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For aspiring skippers

RYA Day Skipper

Online Theory Course

The best RYA online theory course. Lessons are clear, entertaining, engaging and easy to follow and questions are answered quickly by helpful instructors.
Start studying straight away
Over 13,500 students
Money back guarantee

A comprehensive introduction to chartwork, navigation, meteorology and the basics of seamanship

The RYA Day Skipper online theory course is ideal for inexperienced and aspiring skippers.  

The Day Skipper course equips you with sufficient knowledge to navigate safely around familiar waters by day plus a knowledge of lights to introduce you to night cruising.

Developments in technology and electronic navigation aids now available on most cruising boats is also included.

Invaluable if you are considering taking the RYA Day Skipper practical course and for learning how to start making informed decisions on board.

  • Assumed knowledge
    Some practical experience is desirable.
  • Duration
    A minimum of 40 hours of course study time is specified by the RYA, plus time for exercises and exams.
  • Ability after course
    Background knowledge to skipper a small yacht in familiar waters by day.  
  • Chart Familiarisation

  • Tidal Heights

  • Tidal Streams

  • The Compass & Position Fixing

  • Dead Reckoning & Estimated Position

  • Course to Steer

  • Electronic Navigation

  • Buoyage

  • Pilotage

  • Passage Planning

  • Meteorology

  • The Collision Regulations

  • Safety & Protection of the Environment

Unlimited support from our dedicated RYA Instructors - 365 days a year via email, phone or Skype/Zoom.

14-day unconditional money-back guarantee.

Over 40 hours of 15 fully-narrated online lessons including animations, videos and realistic 3D graphics.

Embedded quizzes with instant feedback in each lesson.

15 self-assessment exercises with fully worked answers.

Over 50 downloadable or linked resources.

2 training charts & training almanac.

Mock exams to prepare you for the real thing and give you the confidence to pass. 

2 final online exams with detailed instructor feedback and free repeat attempts if requried.

RYA Day Skipper Shorebased Theory Course Completion Certificate.

12 months access to study with instructor support and exams - you can extend this if you want.

Lifetime access to training materials once you’ve completed the course.

Optional Extras

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Plotter and divider
You’ll need a course plotter and chart-dividers to complete the chartwork exercises - if you don’t already have these you can purchase a top quality set from us for £28 when you place your order.


UK delivery is free.  European delivery is £20, outside Europe delivery is £40.

You can start studying immediately as many of the lessons don’t rely on the printed support materials.

This course is accessed online with no additional software required.

Lessons are accompanied by optional professional narration, and notes. 

They are intuitive and easy to follow, whilst more complex subjects are accompanied by interactive animations and graphics to help you gain a full knowledge of each subject in the course syllabus.

Detailed step-by-step workings for navigational or tidal calculations make it easy for you to follow along as we show you how to plot positions, make tidal height and stream calculations, etc

You can go over these again and again, and test your knowledge with regular quizzes throughout each lesson. 

At the end of each lesson there is an excercise containg similar questions to the exam, with detailed and illustrated answers sent to you immediately to confirm your progress and fully prepare you for your mock and final exams.

You can repeat entire lessons and excercises as often as you wish until you are confident that you fully understand each subject.

When you have completed the course you can request mock and then final exams.

These are assessed by our RYA Instructors and detailed feedback is provided in any areas that may require further study within the course.

If you pass the final exams you will be awarded the RYA/MCA Day Skipper Shorebased Course Certificate, which will be posted to you.

Additional free resits, with suitable Instructor guidance, are available if required.

RYA Day Skipper Shorebased Certificate

Call us for advice on 0238 218 2604

Course Reviews

  • Paul Adams

    By far the best course available

    Having researched a number of Day Skipper online theory courses this was by far the best I could find. The course was extremely well written. I have received similar training in other professions but none as well crafted as this.

  • Susan Wright

    Very good Day Skipper theory course

    Very interesting and informative lessons on every aspect of the course. Nice, logical progression through the stages and modules. I liked being able to go at my own pace. Excellent feedback and help.

  • Matt Davis


    Skippers Online is really helpful and makes learning so easy and fun! I would highly recommend to anyone wanting to complete their Day Skipper theory exams!

  • Corrine Crawford

    Thoroughly enjoyed & highly recommendnd

    The course was intuitive and the flexibility of being able to log on and study at any time was invaluable. Response to any questions that I had was very quick, which was amazing - highly recommended... Now on to my Day Skipper practical!

Dedicated instructor support 365 days a year
Multi device and platform compatible
Study wherever you are anywhere in the world
Progress at your own pace with regular tests
RYA Certification on completion of course
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