Bring it together with RYA Day Skipper

The RYA Day Skipper sailing course runs over five days and is for aspiring skippers with some yachting experience and basic navigation and sailing skills, leaving you able to safely skipper a boat in familiar waters. You will need knowledge of navigation theory to Day Skipper theory level before taking this practical course. The course runs over five days, which can either be all together or you can split them over two weekends (two and three days). Please contact us about split weekend dates.

We also offer RYA Day Skipper as Teen sails exclusively for 16 and 17 year olds (the RYA minimum age for Day Skipper is 16).

“Experienced, knowledgeable and confident instructor. Calm and collected which helped with the process of learning and taking in all the information. Also felt very free and comfortable on-board making it much more enjoyable. Jalapeno is a beautiful boat. Loved sailing her.”

“You understand people and sailing – a combination that makes for excellent instruction. It did feel like a mini community for the 5 days, I think you are doing great.”

Courses run from Itchenor in Chichester harbour.

Prices for the full five days are £530 March-April and October or £590 May-September; all inclusive.

Assumed knowledge: Basic sailing ability and navigation to RYA Day Skipper shorebased level. Take our fun Day Skipper Knowledge Self Test to check if you have the assumed knowledge.

Ability after course: To skipper a yacht you are familiar with in waters you are familiar with by day.


Course content


This chartlet gives an idea of the sailing area we have to choose from during this course. The shelter afforded by the Isle of Wight keeps many options open with plenty of anchorages and marinas to choose from.

Preparation for sea
Deck work
Rules of the road
Maintenance and repair work
Engines, victualling
Emergency situations
Yacht handling under power
Yacht handling under sail
Passage making
Night cruising

By the end of the course you will be able to skipper a yacht you are familiar with in waters you are familiar with by day.

Dates & Rates

Our rates are all inclusive, covering all food onboard, hire of sailing waterproofs and visitor mooring costs.

10% lower rates are available in March, April and October.

Courses run from Itchenor, Chichester harbour, please see below for details.

  • RYA Day Skipper – 5 days

    5 day RYA practical course £590. This practical course assumes you have navigational theory knowledge to Day Skipper level. If you book your RYA Day Skipper theory online course with us we’ll give you a £50 discount on this practical course.

    September 18 @ 9:30 am - September 22 @ 5:00 pm at Chichester Harbour
  • RYA Day Skipper – 2 day component

    2 day RYA practical component £212. This practical course assumes you have navigational theory knowledge to Day Skipper level. If you book your RYA Day Skipper theory online course with us we’ll give you a £50 discount when you book 5 days of a practical course. This course takes place onboard Karic.

    October 5 @ 9:30 am - October 6 @ 5:00 pm at Chichester Harbour
  • RYA Day Skipper – 3 day component

    3 day RYA practical component £318. This practical course assumes you have navigational theory knowledge to Day Skipper level. If you book your RYA Day Skipper theory online course with us we’ll give you a £50 discount when you book 5 days of a practical course. This course takes place onboard Karic.

    October 11 @ 9:30 am - October 13 @ 5:00 pm at Chichester Harbour
  • RYA Day Skipper – 5 days

    5 day RYA practical course £530. This practical course assumes you have navigational theory knowledge to Day Skipper level. If you book your RYA Day Skipper theory online course with us we’ll give you a £50 discount on this practical course. This course takes place onboard Karic.

    October 16 @ 9:30 am - October 20 @ 5:00 pm at Chichester Harbour

A Typical Day

It's always good to start the day with the shipping forecast and practise writing it down for our area.

Deciphering what the forecast meant and how the weather and tide influences our plan for the day.
Engine checks by one or more students.
One student takes the boat off the pontoon, everyone has a good think about how to do that smoothly, bearing in mind tide, wind, etc.
Once we're underway another student guides us out of the harbour from a pilotage plan prepared the night before.
Set sail and underway on a short passage.
Chance to give feedback to students on pilotage and boat handling.
We overhear a 'mayday' which we identify as far away, but it's a good chance to listen and understand how the coastguard communicates and coordinates.

Anchor for lunch and debrief on the morning's activities and events.
After lunch review how to plot a course to steer.
Instructor demonstrates how to weigh anchor under sail.
Navigation practise to reach a specific mark using course to steer, taking into account tide.
Do we reach the mark? Whether we're spot on or a bit off, we learn what worked and what didn't.

Demonstration of how to sail onto mooring buoys and chance for all to practise.
Stay on mooring, rest and plan night entrance into river.

Review of lights.

Set off into dusk, pilotage into river, identifying lights along the way.

On pontoon for the evening.
Debrief of night entrance.
Quick check of tides for next day and when we need to be up and off.


How many other people will there be onboard?
On our RYA courses we have up to five students per instructor..
For our sailing trips we have up to six people onboard plus skipper and volunteer first mate.
We can have up to ten people onboard for group activities.

Where do we sleep? Do we go back to the marina each night?
We all sleep onboard, with a berth allocated to you. We usually stay in a different place each night, which could be at anchor or mooring in a marina with walk ashore access to showers and toilets. Please Note: The saloon is classed as a sleeping area. Exact sleeping arrangements are worked out with your skipper at the start of your course or trip depending on the mix of crew.

Can I arrive the night before to help with travel costs/travel time?

There is a range of accommodation available at Itchenor Sailing Club, ranging from £22/night bunk beds to ensuite rooms. They also have a good kitchen serving meals and breakfasts and are very helpful. Please mention Sail Boat Project when you enquire or book.

Do we eat onboard? Do you cater for special diets?
All meals and snacks are included in our rates and our vessels are well stocked for your time onboard. We provide vegetarian and vegan food by default as part of our commitment to lowering our company's carbon footprint, although please feel free to eat anything you want ashore. Thanks to our partners at Infinity Foods we have plenty of great snacks and ingredients. While we all take turns making meals, there are always some homemade pre-prepared dishes so you can make the most of your sailing and learning time. Please let us know about any other dietary needs - we are pretty familiar with various allergies and diets.

Is there a toilet onboard?
Each of our vessels are equipped with at least one sea toilet, called a 'heads', and by boat standards they are quite roomy, with washbasins. They have a slight knack to using them, which your skipper will show you, but they are pretty similar to a home flush toilet. We do ask you to use toilets ashore when in a marina.

Do you provide waterproofs?
Yes, we provide salapette trousers and jackets which are wind and waterproof, as well as sailing boots which provide a secure grip on deck. Please feel free to bring your own gear or to ask us for advice on where to purchase affordable sailing gear. Lifejackets and safety harnesses are provided.

Will it be rough, what if I feel sick?
Due to where our vessels are moored, the first days' sailing you will experience will be in sheltered waters, and we'll stay in such waters for entry and beginner levels. We want you to enjoy your sailing and our skippers remain very aware of how people are feeling and do their best to avoid unnecessarily unpleasant conditions by planning ahead.

What if the weather is really bad, what weather don't we go out in?
Sailing is obviously very weather dependent. We reserve the right to cancel trips and courses at our discretion, due to adverse weather. If we are forced to do so, we will be in touch with you in the days beforehand to advise and we will work with you to attempt to find you a suitable replacement or if not we will refund all of your money. However, Sail Boat Project cannot be held responsible for any other loss that you may have incurred due to cancellation of your course or trip. The final decision on whether a course or trip goes ahead is always based on the capabilities of those onboard and we are not interested in forcing anyone into being forced into a position they are uncomfortable with.

Will I get a certificate?
All the RYA practical and theory courses we deliver lead to a nationally recognised qualification within the RYA's sail cruising scheme, if you have met the syllabus requirements. We also issue certificate sof achievement as part of the RYA Sailability scheme and we have our own certificates of achievement for groups.

Do you make arrangements for people with special needs, learning or physical?
Yes, we have experience of taking people out sailing with a range of different needs. Our ethos is to make things possible and we will always work with you to allow inclusion and participation from everyone. While our vessels are not specifically adapted, for example for wheelchair users, we will always think about what changes we can make to get people out on the water. We use a variety of learning materials that engage and include people and our skippers and instructors are always learning and sharing with each other techniques to help people make the most of their time with us.

Can I talk to an instructor or skipper in advance?
Yes, if we can't put you through to one of our instructors or skippers when you call the office, we will pass on you details and have someone get back to you as soon as possible to have a chat with you.

Do you allow alcohol onboard?
Yes we do, in moderation! We may share a bottle of wine onboard or visit a pub during a course or trip, but please remember alcohol and getting used to the motion of the sea don't mix well.

Should I bring my log book?
Yes, if you have a sailing log book this is really good to bring along. For courses it will outline your syllabus, help your instructor see what experience you have and you can get it signed off at the end. For sailing trips you can record the nautical miles sailed and treat it as a mile builder towards any examinations you go for. They are also a useful record for your own interest. We always have log books available for sale onboard for £6.

Is it all sailing, is there time to explore places we visit?
Depending on the level of course you are on, there is usually time to explore a couple of the places we visit. The Competent Crew course includes using a dinghy, so you'll be able to explore from the water! On our sailing trips part of the idea is to have a look around sowewhere new. We usually agree as a group when to have time ashore as we always need to work around the weather and tides. If you have any particular requests make sure you let your skipper know.

Will I see any wildlife?
Plenty of birdlife and the odd seal - in Chichester harbour there is a whole seal colony at certain times of the year. Marine mammals are not as abundant as we'd like them to be, although porpoises in Poole Bay and dolphins off Chichester bar have been recent sightings. If we are lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time we would never move in close or cause any undue stress. We have marine wildlife spotter guides onboard to help you prepare.

What our previous crews said

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Just to say many thanks for the weekend. You did a great job coaching us. Very well handled both in terms of the group and the sailing - which is not easy.
I learnt loads from the two days.
Many thanks

Paul 5th March 2019

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I did the day skipper with you this summer, absolutely loved it, great learning which has really helped me since with sailing a small yacht out of itchenor, it’s been great fun!

Chris 12th November 2018

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Ben was a superb instructor and always patient. He explained objectives clearly and made sure we understood what was expected. His knowledge was extensive in all aspects of the training. I always felt that he was ready to support me should things go awry - as they did once or twice!

18th April 2018

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It's been hard to do all this in English but it's been an amazing experience at the same time, I meet really nice people and I have seen beautiful places too so it couldn't be better.

Muchas gracias por la gran paciencia que mostraste en todo momento durante el curso.

All the best in the future.

8th November 2017

We're recovering from a super intensive and amazing week. I feel we've learned loads! Attached some pictures, and more to come in a next email. Please feel free to use them for SBP.

The other thing I wanted to ask is if we could possibly charter Karic some time.

27th July 2016

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Over my 50 years of sailing I have taken part in many training courses, some have been poor and mostly a waste of time and money, some have been worthwhile, but this weekend's refresher tidal skipper two day course was one of the best and the training skipper, Jason, is an absolute gem. A professional of great experience and depth of knowledge, a born instructor with huge patience and little ego and also able to magic a fine pasta dinner for us all while his fledglings enjoyed the bar on the moorings. A most enjoyable weekend and am looking forward to returning.
Please pass on a big "thank you" from me to Jason for his patience and help.

Giles 21st June 2016

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Greetings from Gocek in South Turkey!
We thought that you would like to know that we have just finished our first 'yacht Charter' holiday!
We sailed a 2014 Bavaria 37 all around the Gocek islands, Karacaoren and down to Kalkan. We encountered sunshine rain, gales and thunder and lightening.

Dropping an anchor and tying up to a rock with a long line we are sure would be easy in clement weather, however we managed with a couple of attempts using the joker boat in high seas and gales, INTERESTING!

We have had a great time, learnt a lot and put our qualifications into practice
Thanks to you Bruno and 'Sail Boat Project'



21st October 2015

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The biggest thank you for an amazing week..... we really loved it and Paul has been looking for a Wayfarer!!! We were very tired.... lots of work but great great fun and completely hooked on sailing now... as if I wasn't before!

8th October 2015

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Skipper Jason Ralph was very knowledgeable, was calm and allowed crew to take some responsibility, eg: passage planning, transits etc, apart from the normal crew duties. This helps one to develop sailing skills and experience. Plenty of veggie food (including a bottle of good wine!). Although not a strict vegetarian myself, I'm quite happy with the food provided.

8th October 2015

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Skipper was knowledgeable and taught in manageable chunks and was responsive to our abilities and questions. It was useful to be told in advance what was planned for the day so we knew what to expect, and allow time at the end to review what we had done. It was good to rotate the various sea-based manoeuvres (steering, preparing for taks and jibes) that we practised and all have a turn. Good resources.

8th October 2015

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Great, I really loved Bruno's attitude to sailing and he is a great teach too. I will carry his attitude with me when sailing. I also appreciated how he dealt psychologically with all of us. I was surprised how much I learned during the Day Skipper course which went beyond sailing. Learning how to better deal and communicate with a team in challenging situations, was very rewarding for me. These skills are very useful to learn.

8th October 2015

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Dhara was a great instructor, teasing stuff out by asking questions. He was good at judging our skill levels and trusting us when he thought we were capable. Also very good at tailoring the course to our existing skills (i.e. good dinghy sailors) rather than just sticking to the syllabus.

8th October 2015

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The skipper seemed very knowledgeable, with a great teaching technique. I felt free to ask him questions throughout the training and he was very encouraging with all of us. Giving us all equal opportunities to helm etc. I liked the teaching technique, with a safety briefing at the beginning, then an overview of tides, weather systems, sailing techniques in the warmth of the saloon before we got out on deck and learnt it all as we went. He encouraged others to share their knowledge too, on knots etc.

8th October 2015

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Good instructor, got the best out of us by not prompting us until absolutely necessary. Great on Navigation techniques, really covered in depth and lots of practical corroboration of position through use of tides and contours.

8th October 2015

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Dhara was very good; he explained things well and was very patient with our lack of knowledge and ability! We are going on a flotilla sailing holiday and wherever possible Dhara referred to our holiday and showed us things that he thought would be most relevant for sailing in Greece.

8th October 2015

What To Bring
  • Clothing layers - even if it's sunny or warm on land it can get quite chilly when sailing
  • Hat, sun cream, lip salve, sunglasses, gloves
  • If you're staying overnight or longer you'll need to bring a sleeping bag, pillow, towel, toiletries
  • Any medication you would normally require
  • Pack your belongings in a soft bag that can be easily stowed
  • Do bring any of your favourite snacks or soft drinks as we may not be near any shops
    (If you have your own foul weather gear you are welcome to bring it)
  • If you haven't been sailing before and don't know if you might get seasick, some good advice is to have a sensible breakfast and don't drink lots of alcohol the night before!
  • Bring seasickness pills if you might need them.
What We Provide
  • Lifejackets
  • All meals & snacks while on board (vegetarian/vegan)
  • Sleeping berth
  • Course books in advance (if applicable)
  • Access to our onboard sailing library, including RYA course books (copies available to buy)
  • Quality XM foul weather trousers, jackets and waterproof deck boots
    (If you have your own foul weather gear you are welcome to bring it)
  • Please feel free to discuss equipment concerns with us prior to your sailing trip or course, we will happily advise on purchases if you would like to buy your own gear.

If you want to make a booking

Book now

If you want to talk to one of our instructors or have a more general enquiry either call (+44) 07576 248 348 or fill in the form below.
We will do our best to get back to you as soon as possible.

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Our Boats

Jalapeno is a Dutch built Standfast, a solid roomy boat that handles the sea well. We can take bookings for up to 10 people on Jalapeno and there is room for everyone to eat and plan together around the central saloon table. There is an unusually large amount of flat deck, a great spot for a picnic at anchor!

Our RYA courses and sailing trips from Chichester marina are run on Jalapeno.

Facilities include heads (toilet/washroom), galley with gas oven and heating.

Cascadeur is a French built Jeanneau. She has up to ten berths in four cabins, with room for everyone to sit and eat round the circular table in the main cabin, or use the cockpit table to eat or work together outside. We can take bookings for up to 10 people on Cascadeur.

Our RYA courses and sailing trips from Southampton are run on Cascadeur.

Facilities include two heads (toilet/washroom), gas cooker with oven, heating.

Karic is a British built Westerly Renown ketch - a ketch means there are two masts, so three sets of sails for people to learn how to use. She has berths for six people to sleep in three cabins, with room for everyone to sit and eat round the table in the main cabin. Designed for family cruising, Karic is a safe, sturdy boat. There is a centre cockpit with room for a crew of six to sit in comfort.

Facilities include a roomy heads (toilet/washroom) and meths 2 hob cooker