Whether you’re an avid sailor desperate to take your passion on holiday or just a sun and sea lover wanting to try out a new way to travel, skippering your own sailing holiday isn’t as tricky as you might think! Whilst there are certainly perks to the professional touch of skippered charters, nothing beats cruising around stunning sailing destinations with just your closest friends. If your brand new to sailing there could be a couple of hoops to jump through before your ready to take the captain’s seat, but luckily we’ve put together a handy guide to skippering your own yacht!
The minimum requirements to skipper your own yacht with The Big Sail is for at least 1 person onboard to have at least an International Certificate of Competence (ICC) for sailing, or a Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Day Skipper certificate. However, it can be a good idea for more than one of your crew to be qualified in case of illness or if your designated skipper just wants some chill time. Feel free to get in touch if you’re not sure about what you need or if you want us to simply check your qualifications meet the requirements. If you already have these qualifications or higher then you’re ready to start planning your first sailing trip! However, if you’ve still got some work to become a qualified skipper, don’t fear, we’ve got you covered!
To become an RYA Day Skipper takes just 5 days! It’s a practical course that will teach you everything you need in order to be a competent skipper! Before embarking on the course you’re expected to have some knowledge and experience in sailing, however, if you have none of this there is a shore-based course you can do first. The shore-based course consists of roughly 40hrs of learning and can be completed either online or in a classroom. There is no pre-knowledge required for the shore-based course and once you’ve completed it you will be ready to take on the seas in the practical course.
If you’re wanting proof that you can sail internationally then there are 2 easy ways to get your ICC qualifications. You can either apply through the RYA if you already have an RYA qualification or take an ICC assessment course if you don’t have a prior qualification.
The process to becoming a qualified skipper may seem daunting at first but once you’re qualified, a whole new world of travel opportunities is unlocked! Once your ready to take to the seas, be sure to check out our guides on what to pack, what to do, and where to go!