Dayskipper Practical – on your boat

Key Course Details

Duration: 4 days

Time: 9am to 5pm plus one night exercise

Group Size: Up to 4/5 per boat

Min Age: From 16 (see notes)

Price: £1120



The RYA Dayskipper Practical course is aimed at those who have a very limited amount of boating experience and who want to develop the skills to undertake short inshore passages as well as moderate length passages along a coastline – such as from Poole to Weymouth or the Solent. Training on your own craft also gives the opportunity to understand the specifics of handling your craft and the systems on board.

Course Duration

4 days from 9am to 5pm but with one day starting later and finishing after dark. The course can be undertaken over a single four day spell or two weekends.

Course Dates

Dayskipper Practical courses on your own boat craft can be run at any time and in almost any location. Short notice bookings are often available.

Course location

Occasionally we suggest that depending on where your boat is berthed that running the course in an area with more training resources (marinas and pontoons to practice with, harbours to enter etc) may make sense but we’d always discuss this in advance with you.

Prior Experience Required

Candidates should have some experience and be keen to develop their knowledge onto the next level.  This course is extremely popular as success on it entitles the holder to apply for their ICC.

Instructor – Student Ratio

The maximum RYA training ratio is 5 students to 1 Instructor on your craft however this might merit reducing depending on the size and layout of your craft.

We can also ‘mix and match’ which courses we run when training on your craft. For example, if two of you want to undertake the Dayskipper Practical course it is possible for another person to spend the full 4 days on board but be working towards the Helmsmans course instead. Additionally if you have children they could be working towards the “Start Motor Cruising” Certificate.

Minimum age

For the Dayskipper Practical course the minimum age is 16 however for Helmsman it is 12 and for Start Motor Cruising it is 8.

We are always very keen to have children on board but would ask that you ensure that younger children will not cause a distraction as so reduce the learning benefit for those that may need to look after them on board.

Why choose Powerboat Training UK for a Dayskipper Practical course on your boat?

Our location and teaching facilities ~ Poole Harbour is a truly amazing teaching location – so much so that the RNLI and the Royal Marines base their training operations here.

Likewise our base in Lymington at Aquasafe Powerboat School is at Lymington Yacht Haven which like Cobbs Quay is a large marina with a huge range of craft. The Solent offers an outstanding cruising ground with a wide variety of harbours and marinas to enter.

Our Instructors ~ we ensure that our instructors are teaching 100% ‘Best Practice’ and have a process whereby we constantly review their sessions to ensure that you get the most productive experience from your time with us. All teach because they love boating and we work with them to constantly ‘upskill’ their qualifications and experience.

Our history ~ we started the school over ten years ago and have grown a reputation for delivering on our promises. Our clients range from individuals with their own craft to organisations such as Sunseeker, the RNLI and we were awarded the RYA Training contract by Dorset Police for the London 2012 Olympic events in Weymouth.

We are also very proud to have written the RYA Powerboat Handbook for the RYA and 2014 saw the launch of the RYA Advanced Powerboat Handbook.

What is included in the course price? ~ When you undertake your Helmsman’s Course on your boat then the price you pay includes all certificates, free use of waterproofs if required (often charged as an extra). The price includes VAT too – yet another common extra.

Does the course price represent good value? ~ remember in life you pretty much get what you pay for. We have great facilities in large marinas offering a great all-round experience. Check out the other relevant pages on this website to see what we mean.

Course prices The price quoted in the ‘Key Course Details’ section above is for the four days for up to 5 people in the area Weymouth to Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight. Areas further afield may incur travel and accommodation charges at cost but we will discuss these with you. The price shown is inc VAT.

Some of the offers available when buying this course include…..

Special Offer No1!! Book and pay for your VHF Course at the same time as you book the Dayskipper Practical course and only pay £75 for the VHF course (including course pack). (Usual cost is £100, you also need to pay the RYA Fee which is £60). You can choose whether to undertake the course in the classroom or online. We run VHF Courses every two weeks so fitting you in will never be an issue – we run these courses  in Poole and Lymington.

Special Offer No2!! We also offer the opportunity to book the RYA Dayskipper Theory Course online for £280 (usually £295) when booked alongside a Dayskipper Practical course. This is a great course to really further develop your understanding of charts, tides, buoyage and navigation onto the next level after the course. The course price includes a plotter and dividers and the course certificate fee.

The Course


A great course for those with their own boat who want to get to grips with its handling and how to get the most from their vessel. Learn about close quarter handling, undertaking passages and dealing with emergencies on board.

Your instructor will cover the following topics with you during your time with him/her:

  • Safety & preparation for sea
  • Boat handling including leaving & coming alongside
  • Navigation including use of electronic navigation techniques
  • Pilotage & passage planning
  • Rules of the road
  • Engines
  • Emergency situations including man overboard
  • Night cruising
  • Meteorology
  • Collision regulations

Over the four days of this course there is the time to really focus on both boat handling and all aspects of planning and executing passages. Time is spent looking at charts and tides, passage planning, pilotage and subjects such as ‘course to steer’. All aspects of using GPS/chartplotters are covered too and we also introduce the basics of radar. There is plenty of time to address in detail safety from the equipment carried to how to deal with a man overboard situation. We also go out at night and execute a short night passage.

As a guide, day one focusses on the basics of the engine followed by a detailed review of the life saving appliances on board and the emergency procedures to follow in the event of an incident on board. This is then followed by a concerted focus on developing an understanding of how to the handle the vessel at slow speeds and then in marina situations. There’s a real focus on developing the core skills so that we create a firm foundation of skills to build ability on. During the course the slow speed handling sessions will evolve towards spending time entering your own berth if this is relevant.

Day two will tend to mix further slow speed handling with new areas such as man overboard and then a look at charts, tides and buoyage.Time is spent creating pilotage and open water plans ahead of a passage on day three. Day two will also look a bit more at the mechanics of the engine and systems on board and you will be making the engine checks yourselves, getting the craft started etc.

Day three often includes a longer passage which is executed using the plan created the day before. Various electronic methods will be introduced as a means to transit the passage and position fix as you go. The end of day three usually involves a night passage where you get to experience the very real differences involved in entering a port/harbour at night.

Day four gives us the chance to revisit any areas that we need to including of course more slow speed handling or any areas you want to spend more time on.

Once you have reached the standard at which we can award the Dayskipper certificate should you wish you can go on to apply for your ICC from the RYA. The relevant form can be downloaded (here) which coupled with a photo and a copy of your certificate will get you your licence.

If you are a member of the RYA then your ICC is free else it costs approximately £43. Coincidently joining the RYA costs about the same so we would generally advise that you join then get the ICC free. If you intend travelling abroad shortly after your course and thus require your ICC to be issued quickly we advise that you join the RYA a few weeks before your course and then call the relevant department to try to ensure a quick turnaround for your application my own only took a week.

In contrast to RYA Powerboat Level 2 the RYA Dayskipper Practical certificate cannot be attained via ‘Direct Assessment’. If you want to undertake a direct assessment then you will need to consider the International Certificate of Competence instead (the ‘ICC’).

This course is aimed at


The RYA Dayskipper Practical course appeals to a wide variety of individuals course from those new to motor cruising to those who may have boated for many years and want to improve their skills.

  • Those new to boating keen to ensure that as they start boating they are doing it right. The course focuses on ensuring that you develop a really good base understanding of boat handling, navigation and seamanship. After the course you can then bolt on more practical experience to really cement the knowledge gained on the course.
  • Those who have boated for a while who want to develop and improve their skills. Typically we find this involves a keenness to develop a better understanding of navigation and the practical application of this knowledge using GPS/Chartplotters and radar. Also the time spent developing boat handling capability is time well spent.
  • Those keen to boat overseas and want to achieve their International Certificate of Competence (‘ICC’)[the up to 24m version of the ICC] undertake the Dayskipper Practical course which then allows them to apply for the ICC using a copy of their Dayskipper certificate.


Aim: “The Dayskipper course is taught on board a motor cruiser at least 7m LOA and aims to teach pilotage, navigation, seamanship and boat handling up to the standard required to skipper a motor cruiser by day in tidal waters with which the student is familiar.”

Preparation for sea

Is able to prepare a motor cruiser for sea, carry out fuel and engine checks, securing and stowage of all gear on deck and below

Boat handling

Can carry out the following manoeuvres under power in various wind and tide conditions. Has understanding of the different styles of hull and propulsions systems; Steering a straight course; Turning in a confined space; Anchoring at a pre‐ determined position; Berthing alongside; Leaving an alongside berth; Picking up a mooring buoy; Correct use of power trim and tabs; Awareness of other water users


Is proficient in chart work and can carry out the following tasks: 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; Knowledge of IALA buoyage; Maintenance of navigational record; Use of echo sounder


Can prepare and execute a 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

Passage making

Can plan and make a coastal passsage, taking into account the relevant navigational hazards and limitations imposed by the type of boat, weather, tide and the strength of the crew; Has been introduced to practical benefits and limitations of GPS Meteorology: Knows sources of forecast information, can interpret shipping forecasts and use of a barometer as a forecasting aid Rule of the road: Has a working knowledge of the application of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea


Has a working knowledge of the application of the prevention of common engine faults and is competent in the following areas: Checks before starting, whilst running and after stopping; Periodic maintenance checks on engines and electrical installations Requirements for tool kits, spares, and lubricants; Can clean water filters & knows location of impellors; Knows location of filters & bleed points for fuel; Knows tensions of drive belts & how to change; Fuel consumption at various speeds & the effect of fouling

Emergency situations

Is able to take correct action as skipper for recovery of man overboard; Can operate a radiotelephone in an emergency and send a distress message; Understands how to secure a tow, rescue procedures including helicopter rescue; Understands distress flares and how to use a liferaft

Night cruising

Has experienced motor cruising at night, including leaving and entering harbour, and understands the special considerations for piltoage plans, keeping a lookout and identifying marks by night.

Dayskipper Practical – on your boat - Book Now

Thank you for choosing to undertake a course on your boat.

We can be very flexible on the dates to train you on your boat so please choose dates that work for you and we’ll check the calendar and contact you to confirm the training. This will usually be at the latest the next business day.

Viv on the phone