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RYA Radar Course

Next Course - Tuesday 30th January 2024

The use of radar on board leisure boats is becoming increasingly popular and used correctly it is a very useful navigation and collision avoidance tool, however it is open to misinterpretation and it is not unheard of to read about 'radar assisted collisions'.

This one day RYA Radar Course will teach you how to set up the equipment correctly, interpret the information on the screen and be aware of its limitations.

During the day you will cover:

Basic radar principals - limitations, power requirements and wave propagation
Radar controls and function
Radar screen presentation - North up, Head up and Course up
Use of radar for navigation and pilotage
Use of radar in collision avoidance
Accuracy and inaccuracies of radar
Radar reflectors

Throughout the course each student will be allocated a simulator to learn how the functions of a radar work and will go through a series of scenarios to practice your new skills. At the end of the day an RYA Radar Course Completion Certificate will be issued.

All equipment to complete the course will be provided, you just need to bring a notepad. Tea and coffee is included and you can get lunch from the deck cafe in the marina or from the village which is a short walk away.

The course runs from 0900 to 1730.

To book on a course please click the book now button on the right of the page 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

RYA Radar Course – syllabus

The aim of this course is to teach students to use small boat radar to assist decision making in collision avoidance, pilotage and navigation. Some knowledge of navigation and collision regulations to Day Skipper Shorebased level would be an advantage.

  1. Switching on and setting up:
    • The main components of a radar set
    • How a radar set measures distance
    • How a radar set measures bearing
    • The limitations imposed by the power, antenna size and display size of a typical small craft radar
    • Switch on a typical small craft radar set; adjust its brilliance, contract, gain, range and tuning
  2. Understanding the picture:
    • How antenna size and frequency affect beam width
    • How pulse length and PRF are varied with range
    • The factors that determine the strength of echo returned by a target
    • The effect of beam width on discrimination
    • The effect of pulse length on discrimination
    • The effect of blind arcs, shadows sectors and radar horizon
  3. Refining the picture:
    • The cause and cure for sea clutter
    • The cause and cure for rain clutter
    • The cause and cure for interference
    • The purpose of echo stretch
    • The dangers associated with clutter clearance tools
    • The difference between Head Up, Course Up and North Up modes
    • Adjust the sea clutter and rain clutter controls to suit prevailing conditions
    • Identify whether a radar is in Head Up or North Up mode
  4. Radar reflectors:
    • How radar cross section is measured
    • Types of passive reflector in common use (octahedral, stacked array, lens)
    • Types of active reflector in common use (RTE, Racon, SART)
    • The limitations of passive radar reflectors
  5. Understands Collision Avoidance:
    • The principles of relative bearings
    • The existence of automatic radar plotting aids
    • The implications of Collision regulations relating to maintaining a look out, safe speed, risk of collision, restricted visibility
    • The practical limitations of small craft radar
    • Assessing the risk of collision with another vessel
    • Assessing the closest point of approach of another vessel, and determining whether it will pass ahead or astern
    • Assessing the course and speed of another vessel
  6. Fixing position by radar:
    • The principles of a three point fix
    • Selecting landmarks for a three point fix
    • How to take and plot a position fix using the EBL
    • Limitations of the EBL for position fixing
    • Plotting the vessels position on a chart by using the VRM
  7. Pilotage by radar:
    • ‘Eyeball’ pilotage by radar
    • The limitations of ‘eyeball’ pilotage
    • The principle of parallel indexing
    • Preparing and executing a simple pilotage plan using clearing ranges

RYA Radar Course - FAQ’s

These are a few of the questions we get asked by people booking on the RYA Radar Course. If you have any further queries or are unsure whether this is the course for you please call us on 01243 432485 and we will be only too happy to chat to you.

What time does the RYA Radar 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.

What do I need to bring?

You just need to bring a notepad with you.

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 Radar Course?

You do not need to have any experience in using the radar but a knowledge of the collision regulations, and some navigational knowledge is useful

Are there any exams?

No, so you can relax and enjoy the day without the pressure of being tested at the end.

What qualification will I get once I have completed the course?

On successful completion of the course you will be issued with the RYA Radar Course Certificate.

How many people will there be on the course?

We have a maximum of 8 people on a course, though usually the numbers are smaller than this.

How do I book?

Just click on the book now button

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