Classic Sailing offers practical RYA sailing lessons and courses like Competent Crew, Day Skipper, and exam preparation courses for Yachtmaster Coastal Certificate (used to be called Coastal Skipper) and Yachtmaster Offshore on gaff rigged wooden boats. We also sell RYA theory courses you can do at home through distance learning so you can use your precious leave for more important things like getting out on the water.
Classic Sailing also have a great selection on mini 'courses' where you can learn maritime subjects and practical skills whilst on a sailing holiday from photography to setting stun'sails or advanced lugger sailing techniques.
Skippering a boat is fun and this RYA Day Skipper Course is about taking your first steps towards taking charge with the safety net of an instructor on board. Everyone will be given a chance to navigate and be skipper on short coastal passages with plenty of opportunity to co-ordinate manoeuvres under sail and power. You will be taught how to manage emergencies and health and safety procedures. Learn big boat watch leader skills on deck, and navigational techniques below with GPS and radar and a how to plot a large chart table. Successful completion of the RYA day skipper course means you should feel confident enough to tackle short day passages as a skipper in tidal waters.
To make best use of your time on board the boat it is important that you feel happy with all the theoretical knowledge that is laid out in the RYA syllabus and covered in the theoretical courses. Once on the boat it means you can then make best use of the time putting what you have learnt on paper into practice.
Previous experience required before booking a Day Skipper Course
Sailing experience - The official requirement is a minimum of 5 previous days at sea on a yacht, covering at least 100 miles and 4 night hours.
Navigation and Theory knowledge - to 'Day Skipper Theory' level of understanding.
Our view at Classic Sailing is that you should be happy tacking and gybing a boat and understand the difference. You need enough wind awareness to trim sails on all points of sailing and steer by the wind, not instruments.
You need a good level of understanding of how to navigate, even if you have not had much chance to put it into practice at sea. The sort of things you will be expected to know will be fixing positions on a chart, working out tidal heights and streams, looking up port information, setting courses to steer, making 'rules of the road' decisions based on the COLREGS. If you have experience of this already or have been taught a lot by other sailors, you don't have to complete a Day Skipper Theory Course to sign up for a Day Skipper Practical Course, but it increases your chances of passing hugely.
(Day Skipper Theory Course options are approx 40 hours at evening classes or as a taught intensive classroom course....or taking as long as you like at home with one of our Day Skipper Theory - distance learning courses)
If you don't have a clue what we mean by this then we suggest you give us a ring so we can explain the terminology and find out more about your sailing experience before you book. Telephone 0044(0)1872 580022.
Language is not a massive barrier as most skills can be practically demonstrated if English is not your first language.
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Bowsprits are Best!
The Day Skipper practical voyages are 6 or 7 days long rather than the minimum 5 days so you have more time to enjoy sailing a classic boat. The skills you learn combine traditional seamanship with modern technology like radar and GPS, with the added bonus of a holiday on a beautiful boat.
The advantages of sailing onboard a traditional boat are many fold:- Deep keeled gaff cutters have un-cluttered wide decks and high sides so you can walk safely down the deck . They have a sea kindly motion which is great for beginners. great for beginners.
All the ropes are in the open so you can see were they go and what they do, nothing is hidden in masts and booms. Without the mechanical advantage of winches you are more aware of the forces of nature and working as a team with your other crewmates. Why fight nature when you can harness it in safe traditional ways.
For skippers, the stable motion of a deep keeled vessel and a large chart table makes learning to navigate a lot easier than on many modern vessels. Manoeuvring under power you learn how to glide effortlessly and gently to a pontoon or quay.
Success aboard cutters comes with a sense of achievement unmatched on a modern yacht. Your colours fly just that little bit higher.
Moosk is a gaff yawl with 2 masts. She can sail with just a mainsail and staysail or spread her wings and set mizzen, mizzen staysail and a jib out on her long bowsprit. She has a long deep keel so sails well and her engine is mounted on the centre-line so she is well behaved under engine too. In her sail training role under instruction young people take charge of her and bring her alongside pontoons so she is already a proven sea school boat.The charity that operates Moosk is also a full recognised RYA Training Establishment so she issues RYA certificates in her own right (assuming you have completed the syllabus).
These 6 day courses provide longer sea time and less pressure than those schools which offer a 5 day course. A four hour night passage is a compulsory part of the course but it is very often also the highlight of the voyage. It’s a great team effort with pilotage, communication, lookout duty and command skills.
Those studying for Competent Crew can if they have the ability complete sections of the Day Skipper practical syllabus and see what they need to do for the next step up the ladder to being your own skipper.
Golden Vanity is 53 feet long overall and 20 tonnes. Getting to grips with a yacht this size is not difficult with the expert tuition you will receive. The real bonus is that your confidence will soar and after Golden Vanity modern yachts will feel like mere toys.
Built in 1908 as a yacht for local artist Arthur Briscoe, at A.W.Gibbs' yard at Galmpton on the Dart, she followed almost exactly the same design as the traditional working boats of the day and was fully renovated in the 1980's.
Golden Vanity’s long and exciting history involves a variety of owners who used her for cruising far and wide, including several transatlantic crossings and is now part of the UK National Historic Ships Register of core vessels.
With her wide wooden decks and a characterful interior Golden Vanity makes for a good stable platform when you are beginning to learn about sailing. As she sails with a skipper and a mate/cook you will get plenty of individual attention and excellent food. She takes 5 students for RYA courses and you will leave her decks feeling wiser and more confidant in becoming your own skipper.