Day Skipper sailing courses

RYA Day skipper with Mustang Sailing

RYA Day Skipper is a sort of ‘foundation course’ in seamanship and navigation. It has two elements, theory and practical. Suitable for those with limited experience it is effectively an ‘entry level’ course, though while you don’t need any theoretical knowledge you do need to know how to sail. The RYA stipulates that Day Skipper candidates should have 100 miles logged. In our experience it doesn’t matter what sort of boat you have sailed, so long as you can sail.

If you are not confident about your sailing ability you may want to consider taking an RYA Competent crew course first. Five days training alongside Day Skipper students or Yachtmaster exam candidates is sure to give you a feel for cruising under sail and hopefully a thirst for more. Alternatively you could take a berth on one of our mile builders, again five days but with an emphasis on going places rather than intensive pilotage and boat handling. The Channel Islands and France are favourite destinations for mile building out of the Solent.

When you have gained the Day Skipper theory and practical tickets you can consider yourself well on the way to being a safe and competent yachtsman. The RYA Day Skipper practical certificate entitles the holder to an International Certificate of Competence (ICC). These certificates and a VHF Radio licence are all you need to charter boats in the finest sailing areas the world has to offer.

More important than the certificates in themselves is the knowledge you will acquire on the way. The Day Skipper theory course covers chartwork, chart symbols, Lat & Long, compass, tidal theory, pilotage, safety, meteorology and so on. The theory element can be taken as a five day ‘stand alone’ course or combined with the practical (on the water) training in one 9 day course. This offers the opportunity to achieve both Day Skipper theory and Day Skipper practical tickets with only five days off work, an important consideration for those with busy lifestyles.

Mustang Sailing have been delivering these courses for long enough to know how to get the theory across in a painless, stress free way. Not everybody is comfortable in class, and for some it has been a while…

On a 9 day combined course we split the theory into two, two day blocks at either end of the course. The first and last two days are spent in class. The first two laying the foundations so to speak, then it’s down to the boat (we’ll take you if you don’t have transport) for five days of sail training.

Sailing from Universal Marina on the Hamble River we criss cross the Solent and venture to Chichester to the East and Poole to the West, depending on the weather. Day Skipper practical involves many short passages, involving lots of passage planning and pilotage as well as boat handling under power and sail. When Friday comes it’s time to leave the yacht and head back to Ringmer to finish off the theory.

Collision regulations and meteorology are the two big subjects for the last weekend; you will have been living and breathing sail cruising all week so the final sessions are pretty easy. Two exam papers are despatched on Sunday morning, a quick debrief and off home with two new certificates, miles in your logbook and memories to last a lifetime.

Mustang Sailing are a small sailing school with a big range of courses which we run all year round. We moved to Ringmer nr Lewes three years ago and have expanded steadily. We take no print advertising, relying on our website and word of mouth recommendation to grow our business. This year we have doubled our classroom capacity, and added a dedicated diesel engine workshop at Ringmer, and bought a 40’ yacht to cope with the demands of our expanding customer base.

Our training centre is housed in converted agricultural buildings close to the South Downs. The central location close to major road and rail links and conveniently located for the London airports makes us the obvious choice for sailors in the South East and London and for international students looking for quality courses at a convenient location. The quiet rural setting makes it easy to get down to studying the subject in hand.

Mustang run all the RYA Cruising and Yachtmaster shorebased courses at Ringmer and all the practical sail cruising courses from Universal Marina on the Hamble. Probably the nicest marina in the Solent, a pleasant rural location with an old-school feel it is a great place to be, relaxed and civilised.

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