RYA Day Skipper Theory Course

Whether you’re an avid sailor looking to skipper a yacht or are simply looking to learn about the dark art of navigation the RYA Day Skipper theory course is a great starting block. The courses starts from the very beginning with no experience required, by the end you will be confident to navigate a yacht by day, theoretically! Next step is the Day Skipper Practical course.

The theory course is fairly flexible. You can do it at a school in 5 straight days, over 2 weekends or evenings. With modern technology you can even do the RYA day Skipper Theory course online at your own pace.


* Learn to basics of Navigation,

* Flexible tuition preiod options

* Experience instructors always on hand to answer questions.


Simply click on the titles to get more information about them:

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 (see RYA Boat Safety Handbook, C8)

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

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


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

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

Visual Aids of 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 passage

Importance of confirmation of position by an independent Source

Keeping a navigational record

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

Pillotage plans and harbour entry

Marine Enviroment

Responsibility for avoiding pollution arid protecting the marine environment

Next Step

After the prep course we recommend taking the Day Skipper Practical course within 12 months so it’s all fresh in your head. It’ll make the Day Skipper practical course a little easier.


You can do the theory in a range of locations from the UK to Gibraltar, Turkey, the Canaries and even as far out as Malaysia. Alternatively you can do it online.