RYA 5 Day Practical Course

(7 customer reviews)


RYA Practical Courses are run over 5 consecutive days. You can do either Competent Crew or Day Skipper and we limit the number of people to 3, so there’s plenty of instructor time and ability to social distance. Just choose the course type when you sign up.

Pay a 20% deposit per item

Day Skipper Practical

The RYA Day Skipper practical is a course for aspiring skippers with some yachting experience and basic navigation and sailing skills. The course is run in a SAFE but FUN and FRIENDLY environment aimed at BUILDING CONFIDENCE in your SKIPPERING ABILITY. You’ll learn to skipper a short passage with the instructor on hand to give advice and encouragement and ensure your safety. Experience being in charge, taking credit when it all goes well and being responsible when it doesn’t. The required pre-course experience is 100 logged sea miles, 5 days onboard a yacht and 4 night hours. Additionally, you are expected to have theory knowledge to the standard of Day Skipper theory. Before taking this course, if you are not sure that your sailing is up to speed, get in touch and we can help ensure this is the right next step for you.

Competent Crew

The RYA Competent Crew is the perfect starting point for your RYA training programme and a great introduction to yachting. The course introduces you to the delights of sailing aboard a cruising yacht. It is an ideal stepping stone for dinghy sailors trying yachting for the first time and for those who have already done some crewing but wish to learn more. At the end of the 5-day course,  you will become, a competent, confident crew member.

The course is run in a SAFE but FUN and FRIENDLY environment aimed at BUILDING CONFIDENCE and YACHTING SKILLS it’s ideal for BEGINNERS with no previous sailing or yachting experience. You will be taught the fundamentals of crewing such as knots, nautical terms, sail handling and helming, as well as how to live in the environment of a cruising yacht. During the RYA Competent Crew course you will spend all 5 days aboard the yacht visiting many of the beautiful harbours and anchorages of the Solent and if the weather allows, complete a longer coastal passage. With a maximum of 4 students per course, your fully qualified instructor will devote plenty of time to your individual needs. Safety is paramount on all RYA courses and you will learn how to operate flares, lifejackets, safety harnesses, liferafts, how to assist the recovery of a man overboard and participate in at least four hours of night sailing during the course. This is the perfect starting point before going on to complete the Day Skipper Theory and Day Skipper Practical courses. If you want to get a head start before taking this course, you can do the Essential Navigation and Seamanship online course (this is not a pre-requisite). At the end of the course, you will be awarded the RYA Competent Crew Certificate and be an asset to any crew you join!

We sail from Hamble Yacht Services. Our adventures start here! Hamble Yacht Services offers easy access from the M27, has plenty of parking and nearby access to the bars and restaurants of Hamble.

There’s plenty of free parking on site.

Polka – GBR912R

Polka is a meticulously maintained Beneteau First 34.7, fully race prepared. She has a carbon mast and rod rigging and flies an asymmetric spinnaker from a retractable carbon bowsprit.
We carry a full race sail inventory including:

  • Carbon Membrane Main Sail
  • Membrane Jibs (No. 1 & No. 3)
  • Heavy Weather Jib
  • Storm Jib
  • TrySail
  • Code 0 Asymmetric
  • A2 Asymmetric
  • A4 Asymmetric

Polka is MCA coded and compliant with ISAF category 1 offshore racing. She carries all the latest safety equipment, above and beyond the requirements of both bodies. All crew whilst onboard have a Spinlock Pro-sensor lifejacket allocated for their use. (The Skippers rules when to wear them will be applied at all times).


7 reviews for RYA 5 Day Practical Course

  1. Mark B. (verified owner)

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    If you like sailing, want to expand your knowledge and navigational ability, Marcus at Polka Sailing provides clear, professional and easy follow RYA courses. Enjoyable, beneficial and thoroughly recommended to people of all ages. Doing the RYA Day Skipper theory course was the best thing I’ve done for ages.

  2. mattbirchy

    What a fantastic 5 days sailing! It was everything I hoped it would be. I made my mind up about Marcus and his teaching style after the first day of the theory course and decided to book the practical up there and then. I didn’t regret it, I thoroughly enjoyed my time aboard a lovely boat with great company. The weather was very kind to us which made the trip even better. I learned a huge amount from a very calm and patient tutor and left with a real sense of new found boat confidence. Not sure I’m ready for the Fastnet race yet but would definitely recommend Polka Sailing to anyone who wants to get their day skipper qualification. Thanks again!

  3. davecrapnell

    Would highly recommend Polka Sailing and Marcus if you are thinking about getting your Day Skipper qualification. Both the theory and practical sessions were informative and great fun and Marcus has a very good teaching style. Now looking forward to putting my new found knowledge into practice.

  4. paulayton

    Marcus is a great teacher – explaining things in an easy to understand way, would recommend doing the Theory and Practical course with Marcus as well as taking the opportunity to do some racing all great experiences.
    Highlight of the week sailing was sailing into Lymington at night (will not forget the fixed red light transit) and mooring at Pontoons just using the wind and tide ( ferry gliding) evenings were just as entertaining with an impromptu Pub quiz and then a last night Sambuca night cap or 2.The 5 days were great company and learned loads.

  5. geoff_dibben (verified owner)

    Great to learn with Marcus – he is a very patient, knowledgable and experienced sailor. The yacht is in excellent condition and is a great boat to gain experience on. We had a great 5 days and I would recommend Polka to anyone. I am sure I will be back… Thanks

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