JSASTC Day Skipper Course

I've just put in an application form to do a Day Skipper course at JSASTC in June. Does anybody have any idea how popular these courses are? Being in the OTC, I appreciate that I'm not exactly top of the pile when it comes to picking the successful applicants but it would be nice to get an idea of how likely I am to get on the course I want.

With regard to the course itself, can anyone recommend any good learning materials, especially something with navigation/chartwork exercises?

Also, does JSASTC provide waterproofs etc? I couldn't find anything on their website.
Managed to get on a course last year on my third attempt/application. It's quite popular but you might get lucky. You could try phoning the booking office and chatting up the booking clerk.

I swotted up on the RYA Comp Crew and Day Skipper handbooks. As long as you've got the basics of buoys/lights recognition, rope work and rules of the road you'll be taught all the Nav and handling skills you need. Just be prepared for long days and crashing out after a couple of pints in the evening - not quite the booze cruise I was expecting.

JSASTC will provide all the basic kit you need -Waterproofs, boots, harness, lifejacket, brew kit and food. The clothing is of a fairly high standard but you might want to take a few creature comforts like real food, a thermal mug with a lid (forgot mine and kept spilling brews all over the cockpit) and sailing gloves.
If you have not already done so, it would probably be better to do the RYA shorebased dayskipper course first, this will give you all the navigation skills you require, i believe the JSASTC run these courses but failing that colleges and schools are always advertising.
As for the Day Skipper itself.....yes very popular, i think it took me about 4 attempts of applying before i got on the course, but worth it when i did.
The OTC have a week out in Keil, have you been on that?

Also, BYCK run courses and have slots for people outside of BFG. Give them a punt, but will be a non tidal Day Skipper

Failing that, do you have a cap badge other than your OTC. REME run day skipper course in the summer as a recruitment tool for potential rodneys, Inf are about to run a week of doing day skipper courses.

There are ways other than JSASTC, demand is high and OTC are at the bottom of the pile when it comes to bids.

Most of all, make sure you can sail. With your hands in your pockets, can you instruct the crew to put up the main, put a reef in and shake out, do a fore sail change under way. Do you understand tides, secondary ports, tidal flow. I have taught a number of day skips where the punters have not been up to scratch with basic (i.e. can you survive in a sailing dinghy) skills. Wind awareness...... You will be taught, but if there are 5 muppets in board it makes the instructors life hell.

Also, JSATSC look for the correct standard (not higher) for day skipper. Civi schools will hand the ticket out to a muppet. When JSASTC give you a ticket, they expect you to be able to sail the boat with one comp crew and the rest novices. If at the end of the week it is felt you cannot do that, no ticket.

Good luck with your bid, PM me if you want more details.

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