Book today and pay your deposit of £150.00

The RYA Day Skipper combined shorebased and practical course runs for 9 days and is for aspiring skippers who have some yachting experience, with basic navigation and sailing ability.

You should be able to sail around a triangular course and control boat speed and if gybing is still a surprise, then you need more practice.

Theory - Your course will commence in our waterside classroom on Saturday morning at 0930 for 4 days where you will receive a comprehensive introduction to chart work, navigation, meteorology and the basics of seamanship.  You will find this course invaluable if you want to learn how to start making decisions on board. This part of the course is non-residential (local accommodation can be recommended) and will finish at approximately 1730h Tuesday.

Practical - The next 5 days of your course is residential and full board. You will join the yacht by 2030h on Tuesday evening and start to put the shorebased elements of the course you have learned over the previous 4 days into practice. You will be taken through all safety checks and familiarisation of the yacht before setting sail by mid-morning the next day and returning to the marina at approximately 1600h Sunday afternoon.

Each trainee skipper will be asked to skipper the yacht on a short passage. The instructor will be on hand to give advice and encouragement, ensuring that your destination is reached safely. The essential element is that you experience being in charge, taking the credit when all goes well and also being responsible when it does not. The end of each day is usually spent around the chart discussing the passages and gaining from each other's experience. At the end of the course you should achieve a level of seamanship and boat handling up to the standard required to skipper a small cruising yacht safely by day in tidal waters with which the student is familiar.

Minimum age: 16

What’s included?

You will be coached over the RYA Day Skipper theory & practical course syllabus.

Theory (non-residential)

  • Day Skipper shorebased theory notes book
  • RYA course pack and materials including practice Almanac and charts
  • Access to the RYA online chart plotter
  • Tea and Coffee (Only courses at EASS)

Practical (residential)

  • All meals are provided for the duration of the course including a home cooked wholesome and hearty evening meal, exactly what you need after a day’s sailing and learning!
  • Accommodation on board – you are required to bring a sleeping bag with you & you can expect to stay overnight at other local marinas
  • Parking – available at Suffolk Yacht Harbour
  • All mooring fees, safety equipment, fuel and tuition from one of our experienced RYA instructors.

Maximum teaching ratio - 4:1 

Course language - English

An intensive 9 day combined Day Skipper shorebased and practical course. First 4 days are spent learning the theory in the classroom (non-residential) followed by the remaining 5 days on board (residential) putting into practice what was learnt ashore whilst it is still fresh in your mind.

RYA Day Skipper Theory Certificate & RYA Day Skipper Practical Certificate.

Holders of this certificate wll be able to obtain the International Certificate of Competence (ICC) - this is a certificate which is intended to provide evidence of competence when requested by officials in foreign countries. You will often be required to show this when chartering vessels abroad.

If the weather is not looking great or is forecast to be a bit chilly or windy you can hire wet weather gear from us.

Musto Waterproofs available in S, M, L, XL and XXL - £30.00 for the practical part of the course.

You are expected to bring the following comfort pack items with you; however if you don't want to bring your best duck down pillow or you haven't got a sleeping bag, don't worry you can hire a comfort pack from us!

A Comfort Pack comprises of a freshly laundered sleeping bag with liner, pillow, pillow case and towel - £15.00.

Local Accommodation – if you need accommodation for the theory part of the course we can recommend a self-contained studio flat ‘The Sail Loft’ which is available within walking distance from the Marina where our classrooms are based. Please check availability with us.


Nautical Terms

Parts of a boat and hull, and general nautical terminology


Knowledge of the properties of synthetic ropes in common use

Anchor Work

Characteristics of different types of anchor

Considerations to be taken into account when anchoring


Knowledge of the safety equipment to be carried, its stowage and use

Fire precautions and fire fighting

Use of personal safety equipment, harnesses and lifejackets

Ability to send a distress signal by VHF radiotelephone

Basic knowledge of rescue procedures including helicopter rescue.


International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea

Steering and sailing rules (5,7,8,9,10 and 12-19)

General rules (all other rules)

Definition of Position, Course and Speed

Latitude and longitude

Knowledge of standard navigational terms

True bearings and courses

The knot

Navigational Charts and Publications

Information shown on charts, chart symbols and representation of direction and distance

Navigational publications in common use

Chart correction

Navigational Drawing Instruments

Use of parallel rulers, dividers and proprietary plotting instruments


Application of variation

Awareness of deviation and its causes

Use of hand-bearing compass

Chartwork and Navigation - Traditional and Electronic 

Dead reckoning and estimated position including awareness of leeway

Techniques of visual fixing 

Use of GNSS and chartplotters for postion fixing 

Use of waypoints to fix position 

Course to steer

Tides and Tidal Streams

Tidal definitions, levels and datum

Tide tables

Use of Admiralty method of determining tidal height at standard port

Awareness of corrections for secondary ports

Use of tidal diamonds and tidal stream atlases for chartwork

Visual Aids to Navigation

Lighthouses and beacons, light characteristics


Sources of broadcast meteorological information

Knowledge of terms used in shipping forecasts, including the Beaufort Scale and their significance to small craft

Basic knowledge of highs, lows and fronts

Passage Planning

Preparation of navigational plan for short coastal passages

Meteorological considerations in planning short coastal passages

Use of and visual confirmation waypoints on passage

Importance of confirmation of position by an independent source

Keeping a navigational record

Navigation in Restricted Visibility

Precautions to be taken in and limitations imposed by fog


Use of transits, leading lines and clearing lines

IALA buoyage for (Regions A  & B)

Use of sailing directions

Pilotage plans and harbour entry

Marine Environment

Responsibility for avoiding pollution and protecting the marine environment



Preparation for Sea

Understand basic stability and buoyancy for small vessels

Is able to prepare a yacht for sea, including engine checks, selection of sails, securing and stowage of all gear on deck and below.

Deck Work

Can reef, shake out reefs and change sails to suit prevailing conditions

Can prepare an anchor, mooring warps and take charge on deck when mooring alongside, coming to a buoy, anchoring, weighing anchor and slipping from a buoy or an alongside berth.


Is proficient in chartwork and routine navigational duties on passage including:

  • Taking and plotting visual fixes

  • Use of electronic navigation equipment for position fixing

  • Can use secondary means of position fixing
  • Use of waypoints and routes

  • Can use knowledge of IALA buoyage

  • Maintenance of navigational records

  • Can use echo sounder 

  • Understands working up DR and EP

  • Understnds the use fo lead line, or similar
  • Knowledge of the uses and limitations of AIS


Can prepare and execute a pilotage plan for entry into, or departure from, harbour

Understands the use of leading and clearing lines

Use of transits and soundings as aids to pilotage


Knows sources of forecast information

Can interpret shipping forecasts and use a barometer as a forecasting aid.

Rules of the Road

Has a practical understanding of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (I.R.P.C.S.)

Maintenance and Repair Work

Understands and is able to carry out maintenance tasks

Knows the properties and uses of common synthetic-fibre ropes.


A working knowledge of the prevention of common engine faults and is competent in the following areas:

  • The need for periodic maintenance checks on engines and electrical installations

  • Requirements for tool kits, spares and lubricants

  • The location of filters and bleed points for fuel

  • The tension of drive belts and how to adjust or replace them

  • Can arry out checks before startig, while running and after stopping

  • Is able to clean water filters and knows the location of impellors

  • Can estimate fue consumption at various speeds and knows the effect of fouling

  • Can carry out basic troubleshooting


Understands how to victual a yacht for the planned passage

Emergency Situations

Is able to take correct action as skipper for recovery of man overboard

Understands how to issue distress signals by all avilable means

How to use a liferaft

How to secure a the yacht for a tow

Understands rescue procedures including helicopter rescue

The effects of cold-water shock on a casulty in the water and the aftercare requirements for the casualty ho has been in the water

Yacht Handling Under Power

Has knowledge of the effect of waves on boat handling and crew comfort

Understand the different styles of hull and propulsion systems

How to moor and leave a bow/stern-to mooring

Can carry out the following manouvers in various wind and tide conditions:  

  • Steer a straight course
  • Turn in a confined space 
  • Anchor at pre-determined position
  • Berth alongside 
  • Leave an alongside berth 
  • Pick up a moorning buoy 
  • Be aware of other water users

Yacht Handling Under Sail

  • Understand the characteristics of differennt types of keel

  • Can bring a boat safely to and from a mooring buoy and anchor under various conditions of wind and tide

  • Can steer and trim sails effectively on all points of sailing. Can steer and trim sails effectively on all points of sailing.

Passage Making

  • Knowledge of marina locks

  • Understands the practical benefts and limitations of a chartplotter or GNSS
  • Can plan and make a coastal passage, taking account of relevant navigational hazards and limitations imposed by the type of boat and strength of the crew.

Night Cruising

Has experienced sail cruising at night, including leaving and entering harbour

Understands the special consideration for pilotage plans, keeping a lookout and identifying marks by night

Course Availability

Day Skipper 9 Day Combined Course

Date Availability Price Book
12th March '22 Places Available £990.00 Book Now
--> --> --> -->