Teenagers - RYA Day Skipper Course

This course is the next step for teenagers who are confident sailors. The Day Skipper course is aimed at those who have the necessary experience and command skills, to begin taking charge and skippering a yacht. There are actually two separate courses at this level, one classroom based and the other a practical on the water course. The first is the Day Skipper shore based course. During this 5 day course, you will be taught the rudiments of navigation, chart work, pilotage, tides, meteorology and safety. At the end of this week, those who reach the required standard will be awarded the RYA Day Skipper shore based course completion certificate. This is a non residential course from our base in Hamble. It can also be taken as a correspondence course at home, in your own time.

Once you have mastered the theory, it is time to put what you have learnt in the classroom, into practise on the water. This is where the fun really starts! Under the guidance of your RYA instructor, you will be fully involved in the planning of the days events. You will take it in turns to act as skipper for a number of passages. Your instructor will be with you every step of the way to explain, demonstrate and encourage you, as you build up your experience and confidence in this new role. Deciding how to leave the pontoon, manoeuvring the yacht safely out of harbour; deciding on the sail configuration and executing a passage plan - is all in a days work for an aspiring Day Skipper!

On successful completion of the 5 day practical course, you will be able to skipper a yacht in familiar waters by day light hours. To get the most out of this course, you need to meet the RYA pre course requirements listed below. 

Pre-course experience: 5 days, 100 nautical miles and 4 night hours on board a cruising yacht

Assumed theoretical knowledge: Day Skipper shore based course completion certificate or the equivalent knowledge of someone who has attended the course

Minimum age: 16

 Why not join our 9 day Combined RYA Day Skipper course and gain both your theory and practical qualification in one go! 

 DofE Residential opportunities  Duke of Edinburgh's Award - Residential Opportunity

RYA Sailing Courses

Example Itinerary

Day 1

  • 10:00 Arive at BOSS - check in at reception, meet your instructor and fellow crew
  • 10:30 Stowage of kit on-board, bunk allocation & safety brief
  • 11:15 Deck brief and prepare the yacht for sea
  • 12:00 Practice leaving and coming along side pontoons and the use of warps and fenders for tying up a yacht
  • 12:30 Lunch on-board
  • 13:30 Depart for Solent sailing, practise helming, changing sails and reefing
  • 18:00 Arrive at a harbour for the night
  • 18:30 Stow sails, deck tidy up and debrief
  • 19:00 Dinner on-board
  • 20:00 Discuss the days events & knot practise

Day 2

  • 07:00 Weather forecast, showers and breakfast
  • 08:00 Prepare the yacht of sea
  • 09:00 Set off on short passage, Man overboard practise
  • 12:00 Anchor for lunch. Whilst at anchor - Keeping a proper look out
  • 13:30 Depart anchorage - practise steering a compass course under power and sail
  • 14:00 Arrive in port for a short stay. A few hours at leisure
  • 18:30 Supper on-board
  • 20:00 Depart on night sail (weather permitting)   
  • 23:50 Arrive in port for the night

Day 3

  • 09:00 Breakfast. Passage planning
  • 10:00 Depart to sail on passage.
  • During the day : points of sail, helming and crewing practice, Discussion of emergency situations.
  • Lunch under way
  • 17:00 Arrive in harbour, dinghy drills.
  • 18:00 Dinner & cinema
  • 20:00 Spare evening for night sail (if required)   

Day 4

  • 07:00 Weather forecast, showers and breakfast
  • 08:00 Prepare the yacht of sea
  • 09:00 Depart for Solent sailing
  • 12:00 Enter harbour for lunch. Ice creams ashore
  • 13:00 Depart for afternoon sailing
  • 17:00 Arrive in port 
  • 18:30 Set up BBQ

Day 5

  • 07:00 Weather forecast, showers and breakfast
  • 08:00 Prepare the yacht of sea
  • 09:00 Depart for Solent sailing
  • 12:00 Short stop for lunch
  • 12:30 Depart for afternoon sailing
  • 15:00 Arrive back at Hamble Point, remove kit, clean yacht and fill out logbooks  
  • 16:00 Certificates awarded and depart

RYA Day Skipper Shore Based Syllabus

1.    Nautical terms

Parts of a boat and hull

General nautical terminology

 

2. Ropework

Knowledge of the properties of synthetic ropes in common use

 

3. Anchor Work

Characteristics of the different types of anchor

Considerations to be taken into account when anchoring

 

4. Safety

Knowledge of the safety equipment to be carried, it’s stowage and use

Fire precautions and fire fighting 

Use of personal safety equipment, lifejackets and harnesses

Ability to send a distress message using VHF radiotelephone

Basic knowledge of rescue procedures including a helicopter high line transfer

 

5. International Rules for Preventing Collisions at Sea

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

General rules (all other rules)

 

6. Definition of position, course & speed

Latitude & Longitude

Knowledge of standard navigational terms

True bearings & courses

The Knot (unit of speed)

 

7. Navigational charts and publications

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

Navigational publications in common use

Chart corrections

 

8. Navigational instruments

Use of parallel rulers, dividers and proprietary plotting instruments

 

9. Compass

Application of variation

Awareness of deviation and its causes

Use of the hand-bearing compass

 

10. Chartwork

Dead reckoning estimated position including an awareness of leeway

Techniques of visual fixing

Satellite- derived positions

Use of waypoints to fix position

Course to steer

 

11. Tides and tidal streams

Tidal definitions, levels and datum

Tide tables

Use of admiralty method for determining tidal height at a standard port and awareness of corrections for secondary ports

Use of tidal diamonds and tidal stream atlases for chartwork

 

12. Visual aids to Navigation

Lighthouses and beacons, light characteristics

 

13. Meteorology

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

 

14. Passage Planning

Preparation of navigational plan for short passages

Meteorological considerations in planning a short passage

Use of waypoints on passage

Importance of confirmation of position by an independent source

Keeping a navigational record

 

15. Navigation in restricted visibility

Precautions to be taken and limitations imposed by fog

 

16. Pilotage

Use of transits, leading lines and clearing lines

IALA system of buoyage for region A

Use of sailing directions

Pilotage plans and harbour entry

 

17. Marine environment

Responsibilities for avoiding pollution and protecting the marine environment 

 

Day Skipper and Watch Leader Practical Course Syllabus 

Section A

All candidates

1. Preparation for sea

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

2. 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 

3. Navigation

Is proficient in chart work and routine navigational duties on passage including:

  •           Taking and plotting visual fixes
  •           Use of electronic navigation equipment for position fixing
  •           Use of waypoints
  •           Working up DR and EP
  •           Estimating tidal heights and tidal streams
  •           Working out course to steer to allow for tidal stream, leeway and drift
  •           Knowledge of IALA buoyage
  •           Maintenance of navigational records
  •           Use of echo sounder and lead line 

4. Pilotage

  •           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 

5. Meteorology

  •           Knows sources of forecast information
  •           Can interpret shipping forecasts and use a barometer as a forecasting aid 

6. Rule of the road

  •           Has a working knowledge of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea

7. Maintenance and repair work

  •           Understands and is able to carry out maintenance tasks
  •           Knows the properties and uses of common synthetic fibre ropes 

8. Engines

  •           Knows how to change fuel and water filters, pump impeller and to bleed the fuel system

9. Victualling

  •           Understands how to victual a yacht

10. Emergency situations

  •           Is able to take correct action as skipper for recovery of man overboard
  •           Understands distress flares and how to use a liferaft
  •           Can operate a radiotelephone in an emergency and send a distress message
  •           Understands how to secure a tow
  •           Understands rescue procedures including helicopter rescue 

Section B

Sail Training Candidates only - Watch Leader 

11. General organization

  •          Understands the organisation and is fully competent to take charge of a watch at sea and in harbour

Section C

Yachting Candidates only - Day Skipper 

12. Yacht handling under power

      ·       Can bring a boat safely to and from an alongside berth, mooring buoy and anchor under various conditions of wind and tide

13. Yacht handling under sail

  •        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 

14. Passage making

  •      Can plan and make a coastal passage, taking account of relevant navigational hazards and limitations imposed by the type of boat and the strength of the crew

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