Day Skipper – First Command


The Day Skipper Course is conducted on board a Cruising Yacht (7-13m LOA), to teach pilotage, navigation, seamanship and boat handling up to the standard required to skipper a small cruising yacht safely by day in tidal waters with which the student is familiar.

Course Details


  • 5 days (Sunday to Friday) or 3 weekends. Maximum 5 students per course.

Price: £400 / £425 / £495 for a 5 day course, or alternatively £475 / £525 / £595 to take the course over 3 weekends. The actual price depends on time of year you wish to take the course (low season: Nov to March, mid season: Sept / Oct & April / May, high season: June to August).

Previous experience required:

  • 5 days aboard
  • 100 miles logged
  • 4 night hours
  • Minimum age 16 (must be accompanied by an adult)
  • A knowledge of basic navigation to Day Skipper Shorebased standard and sailing ability.

Course Content:

  • Navigation, pilotage, boat handling, seamanship and skippering techniques.

Skippering a yacht for the first time can be a daunting yet exhilarating experience. The Day Skipper Practical Course is designed to teach you to “Take Command” of a small yacht by day in familiar waters safely and confidently. A skipper does much more than navigate. They are responsible for the complete safety and well being of the yacht and crew. These responsibilities include weather forecasting, vitualing, engine maintenance, sail selection and handling, passage planning, watch keeping, navigation and pilotage.


  • Instruction
  • Accommodation on Yacht
  • All Snacks & meals except one evening meal taken ashore
  • Mooring fees
  • Gas & fuel
  • Use of LifeJackets
  • Loan of Waterproofs
  • Free secure car parking

Not Inclued:

  • One evening meal (eaten ashore)

Essential Pre-course reading: Day Skipper Theory and Practical Books

Your experienced and patient instructor will teach you these skills and you will put them into practice as you skipper the yacht on short passages around the Solent. There is particular emphasis on boat handling for Day Skippers and during the 5 days you will practice mooring under various conditions of wind and tide. Students live aboard for the duration of the course and visit many different harbours and anchorages to practice pilotage techniques. You will complete up to 4 hours of night sailing to experience night pilotage and identifying lights.

Students who successfully complete the Day Skipper course are awarded the Day Skipper completion certificate and will be qualified to charter yachts and may obtain an ICC.