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Recommended further reading...

Our selection of the best books to broaden your theory knowledge even further

By Iain Barbour


Reed’s Skipper’s Handbook by Malcom Pearson
A bestseller since first publication, this is a handy pocket sized aide-memoire of everything a boater needs to know at sea. Packed with a wide range of information in a concise form it is frequently recommended by Yachtmaster Instructors as a quick reference guide and as a revision aid for anyone taking a Day Skipper or Yachtmaster course.
“A brilliant guide for beginners and an excellent refresher for more advanced skippers... a top rate book,”  Waterstones.

semans guide to the rules of the road

Seaman’s Guide to The Rule of the Road by J.W Ford
Best selling title on this important topic, which is essential to master if you want to pass your exams. Excellent self-teach format makes it all much easier than you thought.


RYA International Regulations for Preventing Collisons at Sea by Tim Bartlett
Written by one of the leading experts on navigation, this is essential reading for anyone who takes charge of a vessel either for commercial or recreational use and is particularly useful for students taking courses within the RYA Yachtmaster Scheme. Provides a clear and authoritative explanation of each regulation by rule order, split into themes with a view to helping readers quickly reference the content.

rya navigation handbook

RYA Navigation Handbook by Tim Bartlett
The best-selling RYA Navigation Handbook has now been revised and updated as a 2nd edition with both print and digital versions available to purchase.  

Essential reading for anyone taking to the water and looking for the complete guide to navigation, both print and digital versions have been designed to provide the reader with a sound understanding of the principals of navigation as well as providing insight into the ways in which electronic navigation can be used to best effect, including extended chapter summaries and additional animations.  

The Complete Day Skipper by Tom Cunliffe

The Complete Day Skipper by Tom Cunliffe
This is a totally practical hands-on manual that covers the RYA Day Skipper syllabus in a way that reflects a skipper’s growing experience at sea, beginning with yacht handling under power, moving on to boat husbandry and sailing skills, and from there to the realistic use of modern electronic navigation systems.

Eminently readable and very down-to-earth, this fully revised sixth edition has become a ‘must have’ for all skippers in their early years, as well as more experienced sailors who choose not to venture far afield.  Tom Cunliffe provides just the right blend of advice, instruction, inspiration and encouragement.

The Complete Yachtmaster

The Complete Yachtmaster by Tom Cunliffe
Thoroughly updated to keep pace with the latest digital developments in navigation and handling systems and includes information on apps, tablets and phone charts, as well as providing a comprehensive guide to electronic plotters and integrated systems. There is also additional material on cross-tide sailing with GPS and passage planning with chart plotters. This book has been a bestseller since its first publication and has established itself as the standard reference for Yachtmaster students as well as for skippers of all levels of experience. It brings together  the essentials of modern cruising in one volume. Subjects include an analysis of what makes a good skipper, the theory and practice of sailing, seamanship, navigation including chart plotters and PCs, meteorology, heavy weather, yacht stability and coping with emergencies.

Yachtmaster Handbook by James Stevens

The RYA Yachtmaster Handbook by James Stevens
The definitive guide for anyone preparing for the world-renowned RYA Yachtmaster Offshore and Coastal practical exam.

This book will appeal to leisure sailors and motor cruisers; as well as professional sailors - with its section covering commercial endorsement requirements for those who wish to use their qualification professionally.

It describes what you can expect on the day of the examination, the thinking behind the test and what the examiner is looking for.
It is designed to make you focus on areas where skills can sometimes be lacking, with the aim of setting you up for life beyond the Yachtmaster exam as a competent and confident skipper.

The author James Stevens can take much of the credit for the success and international acceptance of the RYA Yachtmaster scheme, and is now the chair of the RYA Yachtmaster Qualification Panel.

RYA Navigation Excercises

The RYA Navigation Exercises by Chris Slade
A series of exercises in navigation and pilotage that give vital practice at working out the various types of problem that are encountered on Day Skipper and Yachtmaster exams. As co-author of the Yachtmaster and Day Skipper test papers, Chris Slade has revised and updated RYA Navigation Exercises to provide invaluable practice exercises and answers.

Reeds Weather handbook

Reeds Weather Handbook by Frank Singleton
Equips the reader with all the necessary tools to predict and deal with local and distant weather conditions, whether on a day trip or a longer cruise, along the coast or further offshore.

Each topic is broken down into digestible chapters, explaining the origins and effects of the full spectrum of weather conditions, including:
- using and evaluating weather forecasts
- depressions, fronts, isobars and other coastal effects
- waves and swell
- weather lore and sky watching.

This new edition keeps the handbook up-to-date, with a particular focus on the increasing use of GRIB files, computer weather modelling and sources of forecasts, especially with the proliferation of computer forecasts becoming available free of charge.

With practical explanations and helpful diagrams and photographs, this is the ideal aide-memoire for skippers and crew, especially those studying for their Day Skipper and Yachtmaster exams.

RYA Weather Handbook

RYA Weather Handbook by Chris Tibbs
This book covers the knowledge required by skippers up to Yachtmaster Ocean standard and provides important background information for the RYA practical and shorebased courses.

Full of practical and useful information, on aspects such as theory, weather charts, clouds, predicting the wind, and the technology used in sourcing meteorological information.

This edition provides more information than ever before about where to obtain forecasts, the growing use of technology in forecasting weather and obtaining up-to-date information and in particular monitoring the tell-tale signs around you for any indication that the weather may not be doing what was forecast.

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