RYA Day Skipper

RYA Day Skipper Practical (Non-tidal)

charts The starting point for aspiring skippers and a great introduction to skippering a yacht for the first time. The Day Skipper course puts your theory knowledge into practice and develops your navigation skills whilst being out on the water. The main focus points of the course are pilotage and parking, the two elements that get you safely into a port and then into a berth in a controlled manner. You will take the wheel and be master of the chart table for as much of the course as possible with the support and guidance of your instructor.


Prior Experience

A little prior experience is recommended for the Day Skipper Practical course including 5 days at sea, 100 miles of sailing and 4 night hours which have often been obtained on a Competent Crew course. You will definitely require some knowledge of navigation theory to the level of Day Skipper Shorebased. If you want to be a step ahead, and maybe for a little light reading on the plane, order a copy of the Day Skipper Practical book and start to familiarise yourself with some of the activities in which you will participate during the course.

The mimimum age for this course is 16 years.


Course Content
• Prepare the yacht and its crew for a short passage
• Learn to manage the sails including hoisting and reefing
• Techniques for anchoring and using mooring buoys
• Preparing the yacht to leave and park in a berth and manage your crew
• Skipper the yacht for a short passage following the preparation of a passage and pilotage plans
• Producing pilotage plans for safe entry into and out of harbours
• Practical meteorology and using weather forecasts
• Victualling, engine checks, maintenance jobs and seamanship
• Man overboard exercises and what action to take if an emergency situation arises
• Navigation techniques using charts, pilot books and the chart plotter; log making and position fixing

Further details can be found on the RYA website.



The skills we teach should prepare you to skipper a small yacht for short passages in familiar, non-tidal waters during daylight hours. Subsequently, you might choose to bareboat charter a yacht or, whilst you increase your confidence, join a flotilla so you sail independently by day but have the comfort of a lead flotilla yacht and skipper to guide you through a route and help when it comes to getting into a marina. Alternatively, dinghy sailing is an accessible and inexpensive hobby and is great for improving wind awareness and sail trim.

Students who have successfully obtainted the Day Skipper Practical can obtain an International Certificate of Competence from the RYA if they are a British national or foreign national who is resident in the UK. Further information can be found on the ICC application page of the RYA website.

Before taking the next qualification, RYA Coastal Skipper Practical, ideally you should undertake the RYA Coastal Skipper Shorebased course which covers more advanced navigation, weather and skippering a passage.



Prices for RYA training courses may be found on the prices page. Please contact us if the sailing experience you have in mind is not listed and we will be happy to discuss your requirements.


If you are considering the RYA Day Skipper Practical (Non-tidal) course and want to discuss whether it is appropriate to your experience and knowledge please don’t hesitate to contact us.