Day Skipper Practical (Motor / Power): Course content

What’s covered in my RYA Day Skipper (Tidal) Practical course?

The contents of the RYA Day Skipper Practical course on motor yachts (sometimes called "power") are listed in the RYA Yachtmaster Scheme Syllabus and Log Book (G158)

The course may be taught on motor yachts of between 7m and 15m metres (water line length). During the 4 days (please note this course may be combined with the RYA Helmsman course over 6 days if you have no previous experience) you will learn to apply your theory knowledge of pilotage, navigation and rules of the road; and practise yopur seamanship, skippering and boat handling. Once all the elements are completed you will be awarded the RYA Day Skipper (Tidal) certificate for sailing yachts.

The contents of the course includes:

Preparation for sea

KNOWLEDGE OF:

  • Basic stability and buoyancy for small vessels

CAN:

  • Prepare a cruising vessel for sea, including engine checks, securing and stowage of all gear on deck and below
  • Selection of sails

Deck work

CAN:

  • Can Reef, shake out sails and change sails to suit prevailing conditions.
  • Can prepare an anchor, mooring warps and take charge on deck when mooring alongside, coming to a buoy, anchoring, weighing anchor and slipping from a buoy or an alongside berth.

Navigation

Is proficient in chart work and routine navigational duties on passage including:

KNOWLEDGE OF:

  • The uses and limitations of AIS

UNDERSTANDS:

  • Working up Dead Reckoning (DR) and Estimated Position (EP)
  • How to work out a course to steer to allow for tidal stream, leeway and drift
  • Use of lead line or similar

CAN:

  • Take and plot visual fixes
  • Estimate Tidal streams and tidal heights
  • Use electronic navigation equipment for position fixing
  • Use secondary means of position fixing
  • Use of waypoints and routes
  • Knowledge of IALA Buoyage
  • Maintain navigational records
  • Use an echo sounder

Pilotage

CAN:

  • Prepare and execute a pilotage plan for entry into, or departure from, harbour
  • Use leading and clearing lines
  • Use transits and soundings as aids to pilotage

Meteorology

UNDERSTANDS:

  • How to interpret shipping forecasts and use a barometer as a forecasting aid

CAN:

  • Source forecast information

Rules of the Road

CAN:

  • Demonstrate a practical understanding of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea

Engines

Has a working knowledge of the prevention of common engine faults and is competent in the following areas:

UNDERSTANDS:

  • The need for periodic maintenance checks on engines and electrical installations
  • Requirements for tool kits, spares and lubricants
  • The location of filters and bleed points for fuel
  • The tension of drive belts and how to adjust or replace them.

CAN:

  • Carry out checks before starting, while running and after stopping
  • Clean water filters and knows the location of impellors
  • Estimate fuel consumption at various speeds and knows the effects of fouling
  • Basic troubleshooting

Victualling

UNDERSTANDS:

  • How to victual a cruising yacht appropriately for the planned passage

Emergency situations

UNDERSTANDS:

  • How to issue distress signals by all available means, including distress flares and a VHF radio in an emergency
  • How to use a life raft
  • How to secure a tow
  • Rescue procedures including helicopter rescue
  • The effects of cold water shock on a casualty in the water
  • The aftercare requirements of a casualty who has been in the water

CAN:

  • Carry out the correct action as skipper for the recovery of a man overboard

Yacht handling under power

KNOWLEDGE OF:

  • Effects of waves on boat handling and crew comfort

UNDERSTANDS:

  • Differing styles of hull and propulsion systems
  • How to moor and leave a bow/stern to mooring (practical experience where possible)

Passage making

KNOWLEDGE OF:

  • Marina Locks

UNDERSTANDS:

  • The practical benefits and limitations of a chart plotter or GNSS

CAN:

  • Plan and make a coastal passage, taking account of relevant navigational hazards and limitations imposed by the type of boat and the strength of the crew

Night cruising

KNOWLEDGE OF:

  • Has experience of sailing at night, including leaving and entering a harbour

UNDERSTANDS:

  • Special considerations for pilotage plans, keeping a look

Details of more RYA power / motor courses

If you would like to view the contents of other courses please look at our RYA course contents page
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