If you want to learn to sail, the most beneficial RYA practical course you can do is the RYA Competent Crew Course. However, once you have some experience you’re likely to want to gain the skills necessary to actually skipper a yacht. For example, navigation and ‘the rules of the road’, covered under the International Regulations for the Prevention of Collisions at Sea (IRPCS).
To gain the RYA Day Skipper qualification requires that you understand how charts work, the difference between True North, Magnetic North and how to apply things like variation, deviation and leeway. You will need to understand how to read charts, plot fixes, courses to steer and estimated positions. You will also need to understand how to predict tidal flows, calculate tidal heights and know how to find and interpret weather forecasts.
You also need to understand how to pilot a vessel inshore and in coastal waters using all the information available to you. This means you need to understand buoyage and how navigational marks are lit and can be recognised during the day and at night. You’ll learn about clearing bearings and position lines as well as what to do if you are caught out in restricted visibility, such as fog. How to safely check a vessel and all its safety equipment and how to deal with a fire or flood are also addressed.
The RYA Day Skipper Course is covered by two modules.
The first, the RYA Day Skipper shorebased module requires 40 hours of structured learning and out of hours study / homework. The course is taught in a classroom and allows students to concentrate on the theory. At the end of the course there are examinations covering all elements of the RYA Day Skipper theory syllabus including navigation and chartwork and IRPCS.
The second module, the RYA Day Skipper practical course is water-based and is intended to both put into practice what the candidates have learnt in the classroom and also to introduce more advanced levels of boat handling and techniques required by any competent skipper, such as boat and crew management, anchoring and berthing techniques, sail selection and management, night sailing, close boat handling under power, sailing exercises and Man Overboard drills.
The RYA Day Skipper is entitled to apply for an International Certificate of Competence (ICC) allowing her to charter and skipper small yachts in many parts of the Mediterranean and other European coastal Waters. In fact, an RYA Day Skipper is considered competent to skipper a small yacht in familiar waters during daylight hours.
At Jolly Parrot our most popular course is the combined RYA Competent Crew Course, followed by the RYA Day Skipper Shorebased Theory Course and then completed by the RYA Day Skipper Practical Course. The entire course runs over two weeks, making it an ideal and productive way to spend two weeks in the sunny Mediterranean learning a valuable new skill and meeting new friends.
For more information contact Jolly Parrot Sailing on 02380 970824.