rya day skipper shorebased



This course is a great introduction to the background knowledge required to skipper a sail or power-driven vessel on short coastal passages by day. It forms an important building block in the RYA training pathway and prepares people for the Day Skipper practical and Intermediate Powerboat courses.

This classroom based course is taught over 6 days and involves 40 hours of tuition, plus assessments and homework. The syllabus is comprehensive and aims to lay a solid foundation for all future boating.

Both traditional and electronic navigation methods are covered, alongside seamanship, safety, the collision regulations, weather and passage planning. Although the course is aimed at day sailing, there is also an introduction to the lights displayed by vessels and buoyage at night. 

None. This is an entry-level course, which assumes no prior knowledge. Some practical boating experience will be beneficial.

6 days – 40 hours tuition plus 2 assessment papers (see Assessment). There will also be homework in addition to the classroom time.

This course can be completed intensively over 6 consecutive days or as 3 x 2 day blocks.

The course will take place at a venue within 30 minutes’ drive of Inverness (see Dates).

This course can also be run on demand at any suitable venue in the North of Scotland. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.

  • Detailed tuition from an experienced RYA Shorebased Navigation Instructor, using a range of training aids
  • A comfortable classroom environment
  • Tea, coffee & biscuits
  • RYA certificate on successful completion of course

Every student will also receive a course pack containing:

  • Day Skipper Shorebased Notes book
  • Exercises and Course Information book
  • Training charts 3 & 4
  • Training Almanac
  • Pen and notebook
  • 2b pencils, rubber and sharpener
  • Plotter and dividers (Portland plotter & 7” divider kit recommended)
  • Packed lunch or money for the local convenience store
  • Nautical Terms
  • Ropework
  • Anchorwork
  • Safety
  • International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea
  • Definition of position, course and speed
  • Navigational charts and publications
  • Navigational drawing instruments
  • Compass
  • Chartwork and navigation- traditional and electronic
  • Tides and tidal streams
  • Visual aids to navigation
  • Meteorology
  • Passage planning
  • Navigation in restricted visibility
  • Pilotage
  • Marine environment

During the course, students will sit two assessment papers, to test their new knowledge. These need to be successfully accomplished in order to achieve the course completion certificate.

The General Assessment paper (1.5hrs) covers safety equipment, buoyage, basic radio communications, vessel lights and shapes and the collision regulations. The Chartwork paper (1.5hrs) covers position fixing, estimating position, calculating a course to steer and tidal heights.

Rest assured, the course will prepare you for these assessments and you are not expected to get everything right. Feedback will be given and re-sits offered if necessary.

As part of your course pack, you will receive a copy of the RYA Day Skipper Shorebased Course Notes, to support your learning. 

However, it is often beneficial to read around subjects in more depth and we would particularly recommend the following books:

RYA Navigation Handbook 2nd Edition

RYA International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea


There are currently no courses scheduled.

This course can be run on demand for groups (min. 3 people). Please contact us to discuss your requirements.

By the end of this course, students will have had a comprehensive introduction to chartwork, navigation, safety, seamanship and passage planning. They should feel ready to start taking more responsibility afloat and performing navigational tasks on board.

It is crucial to put theory into practice. The skills you will acquire on this course will be consolidated when used in context on the water.

In terms of practical RYA training, this course prepares students for the Day Skipper (Sail or Power) and Intermediate Powerboat practical courses (providing they meet the other pre-requisites).

For sail cruising courses, we recommend Sail Badachro, based near Gairloch on the West Coast of Scotland.

The next step on the shorebased training pathway would be the RYA Coastal Skipper/Yachtmaster Offshore Shorebased course, which builds on the foundation put in place at Day Skipper.

Please contact us to book and pay for this course.

A 20% deposit is required to secure a place and the full balance of payment will be required no later than 4 weeks prior to the commencement of the course. On receipt of full payment, we will provide you with joining instructions.