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
- 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 (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
- 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
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
- 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
- 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