RYA Sailing Courses

RYA Day Skipper Practical Course

The beauty of RYA Courses on traditional yachts.

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 GPS and radar and a how to plot a large 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. BUT you can normally achieve this during the course, subject to weather.

rya with classic sailing

Moosk is ideal . . .

Moosk is a gaff yawl with 2 masts. She can sail with just a mainsail and staysail or spread her wings and set mizzen, mizzen staysail and a 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. In her sail training role under instruction young people take charge of her and bring her alongside pontoons so she is already a proven sea school boat.The charity that operates Moosk is also a full recognised RYA Training Establishment so she issues RYA certificates in her own right (assuming you have completed the syllabus). 

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.

Those studying for Competent Crew can if they have the ability complete sections of the Day Skipper practical syllabus and see what they need to do for the next step up the ladder to being your own skipper. 

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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