RYA Day Skipper theory

(22 customer reviews)


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

Evening classes are run over 6 weeks at Godalming College. Classes run over 6 Tuesday evenings (6pm – 10pm) and 1 weekend. There’s plenty of free parking on site. Online courses are taken at your own pace with full support from a qualified RYA instructor. Ideal for those constrained with time or who want to study in the comfort of their own home.

October course is now full.

Places available for course starting in February 2020.

Click here for next evening class course dates

Scroll down for more course details including the full syllabus.



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.

22 reviews for RYA Day Skipper theory

  1. David Stubley

    Marcus is a passionate and knowledgeable sailor and his enthusiasm makes classroom learning good fun. Thanks for your patience
    Marcus. The fog has definitely cleared!

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  2. Chloe Davis

    Just completed the day skipper theory course and would highly recommend polka sailing and in particular Marcus. I thoroughly enjoyed the course, Marcus is a great teacher and I learnt so much with a great group of people in a relaxed and comfortable environment, would recommend to all.

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  3. Sarah Plender

    Having just completed the RYA Day Skipper Theory course with Polka Sailing having had very little previous sailing experience I can honestly say that our instructor Marcus has the patience of a saint! His genuine passion for sailing and teaching made the lessons fun and has left me eager to put into practice what I have learnt. Thank you Marcus and Polka Sailing

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  4. Lizzie T

    I really enjoyed my day skipper course with Marcus. He explained things simply but in enough depth so not to lose those with more experience, using visual aids and class participation to keep everyone awake! It was an intensive course but we were prepped enough to all pass and I found the one-to-one review at the end very beneficial so I won’t forget the bits I got wrong in a hurry. Thanks v much.

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  5. Trevor Barden

    Did the Day Skipper theory course with Marcus last autumn…well structured, well presented and well taught. All very professional but in a fun environment…..and I passed!!

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  6. David Plender

    Having just completed my Day Skipper Theory with Polka Sailing I would like to say a big thank you to Marcus for the way in which he presented the course. His enthusiasm for sailing and his ” positive your can do this approach” were excellent. Even at the end of a long assessment day his enthusiasm, and passion were unwavering. I thoroughly enjoyed the course and the new skills learnt. I can’t wait to put these into practice and complete the Day Skipper Practical as I left the course motivated to do more. If you want to learn more about sailing from someone who is enthusiastic and loves sailing look no further than Marcus at Polka Sailing

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  7. Oliver Borders (verified owner)

    I’ve just finished doing day skipper with Marcus over the weekend. I had been tempted to do the course online but I’m glad I didn’t. It was much better having Marcus there to explain the theory and discuss how things have worked for him with his previous experiences. I’d definitely recommend doing this course and I will be looking to do the practical with Polka in the new year.

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  8. Sian Quiney (verified owner)

    Great course . Evenings flew by with Marcus’s enthusiasm. Clear teaching & homework.
    Excellent compact format to cover 40 hours of course work .
    Many thanks

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  9. jmckinnon_inuk (verified owner)

    Marcus, thank you so much for the very informative, interesting and entertaining course! I have learned so much and really appreciate your patience and your thorough and easy to follow technique. I feel so confident with all this new knowledge and I am now excited about the sailing practical course! Thanks again and ahoy!

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  10. Rachel (verified owner)

    Marcus made the course really interesting, hitting a great balance between giving easy to understand explanations, whilst providing useful context to some quite complicated subject areas. Not having had any real sailing experience before starting the course, I was a little daunted, but soon felt at ease and found the whole course thoroughly enjoyable- thank you Marcus!

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  11. Ross (verified owner)

    Really good enthusiastic teaching approach by Marcus – now signing up to do Day Skipper Practical with Polka Sailing

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  12. Jane Hayden (verified owner)

    Thank you Marcus for making the day skipper course so enjoyable. Your enthusiasm and patience made for a very informative and fun course and I have left with not only a Certificate but with a wealth of knowledge and added confidence. I would highly recommend Polka Sailing.

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  13. henry (verified owner)

    The course was paced well to enable ( a newbie) me to absorb the knowledge. Engagingly delivered to help us learn. Most importantly, it really gave all of us on the course the confidence to get out there and sail. I would recommend it to anyone at any level.

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  14. Dave Crapnell (verified owner)

    Thoroughly enjoyed the Day Skipper Course and will miss my Tuesday evenings listening to Marcus. He has a very engaging teaching approach which makes the course both informative and fun. Thanks Marcus…now on to the practical

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  15. colin.mcbride (verified owner)

    As a complete newbie to sailing it felt like being thrown it at the deep end with so much information to learn but Marcus made it very enjoyable. I’m looking forward to continuing my sailing journey with Marcus as I know I am in safe hands…

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  16. Nick Dale (verified owner)

    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,

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  17. simon_gearing

    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!

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  18. paulayton

    Thank you Marcus for an excellent course and for being so Patient. This is an excellent course well organised and fun with 6 evenings from 6pm to 10pm and 1 weekend finishing bit before 4pm Sat and Sunday. – great instruction making it all very practical and fun – learnt a lot and good to do it in a group as everyone helps each other. Looking forward to putting it all into practice on the practical course with Marcus, good venue – hot drinks and chocolate biscuits very welcome every time
    thanks again

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  19. Rachel (verified owner)

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  20. Damian Whyte (verified owner)

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    Well written,succinct….essential reading

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  21. Toby jenkins (verified owner)

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    Good clear instruction.

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  22. ross (verified owner)

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    Course delivered with enthusiasm and knowledge

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