RYA Sail Training - Sail Charter International
The RYA training scheme
Skipper & Sail Training

Day Skipper / practical course

The Royal Yachting Association (RYA)

The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) is a British UK institution which is widely recognised, internationally, as being one of, if not THE, best provider of sail and motor yacht training & qualifications in the world!

The RYA believes that knowledge, skills and experience rather than regulation are the foundations upon which personal safety and responsibility are built.  The RYA supports a continued ethos of self-reliance and responsibility for one’s own safety afloat amongst the recreational boating community.

Stepping into the world of sailing, whether experienced or for the first time, is exciting and exhilarating.  The RYA, following its ethos above, provides both theory (shore based or online) and practical (on-the-water) courses to build confidence, teaching you everything from basic terminology and safety tips to advanced handling sails. As a beginners, you’ll become a useful crew member,  learning how to set and trim sails and even take the helm for the first time; you can then progress all the way to Yachtmaster by following through the training spectrum.

Learn to sail in the warmth of Greece or Croatia

As well as being an RYA Reward Parter, offering yacht charter opportunities to RYA members, we, at Sail Charter International, have teamed up with one of the UK’s leading RYA overseas training providers to offer direct practical RYA training in Lefkas, Greece and in Sibenik, Croatia. Additionally, to progress through the RYA scheme, we can further advise on obtaining your shore-based theory (classroom or online) courses, which are strongly advised in order to progress through the RYA scheme.

Course: RYA's Day skipper

Day Skipper / practical course

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What is this course

A course for aspiring skippers with some yachting experience and basic navigation and sailing skills.

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

Course pre-requirements

Before this course, the expected level of ability includes:
– 5 days, 100 miles, 4 night hours on board a sailing yacht
– theory knowledge to the level of Day Skipper
(*DS shore based theory course is strongly advised – read below)
NOTE: properly recorded logging of experience is ESSENTIAL!

Course contents

Preparation for sea, deck work, navigation, pilotage, meteorology, rules of the road, maintenance and repair work, engines, victualling, emergency situations, yacht handling under power, yacht handling under sail, passage making, night cruising

Course duration

5 days, 3 weekends or 3 days plus 2 days.

Ability after completion

Personally and safely skipper a yacht with passengers/crew yacht (not for commercial use), manage your crew efficiently for basic daytime inshore/coastal passages, safely manage your yacht.

This RYA Day Skipper is also ICC equivalent.

If you are not sure that your sailiang/theory is up to speed, get in touch with us for personal advice/guidance.

RYA Day Skipper Theory-details

A comprehensive introduction to cruising for inexperienced skippers.

This course equips you with enough knowledge to navigate around familiar waters by day. A basic knowledge of lights is also included to introduce you to night cruising.

We are continually updating our courses to take into account developments in technology and the electronic navigation aids now available on most cruising boats.

In conjunction with the UK Hydrographic Office we have developed a chart plotter specifically for use on training courses, giving you a realistic insight into electronic navigation. Use of this plotter is an integral part of our Day Skipper shorebased course.

We have northern and southern hemisphere versions of our training materials. So, no matter where you are in the world, our course can be tailored to you.

The course is taught over 40 hours with two exam papers. It can be covered as a series of short sessions, as an intensive week-long course, or by distance learning online.

Course topics inculde

  • the basics of seamanship
  • the essentials of coastal navigation and pilotage
  • chartwork
  • electronic charts
  • position fixing
  • plotting a course to steer
  • weather forecasting and meteorology
  • tides
  • collision regulations
  • construction, parts and equipment of a cruising boat
  • emergency and safety procedures including distress calls, use of flares, safety harnesses, lifejackets and liferafts

Dates for 2024

RYA: Start Yachting, Competent Crew, Day Skipper, ICC, Coastal Skipper
Tuition basis: Tuition Yacht (per berth)

What’s Included On a Tuition Yacht Course

  • Diesel, water & gas
  • Participation in flotilla activities
  • End cleaning
  • Bed linen
  • Course completion certificate (if successful!)
Training Locations

Training Locations


Lefkas or Athens, Greece

The sheltered waters of the Ionian is a perfect location for skipper training, as the inland sea is protected by the islands of Lefkas and Kefalonia.

The training school is located on the sheltered east side of the island, ideally situated to head either south to the islands of Kefalonia, Ithaca and beyond or north towards Paxos and Corfu. If you are taking either the Competent Crew or Day Skipper course, our tuition yachts generally head south, with protected waters and plenty of harbours and bays for mooring and pilotage. If you are looking to go beyond Day Skipper, to either Coastal Skipper or for Yachtmaster Preparation, then the waters to the north of Lefkas offer open seas, longer passages and busier waters around Corfu.


Split, Croatia

The increased popularity of the Dalmatian coast of Croatia as a sailing destination made a new RYA training centre in the area an obvious choice for us.

The training centre is located in the protected waters close to Split, on the Dalmatian coast, ideally situated between the airports of Split and Zadar. If you are taking either the Competent Crew or Day Skipper course, our tuition yachts head either north or south, outside of the Sibenik channel. If you are looking to go beyond Day Skipper, either Coastal Skipper or for Yachtmaster Preparation, then their are longer passages to consider, south to the islands of Hvar, Viz and beyond or north to the Kornati national park.

RYA Partner Schools

RYA Partner Sailing Schools in Greece and Croatia

The partner RYA sailing schools we recommend are fully recognised by the Royal Yachting Association. Tuition yachts are regularly inspected and comply with RYA / MCA guidelines and Codes of Practice for Sail Training Yachts. All instructors for the courses advertised are RYA qualified commercially endorsed yachtmasters and cruising instructors as a minimum.

You can be reassured that safety procedures and equipment are regularly monitored and inspected to comply with both the British RYA and local maritime authority regulations.

Our partner providers ensure that all recommended courses are both safe and enjoyable offering a high standard of tuition and comfort.

It is ensured that:

– You are under the supervision of an RYA qualified instructor whilst at sea.

– All RYA instructors hold the requisite first aid certificates and are fluent in English (all courses delivered in English, as per RYA regulations).

– Safety equipment on our tuition yachts complies with both local and British regulations.

– All yachts have DSC VHF radios, handheld VHF radios and mobile phones.

– Slimline inflatable life jackets, harnesses and crotch straps are provided for each person aboard, with extra spares carried.

– For your comfort, all yachts are equipped with Bimini sun tops (sun shade), hot water with deck shower, electric fridge, fully equipped galley and radio / CD player.

– Accommodation on board is in double / twin / single cabins or saloon berth. Sheets, pillow cases, pillows, blankets / duvets and towels are all provided.

– Instructor / student ratio is maintained at a maximum of 5 students per instructor, in line with RYA codes of practice.

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Contact us

Phone: EU

+43 664 73 49 12 52



Our Courses 2022

Learn to sail in the UK

RYA Training (from competent crew to yachtmaster)

Whether it is a refresher course, a taster weekend or a full RYA course, we offer a comprehensive range of courses in the UK.

The Solent, in our view, represents the ideal starting point, thanks to good accessibility from many parts of the country but also protected waters enabling sailing in most conditions plus a great range of options to sail to, from the Isle of Wight to attractive harbours like Poole and Weymouth to the West, or Chichester and Portsmouth harbour to the East. Many of our training trips are across the channel to France and the Channel islands.

Weekend Trips

Embarking Friday evening from 6pm or by 08:30 Saturday morning our weekend tuition includes refresher courses, taster cruises and the RYA start yachting course. We will tend to sail fairly locally, visiting the isle of Wight, one of the marinas in Portsmouth harbour with Poole being the furthest we go.  Disembarkation is typically by around 4pm on Sunday afternoon.

Weekly Tuition

Our 5 day sailing courses  venture further afield with cross channel or coastal voyages as far as Weymouth and Poole. These include refresher courses and mile builder voyages and ICC courses  as well as the standard RYA courses including Competent Crew, Day Skipper, Coastal Skipper and preparation for the Yachtmaster exam.

Our 7 day courses are usually mile builder voyages  and preparation for Yachtmaster as well as our special Tidal Conversion Course

Private Tuition

Ideal for families or groups of friends or for those whi simply wish to ensure a bespoke course entirely tailored to your needs tuition with private yacht charter will ensure you have your own instructor. Depending on your previous experience, you could undertake any of the RYA courses or simply concentrate on whatever areas have been identified as your further training needs.

General Course Information

Sailing is a social sport and a sailing course can be an ideal holiday or short break and a way to make new friends. Our RYA instructors have all been chosen for their sociable approach as well as their expertise to make the time you spend with us as much fun as it is a learning experience. The waters of the Solent and English Channel represent and an ideal area to start yachting and learn to sail for both novice and advanced students alike, offering varied conditions and tides, plus an excellent selection of lights, buoys , and situations that will enhance your learning experience as you progress through the RYA sail training programme. Our sea school ethos has always been to put safety first and we hope to empower each of our students by offering simple and patient instruction, in order that they may gain confidence in their own ability as they learn how to sail and to take their first steps as skipper or to undertake longer offshore coastal passages.


To attend (and pass) the RYA Day Skipper Practical Assessment, it is EXPECTED that you are fully conversant with the theory knowledge required to the level of Day Skipper. It is therefore strongly recommended you complete the Day Skipper shorebased course beforehand. This can be completed in a single full-time week long course or an online “open ended” internet based course with an RYA registered training centre.

Likewise, if you wish to progress through the RYA scheme, from Day Skipper to Coastal Skipper to Yachtmaster Coastal, Offshore and Ocean, you should also, as prerequisites, complete the matching theory courses.

We, at Sail Charter International, can advise you of a number of RYA Training Centres which can provide your shore based/theory requirements, whether in a single week course or online – just ask for information.

Additionally, it cannot be stressed enough that LOGGING of your experience (courses and miles sailed in all/any capacity) is absolutely necessary, as your logbook will be required to be presented for inspection prior to any qualification assessment, from Day Skipper upward to Yachtmaster Ocean.

Tidal Refresher Course

Aimed at those who have trained or gained their experience in non-tidal waters such as the Mediterranean, this course aims to develop and enhance a skipper’s ability and experience in tidal waters ensuring both a theoretical understanding of basic tidal theory and implications for navigation such as tidal heights and streams, as well as acquiring the practical skills required to safely handle a yacht in tidal waters. This includes mastering techniques such as ferry gliding when maneuvering a yacht in close quarters as well as tidal implications for passage planning.

Pre-course Requirements: 15 days, 2 days as skipper, 300 miles, 8 night hours. Navigation to Day Skipper Shore-based standard. Sailing to Day Skipper standard.

Minimum age: 16

  • Revision & Consolidation of procedures and routines to Day Skipper level (as the assumed starting level of the course) in tidal waters
  • Navigation – Taking and plotting visual fixes – Use of electronic navigation equipment for position fixing – Use of waypoints – Working up DR and EP – Estimating tidal heights and tidal streams – Working out course to steer to allow for tidal stream, leeway and drift – Knowledge of IALA buoyage – Maintenance of navigational records – Use of echo sounder and lead lines
  • Pilotage – Can prepare and execute pilotage plan for entry into, or departure from, harbour – Understands the use of leading and clearing lines – Use of transits and soundings as aids to pilotage.
  • Yacht handling under power – Can control the yacht effectively in a confined space under power – All berthing and un-berthing situations in various conditions of wind and tide.
  • Yacht handling under sail – Can use the sails to control the yacht in a confined space – Anchoring and mooring in various conditions of wind and tide – Can sail efficiently on all points of sail.
  • Adverse weather conditions – Preparation for heavy weather and yacht handling in strong winds and tides – Navigation and general conduct in restricted visibility.
  • Emergency situations – Recovery of man overboard under power and sail in a ridal stream – Understands action to be taken when abandoning to the life raft and during helicopter and lifeboat rescue.

Coastal Skipper and Yachtmaster Offshore

For those wishing to expand on their leisure sailing abilities and take it to the next level, we offer a range of courses, from yachtmaster prep and organised Certificate of Competence exams to Fast-track Yachtmaster courses to prepare you for entry into the industry.

We are always looking for crews for our flotilla and cabin charter programs and possibilities exist for both work experience and seasonal positions following successful completion of your course.

Courses include:

  • Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster Offshore Shorebased course
  • Yachmaster preparation (1 or 2 weeks)
  • Yachtmaster examinations
  • RYA SRC (VHF) COurse
  • RYA First Aid

For further information on any of these, please call us.

For more information about these UK based training opportunities and to see what we may be able to offer you, especially for multiple club bookings, please contact us directly.