RYA Day Skipper Shorebased Course

Why do the course

Some people find the RYA Day Skipper Theory Course the most enjoyable of the RYA shore-based courses because no prior knowledge is required. The subjects covered are, for many people, new and exciting, and the leap forward in understanding greatly increases their enjoyment of sailing. It can also be the place where new friendships are formed: two of our members got married after meeting on such a course.

It is the ideal preparation for a Day Skipper practical course on the water, which leads directly to the RYA’s Day Skipper Certificate and the International Certificate of Competence.

It is also the starting point which leads to more advanced qualifications such as Yachtmaster.


The course gives a solid grounding in chart work and navigation, together with a variety of seamanship topics which enable the novice skipper how to make coastal passages safely.

Navigational subjects include the use of charts and chart symbols, use of traditional navigational instruments, fixing and estimating one’s position at sea, plotting a course to reach a destination safely and the calculation of tidal heights for navigating shallow waters.

There is also an introduction to modern electronic navigational aids such as chart plotters and satellite position fixing. No mathematical knowledge, other than simple arithmetic, is expected.

Seamanship subjects include an introduction to nautical terms, VHF radio, safety and safety equipment, the International Regulations for the Prevention of Collisions at Sea and steering rules, buoyage, pilotage and passage planning, basic weather theory and forecasting and emergency procedures.

Included in the price is the RYA’s student pack; a set of navigational instruments is available at a discounted price.


The Club runs two versions of the course. The long version runs for about 22 weeks giving a nominal 44 hours of tuition on Monday evenings from 1900-2100.

A pre-course supper can be obtained in the Club's restaurant.

The short version gives the same amount of tuition and covers the same syllabus but consists of 10 Wednesdays from 1900-2100 and five Saturday classes from 0930-1630 spaced at fortnightly intervals.


The Club’s special Basic Rope Work course is very popular with sailors of all types and levels of ability, and was originally developed to provide an easy “bridge” between the Day Skipper shore-based course and the Day Skipper on-the-water course. It can be taken either before or after the Day Skipper course.

Upcoming courses

RYA Day Skipper Shorebased theory accelerated course 2024

Starts: 07/02/2024 - 19:00
Ends: 10/04/2024 - 21:00