If you want to become a skipper of a yacht you have several opportunities to start and to expand your skills in stages. It depends on your preferences and where you want to sail. For most courses pre-course experience is needed. After being certificated as a skipper you can visit courses like navigation or seamanship or several other specialist courses.
Sailing schools recognised by the RYA offer “Day Skipper” courses for those who want to skipper on short distances. If you want to sail longer costal passages by day and by night then the “Costal Skipper” course could be for you. Sailing schools recognised by the American Sailing Association and by the US Sailing Association offer similar courses again. You might start with the “Basic costal cruising” course and go on with the “Advanced costal cruising” course. You can continue with the “Bareboat cruising” course and the “Offshore Passagemaking” course. There are special courses in navigation and seamanship too.
Most cruising courses last a week or two and you live on board. It is also possible the accommodation is on land and you leave the same harbour for practice every day. You can join it alone, with a friend or with your partner. Combine the yachting courses with a holiday. For example in the sunny South or on native coasts. There are a lot of opportunities.
The necessary pre-course experience and course content changes from time to time and differ from country to country. There are Internet-links at the end of the book where you find information about the valid conditions. Have a look which ability after the course you get and decide if this is what you want to learn. Try to get as much experience as possible before you skipper a yacht on your own.
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