internationally accepted certification

5-Day Competent Crew or Day Skipper Course

Beginner and intermediate sailors live-aboard course leading to RYA certification.

This course is best suited to beginners who have no experience sailing or to those who have some experience but want to step-up from crew to skipper.  Students will receive either an RYA Competent Crew or Day Skipper certificate depending on their competence.

The course takes place over 5 days and 4 nights (live-aboard) with overnight stays at different anchorages and harbours in the Kingston/1000 Island area.  Both those wanting to become Competent Crew and those seeking to become Day Skipper’s are welcome to join the course.  The focus is on learning, safety and fun.  Meals are not included in the course price.

What do Competent Crew learn?

We’ll teach you things like the difference between the bow and the stern and you’ll be able to distinguish between a halyard and a sheet. Pulling up sails and tying knots are an everyday task at Topmast. We’ll show you how to put on your life jacket and you’ll learn how to get on and off the boat safely and maintain your dignity at the same time. But let’s face it the number one thing you really want to do is steer the boat – and yes, you’ll get to do a lot of that.

Am I ready for Day Skipper?

The Day Skipper course is a real step up from the RYA Competent Crew course and takes the form of a week-long assessment. You must have basic sailing knowledge which specifically includes a minimum of 5 days at sea (on the lake is fine), 100 nautical miles and 4 night hours on board a sailing yacht.  You will be expected to know some theory (navigation and collision regs) and how to put together a basic plan to get us safely from one port to another.

What is the boat like and where do we go?

The boat is nice. It’s not a luxury yacht but it’s fun and easy to learn on (think alternative camping trip). We never take more than 5 students and typically 3-4 at the most. We may anchor overnight for a bit of an adventure but for the most part we’ll finish the day in a marina or yacht club where you’ll have access to a shower.  We’ll stay fairly close to Kingston for the first day or two before venturing further afield and exploring the 1000 Islands or the Bay of Quinte.

What do I have to bring with me?

You will need a pen/pencil, notebook (for notes only, there is NO written exam!) photo ID (for the Day Skipper certificate), suitable clothing for a week of sailing (a foul weather jacket just in case), water bottle, hat, sunscreen, meds (if you take them) and shoes with non-marking soles.  Sleeping bag and pillow for comfort at night.  We provide life-jackets but you may bring your own.  Bring snacks and let us know if you have any dietary restrictions when you register.

Course Details:

RYA Competent Crew or Day Skipper Certification




There is parking available at the club and in the surrounding area for the week.  Accomodation is on board.  Students will plan and source meals and are each responsible for providing one evening meal and one lunch for all onboard. Cooking facilities are simple, so plan accordingly. One (or more lunch) and dinner will be at a restaurant.  Showers at marinas and yacht clubs.

Joel Taylor


Joel Taylor
Kingston Yacht Club

Home Port

Kingston Yacht Club
1 Maitland St, Kingston, ON


Registration Details

50% deposit to hold a place on course.  Preferred payment method (Canada): Interac Email Payment. Please use email address:  For payments originating outside Canada please contact us for credit card payments (2.50% surcharge to cover all credit card fees, domestic or International).  Thank you in advance.   Cancellation policy: greater than 6 weeks – full refund (less $150 admin fee). 4-6 weeks 50% refund. Under 4 weeks – No Refund. Topmast reserves the right to cancel any course. Our liability is limited to the course fee. You are advised to arrange cancellation insurance. Make payment PRIOR to the commencement of your course.  If you have any complaints then please forward them to within 72 hours of course completion.


Book Event

P1: Combined Comp Crew/Day Skipper $

Combined Competent Crew and Day Skipper Course. Students will receive either a Competent Crew or Day Skipper certificate upon successful completion of the course (not both).

Available Tickets: 3
The P1: Combined Comp Crew/Day Skipper ticket is sold out. You can try another ticket or another date.


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  1. Iryna

    I have achieved competent crew certification with Canada Sail.Can I aim for a day skipper certification with RYA?
    Is there a theory exam?
    Thank you,

    • Fin

      Hi Iryna, there’s no theory exam during the course but we do recommend taking the RYA day Skipper theory course.

RYA Training Centre

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