RYA Sailing Courses

RYA Day Skipper Practical Course

RYA Day Skipper Practical – Learn how to combine navigation, leadership and sailing skills.

Skippering a boat is fun and this RYA Day Skipper Course is about taking your first steps towards taking charge with the safety net of an instructor on board. Everyone will be given a chance to navigate and be skipper on short coastal passages with plenty of opportunity to co-ordinate manoeuvres under sail and power. You will be taught how to manage emergencies and health and safety procedures.

Learn big boat watch leader skills on deck, and navigational techniques below with chart plotters or traditional skills on paper charts at a full size chart table. Successful completion of the RYA day skipper course means you should feel confident enough to tackle short day passages as a skipper in tidal waters.

To  make best use of your time on board the boat it is important that you feel happy with all the theoretical knowledge that is laid out in the RYA syllabus and covered in the theoretical courses. This will allow you to make best use of your time onboard the boat putting what you have learnt on paper into practice.  

You will need to bring a passport sized ID photo in preparation for your RYA Day Skipper Certificate.

Previous experience required before booking a Day Skipper Course a minimum of 5 previous days at sea on a yacht, covering at least 100 miles and 4 night hours.

Tallulah is ideal if you are particularly keen on wooden boats or larger yachts

Tallulah is a gaff cutter with a single mast and you can set between 2 or 4 sails depending on the wind or the speed you need to manoeuvre in smaller spaces. She can sail with just a mainsail and staysail or spread her wings and set main sail, topsail, staysail and a big jib out on her long bowsprit. She has a long deep keel so sails well and her engine is mounted on the centre-line so she is well behaved under engine too. Her prop feathers when sailing so you can enjoy fast sailing with no drag.

These 6 day courses provide longer sea time and less pressure than those schools which offer a 5 day course. A four hour night passage is a compulsory part of the course but it is very often also the highlight of the voyage. It’s a great team effort with pilotage, communication, lookout duty and command skills.

Day Skipper as a Refresher for Experienced Sailors

Even if you already have Day Skipper qualification or higher, there is no reason why you cant book another RYA Day Skipper Course to brush up your skills or learn them on a very different boat to your previous experience. It is a much more relaxed option than a yachtmaster prep course and a wonderful excuse to come sail a 22 ton pilot cutter.

Tallulah’s skipper Debbie also runs non RYA courses on open sail row boats, introduces people to wild camping by boat and has been a supporter of sail training for young people since she was 18. Whatever your reason for practicing extra sailing skills – future classic boat ownership or a career change, we can probably help.

Requirements & Outcomes


Pre-course experience

5 days, 100 miles, 4 night hours on board a sailing yacht

Assumed knowledge

Theory to the level of Day Skipper. It is recommended you attend the Day Skipper shore based course beforehand.

Minimum age

16

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.

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