Day Skipper Theory RYA

Day Skipper Theory RYA chartwork navigation meteorology and the basics of seamanship

A comprehensive introduction to Day Skipper Theory RYA chartwork navigation meteorology and the basics of seamanship. Invaluable for learning how to start making decisions on board and if you are considering taking the Day Skipper practical course.

Candidates receive the Royal Yachting Association RYA Day Skipper Theory Certificate on completion.

The RYA Day Skipper Theory course involves

  • 40 hour in the classroom study and mini lectures
  • 20 hours “homework” assignments and exam preparation

The classroom work is a combination of mini lectures, training videos, working through navigation examples as a team and also some exercises that are completed by the students on an individual basis.

The advantage of teaching this way is that the instructor and any teaching assistants are on hand to gently nudge you in the right direction should you go off course

We have the answer sheets and worked examples to hand so we can quickly put you on the right track!

Navigation techniques and practices have changed dramatically over the years and today, many sailors and motor boaters regard electronic instruments as their principal means of navigation. However, traditional methods still have an important part to play, as does knowledge of aspects such as tides, lights, buoys and beacons.

This is quite an advanced course in chartwork, navigation and safety however it is quite achievable with a little bit of determination and a helping hand from your friendly instructors.

We can supply you with some pre course reading to help prepare for the course.

You will be assigned a username and password so that you have access to our online learning where you can do an exercise and get the answer directly.

With Day Skipper Theory RYA chartwork navigation meteorology and the basics of seamanship. The RYA has now embraced the use of GPS and Chartplotters, so included in the course is a chartplotter program that runs on a PC and can be used to simulate the navigational exercises with vessel speed and course input. There is also a feature where you can “fast forward” and run your voyage in a shorter time frame to see where you actually end up. Once you get your head around the simulator program it is actually quite a useful training tool.

Day Skipper Theory RYA chartwork navigation meteorology and the basics of seamanship

The cost of this course is AED 4500 per person which includes:

  • practice charts
  • practice almanac
  • course workbook
  • course handbook
  • handouts
  • chart plotter program for use on PC

If you need to purchase a set of dividers and plotting tool (Portland Plotter), this can be pre-ordered at a cost of AED 200 and this set should last you a lifetime of navigating on your own boat or a friends.

 Day Skipper Theory RYA chartwork navigation meteorology and the basics of seamanship
Day Skipper Theory RYA chartwork navigation meteorology and the basics of seamanship

+++ RYA Day Skipper Theory Topics +++

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
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 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 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



Assumed knowledge:
Some practical experience is desirable.
Minimum duration:
40 hours plus exam time.
Minimum age:
Course content:
Seamanship, coastal navigation and pilotage, chartwork, electronic charts, position fixing, plotting a course to steer, weather forecasting and meteorology, tides, collision regulations
20Ability after course:
Background knowledge to skipper a small yacht in familiar waters by day.

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