RYA Theory and Practical Courses

RYA Theory Courses are run throughout the year to order.

Essential Navigation and Seamanship Course
This RYA tuition course is an introduction to navigation and safety awareness and is aimed at anyone new to sailing, motor boating, including RIBs and other small powerboats, sea angling, diving, sea kayaking and canoeing, diving, or those who are rusty and just want to brush up on their skills. There is no pre-course knowledge or experience necessary. The course content includes:- charts, publications and terms; buoyage; navigation; safety; anchoring; tides; electronic navigation; rules of the road; weather forecasts; pilotage; passage planning. There is no formal assessment. It requires 16 hours of teaching, usually over a 2 day period.

Duration 2 days
Cost per person £150

Day Skipper Theory Course
No previous knowledge is necessary and provides a comprehensive introduction to cruising which is designed to give you enough knowledge to navigate around familiar waters by day. The course content includes:- nautical terms; ropework; anchoring; safety; International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (IRPCS); definition of position course and speed; navigational charts and publications; navigational drawing instruments; compass; chartwork and navigations – traditional and electronic; tides and tidal streams; visual aids to navigation; meteorology; passage planning; navigation in restricted visibility; pilotage; the marine environment. The required teaching time is 40 hours, five to six days, with two assessment papers.

Duration 5 days/2.5 weekends
Cost per person £390

Coastal Skipper/Yachtmaster Offshore Theory Course
This is an advanced course in navigation and meteorology and equips the student with the ability to navigate safely in coastal and offshore passages and as such requires some previous knowledge to at least Day Skipper Theory level and some practical experience is desirable. Building on the Day Skipper theory course, the course content includes position; magnetic compass; tides; tidal streams; buoyage; lights; pilotage; GNSS and chart plotters; echo sounders; logs (spped and distance measuring); deck log; meteorology; rules of the road; safety at sea; navigation in restricted visibility; passage planning; marine environment. The required teaching time is 40 hours, five to six days, with three assessment papers.

Duration 6 days/3 weekends
Cost per person £425

Prices are inclusive of VAT, RYA training packs, morning and afternoon tea and coffee.

Courses start at 9 a.m. and finish at 5 p.m.

For enquires please contact Sue on +44 (0) 7941 276186 or Email us using our Contact Form

RYA Sail Cruising Practical Courses

RYA Practical Courses are run throughout the year
Maximum four students per course
Please visit the programme page or contact us for details

Competent Crew
This course is for beginners and those who would like to become active crew members rather than just passengers.

Experience living on board and really get to know the boat. Virtually all the course is hands on. You are the crew – without you the sails won’t go up and the boat won’t be steered.

By the end of the course you should be able to steer, handle sails, keep a lookout, row a dinghy and assist in all the day to day duties on board. You should also have visited some interesting places and had an enjoyable holiday.

Pre-course experience None
Assumed knowledge None
Minimum duration 5 Days
Minimum age None
Course content Knowledge of sea terms and parts of a boat, rigging and sails, sail handling, ropework, fire precautions and fighting, personal safety equipment, man overboard, emergency equipment, meteorology, seasickness, helmsmanship, general duties, manners and customs, rules of the road, dinghies.
Ability after the course Able to steer, handle sails, keep a lookout, row a dinghy and assist in all the day to day routines.

Day Skipper
Experience being in charge, taking credit when it all goes well and being responsible when it doesn’t. A course for aspiring skippers with some yachting experience and basic navigation and sailing skills.
Learn to skipper a short passage with the instructor on hand to give advice and encouragement and ensure your safety.

Pre-course experience 5 days, 100 miles, 4 night hours aboard a sailing yacht
Assumed knowledge Basic navigation and helmsmanship – It is recommended you attend the Day Skipper shorebased course beforehand
Minimum duration 5 Days
Minimum age 16
Course content Preparation for sea, deckwork, navigation, pilotage, meteorology, rules of the road, maintenance and repair work, engines, victualling, emergency situations, yacht handling under power, yacht handling under sail, passage making, night cruising
Ability after the course Background knowledge to skipper a small yacht in familiar waters by day

Coastal Skipper
Advanced skippering techniques with considerable knowledge of sailing and navigation, undertaking more challenging coastal and pilotage passages by day and by night. By the end of the course you should have the knowledge, if not the experience, to become a Yachtmaster.

Pre-course experience 15 days, 2 days as skipper, 300 miles, 8 night hours
Assumed knowledge Boat handling to the standard of Day Skipper and navigation to shorebased Coastal Yachtmaster
Minimum duration 5 Days
Minimum age 17
Course content Passage planning, preparation for sea, pilotage, passage making and ability as skipper, yacht handling under power and sail, adverse weather conditions, emergency situations.
Ability after the course Able to skipper a yacht on coastal passages by day and night.

Yachtmaster Coastal and Yachtmaster Offshore prep with MCA exam.
Both courses are run over five days with a further two days for the RYA/MCA exam.

The Yachtmaster Coastal has the knowledge needed to skipper a yacht on coastal cruises but does not necessarily have the experience needed to undertake longer passages. The exam will include an assessment of your skippering skills, boat handling, general seamanship, navigation, safety awareness and knowledge of the IRPCS (collision regulations), meteorology and signals. Candidates will be set tasks to demonstrate their ability and may also be asked questions on any part of the syllabus for all practical and shorebased courses up to Yachtmaster Coastal level.

Yachtmaster Coastal Exam Pre-requisites

Minimum seatime 30 days, 2 days as skipper, 800 miles, 12 night hours (if you hold the Coastal Skipper course completion certificate this is reduced to 20 days, 2 days as skipper, 400 miles, 12 night hours). Half the qualifying sea time must be completed in tidal waters.
Form of exam practical
Certification required Restricted (VHF only) Radio Operators Certificate or GMDSS Short Range Certificate or higher grade of marine radio certificate.Valid first aid certificate (first aid qualifications held by police, fire and armed services accepted)
Minimum exam duration 6 – 10 hours for 1 candidate, 8 – 14 hours for 2 candidates
Minimum age 17


The Yachtmaster Offshore is competent to skipper a cruising yacht on any passage during which the yacht is no more than 150 miles from harbour.

Yachtmaster Offshore Exam Pre-requisites

Minimum seatime 50 days, 2,500 miles including at least 5 passages over 60 miles measured along the rhumb line from the port of departure to the destination, acting as skipper for at least two of these passages and including two which have involved overnight passages. 5 days experience as skipper. At least half this mileage and passages must be in tidal waters. All qualifying seatime must be within 10 years prior to the exam.
Form of exam practical
Certification required Restricted (VHF only) Radio Operators Certificate or a GMDSS Short Range Certificate or higher grade of marine radio certificate.A valid first aid certificate* (first aid qualifications held by Police, Fire and Armed Services are acceptable).
Minimum exam duration 8-12 hours for 1 candidate, 10-18 hours for 2 candidates. No more than two candidates can be examined in 24 hours and no more than four candidates can be examined in one 2 day session.
Minimum age 18

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