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Day Skipper Course

The Day Skipper Practical is a beginner skippering course for sailors with some prior experience, (about 100 miles / 5 days), as active crew aboard a cruising yacht. You can gain this valuable qualification in less than a week with our chief instructor aboard our tuition yacht based in Vassiliki. After successful completion, you’ll be ready to charter your own yacht on flotilla or bareboat.

Many of our guests will undertake their training with a view to chartering a yacht on our flotilla in their second week. You can book a space on our training yacht as a live-aboard or as a resident at our Beach Club. You can also book the yacht and instructor privately for a group of 2 to 5 people which makes it nice for families to learn together. And it’s more fun in the sun!

At a Glance

  • From £645pp
  • Combined Crew & Day Skipper Fast track course £1390pp (2 weeks)
  • For ages: 16+
  • Pre course experience: 5 days/100 miles
  • Duration: 1 week (5 days tuition)
  • Take as a Live-aboard or whilst staying at our Beach Club
  • Live-aboard price includes yacht for the full week

The Day Skipper Practical (Tidal)

This course includes 5 days of tuition with a ‘free day’ for sailing. You can take the course while living aboard our tuition yacht or as a resident at our Club. We think the course is ideal when combined with a second week on our flotilla so our yacht team can be on hand to assist you in your first week as a skipper.

During the course we’ll teach you the basic practical skippering techniques to enable you to feel confident to set sail as the Skipper. You will take charge on a number of short passages under the guidance of our instructor. You will be given the opportunity to practice your boat handling in a variety of mooring situations, and whilst at sea your instructor will cover subjects such as pilotage, deck work, sail trim and how to cope in emergency situations.

Full Course Details

Price: £645 for Beach Club guests

Price: £745 for Liveaboard guests

Includes course completion certificate. Excludes flights and transfers
Pre-Course Experience To have completed 100 miles / 5 days on a cruising yacht, perhaps as active crew on a previous flotilla. The ideal pre-requisite is the RYA Competent Crew
Assumed Knowledge Theory to the level of Day Skipper. It is recommended that you complete our online theory course beforehand
Duration A week-long course with 5 days tuition (9-5pm) & 1 day free-sail or lay-day
Course Content
  • View the syllabus
  • Preparation for sea
  • Deck work
  • Navigation
  • Pilotage
  • Meteorology
  • Rules of the road
  • Maintenance and repair work
  • Engines, checks, maintenance
  • Victualling
  • Emergency situations
  • Yacht handling under power
  • Yacht handling under sail
  • Passage making & night cruising
Ability after Course At the end of the Day Skipper course you will be confident to skipper a cruising yacht on short passages. Guests who successfully complete the Day Skipper Practical course are awarded a course completion certificate and can charter a yacht from us and other charter companies worldwide, on bareboat or flotilla.

Competent Crew & Day Skipper ‘Fast track’

If you have no sailing experience at all, then fear not! You can combine the Competent Crew course with the Day Skipper as a complete beginner skippers ‘fast-track’ course in two weeks.

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How to take your Day Skipper with us

You can book onto a course as a solo, a couple or a family. Either book a course and live-aboard the yacht; or take a course whilst staying at our Beach Club.

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Our Tuition Yacht

Our Bavaria 37 is the perfect cruiser for yacht training. She comes with our own RYA Yacht Master Instructor and is based in Vassiliki and Lefkas.

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Pre-Course Experience

You need to have had a little prior experience on board a cruising yacht to join this course, (at least 100 miles or 5 days). It suits Competent Crew graduates or those who have been an active crew member on a previous flotilla.

From our experience of running skippering courses, if you are already proficient in the topics covered in the Competent Crew syllabus, understand the basics of navigation, sailing, rope work, seamanship and have experienced at least 100 miles on a yacht, then you will be able to join our Day Skipper and pass successfully. It is not possible to complete this course as a total beginner.

You will also need to have knowledge of basic navigation and seamanship to the RYA Day Skipper standard. We recommend you take our RYA Day Skipper Theory course which you can do before you arrive with our E-Learning package from the comfort of your own home.

Combine your Day Skipper with a Flotilla Holiday

Many guests will combine a Day Skipper course with a second week on our flotilla to put into practice their newfound skills with our expert lead crew on hand to assist. They are very used to helping new skippers find their way!

You can also combine a course with a Stay Sail to Vassiliki and take your skippers qualification whilst staying at our Beach Club. Your family can enjoy the facilities while you get trained, or you can all get trained together: we run a complete range of courses from Day Skipper to Youth Sailing to for ages 12+


Book as a Solo, a Couple or Group

You can book onto a course as a solo, a couple or a family. Our tuition yacht will take up to 5 pupils, but we mostly run with 3 or 4 pupils to one instructor. You can choose to join the tuition yacht each day (whilst staying at our Beach Clubs); or book a liveaboard course by booking a cabin for the week. You can also book our tuition yacht and instructor privately and cruise the Ionian as you learn in the sun.



Your Successful Completion!

We are not in the business of failing candidates and say that everyone can pass if they are attentive and willing, (and have completed the shorebased theory beforehand). If you get stuck on certain topics then our instructor will spend a little longer with you to ensure you grasp them.

On successful completion you will be awarded the Day Skipper Completion certificate and you can go on to charter your own yacht on bareboat or flotilla. In addition you can apply for an International Certificate of Competence (ICC). Should you not pass, we may be able to award you a Cruising Level 2 certificate which may allow you to skipper on our flotilla. If this is not possible then please be prepared to pay for an on-board skipper.


Practical Information

RYA Day Skipper Theory

Day Skipper practical candidates must have completed an RYA Day Skipper theory course before arriving. The RYA Day Skipper Theory course can be taken from the comfort of your home with our E-Learning package in about 30 to 40 hours.

Book as a Beach Club resident

You can book a place on our tuition yacht (based in Vassiliki harbour) while staying at our Surf Hotel Beach Club. Join the yacht each day (9-5pm, 5 days) while your family rests-up back at our Club. This helps you get qualified in week one of a Stay Sail before chartering your own yacht in week two.

Book as a Live-aboard

You can also book a place or places onto the yacht as a live-aboard pupil in shared cabins. You will learn with your instructor over a week-long cruise of the Ionian. You can pay a supplement to book a cabin privately. 

Book a Tuition Yacht Privately

You can book the tuition yacht and instructor privately for groups of 2 to 5 persons. If you are living-aboard and following our flotilla route as you learn (which is a sociable option), then you can often arrange for the instructor to sleep on our lead yacht when at anchor, by special arrangement. It gives families some extra privacy. As a private bookers, you will need to provision the yacht and remember to include your instructor in your provisioning.


We provision the yacht for breakfast and a light lunch on board. You are welcome to purchase any extra nibbles you may require and for the evening meal there are a range of lovely waterside taverna’s to choose from. We do not provision for private tuition yacht charters.

What's Included

Our tuition yacht will include everything you need for your week, except flights, transfers and evening meal. Solo supplements will apply for pupils wanting their own cabin (normally 50%)

Travel from Airport

Choosing to self-travel, taxis are easy enough to pick up from outside the airport. The transfer to Lefkas marina is about 25 minutes. 

Marina Address: Lefkas Marina, East Shore Lefkada, 311 00 Greece

Day Skipper is a tidal course

Our course is a tidal course and covers the theory of tidal stream and height calculation. As a newly qualified Day Skipper, after successful completion of our course, we’d strongly advise gaining further experience in tidal waters before skippering any coastal passages in tidal waters.

Typical Itinerary

Sunday arrival

You will arrive at Lefkas or Vassiliki marina and be greeted by our yacht team and introduced to your yacht. After a short introductory briefing to help you get settled onboard, you will meet the other course members and head for a meal ashore. Non liveaboard guests (staying at our Beachclub) will go straight to our Club and enjoy a welcome at the Surf hotel.

Monday to Friday

Every day will start at about 9am and finishes at approx 5-6pm. One day will be extended to allow for some night sailing. The yacht leaves the marina at 9am on Monday so training can start after a full technical safety briefing from your instructor. The tuition yacht will cruise around the islands as you learn and find an anchorage to break for lunch - so there’s always time for a swim - and arrive at the evening stopover for about 5pm. If the yacht is being shared by live-aboard and non liveaboard pupils, the yacht will return to Vassiliki each day so they can return to the hotel. You can book onto a liveaboard-only week to enable you to cruise the Ionian instead of return to Vassiliki each day. Please ask our sales team for these weeks.


Unless you are privately chartering, Saturday is a lay-day, which may be moved to a Wednesday. This is a great day to explore the island or make use of the Surf Hotel and a complimentary day of activities like watersports, biking and fitness classes. Private yacht charters can use this as a free-sail day if they want to keep sailing.

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