What Does It Take to Be a Day Skipper?

RYA Day Skipper

What Does It Take to Be a Day Skipper?

Before you dream big and get stuck on visions of luxury cruises and exotic locations, have you ever considered what it takes to be a Day Skipper?

Are you equipped with adequate information to navigate? Are you aware of the rules and regulations that guide small yachts? Do you know the techniques that will assist with pilotage? If you have answered no to any of the above, you need to do a course to strengthen your skills.

What is a Day Skipper?

A Day Skipper has the ability to operate a small cruising yacht or motorboat on shorter, coastal cruises during daylight. Handling a boat correctly involves a lot more than you might think.


Navigating your way through turbulent seas is easier when you have the right information at your fingertips. A Day Skipper should be able to locate and utilize weather forecasts, wind direction, tidal information and navigational data, in order to plan a safe route of passage. Your compass and your map are only part of the equation.

Rules and Regulations

All crafts sailing the deep blue are governed by boating regulations. Before you set sail you must be aware of legal requirements and vessel documentation. Do not hoist your sails without double checking your safety checklist or ensuring that you have all federally required equipment on board. Working in this natural environment also means you need to adhere to marine pollution responsibilities.

Technically Challenged

While you learn how to adequately use pilotage and navigation techniques you will pick up on sailing terms, learn to strategize to manage the onslaught of the elements and plan ahead to manage emergency situations. Handling your boat includes, but is not limited to:

  • Speed awareness
  • Correct positioning
  • Overall boat and environmental awareness
  • Mooring pickup
  • Directing your boat down a wake
  • Berthing
  • Knowledge on tying and securing knots

A Day Skipper that is accredited can master his craft. A course in the basics and guidelines will be the start to a career that can take you places. The Day Skipper course is divided into two parts; theory and practical.

Before you can get your practical qualification, you need to first understand the theory behind skippering a boat. We offer an RYA accredited Day Skipper online course. It is the ideal stepping stone to anyone who want to start a career at sea or take their sailing to the next level.

Sign up for our RYA Day Skipper online course and study from anywhere in the world, in your own time, before joining us for the practical training. No sailing experience needed. Click here for more info.

Ocean Sailing Academy is the most established SAS Training Centre in Southern Africa. For information on our Day Skipper courses contact us on (+27) 021 425 7837, or mail us at info@oceansailing.co.za