on pilotage, boat handling, seamanship, crew handling, and navigation. Day Skipper is not a written exam. It’s a continuous hands-on course that is continuously assessed with practical instruction onboard a vessel. At its conclusion, the RYA Day Skipper Certification, along with the prerequisite RYA Day Skipper Theory Course, allows you to command a yacht and sail as far as 25 nautical miles from harbor without supervision.

Requirements for the RYA Day Skipper Course

You need some sailing experience before tackling the Day Skipper course. The RYA Day Skipper Theory Course is a preliminary requirement, as well as accumulating 100 nautical miles of sailing on at least five separate days with at least four night-hours onboard a sailing yacht.  

If you’ve never done any sailing at all, it’s a great idea to take the Competent Crew and Day Skipper courses back-to-back. Experienced dinghy sailors could easily go straight to the Day Skipper course.

Sailors must be at least 16 years of age, have standard and basic sailing abilities, and be in generally good physical shape to take the Day Skipper course.

What You Learn on the RYA Day Skipper Course

The RYA Day Skipper course prepares you to take complete command of a crew and yacht. Learn how to prepare the yacht for a passage, including the engine, sails, and gear. The course also teaches basic pilotage, boat handling, watch organisation, and provides all the skills and confidence you need to skipper a yacht on an inshore course with your family and friends for a day, a weekend, or a full holiday.

You’ll also gain experience with deck work like reefing, changing sails, preparing the anchor, mooring, anchoring, crew safety, and boat handling. Practical skills like meteorology and weather forecasting are vital to day skippers, and the course provides these fundamentals as well as practical navigation like taking and plotting visual fixes, working with electronic navigation equipment, estimating tidal heights, and steering to allow for tidal stream, leeway and drift.

You’ll also learn the rules of the road, some basic maintenance and repair work, victualling, and emergency situations like man overboard protocol, distress flares, life raft protocol, VHF radio etiquette and other emergency techniques that are vital knowledge for any day skipper.

Passage making is also a key skill that the Day Skipper course teaches, as well as the challenging elements of cruising at night. Upon completion, day skippers will know how to handle the yacht under power and under sail.

Why is the RYA Day Skipper Course So Popular?

Day Skipper is the most popular RYA course because upon completion, you will be able to confidently and safely skipper a small yacht up to 24 metres in length, in familiar waters during the day.  And with perfect weather and sailing conditions, there is no better place to take the course than in stunning Mallorca.

Enjoy five days of exciting adventure on the water with other sailors who also want to make the transition from crew to skipper. Spend four nights onboard the yacht and learn the fundamentals of cooking in a galley while underway, sleeping onboard, and you’ll get a real taste of the sailing lifestyle.

Sailors who take the Day Skipper course will have the experience needed to charter a yacht for a day or sail in a flotilla. As you build experience and skills, Day Skipper opens doors to more opportunities. The course is an excellent stepping stone to the more advanced RYA courses like Coastal Skipper, Yachtmaster Coastal, and Yachtmaster Offshore.

It’s time to take the helm, command your own crew, and learn how to skipper a yacht with the most popular RYA course, Day Skipper!

Keep Reading

An introduction to sailing doesn’t have to involve boring instruction in a classroom setting. In fact, the RYA Start Yachting beginner course provides the ultimate hands-on experience for first-time sailors who need basic introductory skills but also crave an exciting adventure. It’s the perfect course to try if you are interested in discovering whether sailing is something you want to explore further.

There are many requirements for the RYA Yachtmaster Offshore certification exam, but the one that offers the biggest challenge for many sailors is compiling the necessary 2,500 miles with at least 50 days at sea. This is especially difficult if you do not own your own boat. While building these crucial miles requires effort, there are many creative ways to accomplish the high mileage mark while also adding tremendous sailing skills to your repertoire. First, you must understand the mileage requirements. Then, you can begin to find creative and safe ways to build the necessary miles.

Learn to sail on the spectacular island of Mallorca to experience ideal sailing weather, stunning scenery, and a rich and vibrant culture — setting the perfect landscape for expert RYA sailing training. Mallorca Sailing Academy offers something for everyone — from beginners getting their first taste of the basics of sailing, to day skippers who want to enhance their RYA skills on the exquisite Mediterranean coastline.

Spain has some of the highest rate sunlight hours in Europe, with the towns and cities lying on the Mediterranean benefiting from the sunshine without suffering from the infamously excessive heat of the Iberian peninsula. All year round, the Mallorcan climate is relatively mild and is therefore suitable for all sorts of outdoor recreational activities like hiking, climbing, ball sports, and, certainly, sailing.

Mallorca is the biggest of Spain’s Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean, accompanied by Ibiza, Menorca, and Formentera. The culturally-rich paradise is a skipper’s dream, offering perfect sailing conditions for most of the year and an abundance of shoreline to trace and explore.

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