Why should I do an RYA Day Skipper Course?

Posted on 22nd November 2019


Imagine this...you’re looking for a holiday or some time away from home a little different from the norm. Your friend has started sailing and has told you how enjoyable it is, having the freedom to explore areas of the world that you normally wouldn’t be able to, the refreshing feeling of skimming across the open water with the wind blowing through your hair. Sounds great eh? But you don’t have much experience on the water and you’re not sure you’d have the confidence to sail a 38ft yacht yourself.

But you could have by undertaking an RYA Day Skipper Course through us, here at Sailing Logic. And it’s not as hard to obtain as you might think! 

We’ve pulled together all the information you need to know about an RYA Day Skipper course, how you can obtain the certificate and what the benefits of having one are. 

What is an RYA Day Skipper?

Simply put, an RYA Day Skipper is an individual who has undertaken and passed an RYA approved course at a licensed centre, such as ours here on the beautiful River Hamble, rendering them capable of safely skippering a yacht in open waters. 

This will include having the knowledge and practical capabilities associated with skippering, including, but not limited to, making sensible and well informed decisions relating to the sailing of your yacht, wind awareness, navigation, collision avoidance and regulations and crew management. 

In short, it provides you with everything you need to become a safe and confident skipper, both theoretically and practically. 

How do I become an RYA Day Skipper?

To become a qualified RYA Day Skipper, we recommend that you successfully complete an RYA Competent Crew Course. This course is a five-day event that has been specifically developed to educate complete novices on the very basics of safety at sea and seamanship, such as how to hoist sails, nautical terminology understanding, i.e. what does gybing mean, basic wind awareness and how to tie knots! 

All elements of this course take place on board, so you can really get stuck into learning all about sailing before taking the next step towards gaining your day skipper license - an RYA Day Skipper Theory Course.

The RYA Day Skipper Theory course is fully classroom based and lasts for five days, during which you’ll learn everything you need to know about navigation including pilotage, tides and essential ‘rules’ relating to sailing. On successful completion of the course, you’ll adequately be able to plot courses, understand weather systems and have the ability to generally plan for a day’s sail, exactly what you need to take the next step in becoming a day skipper. 

The day skipper practical course itself also takes place over five days, but this time on the water. The course will teach you basic skippering techniques all while under the watchful eye of your RYA instructor. In addition to actually taking part in the sailing, you’ll learn the essentials of navigation, pilotage, anchoring, mooring on both pontoons and buoys, man overboard recovery and also experience some night sailing and navigation.

If you don’t have a day skipper theory qualification, Sailing Logic offers a nine-day combined theory and practical course, meaning you can get it all under your belt in one go. 

What are the benefits of having an RYA Day Skipper licence?

You’ll gain a globally accepted certificate

While you don’t legally have to hold a day skipper qualification to go on a day sail or short charter in the UK, most charter companies, including our sister company, Fairview Sailing,  prefer customers to have one. 

Internationally, things differ slightly, with some worldwide charter companies, including our global sister company, Dream Yacht Charter, requiring only a sailing resume to sail in destinations such as the Caribbean or Pacific, while if you want to go sailing in the Mediterranean, you will need an International Certificate of Competence (ICC). In order to obtain an ICC, you will need to have successfully completed an RYA Day Skipper course. 

You’ll learn how to manage your crew

One of the fundamental tasks you’ll have to undertake as a skipper is managing you crew. Some of those who join you on board may have some experience while others may be complete novices. Part of an RYA Day Skipper course teaches you about the safe and effective management of crew, resulting in you being able to competently enjoy your sail with a strong team beneath you. 

You’ll learn how to successfully plot courses and prepare for your day sail 

While on a day skipper course, you’ll learn the basics of navigation and pilotage so that you can plot your very own day sail, whether you’ve chosen to venture out on the Solent or along the coast of Croatia. Regardless of where in the world you want to go sailing, the navigation techniques taught during your RYA Day Skipper course will give you the tools you need to safely and competently set sail anywhere in the world.

You’ll build the confidence needed to sail your own yacht

One of the main advantages of undertaking an RYA Day Skipper course is being taught by a qualified, knowledgeable RYA instructor, who will have ample experience to be able to teach you how to competently sail a yacht in open waters. 

Having this level of knowledge imparted to you will give you a higher sense of confidence to sail alone, and that, combined with five-days of practical sailing, will leave you adequately armoured to confidently sail wherever you want. 

You’ll meet fellow sailors and build some lifelong friendships 

Sounds like a bit of a cliché right? But it’s absolutely true. Taking an RYA Day Skipper course will enable you to meet fellow new sailors, all of who will have the same level of competence as you. You can make lifelong friendships with people who enjoy the same pastime as you, and who could potentially become sailing partners with you for future sails, maybe even taking part in a few Caribbean regattas together! 

We’ve even had a couple who met on one of our courses tie the knot! Now that’s commitment!

You’ll learn to sail in challenging waters

Learning to sail in the UK through an RYA approved course will put you in very good steed to sail in other waters around the world. We often hear from sailors who have learnt elsewhere in the world that sailing in the UK is a very different experience - and there’s a reason why! The UK waters are much more tidal than those in say the Med or the Caribbean, meaning that they are extremely changeable and very powerful. 

Learning in these waters will ensure that you have the ability to  sail in some of the world’s most unforgiving bodies of water, and arguable make you a more skilled sailor. In addition, the Solent, where Sailing Logic is based, is one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world, where thousands of cargo and pleasure vessels pass through every year. If you can handle that, you can handle anything!

What qualifications can I do once I have completed my RYA Day Skipper?

Having an RYA Day Skipper certificate will enable you to go on to complete a range of other sailing qualifications, including RYA Coastal Skipper and RYA Yachtmaster courses, both available through Sailing Logic. In addition, many of our day skippers have gone on to complete additional courses that support their sailing, including boat handling and wind awareness courses, available through our sister company, Aquasports

Find out more

Here at Sailing Logic, we offer a range of RYA approved courses available, so whether you are brand new to sailing, want to enhance your sailing CV or simply need a refresher, we can help.

Contact our experienced sailing team today on 02380 456360 or email info@sailinglogic.co.uk to find out more and book your next course. 

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