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The RYA Day Skipper theory course is essential as preparation for the RYA Day Skipper practical course and is ideal for anyone who wants to skipper a boat or to become a more useful crew member by getting involved in the navigation and running of the vessel. The course is designed to teach you how to navigate in coastal and inshore waters by day.
When you are out at sea as far as navigation is concerned knowing where you are and how to get to where you want to go is essential. During the RYA Day Skipper Theory course you will get hands on experience of plotting positions and courses on charts, both paper and electronic, planning passages as well as working out how to navigate in and out of harbours all within the safe confines of the classroom. You will also be taught how to identify lights on buoys and vessels at sea, meteorology as well as safety procedures including how to call for help.
Before the course you will be provided with the RYA Day Skipper Shorebased Course Notes and to help you after the course a Day Skipper post course revision pack will be issued.
For more information on what is covered please click on the tab above for a full RYA Day Skipper Theory Course syllabus.
You do not need to have had any formal training in navigation or sailing to successfully complete this course though if you've not been in a classroom for a long time or have very little on the water experience you may find completing the RYA Essential Navigation & Seamanship course first helpful.
On successful completion you will have enough knowledge to navigate around familiar waters by day.
The standard course is run over five days which can be completed consecutively, over two weekends or during evening classes (from October to March). On the final day you will be given two assessment papers to complete, the first one being a general paper covering such topics as collision regulations, buoyage, pilotage etc and a second covering chartwork and tides.
We can also run this course to a timetable that suit your needs.
1. Nautical Terms
Parts of a boat and hull
General nautical terminology
Knowledge of the properties of synthetic ropes in common use
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 radiotelephone
Basic knowledge of rescue procedures including helicopter rescue
5. International regulations for preventing collisions at sea
Steering and sailing rules
6. Definition of position, course and speed
Latitude and longitude
Knowledge of standard navigational terms
True bearings and courses
7. Navigational charts and publications
Information shown on charts, chart symbols and representation of direction and distance
Navigational publications in common use
8. 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
Dead reckoning and estimated position including an awareness of leeway
Techniques of visual fixing
Use of waypoints to fix position
Course to steer
11. Tides and tidal streams
Tidal definitions, levels and datum
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
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
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
What time does the RYA Day Skipper Theory Course start and finish?
Typically we start at 9.00am and finish at about 5.30pm with an hour break for lunch
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 are provided for the duration of the course except for evening classes when you will need to provide your own.
What do I need to bring?
You just need to bring a notepad with you (ideally A4 size).
Where is the course held?
It will be held at one of our classroom in Emsworth Yacht Harbour, Thorney Road, Emsworth, Hants PO10 8BP
What qualifications or experience do I need to complete the RYA Day Skipper Theory Course?
You do not need to have any navigational knowledge to be able to complete this course, though some practical on the water experience is useful
Are there any exams?
There are two assessment papers which are completed on the final day:
General paper – covering areas such as safety, weather, collision regulations etc
Chartwork and tides paper
We offer flexibility in completing the papers, so on the rare occasions where you feel you need more time to prepare for them we allow you to complete them at a later date.
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.
How many people will there be on the course?
We have a maximum of 9 people on a course, though usually the numbers are smaller than this.
Who is a typical Day Skipper Student?
It is difficult to say what a typical student looks like but we often find that students are:
- Experienced sailors with good practical skills gained on their own or friends boats who despite their excellent boat handling skills wish they were more confident in their ability to read a chart and set a course to steer for example by taking into account tidal streams and lee way.
- New or prospective boat owners who want to become competent and confident sailors by gaining a good knowledge of weather, chart work, pilotage, passage planning and safety at sea before setting of on their newly acquired yacht or powerboat.
- Sailors thinking of chartering a boat for their holidays since many sailing areas require evidence of competence for charterers.
- Planning a career in the marine industry in the Superyacht sector for example, and need to get their qualifications to move up the career ladder or just become more employable
Whatever your reason for wanting to do the course, we will do our best ensure that you enjoy your time with us as well as achieving your RYA Day Skipper Theory certificate.
Do I need to complete the RYA Essential Navigation and Seamanship Course before the RYA Day Skipper Theory Course?
The answer to this is no, as both courses are suitable for novices, but the RYA Day Skipper Theory course goes into more detail and is more advanced on the navigation and chartwork side. However if you’ve not been in a classroom for a long time or have very little on the water experience you may find completing the RYA Essential Navigation & Seamanship course first helpful.
How do I book?
Just click on the book now button on the right hand side of the page or if you would like to discuss your requirements please call us on 01243 432485
What courses should I do after completing the RYA Day Skipper Theory?
If you own your own boat or intend to charter a boat one person on board will be required to have the RYA VHF SRC Operators certificate which can be obtained by successfully completing the one day RYA VHF SRC Radio Course. Other support courses you may find useful are the RYA Diesel Engine Course and the RYA First Aid Course
We run this course over five consecutive days, over two weekends or evenings. Please see below for full details.
Alternatively if you can't commit to a classroom based course, we also offer an online version of the RYA Day Skipper Theory Course
5 Day Courses
Long Weekend Courses
or to discuss your requirements you can contact us seven days a week from 8.00a.m to 7.30pm on 01243 432485 or 07702 842190