RYA Day Skipper Theory

Day Skipper Theory is a sea navigation course.  Understand charts and planning a passage with the tides and weather with safety.

Next Course Dates – 6 days intensively – you need to attend all 6 days

Sunday 11th – Friday 16th March 2018 – spaces

Course cost £320 plus RYA assessment pack of £39 – A total of £359.00

Contact us if you have any questions or click here to book online

If anyone in your party has any kind of disability or special need then our classrooms have ramp access, projector and screens and a hearing loop facility.  You can also park right outside and the toilet facilities are disability friendly.

About the Day Skipper Theory Course –

Need to know how to get your boat from A to B safely?

This essential 40 hour navigation course teaches you the basics of coastal and inshore navigation by daylight and pilotage including chart-work, position fixing, plotting a course to steer, weather forecasting, and a knowledge of tides and the International Regulations for Prevention of Collision at Sea (IRPCS).  It is the pre-requisite level of navigation required to prepare you for the RYA Day Skipper Practical course.

Understanding where you can go in your boat is vital. This course will give you the knowledge to feel confident in understanding how to read a chart of the area and the methods used to approach harbours, coastal rivers, including the ever important tidal restrictions for where you can take your vessel.

As well as navigation the RYA Day Skipper theory course will help you to understand the different yacht types and the equipment necessary to carry on-board as well as safety procedures such as distress calls, use of flares, safety harnesses, life jackets and life-rafts.

Pre-requisites for the course –

Minimum age recommended is 12 years

Prior knowledge required – NONE

Course Syllabus –

Nautical terms

  • Parts of a boat and hull
  • General nautical terms


  • 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
  • Fire precautions and fire fighting
  • 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

International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea

  • Steering and sailing rules
  • General rules

Definition of position, course and speed

  • Latitude and longitude
  • Knowledge of standard navigation terms
  • True bearings and courses
  • The knot

Navigational charts and publications

  • Information shown on charts, chart symbols and representation of direction and distance
  • Navigational publications in common use
  • Chart correction

Navigational drawing instruments

  • Use of parallel rulers, dividers and proprietary plotting instruments


  • Application of variation
  • Awareness of deviation and its courses
  • Use of hand bearing courses


  • 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

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

Visual aids to 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

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 record

Navigation in restricting visability

  • 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

Marine Environment

  • Responsibility for avoiding pollution and protecting the marine environment


This shorebased course would be based here in Mylor Yacht Harbour in our large classroom.  Portland Plotters and Dividers are provided for your use during the course.  If you would like to purchase your own set you can do so from Mylor Chandlery via their Amazon shop and get it delivered straight to you or you can buy direct from their shop in the harbour.  The price is approximately £18.00 for the set.

There is more information on the RYA website if required or please do not hesitate to get in touch for any further questions you may have.