RYA Day Skipper theory

Rated 5.00 out of 5 based on 16 customer ratings
(16 customer reviews)


Course Options: Evening Class or Online (Choose below when booking)

The Day Skipper shore based theory course is a great entry point to the RYA syllabus. It’s a comprehensive introduction to navigation and cruising for new skippers providing the necessary tools to ensure you put out to sea safely. The course provides a solid foundation in boat safety, charts and navigation techniques including integrated navigation using both paper and GPS tools. It also gives you a flavour of the skills required for navigating at night with an introduction to lights. On completion of the course, you will be able to confidently undertake a day passage in familiar water.

Course options: StockPrice
Evening Class: Starting 29th January 2019(8 spaces left) £370.00

Dates: Tuesday 29th January, Tuesday 5th, 12th & 26th February, Tuesday 5th & 12th March. Saturday 16th & Sunday 17th March.
Evenings start @ 1800 & weekend days start @ 0930.

Online (Interactive) Course( spaces left) £295.00

Online courses are provided by Navathome.com and start immediately. Once cleared funds have been received, your online account will be set up for you to access the online course material. The accompanying course notes and plotter kit will be shipped to you within 24hrs.

Once your account has been activated, you have 6 months to complete the course. This is extendable by 6 months for an additional fee of £30.

Course Details

The RYA Day Skipper theory course is a great entry point to the RYA theory syllabus. It’s a comprehensive introduction to navigation and cruising for new skippers providing the necessary tools to ensure you put out to sea safely.

The course provides a solid foundation in 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.

Classroom facilities & location

Our RYA shore-based classes are run from the fabulous facilities at Godalming College.

Learning in a group classroom environment is fun and offers a way to make new sailing friends as well as pick up tips’n’tricks from like-minded people. It’s a relaxed environment and you’ll have plenty of time to ask the instructor questions.

There’s plenty of free parking on site.

Shorebased Classrooms

Godalming College Tuesley Lane,
Godalming GU7 1RS
  • Shorebased Classrooms


Your location: Use my current location

RYA Day Skipper Theory Syllabus

The Day Skipper / Watch Leader Shorebased Course provides a comprehensive introduction to chartwork, navigation, meteorology and the basics of seamanship.

This course is ideal for those who have completed Competent Crew course and are looking to improve their skills and learning how to start making skippering decisions. The theory know-how gained from this course is the expected level of knowledge for those looking to go on and do Day Skipper Practical.

1. Nautical terms

  • Parts of a boat and hull
  • General nautical terminology

2. Ropework

  • Knowledge of the properties of synthetic ropes in common use
  • Common Knots including, Clove Hitch, Reef Know, Round turn and 2 half hitches, Bowline, Figure of Eight, Rolling Hitch and Sheetbend

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, G103)
  • Fire precautions and firefighting
  • 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

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 a position
  • Course to steer

11. Tides and tidal streams

  • Tidal definitions, levels and datum
  • Tide tables
  • Use of Admiralty method of determining the 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 to 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 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

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

Online Course Details

The online theory course is delivered by Navathome.com a RYA Training Centre specialising in distance learning and online training.

This option allows you to study at your own pace and start at a time of your choosing. You’ll get your login details once full course payment has been received, usually within 24hrs of booking. There is a 6-month time limit to complete the course once you’ve activated your ID, however, this can be extended for a small admin fee (£30) should you choose to.

The online course costs are:

  • £310 per person for the RYA Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster™ theory
  • £295 per person for the RYA Day Skipper theory

Receive a 10% discount if booking 2 online courses and 15% discount if booking 3 or more

You will receive an email once the deposit has been paid with a link to pay the balance. Once cleared funds have been received, your account will be set up for you to access the online course material. The accompanying course notes and plotter kit will be shipped to you within 24hrs.

What’s included:

  • Your RYA Pack including all course materials and Plotter Kit will be sent out to you within 24hrs of receiving cleared payment of the course fees
  • Help via email, phone or Skype 7 days a week 0700 until 1900 UK
  • Seven day opt out with full refund on return of the training materials
  • Up to two years access to learning materials after completion.
  • Your enrolment lasts for three years
  • Work when you like, in your own time
  • Six months free access with the option to extend in six monthly intervals
  • The course can be completed in as little as 60 hours
  • RYA charts & Almanac
  • RYA plotter simulator
  • Appropriate RYA course notes and handbook
  • Free animated boat handling lessons
  • Free mini radar simulator
  • Optional voice over gives you the choice
  • Feedback and help from our fulltime instructors for 18 hours a day seven days a week.

You can try the online course for FREE by clicking here:

Try Now


Terms & Conditions

Share your thoughts!

5 out of 5 stars

16 reviews

Let us know what you think...

Only logged in customers who have purchased this product may leave a review.

0 reviews with a 3-star rating

There are no reviews with a 3-star rating yet




Your personal data will be used to support your experience throughout this website, to manage access to your account, and for other purposes described in our privacy policy.

Continue as a Guest

Don't have an account? Sign Up

RYA Day Skipper theory on Instagram

Want to share your instagrams of you with your RYA Day Skipper theory? Use the #dstheory hash tag.