If you already have the right level of experience and RYA qualifications then you can apply to be appraised at the appropriate level. Our skipper manual (to be found in PYC member’s area under Club documents then the Safety and Training folder) gives a lot more details but PYC asks for somewhat more than the RYA Day Skipper, Coastal and Offshore skippers respectively. Your RYA logbooks and their website gives the course outlines and detail for Yachtmaster
Mostly we want more experience of actual skippering of a yacht, with different crews, areas and conditions rather than just the RYA bare minimum in days. You will also need to show that you know the Rules of the Road, can do a MOB satisfactorily, direct a crew of equal status club members (no Capt. Blighs allowed!) and know our boats.
Our skipper appraisers are Trevor Nicholls , the club chief instructor and a Yachtmaster Instructor, Tony Riley also a club instructor and RYA Cruising Instructor, Peter Clare our previous Yachtmaster Instructor, Tom Lynch and Robert Holman, (who does only Inshore skipper assessments). The changes in this team are that Andy Bowerman has needed to stand down because he now lives in Derbyshire and his job is very demanding. Andy has been a skipper assessor for PYC for decades and we owe him so many thanks for all he has done, including assessing many of the club’s present skippers. Tom is an experienced Yachtmaster and has joined this team after sailing with Trevor during a skipper assessment recently. Tom has lead the PYC initiative to do some longer passages with skipper practice for many people recently. He skippered the bad weather start of the early summer cruise on Quartette and is bringing Spellbinder back from the West Country cruise, after some cruising days of his own.
Normally the easiest way to set up a skipper assessment is to arrange to do a normal sail with one of the assessors, just sail with them and fit in the tasks, which demonstrate your skills. You need to arrange this beforehand with your assessor so that you can plan an appropriate passage, but first register your intent and your skipper application form, copies of certificates etc with the skipper and training officer -firstname.lastname@example.org.
The next easiest method of doing a skipper assessment is during a club training course, usually the Coastal skipper/Yachtmaster preparation one, where you may also achieve your RYA Coastal Skipper course completion certificate, if you do not have one already.
Other dates can be specially arranged for skipper assessments and we will be pencilling some into the calendar for 2018.
If you wish to start at club Offshore level then you need to be assessed by Trevor our Chief Instructor.
If you have not got the experience yet, you can get more experience with the club by agreeing tasks with your skipper on a normal sailing trip, for example can you plan the passage, do the pilotage, ask for an hour for the whole crew to practice boat handling manoeuvres etc. Tom Lynch has been taking out some long weekends of skipper enabling activities, longer passages, and further night hours to develop your experience and get away from the Solent. He will no doubt be doing more of them.
Doing lots of sailing is the best way to build your experience of course!