The RYA Scheme

For Sail & Power Cruisers

Competent Crew   Sailing course.

(Sail - Practical) For beginners, incorporating personal safety, helmsmanship & seamanship to a level where you will be a useful crewmember on board a yacht, instead of being sat there like a pudding while the people that know rush around you looking important!  A 5-day course, or completed over 3 weekends.


Helmsman's Course  Motorboat course.

(Power - Practical) This course is designed to enable you to handle a motor cruiser in sheltered waters with confidence and to be useful with mooring lines, springs, fenders, anchors etc.. It covers boating safety, boat handling, helmsmanship, & introduces you to basic engine operation. This is a 2-day course. It is really a crewing course rather than a skippering one.


Dayskipper Shorebased   Same course for sail or motor.

(Sail & Power) some practical experience is beneficial prior to this course, although not essential. The course covers the fundamentals in navigation, safety, tides & meteorology. This is a 5-day course; or completed over 3 weekends or evening classes. It covers the theory required to move on to Dayskipper Practical. If done over five full time consecutive days it is very busy and intensive.


Dayskipper Practical    Available on either sail or motor boats.

(Sail or Power) On completion of this course you will be competent to take charge of a boat in familiar waters during daylight hours and you will have some night experience too. The qualification embraces a basic practical understanding of navigation combined with the ability to manoeuvre the Yacht under Power or Sail. This is a 4 day course for power and a 5 day course for sail, or it can be completed over weekends. The entry level is Dayskipper theory or equivalent knowledge. The certificate is assessed by the instructor, it is not an "automatic pass" and there is a standard to be achieved. Some people ask if they can do the theory and practical in the same week....  the answer is "you have to be joking!" That would be impossible and against RYA regulations!  This certificate may be commercially endorsed and used for professional purposes.


Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster Shorebased

(Sail & Power). You will be required to have knowledge up to Dayskipper standard before starting. This course covers offshore & coastal navigation, pilotage & meteorology. This is a 5-day course; or completed over 3 weekends or evening classes. The 5 day course is very concentrated and intensive and should not be attempted unless you have the right entry level of knowledge.. It is absolutely imperative that you are are up to Dayskipper level before starting this course.  There is very little time to back track and you will not pass if you can't keep up. We will however, give you free unlimited extra time until you either pass or decide to take up caravanning!  


Coastal Skipper

(Sail or Power - Practical) After completing this course you should be competent enough to skipper coastal passages during day & night hours having experienced a more advanced course in navigation, seamanship & meteorology. This is a minimum 5-day course and often includes a cross channel passage (which is best done over 7 days since it takes about 36 hours to cross channel and return). A course completion certificate is issued at the end. This should not be confused with a Yachtmaster Coastal certificate of competence which is achieved by taking an external exam.


Yachtmaster Ocean Shorebased

(Sail & Power) This is an intensive course, covering Astro-navigation, ocean meteorology & passage planning. It is required that you have Coastal & offshore sailing experience as well as Coastal/Yachtmaster shorebased knowledge prior to the course. Either 5 days or evening classes.  It really helps to do a little background reading before you start this course, just to give yourself time to absorb the idea of a celestial sphere and hour angles etc.


We hope that you can find the information you require on these pages, if you have any further questions, or require advice, please call us.

Richard Brown (Principal) RYA Yachtmaster Instructor.