RYA Day Skipper Theory

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


Classroom course is £475

Online course is £273

£100 deposit required to book

Experienced Instructor

Some practical experience desirable

RYA Day Skipper Theory is a comprehensive introduction to cruising for inexperienced skippers. This course equips you with enough knowledge to navigate around familiar waters by day. A basic knowledge of lights is also included to introduce you to night cruising.

The RYA Day Skipper theory course is absolutely full of fantastic information from tying a knot, tidal heights, tidal streams, weather, position fixing, estimated position to plotting a full blown course to steer and passage plan.
Once you have completed the course you will be safer for yourself, your friends and your family and after completing an RYA practical course, you should be well on your way to being a first class skipper.

Classroom Course

5 consecutive days with us in our classroom usually starting on a Monday.


3 weekends with us in our classroom so it doesn’t interfere with work.


Online Course

This interactive online theory course allows you the time and space to learn at your own speed when you want and how you want – you simply need a computer and the internet.

Any instructor support needed during the course will be at no extra cost.  Exam feedback is also given as you work through the modules.

If you feel you need a bit more assistance then we are able to offer a personalised learning package combining online courses with 1:1 tuition.

  1. Online course with 1 x day in the classroom – £273 plus £250 = £523
  2. Online course with 4 x 45 minute sessions (3 hours in total) via zoom – £273 plus £120 = £393

The online course is valid for 6 months.  It can be extended by paying a £50 fee to gain another 6 months.  The 6 months will not start until you begin your course.

  • 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

We will provide everything that you need to complete the course.  This includes the RYA training charts and almanacs as well as plotters and dividers.  If you are completing the online course, these will be sent to you.

Our instructor is on hand throughout and is available to provide online support for the online course if needed.

The RYA Day Skipper theory book is included along with course certificate.

Your choice for whether you attend a classroom course with us or an online course will depend on your learning abilities.

Our classroom based courses are limited to 6 students (although often much less) and our instructor is there to explain, coach and assist throughout.  You will also get the chance to meet likeminded individuals.

You will be supplied everything you need and given some suggested pre course reading.

It is sometimes easier to achieve in a classroom course as it is much easier to break something down and explain it rather than following an online module and not really being sure where you went wrong.


An interactive online course is perfect for those who simply do not have a week spare to sit in the classroom attending a course.

  • All you need is a computer and the internet.
  • 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.

On the final day of the course you will sit two papers – one focuses on the collision regulations and the other on the navigation aspects of the course.

The course covers everything that comes up in the papers so you can be assured that you will find them pretty straightforward as they are simply a way to sum up all you have learnt as a conclusion of the course.

Invigilation is optional for Day Skipper. There is a theoretical benefit but it’s minor and obscure. Basically, students who have a Day Skipper Practical Certificate and 12 months relevant experience can apply for a Professional Endorsement (requiring a medical, first-aid certificate and completion of a RYA Professional Practices and Responsibilities course). With an invigilated Day Skipper Shorebased course completion certificate they can skipper a vessel carrying fare-paying passengers up to 20 miles from a nominated departure point, whereas if they don’t have a Day Skipper Shorebased course completion certificate or it is marked as “non-invigilated” they are limited to 3 miles from a nominated departure point. This means that 99% of Day Skipper Students don’t need an invigilated exam.

You will be given this option once the course is completed.

The RYA Day Skipper Theory Course is provided to us by Skippers Online.

Click the link below to have a trial before you buy:

This Dead Reckoning & Estimated Position lesson demonstrates how our step by step graphics, detailed narration and worked examples, break down a detailed subject to give you a full understanding of this key part of the syllabus.

Please make sure your volume is turned up.



Recommended supplementary reading:

RYA Navigation Handbook
RYA Weather Handbook
International Rules for Preventing Collisions
Flip Cards
You can purchase the above as Ebooks on the RYA Website


Please get in touch to discuss options should you not see dates suitable below.

star rating  great experience for us all (9 to 67 year olds) Greg very informative and very patient with the grandchildrens constant questions, smashing end to a lovely week in Torquay

September 1, 2022

star rating  We visited on 28th July and booked raptor. My daughter had wanted to do it after seeing it from our balcony flying across the sea.. and she was finally 10... read more

August 15, 2022

star rating  Brilliant and well worth the money. Really exhilarating with stops along the way to get your breath back!

August 18, 2022