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RYA Dayskipper Courses

RYA Dayskipper Courses

Summary of Course

By the end of the course you will understand all relevant theory required to navigate/skipper a boat in fair weather in familiar coastal waters by day. 

Subject material and assessment are set by the Royal Yachting Association, from whom you will receive a certificate on successful completion of this course. This certificate is internationally recognised and should lead you to consolidate your learning by attending the practical Day Skipper course at recommended venues. The RYA Day Skipper course is appropriate for those with any or no sailing experience who wish to master navigation and rudimentary skills from the beginning or to modify what they already know.

This course is held entirely in a classroom. You can expect 50% teaching delivery and 50% classroom based exercises with but great emphasis on homework. You can expect this course to demands a minimum of two hours homework per week. Each topic will be covered in a logical sequence and in manageable steps which build on previous work.

Would this course suit me?

Some of the most enjoyable parts of this course merely require you to be truly interested in the sea and how it is affected by other planets and how the sea affects our weather. The course opens up so many things you didn’t know about the sea and your tutor will explain this in detail, throughout.

Once this understanding is met, you will learn how to measure these elements in order to manage yourself, safely, whilst amongst them. Navigation can seem a bit daunting because there are a lot of protractor measurements, and this is new to a lot of us but, if you left school with an average level of Maths and English and can apply yourself to some new concepts, this will be enough to get you through. If you have any doubts about your ability to achieve this certificate, you can request advice from the tutor before you commit to enrolment. If you have any learning difficulties, please contact the tutor before enrolling.

The attendance and homework expectations of this class are high. Your tutor will always endeavour to keep you up to speed with the subject but whilst it is possible to accommodate holidays and absences, you will begin to struggle if you miss more than two of these sessions.
Length of  class: usually 10am-5pm
Length of Intensive course: 6 days
Attendance Required: 100%
You are welcome to enrol to this class upto: 1 week before the start-date

What do I need to join?

Basic maths and English are necessary, however distant an education. There is an initial assessment for this course, which is designed to identify your needs as a student, in order for your tutor to best meet them. Any specific learning differences (e.g. dyslexia or dyspraxia) can be assessed and met better with early notice.* 

If you are capable of entering general courses, it's likely that you have enough to join this course without prior qualifications but, if you are in doubt, please get in touch with us before enrolment.

What can I expect to learn?

By the end of this course you will receive a nationally recognised RYA Day Skipper Theory  certificate. This is the primary qualification needed to continue along the RYA syllabus and is necessary for hiring, skippering or chartering a boat in familiar coastal waters by day.

What complementary ‘life skills’ are gained from this course?

Personal and People management and leadership: as a skipper, you will be encouraged to develop tolerance and tact toward fellow crew/class members as well as a better understanding of “self”.

Which other courses/courses of study does this course link with?

Dayskipper Practical is your next step or some practical sailing
Coastal Skipper & Yachtmaster Theory after that
Yachtmaster Ocean ...eventually

How will I be learning?

The course structure is explained in the first week, where students receive a scheme of work & a summary of the session plans. Students are set-up with clearly defined goals. Sessions are largely, PowerPoint paced with practical tasks and homework is a major component of the course: a minimum 2 hours per week needs to be put aside for homework for some, more than 2 hours for others.

Application to your homework will determine your successful progression throughout the subject. You should put aside a minimum of 2 hours per week for homework and expect this to increase if you want perfect marks or have any difficulty comprehending certain elements. 

How will I know when I'm making progress?

In the initial stages of the course, key learning targets are clearly identified and recorded, along with your own, individually identified targets. These are then used to monitor & assess your progress. There are then 2 formal papers (exams) at the end of the course: covering; Chartwork & General Seamanship - needing a maximum 3 hours to complete over two sessions. Clearly, the exams will set the main criteria for monitoring and final assessment.

Are there extra costs?

All course texts and tools will be identified and available to purchase during the first two sessions. The recommended book list is fairly short but necessary - see below Please note – charts used prior to Sept 2006 will be of no use.


Access to a PC or laptop will assist home learning and tutor communications. Necessary additional equipment are: dividers, Portland Plotter,  soft eraser, 2B pencil, calculator, Alison Noice: Yachtmaster for Sail & Power; Collision Regulations (IRPCS); Admiralty 5011 – Chart Symbols; a compass (for drawing circles).

Information, advice and guidance

The course tutor is eager to open this course to individuals who want to access yachting and sailing but may be put-off by its traditional identity. Women are actively encouraged to access this course, as are those facing learning difficulties and financial boundaries. During the course, your tutor will explain ways in which all individuals can access yachting opportunities, regardless of race, sex, ability and financial background with information on accessing ‘like minded’ groups.

Other relevant information

Course content can be technical, using angles and low-level maths. If there is any doubt as to your ability to access this course you may request to speak with the tutor and will sit an initial assessment prior to the course commencing. Please see contact details

Date Event Venue Course Type
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