Please recommend a good training school for dayskipper combi

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ditch
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Please recommend a good training school for dayskipper combi

Postby ditch » Sun Aug 17, 2008 11:03 pm

Hi folks,

I have been sailing on and off for most of my life, although I haven't been out since March 2006. My friend in Sydney (Down under) has a 30 ft regular sloop type fibreglass yacht and we spent 3 weekends just cruising around the harbour and an overnight trip up to Pittwater, the Hawkesbury river estuary. I would say that I'm probably a little bit rusty but it will come back to me as soon as I get back aboard a sailing boat. My father used to leave me piloting his 38 ft yacht (under motor) through the night, right across the channel from Poole to Cherbourg when I was 13 but that was nearly 30 years ago. I have no theoretical knowledge but I can navigate as I did my light aircraft pilot's licence last year. I would say that I know my way around a yacht.

I'm living in Wilts at the moment but there's really nothing to keep me here any more. I have bought an apartment in the far east which won't be completed for another 3 years so I want to get into sailing seriously and be able to sail my own boat over there in 3 or 4 years time.

To the point anyway, my local college runs an RYA day skipper course in the evenings but the next one doesn't start until next February. There is a RYA navigation course for Day Skipper competent starting at the end of September, which is obviously for people who have just done their day skipper, starting Feb this year.
I guess you can see where I'm going with this - yes I'd like to do my day skipper combined theory and practical so that I can sign up for the Navigation course at the end of September.

I haven't got the time or indeed the money to do a competent crew course as well, nor do I think I need to. However, I do not possess a log book and cannot prove, on paper that I have any experience. I mentioned earlier about flying, well I went to South Africa and did my licence in 5 weeks including all the theory and exams and I had no prior experience what so ever. I am a fast learner.
What I am looking for is a training school around the Solent area preferably (Say from Portsmouth to Poole?) that will be able to offer me a combined theory and practical day skipper course. I know that there are quite a few schools that do this but I am hoping to find one that's highly recommended and would be suitable for me. Also, good sized boat with private cabin is very important to me because I am a very light sleeper and the smaller the amount of students the better. These are all important factors that could make the difference between having a really great time and thoroughly enjoying myself or spending £800 and coming away with bad memories and disillusionment.

As with my pilot training experience in SA, there are a great many schools and flight academies but I made my choice based on multiple recommendations for the school I eventually trained at. I am hoping very much that I will be so fortunate in being pointed in the right direction this time too :wink:

I thank those of you that take the time to read this post and any help or constructive advice will be very much welcome.

Cheers

Richard

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Nick
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Don't worry about the log book

Postby Nick » Sun Aug 17, 2008 11:12 pm

.
Hi Ditch and welcome to the forum.

Can't recommend any particular school down your way, but don't worry about the lack of paper re. your previous experience. Get yourself an RYA logbook and fill in the bit marked 'previous experience' with very rough dates /miles.

The minimum pre-course experience required for Day Skipper is 5 days living on board, 100 miles logged (in tidal waters for tidal courses) and 4 hours night sailing. You obviously have more than that and the school will not be worried about exact dates etc.

Not sure what the Nav course you refer to is - the Day Skipper Theory covers all the nav you need for Day Skipper, never heard of a separate navigation course.
- Nick 8)

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aquaplane
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Postby aquaplane » Sun Aug 17, 2008 11:55 pm

I did all my "desk sailing" at the local night school, OK it takes a few weeks but it's an evening out each week and you get to meet sailors. I skipped the competent crew and just did the other two, day skipper and yachtmaster ocean I think they are called.

They should be starting again next month, check out the local adult education prospectus.
Seminole.
Cheers Bob.

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Nick
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Yachtmaster Offshore

Postby Nick » Mon Aug 18, 2008 8:07 am

.
day skipper and yachtmaster ocean I think they are called

Prob. YM Offshore - Ocean is mostly astro-navigation.
- Nick 8)

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aquaplane
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Postby aquaplane » Mon Aug 18, 2008 8:52 am

Yep that's the one, reducing sun sights with Aero Nav tables, it was fun but I never used it in anger, it was a night out each week though.

The weather stuff and passage planning was good too.
Seminole.
Cheers Bob.

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Allegro
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Postby Allegro » Fri Aug 22, 2008 10:51 am

If you're in a hurry / on a budget, don't worry about the theory course at all. To do the practical course you don't have to have done a theory course, just be able to demonstrate that you have that knowledge. And the knowledge can be learnt easily enough from one of the excellent Day Skipper Theory books out there. The one I used was by, I think, Price and Ouvry(?). So spend a couple of weeks doing the book learning, then book yourself on a Dayskipper practical course for a week, and you're done.

Cheers
Patrick
Sailing a Victoire 25 on the west coast of Scotland

ditch
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Postby ditch » Fri Aug 22, 2008 1:17 pm

Thanks Allegro,

I Think I'm going to do the day skipper at my local college. I'm not sure whether it covers both the practical and theory subjects though. I'll have to find that out, otherwise I will go on a practical only course at a trading school.

Cheers

Richard

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Allegro
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Postby Allegro » Mon Aug 25, 2008 2:13 pm

I Think I'm going to do the day skipper at my local college. I'm not sure whether it covers both the practical and theory subjects though.


The dayskipper courses done as evening classes are "dayskipper theory", and finish with an exam which gives you a theory certificate. Dayskipper practical is one week (occasionally two weekends) on a boat fulltime with an instructor, who signs your practical course completion certificate at the end of the week. There's therefore actually no "exam" involved in dayskipper practical, more continuous assessment by the instructor (I've seen them take people asside and downgrade them to a "competent crew" certificate if they don't think they make the grade, so its not automatic!).

The same distinction applies further up the scale - Yachtmaster theory courses are often offered as evening classes (its the same theory for Coastal Skipper). But the practical certificates (which, IMHO, are the ones that really count) come from, in this case, 24 hours on a boat with an examiner (not instructor), who puts you through your paces. Often done, as I did it, in combination with a weeks sailing with an instructor beforehand to get you up to speed and conveniently provide a boat and crew, but doesn't have to be - its the 24 hours with the examiner that count. Again, as I mentioned in an earlier post, there's no need to have done the theory exam, provided you can demonstrate that you have that knowledge when it comes to the practical.

Hope that clarifies things for you!

Cheers
Patrick
Sailing a Victoire 25 on the west coast of Scotland


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