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Day Skipper Practical Syllabus

The Day Skipper course teaches pilotage, navigation, seamanship and boat handling up to the required standard to skipper a small cruising yacht safely by day in tidal waters with which the student is familiar.

  • 1. Preparation for sea
  • Is able to prepare a yacht for sea, including engine checks, selection of sails, securing and stowage of all gear on deck and below
  • 2. Deck Work
  • Can reef, shake out reefs 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 alongside berth
    • 3. Navigation
    Is proficient in chartwork and routine navigational duties on passage including:
  • Taking and plotting visual fixes
  • Use of electronic navigation equipment for position fixing
  • Use of waypoints
  • Working up to DR and EP
  • Estimating tidal heights and tidal streams
  • Working out course to steer to allow for tidal stream, leeway and drift
  • Knowledge of IALA buoyage
  • Maintenance of navigational records
  • Use of echo sounder and lead line
  • 4. Pilotage
  • Can prepare and execute a pilotage plan for entry into, or departure from, harbour
  • Understands the use of leading and clearing lines
  • Use of transits and surroundings as aids to pilotage
  • 5. Meteorology
  • Knows sources of forecast information
  • Can interpret shipping forecasts and use a barometer as a forecasting aid
  • 6. Rule of the road
  • Has a working knowledge of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea
  • 7. Maintenance and repair work
  • Understands and is able to carry out maintenance tasks
  • Knows the properties and uses of common synthetic fibre ropes
  • 8. Engines
  • Knows how to change fuel and water filters, pump impeller and to bleed the fuel system
  • 9. Victualling
  • Understands how to victual a yacht
  • 10. Emergency situations
  • Is able to take correct action as skipper for recovery of man overboard
  • Understands distress flares and how to use a liferaft
  • Can operate a radiotelephone in an emergency and send a distress message
  • Understands how to secure a tow
  • Understands rescue procedures including helicopter rescue
  • 11. Yacht handling under power
  • Can bring a boat safely to and from an alongside berth, mooring buoy and anchor under various conditions of wind and tide
  • Can steer and trim sails effectively on all points of sailing
  • 12. Passage making
  • 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
  • 13. Night cruising
  • Has experienced sail cruising at night, including leaving and entering harbour. Understands the special consideration for pilotage plans, keeping a lookout and identifying marks by night.
  • 14. Seasickness
  • Working efficiency is unaffected/partially affected/severely affected by seasickness
  • 15. Helmsmanship and sailing
  • Understands the basic principles of sailing and can steer and trim sails on all points of sailing
  • Can steer a compass course, under sail and power
  • 16. General duties
  • Has carried out general duties satisfactorily on deck and below decks in connection with the daily routine of the vessel

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