Sov Anchor closeThis RYA Practical Day Skipper Course is about learning to skipper a yacht in familiar waters during the day. It is the minimum qualification required to charter the club yachts and also abroad.

Experience being in charge on a yacht, taking credit when all goes well and being responsible when it doesn’t! Learn to skipper a short passage with the instructor on hand to give advice, encouragement and ensure your safety.

The RYA Practical Day Skipper Course lasts for five days and you sleep and eat on board.

2017 Dates

2nd  – 7th April 2017
23rd – 28th April 2017
 7th -12th May 2017
 21st – 26th May 2017
4th – 9th June 2107 (Ladies Only)
18th – 23rd June 2107 
16th – 21st July 2107 
10th – 15th September 2107 
 8th – 13th October 2017

Minimum Pre Course Experience: 5 days, 100 miles, 4 night hours.

Recommended Knowledge: There is not enough time on the Day Skipper Practical Course to cover all the navigation skills required to skipper a yacht, so you need to know these or have done the Shorebased Day Skipper Course in advance.

You also need to have a good basic sailing ability. It will be assumed that you know how to sail to the level of Competent Crew standard.

Course Content: Preparation for sea – deck work – navigation – pilotage –  meteorology – rules of the road – maintenance and repair work – engines –  victualing – emergency situations – yacht handling under power – yacht handling under sail – passage making – night cruising

Ability after the Course: Awarded the RYA Day Skipper Practical Course Certificate. 

This will enable you to Skipper a yacht in familiar waters by day and charter one of our club yachts.

The qualification is a “tidal” qualification so is recognised in tidal and non – tidal waters.

This qualification also allows you to apply for an International Certificate of Competence, (ICC) which will enable you to charter a yacht anywhere in the world.

Next step: RYA Yachtmaster Coastal Theory and Practical


Further Information

What to Expect on your Course

  • You can expect to be sailing the yacht in a range of conditions and situations.
  • You can expect to be manoeuvering the boat under engine on and off pontoons
  • You can expect to plan and conduct short passages.
  • You can expect a friendly club instructor keen to teach you everything you want to know.
  • You will learn lots and go home at the end of a weekend or course feeling happy and pleasantly tired.
  • Each day of the course is packed with activity. Breakfast is usually at 8am or earlier, depending on the wind and tide. At the end of the day, you will normally be in a marina ready for a hot shower and a trip to the pub by late afternoon.
  • Sometimes you may drop anchor for the night, other times you may tie on to a buoy.
  • On one evening of the course you will probably conduct a short passage and pilotage in the dark to gain some experience and see just how different it can be.

Where will you sail?

The Solent is a great place to learn to sail and get qualified. There are numerous harbours, bays, creeks, rivers, marinas and anchorages making it ideal to practice and test a whole range of yachting skills.

Because of the large volume of other boats and busy shipping activity, the Solent is always fun and interesting.

The Isle of Wight provides some protection from the worst of the Channel weather, meaning the sea within the Solent can stay relatively flat compared with conditions in the open sea.

But at the same time the tides in the Solent provide students with a challenge to their seamanship and navigational skills.


Our yachts are based at Mercury Marina, Hamble.  Please click HERE for directions and information.


Competent Crew courses are normally conducted on one of our two superb training yachts, Sapphire of Broadway and Spirit of Broadway.

They are both Halberg Rassy 34 and are one of the highest quality and safest training yachts on the Solent.

Your Instructor

Your skipper will be a highly experienced commercially endorsed Yachtmaster Cruising Instructor or Yachtmaster Instructor.

They are normally serving or retired Police Officers & Police Staff and have often completed all their training within the MPSC.

They will normally make contact with you before the start of the course and you will be provided with their contact number and email in your joining instructions.


Accommodation during a sailing course is on board the yacht and crew berthing is arranged by the instructor on the first day.

We only ever have a maximum ratio of four students to one instructor.


There are limited showers on board, but most nights you will be in a marina with good hot showers and shoreside facilities.


We cater on board for all meals, although it is customary to eat out on at least one evening. The skipper will do their best to provide food that is healthy and nutritious.

There will always be a plentiful supply of chocolate and biscuits. We will do our best to accommodate any special dietary requirements.

Just make your instructor aware when you receive your joining instructions.

Is it Dangerous?

All Royal Yachting Association sailing schools are controlled by a strict code of practice which lays down safety standards for the vessel and it’s skipper.

Full instruction is given about how to use the safety equipment on board.

I can’t swim. Am I precluded?

Non swimmers are welcome. All we ask is that you tell the skipper as soon as possible, comply with his directions and wear a lifejacket.

Is it hard work? Do I have to be fit?

We always say “If it’s not fun, it’s not worth doing”. There are ropes to pull, cooking to be done and at times you’ll get wet from the rain and spray.

These are soon forgotten over a drink in the evening whether it’s in a marina or a quiet anchorage.

Are there any medical restrictions?

If you’ve any special medical condition you can still probably take part but you must tell us as soon as possible when booking and also ensure that the skipper knows when you get on board.

You must also let him know if you are on any medication.

I haven’t got any sailing clothes or equipment. What do I need?

All the necessary equipment including lifejackets, harnesses and waterproof sailing suits are provided free of charge.

You’ll need warm clothes and soft soled shoes such as trainers. The only other item required is a pair of sea boots which are a bit like wellies but softer and with better grip. You’ll also need a sleeping bag.

Start/Finish Times

The course starts at 1700 on the Sunday evening and you can expect to get away by around 4pm on the final day of your course.

If you have any questions or would like some advice about which course is best for you, please contact us on the Clubline, 0208 643 4292 for a chat.


  • Diary of Events

    11th December - end FebBlue Spirit available for bargain winter charter
    6-7, 13-14, 20-21, 27-28 JanuaryWinter working parties
    29 JanuaryExec Committee Meeting
    3-4, 10-11, 17-18 FebruaryWinter working parties