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 yacht sailing at all, it’s a great idea to take the Competent Crew and after getting some experience come quickly back to do the Day Skipper course. Experienced dinghy sailors could go straight to the Day Skipper course especially if they have already done the Day Skipper Theory.

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!

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