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RYA TRAINING CENTRE

Sail Cruising Courses

Start Yachting

Course content: The yacht, Ropework, Underway, Rules of the road, Man overboard recovery, Clothing and equipment, Emergency equipment and Precautions, Meteorology
Suggested minimum pre-course experience: None
Assumed knowledge: None
Ability after course
: Basic knowledge of yachting
Minimum duration: 2 Days
Minimum Age: None
A short introduction to sailing for complete beginners.

By the end of the course, you will have experienced steering a yacht, sail handling, Ropework and be aware of safety on board.

Holders of the Start Yachting certificate can go on to complete the Competence Crew course in a reduced time of three days or two weekends.

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Competent Crew Practical

Course content: Knowledge of sea terms and parts of a boat, Her rigging and sails, Sail handling, Ropework, Fire precautions, and fighting, Personal safety equipment, Man overboard, Emergency equipment, Meteorology, Seasickness, helmsmanship, General duties, Manners and customs, Rules of the road, Dinghies
Suggested minimum pre-course experience: None
Assumed knowledge: None
Ability after course
: Able to steer, Handle sails, Keep a lookout, row a dinghy and assist in all the day to day routines
Minimum duration: 5 days. Often run over 3 weekends or 3 days plus a weekend. If you have done the Start Yachting course, this course can be completed in 3 or 4 days.
Minimum Age: None
This course is for beginners and those who would like to become active crew members rather than just passengers.

Experience living on board and really get to know the boat. Virtually all the course is hands on. You are the crew – without you, the sails won’t go up and the boat won’t be steered.

By the end of the course, you should be able to steer, handle sails, keep a lookout, row a dinghy and assist in all the day to day duties on board. You should also have visited some interesting places and had an enjoyable holiday.

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Day Skipper Practical

Course content: Knowledge of sea terms and parts of a boat, Her rigging and sails, Sail handling, Ropework, Fire precautions and fighting, Personal safety equipment, Man overboard, Emergency equipment, Meteorology, Seasickness, Helmsmanship, General duties, Manners and customs, Rules of the road, Dinghies
Suggested minimum pre-course experience: 5 days, 100 miles, 4 night hours on board a sailing yacht
Assumed knowledge: Theory to the level of Day Skipper. It is recommended you attend the Day Skipper shorebased course beforehand.
Ability after course
: Able to steer, Handle sails, Keep a lookout, Row a dinghy and assist in all the day to day routines
Minimum duration: 5 days, 3 weekends or 3 days plus 2 days
Minimum Age: 16 Years
A course for aspiring skippers with some yachting experience and basic navigation and sailing skills.

Learn to skipper a short passage with the instructor on hand to give advice and encouragement and ensure your safety. Experience being in charge, taking credit when it all goes well and being responsible when it doesn’t.

Before this course, if you are not sure that your sailing is up to speed, a good way to learn is on an RYA Level 2 dinghy course. This will teach you to sail around a course and control the boat’s speed.

If it’s help with navigation that you need, you should take our Day Skipper shorebased course

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Coastal Skipper Practical

Course content: Passage planning, Preparation for sea, Pilotage, Passage making, and ability as skipper, Yacht handling under power, Yacht handling under sail, Adverse weather conditions, Emergency Situations
Suggested minimum pre-course experience: 15 days, 2 days as skipper, 300 miles, 8 night hours
Assumed knowledge: Boat handling to the standard of Day Skipper and navigation to Shorebased Coastal Skipper/Yachtmaster™ Offshore
Ability after course
: Able to skipper a yacht on coastal passages by day and night
Minimum duration: 5 days
Minimum Age: 17 Years
Advanced skippering techniques for yachtsmen and women with considerable knowledge of sailing and navigation, wanting to undertake coastal passages by day and night.

Like the Day Skipper course, this course consists of skippered passages in a variety of situations. Each trainee will skipper more challenging passages and learn more about passage planning, pilotage by day and night, boat handling, safety, and emergency situations.

We expect you to complete the Coastal Skipper/Yachtmaster™ Offshore Shorebased course beforehand as there is insufficient time to teach you theory during the week.

Coastal Skippers should be able to undertake more difficult passages by day and night and handle the yacht in more demanding conditions. By the end of the course, you should have the knowledge, if not the experience, to become a Yachtmaster™.

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Navigation Courses

Essential Navigation & Seamanship

This course is available in the classroom and online.

However you decide to take the course, it offers a great introduction to navigation and safety awareness for new or inexperienced skippers and crew, and those wanting to refresh their skills. In fact it’s for anyone interested in sailing, motor boating, sea angling or diving, and works well in complementing our on-the-water training, such as the Powerboat Level 2, Start Yachting and Helmsman courses.

It’s a highly informative course with lots of opportunities for you to put your new found knowledge into practice. If you decide to take the course online, you will find many interactive exercises to help reinforce the information and lots of chances to try out what you’ve learned.

Course topics include:

  • Charts and Publications
  • Safety
  • Engine checks
  • Buoyage
  • Tidal awareness
  • Visual and electronic navigation
  • Pilotage
  • Rules of the road
  • Anchoring
  • Weather forecasts
  • Passage planning

You will receive a course pack which includes a chart, plotter, dividers, course handbook, exercises and access to the online plotter.

How long is the course?

In the classroom, the course is taught over 16 hours with exercises to complete along the way. It can be covered as a series of short sessions or over two full days.

Online the course will take around six hours, but the beauty of it is that you can work through it at your own speed, whenever and wherever you like.

How to take the course

Both the classroom course and the online course are available

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Day Skipper Shorebased

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.

We are continually updating our courses to take into account developments in technology and the electronic navigation aids now available on most cruising boats.

In conjunction with the UK Hydrographic Office we have developed a chart plotter specifically for use on training courses, giving you a realistic insight into electronic navigation. Use of this plotter is an integral part of our Day Skipper shorebased course.

We have northern and southern hemisphere versions of our training materials. So, no matter where you are in the world, our course can be tailored to you.

The course is taught over 40 hours with two exam papers. It can be covered as a series of short sessions, as an intensive week-long course, or by distance learning.

Course topics include:

  • the basics of seamanship
  • the essentials of coastal navigation and pilotage
  • chartwork
  • electronic charts
  • position fixing
  • plotting a course to steer
  • weather forecasting and meteorology
  • tides
  • collision regulations
  • construction, parts and equipment of a cruising boat
  • emergency and safety procedures including distress calls,use of flares, safety harnesses, lifejackets and liferafts

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Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster Offshore

Advanced training for more experienced skippers building on the Day Skipper course. This course equips you to navigate safely on coastal and offshore passages.

This course will take your theory knowledge to the standard required for the Yachtmaster™ Coastal and Yachtmaster™ Offshore practical exams, concentrating on advanced navigation and meteorology skills.

As with the Day Skipper shorebased course, the RYA’s specially designed chart plotter software will be used during the course to give you a realistic taste of modern electronic navigation.

Students in the southern hemisphere can take advantage of the southern hemisphere version of our training materials, ensuring that your course is relevant to you.

The course is taught over 40 hours with three exam papers. It can be covered as a series of short sessions, as an intensive week-long course, or by distance learning.

Course topics include:

  • 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 predictions using a barometer and by observation
  • collision regulations
  • customs and excise regulations for cruising abroad

It allows some time for revision of the basics and then moves on to advanced navigation techniques.

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Yachtmaster Ocean Shorebased

Unravel the mysteries of astro navigation, using a sextant, ocean passage making, worldwide meteorology and electronic navigation aids.

This course is for those aspiring to blue water cruising and is ideal for holders of the Yachtmaster Offshore certificate who are preparing for their first ocean passage.

Topics covered include:

  • The earth and the celestial sphere
  • Practical guide to use and care of sextant at sea
  • Meridian altitudes
  • Sun, star and other sights
  • Ocean passage planning

Prior to the course your navigation skills should be at the standard of the Coastal Skipper/Yachtmaster Offshore shorebased course.

If you are working towards your Yachtmaster Ocean Certificate of Competence, completion of this shorebased course exempts you from the written exam.

The course is taught over 40 hours with one exam paper. It can be covered as a series of short sessions, as an intensive week-long course, or by distance learning.

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