Equip yourself with the necessary skills

The RYA Day Skipper Theory Course is a comprehensive online introduction to skippering a boat and essential preparation for the RYA Day Skipper Practical Course. It is delivered by Navathome, a RYA Recognised Training Centre specialising in online training. The RYA Day Skipper theory course is designed to teach you the fundamentals of navigation and running a boat, including everything you need to navigate coastal and inshore waters by day. Delivered through online and print material the course provides hands on experience of plotting positions, using both paper and electronic charts, planning passages as well as navigating entering and exiting habours. You will also be taught how to identify lights on buoys and vessels at sea, meteorology and safety procedures. The course includes:

  • The basics of seamanship, including parts of the boat, types of warp, knots, chains and anchoring, and preparing for launch or landing.
  • Chartwork, including points of the compass, positioning and using a Portland type plotter.
  • What causes tides, using tide tables and calculating tidal heights, introduction to secondary ports, using tidal curves, tidal streams using tidal diamonds and the tidal stream atlas.
  • Position fixing using various methods, compass variation and deviation, dead reckoning and estimated position.
  • Plotting a course to steer and maintaining an accurate ground tack.
  • Forming a plan for a safe passage taking into consideration tides, conditions and wind direction .
  • electronic charts
  • How to use GPS and raster and vector charts.
  • Weather forecasting and meteorology including weather systems, effects of weather and sources of infomation.
  • Identifying buoys by their lights and shapes and using forward and back bearings.
  • Collision regulations: general regulations, lights, shapes, sound signals, collision avoidance, stand on and give way.
  • Construction, parts and equipment of a cruising boat
  • Emergency and safety procedures including life jackets, distress calls, use of flares, safety harnesses, liferafts and abandoning ship.

The RYA Day Skipper theory course is delivered online. It involves about 40 hours of study with support provided by an experienced RYA Sail Boat Project instructor working on behalf of Navathome.com. You will receive a pack with course notes and to help you after the course a Day Skipper post course revision pack will be issued. At the end there are two assessment papers – a General Assessment Paper (1.5 hours) and a Chartwork Assessment Paper (1.5 hours).

£300 including all course materials – 2 x RYA training charts, almanac, theory book, plotter and dividers

Book your theory with us and get £50 off your RYA Day Skipper practical course

Upon purchase of the online course Navathome allow access for six months. This can be extended for further six month periods at a cost of £30.

Buy now and enroll

Pre course requirements

No previous qualifications are necessary.
Internet and email access.
Approximately 40 hours of study time.
You will receive a pack with a plotter, dividers, training chart and training almanac


Course content

1. Nautical Terms
Parts of a boat and hull
General nautical terminology
2. Ropework
Knowledge of the properties of synthetic ropes in common use
3. Anchorwork
Characteristics of different types of anchor
Considerations to be taken into account when anchoring
4. Safety
Knowledge of the safety equipment to be carried, its stowage and use
Fire precautions and fire fighting
Use of personal safety equipment, harnesses and lifejackets
Ability to send a distress signal by VHF radiotelephone
Basic knowledge of rescue procedures including helicopter rescue
5. International regulations for preventing collisions at sea
Steering and sailing rules
General rules
6. Definition of position, course and speed
Latitude and longitude
Knowledge of standard navigational terms
True bearings and courses
The knot
7. Navigational charts and publications
Information shown on charts, chart symbols and representation of direction and distance
Navigational publications in common use
Chart correction
8. Navigational drawing instruments
Use of parallel rulers, dividers and proprietary plotting instruments
9. Compass
Application of variation
Awareness of deviation and its causes
Use of hand-bearing compass
10. Chartwork
Dead reckoning and estimated position including an awareness of leeway
Techniques of visual fixing
Satellite-derived positions
Use of waypoints to fix position
Course to steer
11. Tides and tidal streams
Tidal definitions, levels and datum
Tide tables
Use of Admiralty method of determining tidal height at standard port and awareness of corrections for secondary ports
Use of tidal diamonds and tidal stream atlases for chartwork
12. Visual aids to navigation
Lighthouses and beacons, light characteristics
13. Meteorology
Sources of broadcast meteorological information
Knowledge of terms used in shipping forecasts, including the Beaufort scale and their significance
Basic knowledge of highs, lows and fronts
14. Passage planning
Preparation of navigational plan for short coastal passages
Meteorological considerations in planning short coastal passages
Use of waypoints on passage
Importance of confirmation of position by an independent source
Keeping a navigational record
15. Navigation in restricted visibility
Precautions to be taken in, and limitations imposed by fog
16. Pilotage
Use of transits, leading lines and clearing lines
IALA system of buoyage for Region A
Use of sailing directions
Pilotage plans and harbour entry
17. Marine Environment
Responsibility for avoiding pollutions and protecting the marine environment

Free demo here

Click on the image to try a free demo of the RYA Day Skipper theory course:



How long will the course take to complete?
The course takes approximately 40 hours to complete. There is a 6 month time limit set for the course after which you would need to pay a £ 30 re-login fee.
How much does the course cost?
The course costs £285 (no lower income rate available) and this price includes all course material and email support.

What is included in the course fee?
The price includes all course materials to be able to complete the course and exam fees - Plotters and dividers, training charts and almanac. Email supervision/contact from Navathome.

What qualifications or experience do I need to complete the course?
You do not need to have any navigational knowledge to be able to complete this course

How quickly can I start?
Course materials and online instructions will be despatched as soon as payment has been confirmed. On receipt you can begin the course.

Are there any exams?
There are two final assement papers with 1.5 hours allowed for each. A general assessment paper covering areas such as safety, weather, collision regulations etc. and a chartwork and tides paper. For commercial use the exams must be invigilated by a suitable person such as a teacher, banker, lawyer which we can arrange.

How is the course awarded?
Certificates are awarded on completion of the exams.

Can I do this course if I'm not a UK resident?

What qualification will I get once I have completed the course?
On successful completion of the course you will be issued with the RYA Day Skipper Shorebased Certificate.

Can I cancel once I have booked?
The pack must be complete, unopened and in an ‘as new’ condition. All materials must be returned. Access to the online course material is terminated immediately. You will not be able to claim a refund if the course material has been damaged or if you have no proof of purchase.

A refund will be made less a £30 administration fee. The cost of returning the student pack will be payable by the student.

What will I be proficient in upon completion?
On successful completion you will have enough knowledge to navigate around familiar waters by day.

What can I do after completing the course?
On completion of the course you will have a good grasp of navigational theory and will be well placed to take your RYA Day Skipper practical course.

What our previous learners said

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I thought the on line theory course was excellent, all the modules worked together and built well on each other. The tests throughout each section also worked very well for me, as did the immediate response to the answers allowing me to see what I had done incorrectly and then work out were the problems were and correct them. Dhara checked in a few times with me to see how I was getting on and If I needed any help, I didn't but good to know it was there.
Overall I would rate the course highly, I now feel much more confident to tackle the practice side of the course and put what I have learnt into practice at sea and in harbour.

Neil 28th February 2019

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Thank you for arranging first aid course, I enjoyed it and found it really worthwhile... take care and best wishes

23rd May 2016

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Although I had been a bit reticent about the fact it might be quite dry and theoretical doing online study, it was actually really quite fun to do, there are lots of colourful images and things you have to click on which make things move or bring a film up. I'm a really visual learner so I found it really good and it really helped solidify lots of the navigational theory ready for the trips I want to do this year.

12th November 2015

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Sail Boat Project is amazing! I learned loads, was challenged and became confident in the skills gained! Thank you for such a safe, positive and inspiring course! On to Day Skipper innit!

12th November 2015

Navathome.com Terms and Conditions

The contract is between Navathome.com and the student. Under Navathome.com and consumer protection (Distance Selling) regulations you have a statuary cooling off period of 14 business days from the day you receive your course. During this period you can cancel your purchase up to 7 days from the day of purchase. At any time during this period you can notify the training centre that you wish to cancel your contract with us and we will give a full refund including any delivery charges. The course materials must be returned in an ‘as new’ condition and the postage paid. If the course materials are being returned because they are faulty then the training centre will refund any postage costs. Access to the online course material is terminated immediately. You will not be able to claim a full refund if the course material has been damaged or if you have no proof of purchase. The training centre reserves the right to deduct for the net cost of any missing or damaged course materials and postage. Terms and Conditions. Payments Payments for course fees are due, in full, at the time of enrolment. Payment can be made by bank transfer or by cheque in GBP, drawn on a UK bank. In the case of payment by cheque we reserve the right to allow the cheque to clear before dispatching your student pack. Once payment has been made and confirmed students will be sent the student pack and be supplied with the log in information to access the online course. The student pack will be sent on the next working day and delivery to Europe is included in the course price. Additional fees may be applied to addresses outside of these areas. Navathome will not be held responsible for any duty or expenses incurred in the country of delivery. Course expiry There is an extendable access period of 6 months set for the course. An admin fee of £30 is charged for each time the course is extended. If the access lapses it can still be extended anytime within a period of 3 years from the date the access period lapsed. If a course remains dormant for more than 3 years, (has lapsed and not been extended within a period of three years) it will be terminated and the log in removed. Once a student has passed the assessment their course is complete and their access terminated. Internet access Students must have access to the internet and email to complete the course. Users The course is not transferable and access is for the applicant only. Compatability Please check that the free trial runs on your device before booking. The courses do not use a platform so work on most devices including Ipad, Iphone, PC, Mac, Android etc. There some issues with the free chart plotter simulator provided by the RYA. It works on PC and Mac but not on mobile devices. It is not essential to the courses so can be worked around if a student does not have access the PC based units. Pre course knowledge Students should be at the correct level for the course being taken. No previous experience is required to take the Day Skipper theory course, Day skipper level theory is required for the Coastal/Yachtmaster theory and Coastal/Yachtmaster theory is required before taking the RYA Ocean theory. What we provide We will provide online back up and land line telephone backup as required by each student and every endeavour will be made to help students achieve their aims. We will not disclose information about students unless we are legally obliged to do so or a student has agreed in writing in advance. By enrolling you confirm that we may hold necessary business information about you including your name, address, course booking, payment and course record. No credit card information is held by Navathome. Any contract between you and us shall be governed by English law and the courts of England and Wales shall have non-exclusive jurisdiction over any dispute. All dealings, correspondence and contact between us and you shall be made or conducted in the English language. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of course information. However, we cannot accept any liability for errors, omissions or inaccuracies in the course content. We continuously improve the course content and we do welcome any feedback from students which improve the quality of the course. All online material has been written and is under copyright to Navathome.com Ltd/ No part of the online documents can be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise) or for any purpose, without the express written permission of Vic and Lyn Punch. Course material should be treated as for any copyrighted material.

To enable access to your online course we need to share some of your personal data with Navathome via www.navathome.com. This training website and database is held and maintained on a secure server. Navathome is an RYA training centre which specialises in online navigation training and will not use your personal information for any reason other than enabling your course.

Your payment information will be collected by “name of agent” on behalf of Navathome. This information is collected by “name of agent” and is not passed on to any other organisation. Payment information for the purpose of logging you into the Navathome admin will not be retained once the payment is made. Your name and email address will be entered on www.navathome.com in order to create your user account. Your postal address will be provided in order to send your student pack. You will have access to the site for six months in order to complete your online course. During this period, your personal information will be held on the website by Navathome and may be available to “name of agent” who may have access to the Navathome database. This period maybe extended should you wish to extend your course access.

On completion of your course, your name and email will be retained by Navathome for the purpose of recording details of the course and any certification you gain as a result of it. This information allows Navathome to record your certification. Your Instructor will not hold any information for the purposes of Navathome student support after this date. Please note that this agent may hold information to enable provision of other training not associated with the Navathome course.

Should you not complete the course in the given time frame, your name and email will be retained by Navathome for the purpose of recording details of the course. This information allows Navathome to retain a record of coursework you have completed. Your Instructor will not hold any information for the purposes of Navathome student support after this date. Please note that this training centre may hold information to enable provision of other training not associated with the Navathome course.

If you would like your personal data removed from www.navathome.com prior to the end of your access period or at any time before you have completed your course, you can request it by email. Please contact info@navathome.com giving your name and email address and the course you would like to delete. Please note that if you request deletion of your account before you have completed your course, your access to the course and records of your progress will be lost.

If you would like details of your online course removing from the Navathome database when you have completed the course, please email your request to info@navathome.com giving your name and email address. Please note that removal of course details from the Navathome database, means that any certification gained as a result of this course will not be verifiable by Navathome, nor would Navathome be able to help with a replacement certificate.

Full details of how Navathome will deal with your personal information will be displayed when you first access your course information.