Day Skipper (Sail)
Ellie Lauren

This Day Skipper sail-training course is for individuals with a little yachting experience and basic navigation and sailing skills that want to be able to take charge as skipper over short passages. During the five-day practical course you will be given full responsibility at the helm for the crew and navigation with the instructor on hand at all times to provide advice and encouragement and to ensure your safety.

This practical course can be supplemented with the Day Skipper theory course either side of the practical week with 2 days classroom-based theory in navigation beforehand and afterwards. At the end of a successful course you may also be eligible for an International Certificate of Competence (ICC).

Imagine being capable and confident enough to take your friends and family out on a yacht for a day, a weekend or even on holiday. RYA Day Skipper is a qualification which enables you to safely take charge of a 30-45ft sail cruising yacht and its crew by day in familiar waters.

There’s no getting away from it – passing involves some work, some practice and some dedication. But RYA Day Skipper is your ticket to freedom. It shows charter companies that you have enough knowledge and practical experience to take their vessels out safely.

The Day Skipper qualification confirms that the successful candidate has the knowledge needed to skipper a yacht on shorter, coastal cruises during daylight. The Royal Yacht Association administers the qualification. It is a part of a series of qualifications that include Competent Crew, Coastal Skipper and Yachtmaster. While the qualification is primarily for the United Kingdom it is widely recognised internationally.

Once on board, you’ll cover all aspects of yacht sailing; how to trim sails, plan a passage, to moor and anchor safely. If you have previously taken an RYA Competent Crew course, these tasks will feel familiar. The main difference with RYA Day Skipper is that you’ll be making the key decisions on everything – from what to do in an emergency, where and how to berth the yacht, to when dinner should be served.

You’ll learn how to delegate jobs effectively and encourage and motivate crew members when needed. You will also be in charge of all aspects of safety management on board, from equipment and the yacht to the well-being of everyone on board.


  • Minimum age 16, 5 days, 100 miles, 4 night hours on board a sailing yacht, Assumed knowledge in basic navigation and helmsmanship, It is recommended you attend the Day Skipper shore-based course beforehand


  • RYA Day Skipper Handbook


  • Waterproof clothing, Sunscreen


  • Duration: 5 days (standard) or 9 days (extra)


  • Preparation for sea, Deck work, Navigation, Pilotage, Meteorology, Rules of the road, Maintenance and repair work, Engines, Victualing, Emergency situations, Yacht handling under power, Yacht handling under sail, Passage making, Night cruising


  • The Day Skipper Sail Practical (Non-Tidal) Certificate is awarded on successful completion


  • At the end of this course you can also include the one-day VHF/DSC Marine Radio course. Note that sail training courses taken in the Mediterranean are classified as non-tidal. Start and finish time: 09.30 to variable


  • Please contact us with the dates you would like to do this course and we will try to arrange this for you.