Which online theory course should you take?

Not sure which of our online RYA theory courses is best for you. Our guide to course content and experience can help you choose, but if you need any more advice please get in touch.

RYA Day Skipper 


A comprehensive introduction to chartwork meteorolgy and the baiscs of seamanship.  Invalauble for learning how to start making decisions on board and highly recommended prior to taking the RYA Day Skipper practical course.  This course is ideal for both aspiring skippers and experienced sailors looking to gain a solid grasp of the fundamentals. 

ASSUMED KNOWLEDGE
Some practical experience is desirable.

MINIMUM DURATION
40 hours plus exam time

MINIMUM AGE
None

COURSE CONTENT
Seamanship, coastal navigation and pilotage, chartwork, electronic charts, position fixing, plotting a course to steer, weather forecasting and meteorology, tidal theory and tidal heights, collision regulations.

ABILITY AFTER COURSE
Background knowledge to skipper a small yacht in familiar waters by day.

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RYA Yachtmaster 


Recommened pre-study for candidates planning on taking the Coastal Skipper or Yachtmaster Offshore practical course.  Includes revision of the Day Skipper theory syllabus plus more advanded skills in offshore & coastal navigation by day & night, pilotage and meteorology. The next step in developing your theory skills.

ASSUMED KNOWLEDGE
Knowledge to the level of Day Skipper Shorebased.

MINIMUM DURATION
40 hours plus exam time

MINIMUM AGE
None

COURSE CONTENT
Position fixing, course shaping and plotting, tidal knowledge, use of almanacs and admiralty publications, electronic position finding equipment, taking and interpreting forecasts, plotting weather systems, weather predicitons and using a barometer.

ABILITY AFTER COURSE
Background knowledge to skipper a yacht on coastal passages by day & night.

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RYA/MCA Ocean Yachtmaster 


An advanced course in astro navigation, worldwide meteorology and passage planning, and the mysteries of the sextant.  Ideal for those looking to prepare for ocean passages.

ASSUMED KNOWLEDGE
Navigation skills to Coastal Skippers & Yachtmaster Offshore theory standard and practical expereince of coastal and offshore sailing.

MINIMUM DURATION
40 hours plus exam time

MINIMUM AGE
None

COURSE CONTENT
The earth and the celestial sphere.  Practical guide to use and care of the sextant at sea.  Meridian altitudes, Sun, Star and other sights, meteorolgy and ocean passage planning.

ABILITY AFTER COURSE
Background knowledge to skipper a yacht on ocean passages.

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Combined courses


Our combined “Fast Track” option is for those who wish to study the full Day Skipper and Yachtmaster syllabus to accelerate their theory learning and gain a thorough understanding of the syllabus content in one go.

This course includes access to both Day Skipper and Yachtmaster courses with full course content, exercises, mock exams, real exams and 2 separate course completion certificates for each course.  

Yachtmaster Offshore and Yachtmaster Ocean is also available as a combined course.

Combined courses have a saving of over £100 on the individually purchased prices.

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RYA shorebased courses guide

This guide from the RYA’s website outlines all of the shorebased courses that are available.

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Test your theory knowledge

Try our RYA theory quiz to test your knowledge and see whether our Day Skipper or Yachtmaster theory course is best for you.

Start Quiz

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