What is a ‘Day Skipper’
We’re often asked by people as to whether the ‘DaySkipper’ Theory course is suitable for them, should they do something more simple, or are they already at a higher level, or should they just do nothing………
The ‘DaySkipper’ course and Syllabus is intended for someone who, by the end of the course, is able to look after a boat cruising along a section of coastline. We would expect the boat to be bigger than 7 or 8 meters (but less than 24) and the section of coastline in question to be not substantially more than 30 miles. The course would give them the ability to return to their own familiar port in the dark if things had run a little late.
The course is taught as two sections, Theory and Practical, the theory being a 5/6 day course in the classroom and the practical being a 5 day hands-on skill development for a sailing boat or a 4-day hands-on for power boats, it is possible to combine the two and the combination of two courses can be undertaken in one day less.
The theory course should be almost identical whether you are undertaking it for sail or power, the principles covered are just as important if you are sailing all day long or trying to get home in the mist when one of your motor cruiser’s engines has failed.
The ‘Theory’ Course should be interesting, animated and interactive, many people who attend the course have not been in a classroom environment for some time and the thought of returning to school can be a little daunting, by using visual and interactive aids, we can make the syllabus more comfortable and truly relate to what they will meet on the water, even down to the use of model boats to understand lights, sounds and give way responsibilities.
‘DaySkippers’ have a greater awareness of their boats, they are equipped with the confidence to venture out, knowing that they can deal with the navigation from port to port and also the awareness of other vessels, even recognising the lights of other vessels and navigation buoys if returning late to your home port.
An understanding of safety equipment is acquired, from Lifejackets, their operation and checks, through flares and electronic devices (VHF radios and satellite transmitters) to the fitting and operation of Liferafts on board.
The knowledge may be to enable you to safely take your family down the coast or be the first step to commercial qualifications for working on boats, the fundamentals are the same.