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The RYA Day Skipper Theory Course is a comprehensive online introduction to skippering a boat and essential preparation for the RYA Day Skipper Practical Course. It is delivered by Navathome, a RYA Recognised Training Centre specialising in online training. The RYA Day Skipper theory course is designed to teach you the fundamentals of navigation and running a boat, including everything you need to navigate coastal and inshore waters by day. Delivered through online and print material the course provides hands on experience of plotting positions, using both paper and electronic charts, planning passages as well as navigating entering and exiting habours. You will also be taught how to identify lights on buoys and vessels at sea, meteorology and safety procedures. The course includes:

  • The basics of seamanship, including parts of the boat, types of warp, knots, chains and anchoring, and preparing for launch or landing.
  • Chartwork, including points of the compass, positioning and using a Portland type plotter.
  • What causes tides, using tide tables and calculating tidal heights, introduction to secondary ports, using tidal curves, tidal streams using tidal diamonds and the tidal stream atlas.
  • Position fixing using various methods, compass variation and deviation, dead reckoning and estimated position.
  • Plotting a course to steer and maintaining an accurate ground tack.
  • Forming a plan for a safe passage taking into consideration tides, conditions and wind direction .
  • electronic charts
  • How to use GPS and raster and vector charts.
  • Weather forecasting and meteorology including weather systems, effects of weather and sources of infomation.
  • Identifying buoys by their lights and shapes and using forward and back bearings.
  • Collision regulations: general regulations, lights, shapes, sound signals, collision avoidance, stand on and give way.
  • Construction, parts and equipment of a cruising boat
  • Emergency and safety procedures including life jackets, distress calls, use of flares, safety harnesses, liferafts and abandoning ship.

The RYA Day Skipper theory course is delivered online. It involves about 40 hours of study with support provided by an experienced RYA Sail Boat Project instructor working on behalf of Navathome.com. You will receive a pack with course notes, including a very visual handbook you can keep and use to refresh your memory after the course. At the end there are two assessment papers – a General Assessment Paper (1.5 hours) and a Chartwork Assessment Paper (1.5 hours).

£300 now £250 including all course materials – 2 x RYA training charts, almanac, theory book, plotter and dividers

Upon purchase of the online course Navathome allow access for six months. This can be extended for further six month periods at a cost of £30.

If you are buying the course as a present for someone else, please make this clear using the note section at the checkout and let us know the name of the person to enroll on the course.

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Pre course requirements

No previous qualifications are necessary.
Internet and email access.
Approximately 40 hours of study time.
You will receive a pack with a plotter, dividers, training chart and training almanac

Course content

1. Nautical Terms
Parts of a boat and hull
General nautical terminology
2. Ropework
Knowledge of the properties of synthetic ropes in common use
3. Anchorwork
Characteristics of different types of anchor
Considerations to be taken into account when anchoring
4. Safety
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 radiotelephone
Basic knowledge of rescue procedures including helicopter rescue
5. International regulations for preventing collisions at sea
Steering and sailing rules
General rules
6. Definition of position, course and speed
Latitude and longitude
Knowledge of standard navigational terms
True bearings and courses
The knot
7. Navigational charts and publications
Information shown on charts, chart symbols and representation of direction and distance
Navigational publications in common use
Chart correction
8. Navigational drawing instruments
Use of parallel rulers, dividers and proprietary plotting instruments
9. Compass
Application of variation
Awareness of deviation and its causes
Use of hand-bearing compass
10. Chartwork
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
11. 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 chartwork
12. Visual aids to navigation
Lighthouses and beacons, light characteristics
13. Meteorology
Sources of broadcast meteorological information
Knowledge of terms used in shipping forecasts, including the Beaufort scale and their significance
Basic knowledge of highs, lows and fronts
14. Passage planning
Preparation of navigational plan for short coastal passages
Meteorological considerations in planning short coastal passages
Use of waypoints on passage
Importance of confirmation of position by an independent source
Keeping a navigational record
15. Navigation in restricted visibility
Precautions to be taken in, and limitations imposed by fog
16. Pilotage
Use of transits, leading lines and clearing lines
IALA system of buoyage for Region A
Use of sailing directions
Pilotage plans and harbour entry
17. Marine Environment
Responsibility for avoiding pollutions and protecting the marine environment


How long will the course take to complete?
The course takes approximately 40 hours to complete. There is an initial access period of 6 months. Your course access can be extended at any time for up to two years after your initial or extended course access period has expired for an admin fee of £30.
Access lapses completely and your log in is deleted if your course has expired and you have not extended within two years of your course access expiry date.
Once you have completed the coursework and passed the assessment, your course is completed and your course access is terminated. You can request access to the revision course at this time.

What is included in the course fee?
The price includes all course materials to be able to complete the course and exam fees – Plotters and dividers, training charts and almanac. Email supervision/contact from Sail Boat Project instructors. Invitation to join our learners Whatsapp Group.

What qualifications or experience do I need to complete the course?
You do not need to have any navigational knowledge to be able to complete this course

How quickly can I start?
Course materials and online instructions will be despatched as soon as payment has been confirmed. On receipt you can begin the course.

Are there any exams?
There are two final assement papers with 1.5 hours allowed for each. A general assessment paper covering areas such as safety, weather, collision regulations etc. and a chartwork and tides paper. For commercial use the exams must be invigilated by a suitable person such as a teacher, banker, lawyer which we can arrange.

How is the course awarded?
Certificates are awarded on completion of the exams.

Can I do this course if I’m not a UK resident?

What qualification will I get once I have completed the course?
On successful completion of the course you will be issued with the RYA Day Skipper Shorebased Certificate.

Can I cancel once I have booked?
The pack must be complete, unopened and in an ‘as new’ condition. All materials must be returned. Access to the online course material is terminated immediately. You will not be able to claim a refund if the course material has been damaged or if you have no proof of purchase.

A refund will be made less a £30 administration fee. The cost of returning the student pack will be payable by the student.

What will I be proficient in upon completion?
On successful completion you will have enough knowledge to navigate around familiar waters by day.

What can I do after completing the course?
On completion of the course you will have a good grasp of navigational theory and will be well placed to take your RYA Day Skipper practical course.

Terms and conditions

See NavAtHome.com terms and conditions
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