RYA Day Skipper Shorebased

Navigation and seamanship for those new to navigation or wanting to consolidate existing skills. The Day Skipper Shorebased course covers the essential knowledge needed to navigate a yacht on simple passages.

The course includes nautical terminology, rope work, safety and emergency procedures, collision avoidance, compass, chart work, tides, meteorology, passage planning and pilotage.

Pre-requisite experience:

None, although we would advise all candidates to have completed an RYA Competent Crew course.


7 days


RYA Day Skipper Shorebased Certification

What’s included:

Includes all food and accommodation

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 equiptment 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