RYA/SAS DAY SKIPPER TIDAL COURSE (Practical) – detailed syllabus

The scope of the course includes basic pilotage, boat handling, seamanship and navigation.

This course introduces the students to the following fundamental topics necessary to be able to skipper a yacht:

  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 deck
    • Understands basic stability and buoyancy for small vessels
  1. Deck work
    • Able to reef, shake out reefs and change sails to suit prevailing conditions
    • Able to prepare an anchor, mooring warps and take charge on deck when mooring alongside, coming to buoy, anchoring, weighing anchor and slipping from a buoy or an alongside berth
  1. 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 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
  1. 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 soundings as aids to pilotage
  1. Meteorology
    • Knows sources of forecast information
    • Can interpret shipping forecasts and use a barometer as a forecasting aid
  1. Rules of the road
    • Has a working knowledge of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea
  1. Maintenance and repair work
    • Understands and is able to carry out maintenance tasks
    • Knows the properties and uses of common synthetic fibre ropes
  1. Engines
    • Understands need for periodic maintenance checks on engine
    • Requirements for tool kits, spares and lubricants
    • Location of filters and bleed points
    • tension of drive belts and how to adjust
    • Carry out check before starting, while running and after stopped
    • Clean water filters and know location of impellors
    • Estimate fuel consumption at various speeds and effects of fouling
    • Basic troubleshooting
9.  Victualling
    • Understands how to victual a yacht
  1. 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
    • Understands effects of cold water shock on a casualty in the water
    • Aftercare requirements of a casualty who has been in the water
  1. Yacht handling under power (sail and power)
    • Can bring a boat safely to and from an alongside berth, mooring buoy and anchor under various conditions of wind and tide
    • Effects of waves on boat handling and crew comfort
  1. Yacht handling under sail (sail only)
    • Can bring a boat safely to and from a mooring buoy and anchor under various conditions of wind and tide
    • Can steer and trim sails effectively on all points of sailing
  1. 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
  1. 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.

(Source: Royal Yachting Association Syllabus and Logbook G15/10)

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