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Day Skipper Practical

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You will be living on board a sailing yacht during the course

A course for aspiring skippers with some yachting experience and basic navigation and sailing skills.

Learn to skipper a short passage with the instructor on hand to give advice and encouragement and ensure your safety. Experience being in charge, taking credit when it all goes well and being responsible when it doesn't.

This course will also qualify you for an ICC certificate.

The minimum requirement to charter a boat, we will cover pontoon and med moorings.

Although there is no requirement to have undertaken any previous RYA courses there is a pre-course prerequisite for Day skipper practical.

Pre-course requirement for Day Skipper Practical

5 days, 100 miles, 4 night hours on board a sailing yacht

THEORY: Passage planning, C.T.S, E.P, Pilotage, Tidal hights, COLREGS, Buoyarge, Lights, Meteorology. 

PRACTICAL: Can steer points of sail, Tacking, Gybing, Set sails, Winches, Knowledge of sea Terms and parts of a boat her rigging and sails, Ropework, Fire precautions and fighting, Personal safety equipment, Man overboard, Emergency equipment, Helmsmanship, General duties, Manners and customs, Rules of the road, Handle sails, Keep a lookout, Row a dinghy and assist in all the day to day routines

All the above is covered in the Competent Crew / Day Skipper theory.



Minimum duration: 5 days, 3 weekends or 3 days plus 2 days

Minimum age: 16

Course content: Preparation for sea, Deck work, Navigation, Pilotage, Meteorology, AIS, Rules of the road, Maintenance and repair work, Engines, Victualling, Emergency situations, Yacht handling under power, Yacht handling under sail, Passage making, night cruising


Successfull Day Skippers also qualify for the ICC


What is the ICC? 

The ICC is a certificate which is intended to provide evidence of competence when requested by officials in foreign countries.

The ICC (or to give it its full title International Certificate for Operators of Pleasure Craft) is a certificate which is intended to provide evidence of competence when requested by officials in foreign countries. It is sometimes known as the International Certificate of Competence.

It is issued under the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Inland Transport Committee Working Party on Inland Water Transport Resolution 40. It is this resolution which details how and to whom the ICC may be issued, the syllabus requirements, the layout of the certificate and it also lists the countries which have notified the UNECE Secretariat that they have accepted the resolution.

The UK Government has accepted Resolution 40 and has authorised the RYA to issue the ICC on its behalf. 

Restrictions may also apply when chartering abroad and charterers should consult the charter boat provider for advice.

Course Programme


20.00 Arrive at Alcaidesa Marina and meet at Alcaidesa Loungue Bar

Meet the instructor and board the yacht

Stow personal kit

Instructor's safety briefing and yacht familiarization talk


0900 Breakfast and get weather forecast

Recap safety procedures on deck. Introduction to deck gear, ropes and rigging and various parts of the yacht.

Engine start controls and rigging/slipping of mooring lines and fenders

Slip mooring and sail into Gibraltar Bay giving everyone a chance to steer the yacht

Practice coming alongside and leaving various pontoons with everyone rotating jobs and having the chance to practice in a variety of wind and tide situations.

Short sail to an anchorage giving everyone the chance to get used to the yacht under sail practicing the basic sailing manoeuvres of tacking, gybing and putting in and shaking out reefs. This will give everyone the chance to refresh the basics.

1300 Lunch at anchorage. Discuss the use of life rafts and how to handle emergencies such as flooding, fire and collision

The instructor will demonstrate how to plan a short passage taking into account wind, tide and pilotage information from the charts and almanacs

The instructor will skipper the passage and demonstrate MOB procedures on route with each student getting the chance to have a go

On route each student will have the chance to fix their position by visual means such as taking bearings

Enter harbour and moor up. Stow sails and tidy above and below deck

Debrief on day's events



0900 Breakfast and get weather forecast

The first "Skipper of the day" will plan a trip to an anchorage for lunch. On route each crew member will practice MOB. The instructor will explain the procedure for deciding a good anchorage and working out the required heights of tide.

Prepare to raise anchorage. Learn how to prepare the anchor and foredeck in anticipation of arrival

1300 Lunch at anchorage

The second "Skipper of the day" plans a short trip to an evening destination that involves a cross tide course

Set sail for evening destination revising the basic collision regulations on route

1700 Arrive at a new harbour and prepare supper

Debrief the day's events

2100 Depart for night sail exercise with will familiarize each crew member with light charasteristics of buoyage and ships and additional safety procedures needed at night


0900 Breakfast and get weather forecast

Carry out some more manoeuvring under power using pontoons and mooring buoys

The instructor will teach how to sail onto a mooring buoy in a wind against tide situation

1300 Lunch at anchorage

The first "Skipper of the day" plans a passage to the evening destination. On route the instructor will demonstrate the use of electronic navigational aids such as GPS and Chartplotters

Supper prepared on route

Each student practices MOB on route

Arrive at new harbour and learn how to secure to a town wall. General discussion about etiquette when rafting and the use of courtesy flags

Debrief on the day's events


0900 Breakfast and get weather forecast

Practice mooring in harbour

The first "Skipper of the day" plans a short passage to the lunchtime destination which will include entry to a harbour where tidal height is critical

Set sail for lunch time destination practicing Man Overboard on route

Practice  some slightly advanced sail trim techniques and poling out the headsail

1300 Lunch at anchorage

The instructor will demonstrate how to sail onto a mooring buoy in a wind tide situation followed by each studend having the chance to practice

The second "Skipper of the Day" plans a passage to a night destination

Depart for evening destination with discussion on route about weather and the factors that affect yacht stability


0900 Breakfast and get weather forecast

Sail back to Alcaidesa Marina practising all aspects

1300 Lunch at anchorage

Arrive back at Alcaidesa Marina

Clean up yacht, return wet weather gear followed by debrief and issue of certificates

1600 Depart

Courses normally start on Monday at 9:00 and finish 16:00 on Friday.

You are welcome to join the boat on the Sunday at 20:00 and depart the boat at 10:00 on Saturday.  We normally meet up in Alcaidesa Marina Lounge Bar.

Course price: €900 per person

Contact Gib Sailing

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