Learn the essentials of navigation

Buy now and enroll

The RYA Essential Navigation & Seamanship Course is an online course aimed towards anyone new to sailing and  any sea-based activity. The course gives students an awareness and knowledge of essential navigation techniques and seamanship and covers the key areas that anyone who gets in a boat should know. This RYA course can be taken anytime, anywhere and at your own speed. All you need is a computer and the internet. The course includes:

Electronic navigation including the use of the electronic chart plotter.
Preparing a passage plan to safely navigate a daytime sail between two harbours.
Knowing states of the tide and how the buoyage system works.
Understanding weather forecasts and the weather’s effects on sailing.
The rules of addressing an on-coming vessel.
Basic Navigation
Maintaining a safe boat, including routine engine checks.
The online course takes approximately six hours to complete, and can completed at your leisure. Email support from our Chief Instructor Ben Gillett is included in the package. You will receive a course pack which includes a chart, plotter, dividers, course handbook, exercises, an electronic chart plotter CD and a training almanac.

£99 including all course materials – 2 x RYA training charts, almanac, theory book, plotter and dividers

Buy now and enroll

Pre course requirements

  • No previous experience.
  • Internet and email access.
  • Approximately six hours of time.
  • You will receive a pack with a plotter, dividers, training chart and training almanac

Course content

1. Charts, publications and terms
• Basic Terms
• Chart overview
• Introduction to chart datum and depths
2. Buoyage
• Lateral buoys
• Cardinal buoys
• Where to find information
3. Navigation
• Plotting a position
• Measuring distance and bearing
• Position fix
• Heading
4. Safety
• Personal and boat safety equipment
• Safety procedures and briefing
• Communications
• Engine checks
• Rescue procedures
5. Anchoring
• Where to anchor
• How to anchor
6. Tides
• Tidal streams
• Tidal heights
7. Electronic navigation
• GPS terms
• GPS use
• Using waypoints
8. Rules of the road
• Risk of collision
• Who gives way
9. Weather forecasts
• Sources of forecast
• Terms used in forecasts
10. Pilotage
• Harbour information
• Transits
• Pilotage plan
11. Passage planning
• SOLAS V requirements
• Pre planning
• Chart choice


How long will the course take to complete?
The course takes approximately six hours to complete. You can log in and sit each module at your own pace.

How much does the course cost?
The course costs £110 (concessionary rate of £100 available) and this price includes all course material and email support.

What is included in the course fee?
The price includes all course materials you need to complete the course – plotters, dividers and training charts and almanac are all provided. Email supervision/contact is available from our Chief Instructor.

What qualifications or experience do I need to complete the course?
You do not need to have any practical experience or 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. We can email you log in details as soon as payment is received, allowing you to get started straight away.

Are there any exams?
There are no exams. Certificates are awarded  on completion of the modules – you have two attempts to complete each test or submit your written answers for marking.

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 Essential Navigation & Seamanship Course 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 can I do after completing the course?
The RYA Essential Navigation and Seamanship is an ideal entry to the world of navigation. It will complement a RYA Start Yachting or Competent Crew practical course. If you wish to skipper your own boat or charter a vessel the next step would be to do the  RYA Day Skipper Theory course.

Terms and conditions

See NavAtHome.com terms and conditions