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RYA Day Skipper Theory:

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This course is a comprehensive introduction to navigation, meteorology and basic aspects of seamanship. The course is designed to provide the knowledge required for the Day Skipper practical course. On successful completion of this course you will have acquired the basic navigation skills and general seamanship knowledge which you will need for daylight passage making in local coastal waters. The course includes a general assessment paper and one on chart work.



RYA Day Skipper Theory Course Syllabus

A comprehensive introduction to chart work, navigation, meteorology and the basics of good seamanship.

Nautical Terms

Parts of a boat and hull

General nautical terminology

Rope Work

Knowledge of the properties of synthetic ropes in common use

Anchor Work

Characteristics of different types of anchor

Considerations to be taken into account when anchoring


Knowledge of the safety equipment to be carried, its stowage and use

Fire precautions and fire fighting

Use of personal safety equipment, harnesses and lifejackets.

Ability to send a distress signal by VHF radio.

Basic knowledge of rescue procedures including helicopter rescue

International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea

Steering and sailing rules (5,7,8,9,10 and 12-19)

General rules (all other rules)

Definition of position, course and speed

Latitude and longitude

Knowledge of standard navigational terms

True bearings and courses

The knot

Navigational charts and publications

Information shown on charts, chart symbols and representation of direction and distance

Navigational publications in common use

Chart correction

Navigational drawing instruments

Use of parallel rulers, dividers and proprietary plotting instruments


Application of variation

Awareness of deviation and its causes

Use of hand-bearing compass

Chart work

Dead reckoning and estimated position including an awareness of leeway

Techniques of visual fixing

Satellite-derived positions

Use of waypoints to fix position

Course to steer

Tides and Tidal Streams

Tidal definitions, levels and datum

Tide tables

Use of Admiralty method of determining tidal height at standard port and awareness of corrections for secondary ports

Use of tidal diamonds and tidal stream atlases for chart work

Visual aids to navigation

Lighthouses and beacons, light characteristics


Sources of broadcast meteorological information

Knowledge of terms used in shipping forecasts, including the Beaufort scale, and their significance to small craft

Basic knowledge of highs, lows and fronts

Passage Planning

Preparation of navigational plan for short coastal passages.

Meteorological considerations in planning short coastal passages

Use of waypoints on passaged.

Importance of confirmation of position by an independent source

Keeping a navigational

Navigation in restricted visibility

Precautions to be taken in, and limitations imposed by fog


Use of transits, leading lines and clearing lines

IALA system of buoyage for Region A

Use of sailing directions

Pilotage plans and harbour entry

Marine Environment

Responsibility for avoiding pollution and protecting the marine environment

  • 5 day intensive course, split weekends, or any other format to suit your timeframe
  • All in small groups

Specialist 1-1 tuition by the 1/2 day for brushing up or sorting out those niggling little questions