Take your knowledge learnt in the classroom to the water.

RYA Day Skipper Sail Syllabus

Discover the syllabus

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 alongside berth

3.    Navigation

  • Is proficient in chartwork 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 to 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 surroundings 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 crew overboard
  • Understands distress flares and how to use a life raft
  • Can operate a radiotelephone in an emergency and send a distress message
  • Understands how to secure a tow
  • Understands rescue procedures including helicopter rescue

11. 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
  • Can steer and trim sails effectively on all points of sailing

12.  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

13. 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.

14.  Seasickness

  • Working efficiency is unaffected/partially affected/severely affected by seasickness

15.  Helmsmanship and sailing

  • Understands the basic principles of sailing and can steer and trim sails on all points of sailing
  • Can steer a compass course, under sail and power

16.  General duties

  • Has carried out general duties satisfactorily on deck and below deck in connection with the daily routine of the vessel.


  • Pre-course experience: 5 days, 100 miles, 4-night hours on a sailing yacht
  • Assumed knowledge: Competent Crew level knowledge. It is highly recommended that the student has completed the Day skipper theory beforehand.
  • Student Instructor 3:1 ratio
  • Student Instructor 2:1 ratio +£750pp


PRICE: £1’250


  • Preparation for sea
  • Deck work
  • Navigation
  • Pilotage
  • Meteorology
  • Rules of the road
  • Maintenance and repair work
  • Engines
  • Victualling
  • Emergency situations
  • Yacht handling under power
  • Yacht handling under sail
  • Passage making
  • Night cruising

Knowledge gained after the course:

Students who have successfully completed their theory and practical exam will be able to skipper their own yacht and charter yachts.  You will also qualify for application of  an ICC ( International Certificate of Competence) that is required by chartered companies abroad.

Successful students will receive an official RYA certificate.