How Many Miles Do You Need for Day Skipper?

515 views  |   August 31st, 2023 

Before you sign-up to our RYA Day Skipper practical course, please note that there is a pre-requisite of how many miles of experience you have before you are accepted on the course.

To start RYA Day Skipper, you will need to have logged at least 5 days and 100 sailing miles of which no fewer than 4 hours should have been completed at night.

To do the RYA Day Skipper practical course you need to have a) done the Day Skipper Theory course (or have knowledge to the same level) and b) done the Competent Crew course or be have done a bit of sailing so that you are a ‘competent crew’.

On a Competent Crew course you will do about 100 nautical miles or so and this is the recommended amount of miles you should have before taking the Day Skipper practical.
Nothing beats a Competent Crew course in terms of quality of learning experience. However if you haven’t done the Competent Crew course but have done a reasonable amount of sailing so that you can skip the Competent Crew course then you should probably have done a bit more than 100 nautical miles to be sure you have enough experience.

You should also have done a few night hours before doing the Day Skipper. The RYA recommend 4 night hours. The syllabus of the Competent Crew course doesn’t actually say you have to do any night hours however certainly on our Competent Crew courses it is very rare not to do some night sailing. Either way these night hours can be covered on the Day Skipper course if necessary.

The importance of mileage for those taking the Day Skipper course

Gaining decent experience on the water is really important when looking to become a Day Skipper. The RYA set the minimum requirement of five logged days on a yacht over at least one hundred miles and four night hours for several reasons.

Firstly, it gets you familiar with how a boat works, how it responds in various conditions and importantly how you get on with sailing. The Day Skipper practical course is about learning to be a skipper. You will be telling and maybe even showing others what and how to do things so it is important you already know how to do things yourself. You get this experience from having clocked a few miles before the Day Skipper course.

Whilst one hundred miles might seem like a lot, it really isn’t. Our tutors will have thousands of miles of experience, and the truth is, even the best skippers still have room to learn and improve. 100 miles can easily be done on a weeks Competent Crew course. In fact 100 miles can easily be sailed within a 24 hour period!

In conclusion, get the hundred miles under your belt, and then choose First Class Sailing for your RYA Day Skipper course (here’s the syllabus). By accumulating the required experience, you will be well-prepared to handle the challenges of the course before you become a qualified Day Skipper.

Posted by: Heighway

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