I’ve just completed my RYA Day Skipper Theory with Elite Sailing in Chatham and thought I’d do a quick blog post to let you know how it went and what you can expect if you’re considering signing up for it.
I choose the distance learning option as I am pretty busy at the moment, so it made sense to sign up and just fit it in around everything else. I’ve mainly been able to find time on my commute to work! In terms of the time commitment, I’ve been pretty slack in terms of finding time, so I’ve probably just done an hour or two per week over the last 6 – 8 weeks. If you knuckle down and find the time, you could study intensely and get it it done very quickly.
Elite were excellent in terms of communicating, and once I’d signed up everything duly arrived in the post within a couple of days. They’ll send you practice charts, an almanac, portland plotter, dividers, course notes and a USB with a slide show on it. I would highly recommend that you also buy Day Skipper for Sail and Power by Alison Noice as well. The course materials are great, but unless you’re really experienced the additional reading will really help.
The syllabus is great and covers:
- Boat safety
- Rope work
- Chart work
- Course to steer and passage planning
- Beacons, Lights and Buoys
In terms of price, there are several options (ie with or without support). I opted for distance learning with no support, which I found absolutely fine. This was just £209, which I think is very reasonable. If you go for this option and then need support, they will let you upgrade and will then be available on demand to help answer any questions and supplement your own learning. They also offer classroom course, if you prefer that style.
Once you’ve done all the reading and studying, you’re ready for the exam. It’s simple, you just contact Elite and they’ll email it to you. You complete the exam paper and send it back.
I’m awaiting my results now! Wish me luck 🙂