Competent Crew - Whats next?

If you have completed your RYA Competent Crew course or you have a fair bit of sailing experience you might be wondering, what’s the next step? Well, the RYA Crusing Scheme is designed to be progressive and the next logical thing to do is to aim for your RYA Day Skipper Practical certificate. This will enable you to be the skipper of a yacht on holiday or in familiar waters during day light hours. With the Day Skipper certificate comes the minimum level of competence that you will need to charter a yacht in the UK and  Mediterranean. If you hold the RYA Day Skipper Practical certificate there is also a bonus: you can automatically get your International Certificate of Competence (ICC) issued!

What is involved in taking the RYA Day Skipper course?

The course is broken down into 2 parts. The first part is the RYA Day Skipper shore based course. This can be taken as a correspondence home study course, or by attending a course with us here in our training room in Hamble. If you choose the correspondence option you should allow between 60 – 80 hours to complete the course. If you take the shore based course with us as a classroom course, it is of 5 days duration between 09:00hrs – 17:00hrs each day. Alternatively the Day Skipper theory course is also available as a distance learning course or online.

The second part of the course is the practical course. This is a live aboard course like the Competent Crew course and can be taken in a number of ways. Either over 5 days, 3 x 2 day weekends or over 1 x 3 day weekend and 1 x 2 day weekend.Can I Day Skipper theory and Practical courses back to back?

Yes! We run a 9 day combined theory & practical course which usually runs from a Saturday morning through to the following Sunday afternoon. This way you can take both courses whilst only taking 5 days of your annual holiday! The first 4 days are spent in the classroom and the final 5 days are spent on the water. The classroom days are slightly longer as we are consolidating the majority of the syllabus into 4 days. Some of the shore based syllabus is suited to teaching in a practical environment so aspects such as passage planning are covered on the practical course.

Can I take the Practical Day Skipper course before the shore based course?

Not really! A lot of the practical course syllabus requires you to demonstrate your understanding of subjects that are taught on the Day Skipper theory course things such as; tides, pilotage, plotting on charts and rules of the road. You really need the knowledge you gain on the shore based course to successfully pass the practical course. So, if you are thinking of skipping the theory course you will need to do a fair bit of self study. An online version of the Day Skipper theory course is also available, so if you want to study for the certificate at home this is a great option.

Can I take the Day Skipper course straight after the Competent Crew course?

Yes you can! The RYA Minimum requirements for taking the Day Skipper practical course are to have logged 5 days onboard a cruising yacht, 100NM & 4 night hours. This would have been covered on the Competent Crew course. If you feel confident in your sailing ability there is no reason why you should not embark on the Day Skipper shore based and practical course straight way. In fact many people follow our Fastrack to Day Skipper course which combines all three elements; Competent Crew, Day Skipper theory and  practical into one 14 day course. If you feel you would like to consolidate the crewing skills you learnt on the Competent Crew course first, you can join us for any of our experience weekends or long distance cruises.

 Can I do the RYA Day Skipper theory course at home?

 The Correspondence and distance learning course can be started at any time that suits you. Once enrolled you can decide how much you want to do, when and even where you want to study.

  When do the RYA Day Skipper courses run?

 The shore based courses run on alternate weeks throughout the season. The practical Day Skipper courses are run every week and weekend. It’s just a case of picking dates to suit you. The combined 9 day courses run once a month.

Do I need an ICC if I wish to charter in addition to the Day Skipper qualification?

No! The Day Skipper practical course is a more comprehensive course than the ICC and subsequently the course completion certificate is regarded as a higher level of certification. If you are a member of the RYA and hold the Day Skipper practical certificate, you can apply for an ICC free of charge. If you hold the RYA Day Skipper practical certificate and are a non member of the RYA, you can gain the ICC for the appropriate fee.

Are there any other courses you would recommend taking along side the Day Skipper course?

Definitely! If you are going to be skippering a yacht either in the UK or abroad on holiday you should consider getting your VHF radio Licence. You can study for this on the Short Range Certificate or SRC course and then take the VHF exam. In fact, it is illegal to use a VHF radio in the UK without the supervision of a licence holder so if you hold the SRC radio licence your crew will be able to use the radio under your guidance. The SRC course is available online or you can come along on a one day course. The exam is taken separately and there is a licence fee of £60 payable to the RYA at the start of the exam.

Other short 1 day courses which you may wish to attend are the RYA Small Craft First Aid course specifically designed for the needs of yachtsmen and the RYA Basic Sea Survival course.