RYA Day Skipper Sail

Own Boat Courses and Tuition

We do offer own boat tuition and it can be very popular as it allows you to still achieve RYA qualifications in a familiar environment.

It can be useful to those who have just got a new vessel or for students who wish to improve any aspect of their skills. We can either follow the RYA syllabus for whichever course is most appropriate or we can offer ad hoc training at your own pace from 1 day to week

It is also popular with families and we can do a mix of Day Skipper and Competent Crew students or, for more advanced students, RYA Yachtmaster Offshore.

Your vessel must meet basic safety standards which we can run through and advise on.

Cost is US $385 per day plus any training materials and this covers from 1-5 students.


ICC Certificate of Competence

The ICC International Certificate for Operators of Pleasure Craft is very useful and accepted in many countries for bareboat charter.

Applicants who have achieved Day Skipper or have Power/Motor boat qualifications can apply to the RYA and pay a small fee to get their certificate. For those that haven't but are competent we can carry out an assessment on your own vessel [if it meets the criteria] or on ours.

A number of changes have been made recently in order to ensure the ongoing integrity of the ICC (International Certificate for Operators of Pleasure Craft).

Identity checks have been tightened:

The ICC remains available to British nationals and the nationals of any country that has NOT adopted Resolution No. 40. The RYA can only issue an ICC to Nationals of a country that has adopted Resolution No. 40 if the applicant is resident (ie. domiciled) in the UK.

Own boat assessment criteria have been updated:

RYA centres running own boat assessments for the ‘Power over 10 metres’ category of ICC must have someone with the following qualifications to run those tests:

  • An Advanced Powerboat Instructor who also holds an RYA Yachtmaster Coastal Certificate of Competence or higher, or
  • An RYA Cruising Instructor for Power or higher

ICC Application form click here

ICC Eligibility click here

RYA Yachtmaster Offshore

The RYA Yachtmaster Offshore is one of the most highly respected and prestigious sailing qualifications in the world and we pride ourselves on training many high calibre Yachtmaster Candidates.
Exam Preparation Courses are delivered by one of our fully qualified and extremely experienced RYA Yachtmaster Instructors.

Please see our details notes on The Yachtmaster exam here.

The week starts with an assessment day, when the instructor will gauge your strengths and weaknesses. The rest of the time will be spent improving weak areas in order to prepare you for the exam.
You will take command of the yacht on short passages, by day and night. You will be required to navigate in a seamanlike manner, with both efficiency and safety. Your instructor will give you guidance and coaching on boat handling techniques both at sea and in a confined space.

Examiners expect a high level of expertise, particularly in safety critical exercises such as man overboard, or sailing down wind. Your instructor will also ensure that the theory subjects, in particular meteorology, IRPCS, buoyage and passage planning are not new to you.  At the end of the week, you will be given an honest debrief, leaving you confident in your own ability, taking the exam if you feel ready to do so.

At the end of the preparation course, the instructor will leave the process and an Independent RYA Examiner will come aboard to conduct the exam. Every student will be examined on how they skipper the yacht on short passages and complete various other tasks.

Although this is a sailing exam, you will be expected to be familiar with all the vessels systems which includes knowledge of engines to at least the level of the one-day RYA Diesel Engine Maintenance course.

A knowledge of the operation of radar and GPS is also expected.

The examiner will want to see you dock the boat under engine in a variety of circumstances possibly alongside and stern-to. He/she may set you a challenge to dock in a particular place or ask you to choose. He/she will also expect you to be able to handle and turn the vessel in a confined space with awareness of the effects of the prevailing conditions. You will also be expected to be able to handle the vessel under sail in a confined space and this may include sailing on and/or off a mooring, your anchor or a dock. The examiner is looking for good boat control, use of crew, wind awareness and a good lookout for other vessels in the area. Once at sea it is a legal requirement to keep a log. This doesn’t have to be detailed but the examiner will want to see that you know where you are at all times. Don’t be afraid to reef, we are cruising not racing, but at the same time make sure you have enough sail up to keep the vessel going. Also make sure you have practiced your classic navigation as fixing your position, CTS and EP may all come into the exam. Also be comfortable with tidal problems and operation of the GPS, specifically the one on the exam vessel.

Cost is $1695 plus RYA Exam fee of around $300 [depends on exchange rate]. Please click on the 'Training Dates & Booking' button on the right to check available dates.

Cruising Skill Builders

We do offer a number of options for mile and experience building

One option is to join an existing course on one of the 40 ft training vessels for additional experience but not necessarily to gain a qualification

A second alternative is to join our Farr 65, Spirit of Juno for some ocean passages and even take part in one or more of the regattas . For example on January 124h 2023 we depart Antigua for the 300 nm sail Barbados [then Barbados Regatta], On the 24th we set sail for the 250 nm to Grenada followed by the Grenada Regatta and then on the 7th Feb return to Antigua

This covers more than 1250 nm, 3 night passages over 4 weeks with 2 fantastic regattas and with a Yachtmaster Instructor on board. Miles will count towards your Yachtmaster or other qualifications

The third option is to just charter a yacht with instructor privately

Just email for more information

ICC Certificate of Competence

We offer Jetskis or PWC [Personal Watercraft] training approved by ADOMS , Antigua & Barbuda’s marine department.

This course is one day to include classroom and practical elements

RYA Yachtmaster Offshore/Coastal Theory

RYA Coastal/Yachtmaster Offshore Theory

The  course builds on the navigation and other theory knowledge acquired on the Day Skipper Course. It is intended for cruising yachtsmen, motor boaters, and those who are looking to undertake more complex passages, perhaps offshore or at night.

It is a demanding theory course covering advanced navigation techniques such as – Position Fixing, Course to Steer, Passage Planning, Pilotage, Meteorology, IRPCS, Stability and Buoyage. By the end of the course the successful student will have a comprehensive knowledge of what is required to navigate to Yachtmaster standard, and will have passed 3 exams on chart work, passage planning, and IRPCS.

It is highly recommended that you revise the collision regulations before attending the course and have acquired the Day Skipper Theory knowledge before doing this course, to ensure successful completion.

The course is 6 full days but candidates can choose to continue their study before taking the final exams.

If you are planning to follow this course with the Yachtmaster Coastal or Offshore practical preparation and exams do ensure that you have an acceptable First Aid and VHF certificate - if not these can be booked with Ondeck.

Online - $475usd pp - Classroom $995usd pp. Please click on the 'Training Dates & Booking' button on the right to check available dates.

Duration:  6 Days No. Students to Instructor: 6:1
Previous Experience: Day skipper theory or similar   Minimum Age: none
Locations: Antigua Dates: This course is run all year round

RYA Yachtmaster Coastal

Yachtmaster Coastal Preparation and Exam

The RYA Yachtmaster Coastal follows a very similar process to Yachtmaster Offshore in that we offer a 5-day practical preparation followed by an externally examined practical exam, usually over 2 days assuming 3 or more candidates.

The minimum seatime is less than the Yachtmaster Offshore and is detailed below.

The Yachtmaster Coastal is often a stepping stone before YM Offshore but it is not mandatory. Many people choose to continue to build experience and skip the YM Coastal and step straight into the Yachtmaster Offshore.

Please see our detailed notes on Yachtmaster Coastal exam here.

We run this concurrently with the RYA Yachtmaster Offshore so search for those dates on the booking system. Candidates can do the 5 days Preparation and then choose at the end of that period whether to aim for the YM Coastal or YM Offshore exam.

A GMDSS Short Range Certificate (SRC) or higher grade of marine radio certificate is required as is First Aid.

Course Dates and Prices $1695 + RYA Exam fee. Please click on the 'Training Dates & Booking' button on the right to check available dates.

Duration:  5 preparation + 2 Days for the exam based on 3 + students Max students 4
Previous Experience: 30 days, 2 days as skipper, 800 miles, 12 night hours (if you hold the Coastal Skipper course certificate this is reduced to 20 days, 2 days as skipper, 400 miles, 12 night hours). Half the qualifying sea time must be conducted in tidal waters.  Minimum Age: 17
Locations: Antigua Dates: All year


RYA Coastal Skipper

RYA Coastal Skipper - more advanced sailing for those with good knowledge of sailing and navigation undertaking longer passages at day and night

This course covers more advanced skippering techniques for those with a good knowledge of sailing and navigation wanting to undertake longer coastal passages at day and night. 5 days , 4 nights and food for Day 1. After that students are encouraged to take part in the provisioning and planning for the week.

Like the Day Skipper Course, the RYA Coastal Skipper course consists of skippered passages in a variety of situations. Each trainee will skipper more challenging passages and learn more about passage planning, pilotage by day and night, boat handling, safety and emergency situations.

We would expect candidates to have completed the Coastal Skipper/Yachtmaster theory beforehand.

An RYA course brochure is available here.

Coastal Skippers should be able to undertake more difficult passages by day and night and handle the yacht in more demanding conditions. By the end of the course you should have the knowledge, if not the experience, to become a Yachtmaster™.

Partner courses to consider would be VHF SRC Radio, STCW PST - Sea Survival & Elementary First Aid

Cost is $1250usd pp. Please click on the 'Training Dates & Booking' button on the right to check available dates. Alternative dates are available for group bookings upon request, please call the office or use the enquiry form below.

Duration:  5 Days normally 9am monday to 5pm Friday Max students  5
Previous Experience: 15 days, 2 days as skipper, 300 miles, 8 night hours Minimum Age: 17
Locations: Antigua Dates: All year
Course Content: Passage planning, Preparation for sea, Pilotage, Passage making and ability as skipper, Yacht handling under power, Yacht handling under sail, Adverse weather conditions, Emergency situations,

RYA Day Skipper

RYA Day Skipper Theory

The RYA Day Skipper Theory course is an introduction to chart work, navigation, meteorology and seamanship. You will learn how to figure out tidal heights and streams and how they affect your course.

You will also learn about how to identify the ‘give way vessel’ when there is a risk of collision, ‘dead reckoning’ and ‘estimated positions’ as well as buoyage, safety equipment, passage planning and much more.

The first time you successfully navigate to a destination will give you a fantastic sense of achievement!

You can do the course in our classroom in Antigua over 5 days and we will work with you to be flexible on timings.

Alternatively you can do the RYA Day Skipper Theory online class before you arrive. This is RYA approved and truly a world class online training experience.

Before attending the RYA Day Skipper Theory course, it is useful that you have had some previous sailing or motor cruising experience.

Online $475usd pp - Classroom $850usd pp. Please click on the 'Training Dates & Booking' button on the right to check available dates.

Duration:  5 Days [40 hours plus exam times] No. Students to Instructor: 6:1
Previous Experience: None but some boating experience is useful Minimum Age: none
Locations: Antigua or online . Dates: This course is run all year round

RYA Competent Crew

RYA Competent Crew course for beginners and novices

The RYA Competent Crew is for beginners or novices looking to learn to sail and is suitable for those who have not been on the water before.

Ondeck run the RYA Competent Crew Course in Antigua most weeks of the year typically Monday to Friday. It includes 4 nights on board and food for Day 1. After that, students are encouraged to take part in the provisioning and planning for the week.

This course is aimed at beginners or occasional sailors without previous training. You will be taught elementary seamanship and become familiar with safety at sea, sail handling, rope work, steering on all points of sailing and much, much more besides.

The RYA Competent Crew Course is an excellent way for people of all ages to learn to sail. If you’re going to learn habits, why not make them good ones? It is also a good one for friends and families to sail together privately, either all doing Competent Crew or with Day Skipper candidates.

The online RYA Essential Navigation and Seamanship course is an ideal partner for this course and can be completed before you arrive to ensure you get even more from the course. In addition it may be useful to build some wind awareness sailing on dinghies. Sessions and and lessons can be booked at the National Sailing Academy

Like all of our courses this is available to join with others or to book privately.

Next Steps – Once you have completed the RYA Competent Crew Course you may wish to try your hand at learning to skipper a yacht in which case the RYA Day Skipper Theory Course and RYA Day Skipper Practical Course would be an ideal next step.

Cost is $1050 pp and is run most weeks of the year. Please click on the 'Training Dates & Booking' button on the right to check available dates.

Duration:  5 Days normally 9 am Mon to 5 pm Fri with 4 nights on board Max students 5
Previous Experience: None Minimum Age: 16 + or any age if with parent or guardian .
Locations: Antigua, Caribbean Dates: All Year