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post #1 of 10 Old 07-25-2014 Thread Starter
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RYA courses, how difficult are they, advice needed

RYA courses, how difficult are they, advice needed

After an unfortunate family sea sickness incident on a glass bottom boat in Spain 25 years ago I (along with the rest of the family) have been the BA of boats until I did a competent crew course a little while ago (decided I needed a new challenge and wanted to do something that I would not normally have done). I was expecting it to be a real learning curve and throwing up all the time but other than a very enjoyable experience I was very disappointed with the amount of new things learnt (only slightly over zero, admittedly I did read some theory before going (give ways, buoys, etc)).

There were people on my course who were taking CC and others taking the day skipper course. There didn't seem to be much theory taught on CC and I was always hanging around when the people were being taught the theory for their day skipper which was to my mind was all very simple (compass bearings, back bearings, triangulating a position, basic knots, Long/Lat, Beaufort scale etc etc). I was introduced to most of these things in geography class, mastered them in boy scouts and taught some of them to others during adventure training during my time in the army.

I seem to have taken the view that the RYA course are pretty fluffy with the only benefit seeming to be that after day skipper you can get (at extra cost) the license so that you can charter, I guess that is something that I might need in the future and I've got free time at the moment...

I don't really want to spend another x hundred quid on a course that from what I've seen is to me fun but very basic. On the other hand I don't have any sailing experience other than my CC course so am wondering if the level of experience at the helm will be an issue if I went straight to Coastal skipper.

Thoughts?
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post #2 of 10 Old 07-25-2014
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Re: RYA courses, how difficult are they, advice needed

The RYA courses are much better than what we get in the US. Read through the day skipper theory and if you think you can handle it there is no reason not to go straight to coastal skipper. You'll get your ICC and can have a lovely summer break chartering in the Med.

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post #3 of 10 Old 07-25-2014
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Re: RYA courses, how difficult are they, advice needed

I would recommend just buying the yachtmaster theory book and learn it cover to cover. The tests for the yachtmaster and coastal skipper are both practical. I think for coastal you will need 800nm documented miles and for the yachtmaster 2500nm documented miles prior to the exam. There are other requirements you can find on their website. If you decide on either of those I would strongly urge you to take a practical course because there is a definite way the RYA wants things done.
Good luck
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post #4 of 10 Old 07-25-2014 Thread Starter
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Re: RYA courses, how difficult are they, advice needed

Reading the book cover to cover for the course above sounds like a great idea.

I was planning on taking the practical course to get the stamp as I've got spare time and am wanting to go sail again.

Any idea's how stringent they are with checking for the course days/miles before a course? I don't want to pay RYA to do a day skipper course when I could get the course above it and more importantly I don't want to be bored being told stuff that I already know for 5 days.

Also does anyone know what the difficulty increment is between day skipper and coastal skipper? I know that the difficulty increment is minor between CC and day skipper. From what I saw between CC and day skipper CC isn't really needed and seems to be just a way to make money.
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post #5 of 10 Old 07-25-2014
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Re: RYA courses, how difficult are they, advice needed

GREETINGS EARTHLING . best thing to do is join the R.Y.A. and that will get you on to the web site (with discount) lots of helpfull books and info on the site, I do recomend the book Seamans guide to Rule Of The road it brakes down all the coll.Regs into manageable bits, also recomend the flash cards on weather flags boayage rule of the road and chart 5011 chart symbols . I made some other cards for myself as Dyslexia kicks in now and again but I have No Wuking furries about it hope this helps . AS ALWAYS GO SAFE
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post #6 of 10 Old 07-26-2014
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Re: RYA courses, how difficult are they, advice needed

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Reading the book cover to cover for the course above sounds like a great idea.
Not just reading it - it is knowing it from cover to cover

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Any idea's how stringent they are with checking for the course days/miles before a course?
No need to check miles prior to courses. It is done prior to coastal/yachtmaster test. They do validate your experience. I think there might be a reduction in miles if you take some courses.

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Also does anyone know what the difficulty increment is between day skipper and coastal skipper?
The coastal is a practical test so there is a world of difference.
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post #7 of 10 Old 08-07-2014
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Re: RYA courses, how difficult are they, advice needed

None of them are difficult.

It depends what you want to get out of it.
personaly I would recomend day skipper without bothering with the more basic copetant crew.
Is the RYAthe best for you? depends where you live and want to sail.
In the UK its a no brainer go with the RYA.
The USA then power squadron and ASA will be just as good.
With all of them its the quality of the school and the instructor which count.

The power Squadron is run by vollenteers, is relativly cheep usualy a winter night class on basic boating and coastal nav. works if your free in the evenings.
Does not inculde a practical on the water expierience.

Day Skipper, ASA Basic levels are practical and you will get more out of them if you have done some theory or reading before hand.

More advanced levels are not difficult but require some expierience to get the most out of them. wither or not they are nessessary is a mater of opion.
the people who complete them do so out of intrest and for a sense of acomplishment.
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post #8 of 10 Old 08-08-2014
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Re: RYA courses, how difficult are they, advice needed

As you have discovered if you can sail Competent Crew is a waste of time. However, Day Skipper is well worth the time. The gap between Day Skipper and Coastal Skipper is very significant... and it is not something you can fudge. Coastal Skipper is a real practical test with standards...In Day Skipper you are guided through MOB in Coastal Skipper you have to succeed. Yachtmaster is Coastal Skipper to a much higher standard...MOB under sail in 20-30 knots might be part of the test.

The best way to proceed is do Day Skipper, get lots of miles and practice especially at night, take the Yachtmaster theory course, then the Yachtmaster practical course and then the Coastal Skipper or Yachtmaster exam in the school boat at the end of the practical course.

While that might seem a lot of time and money it is what it takes unless you can get lots of practice on none school boats.

Good Luck Phil
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post #9 of 10 Old 08-31-2014 Thread Starter
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Re: RYA courses, how difficult are they, advice needed

Thanks for all the advice.

The gap between DS and CS is certainly bigger than that of CC to DS.

Doing enough reading before you go is important and then going through the book in the evenings during the course helps.
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post #10 of 10 Old 09-06-2014
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Re: RYA courses, how difficult are they, advice needed

There is a torrent out there of the RYA books if you are interested in looking at the body of knowledge before taking the courses...
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