Classroom: Starting 7th February


From: £370.00

10% discount automatically applied to bookings of 2 or more

Portland Plotter Set

You will need a Portland Plotter & dividers for the Day Skipper theory course; if you have them, great; if you can borrow a set, even better. You get a 20% discount on our standard price if you need to buy some.

In stock


Evenings (start @ 1800hrs):
Tuesday 7th, 21st & 28th February
Tuesday 7th, 14th, & 21st March
Weekend (starts @ 0900hrs):
25th & 26th March

Day Skipper Theory course overview

You’ll learn about boat safety, charts and navigation techniques including integrated navigation using both paper and electronic chart plotter (GPS) tools.

Whilst building on the Essential Navigation course, many people start with the RYA Day Skipper Theory Course. You will develop skills to enable you to navigate safely in familiar waters during the day whilst being introduced to the factors to consider when making a passage at night. You’ll learn how to plan and prepare for a day on the water including understanding weather forecasts (meteorology) and passage and pilotage planning. You’ll also cover topics such as coastal navigation, tidal considerations and chart plotting techniques such as course to steer.

The course also covers safety equipment including the correct distress procedures and, importantly, the ‘rules of the road’. For the full syllabus, click here. This is a great way to build on your existing knowledge or to get you started in the world of safe seamanship and navigation. On successful completion of the course, you’ll be awarded the RYA Day Skipper Theory certificate.

Marcus is an engaging trainer and uses his obvious copious knowledge to make the course both valuable and accessible. I personally valued the classroom setting together with the online access to module material. Thanks, Marcus.

Our 5 star rated Day Skipper course, run and supported by a muti-Fastnet Race skipper, will provide you with the confidence to take the next step in your sailing journey. Whatever your experience, as the course reviews will tell you, this carefully curated delivery layers the knowledge required to get you confidently navigating. There’s a focus on ensuring you stay safe whilst using practical, real-world examples to ensure you navigated efficiently.

Marcus is an excellent teacher and the course was perfectly balanced with technical information and instruction, as well as being fun and most importantly practical, which left me feeling confident and wanting to learn more and sail as soon as possible. I will miss the Tuesday night lessons. Thank you Marcus!

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you want to find out more or want to confirm this is the right course for you.

RYA Day Skipper Theory Course Syllabus

A comprehensive introduction to chart work, navigation, meteorology and seamanship for Competent Crew. This course is invaluable if you want to start making decisions onboard.

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 (see RYA Boat Safety Handbook, C8)
  • Fire precautions and fire fighting
  • Use of personal safety equipment, harnesses and lifejacketsd.
  • Ability to send a distress signal by VHF radiotelephonee.
  • Basic knowledge of rescue procedures including helicopter rescue

5. International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea

  • Steering and sailing rules (5,7,8,9,10 and 12-19)
  • General rules (all other 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 for 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 to small craft
  • Basic knowledge of highs, lows and fronts

14. Passage planning

  • Preparation of navigational plan for short coastal passagesb. Meteorological considerations in planning short coastal passages
  • Use of waypoints on passaged. Importance of confirmation of position by an independent source
  • Keeping a navigational

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 pollution and protecting the marine environment

Location: Godalming College

Our fabulous facilities at Godalming College.

We use the classrooms in the sports facilities located at the back of the college. There’s easy access, free parking and plenty of tea & coffee available. Look out for our banners when you arrive.

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Based on 110 reviews
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1-5 of 110 reviews
  1. Classroom: Starting 7th February 4

    Nicely run course, delivered in a relaxed and helpful way

  2. Classroom: Starting 7th February 5

    VHF online course was comprehensive and easy to follow. Marcus was extremely helpful in answering my queries before the exam. On the day of the exam I was accompanied by my daughter who i expected would wait outside whilst I completed the test. Instead Marcus involved her and allowed her to follow the script during the practical radio examples – she was delighted to be involved and to push the big red button! Thank you Marcus. I would highly recommend Polka Sailing for the VHF or day skipper theory course. Marcus is an engaging instructor who brings the syllabus to life with practical examples.

  3. Classroom: Starting 7th February 5

    Thank is my third course with Marcus. He always managed to strike the right balance of making it fun whilst we learn and understand the serious points. He was the same for the assessment so my nervous was dispelled and I really enjoyed it.

  4. Classroom: Starting 7th February 7

    Clear and good instruction delivered in a professional way. Highly recommend Marcus

  5. Classroom: Starting 7th February 8

    very professional and helpful from start to finish Thanks