RYA Day Skipper courses can be taken in either sail or motor yachts and your certificate will be endorsed accordingly.
This is very much a hands-on course with little time to teach navigation or other theoretical subjects. It is therefore recommended that you take the RYA Day Skipper shorebased course prior to your practical course so you can put those skills into practice on the water.
If you need a Day Skipper certificate in order to work on board a commercial craft subject the MCA's codes of practice, you will need to get it commercially endorsed. You can then work on commercial vessels up to 24m in length, operating in category 5 and 6 waters - that is up to 20 miles from a nominated departure point in fine weather and daylight.
Please note: If you will be working in category 5 waters, you will need to hold both the shorebased and practical Day Skipper certificates, and get them commercially endorsed.
If you hold a non-tidal Day Skipper certificate and want to work in category 6 waters, you will also need to hold the Day Skipper shorebased certificate.
Our section 'Where you can work with RYA qualifications' has further information on the categorisation of waters.
Day Skipper course summary (sail)
|Pre-course experience||5 days, 100 miles, 4 night hours on board a sailing yacht|
|Assumed Knowledge||Basic navigation and helmsmanship. It is recommended that you attend the Day Skipper shorebased course before taking this practical course|
|Ability after course||Pilotage, boat handling, seamanship and navigation, Can skipper a small yacht in familiar waters by day|
|Minimum duration||5 days - either as 3 weekends or 3 days plus 2 days|
Day Skipper course summary (motor)
|Pre-course experience||2 days on a motor cruiser|
|Assumed Knowledge||Basic navigation and helmsmanship. It is recommended that you attend the Day Skipper Shorebased Course before taking this practical course|
|Course content||Pilotage, boat handling, seamanship and navigation|
|Ability after course||Can skipper a motor cruiser in familiar waters by day|
|Minimum duration||4 days or 2 weekends|
If you hold a non-tidal Day Skipper certificate, you may convert to a tidal certificate by completing a conversion course of approximately two days (possibly more for those inexperienced in tidal waters).