Dayskipper Theory – Online

Key Course Details

Duration: At your pace

Time: N/A

Group Size: N/A

Min Age: From 14

Price: £299 (course pack & plotter included)



The RYA Dayskipper Theory course is a comprehensive introduction to cruising for less experienced skippers.This course equips you with appropriate theory knowledge to undertake short coastal passages by day. A basic knowledge of lights is also included to introduce you to night cruising.

Course Duration

This is an online course which you can complete in your own time. You will have up to 8 months to complete it. Extensions are available for those who wish to extend beyond the initial 8 months period – there is a charge of £30 for this.

Prior experience

No prior boating experience is necessary although in reality most people who take Dayskipper Theory do so after a minimum of 1 – 2 years boating.

Instructor – student ratio

Of course it is just you with an online course (unless you can persuade the rest of the family or your friends/colleagues!) but an instructor is always available to chat through any aspect of the course that you are finding more challenging. Equally if you are local and want to pop in and discuss things over a tea/coffee then we’re always happy to do so.

Course cost & what do I get with the course

The course costs £299 inc VAT.

You get a full RYA Dayskipper Theory Course pack which includes course notes and RYA Training Charts. The workbooks that you complete as the course proceeds are also yours allowing you to practice again after the course if you wish. You also get a plotter/dividers pack and a RYA Training Almanac and assuming that you successfully complete the course a course completion certificate. All of this you can keep in the handy navigation bag that we provide.

Minimum Age

We are generally happy for a child over 14 to undertake the course – please contact us to discuss.

Can I change my mind and transfer to a classroom course later?

Yes at any time you can contact us and transfer onto the next available classroom based course. You will need to pay a fee of £140 for this.

How do I access the course?

We set up your login and get the login details are emailed to you so that you can get going online. The course pack is sent next business day with 24 hour signed for delivery. The dashboard gives you access to all aspects of the course including the additional videos to help you get to grips with the subjects.


Is there an end of course assessment?

Yes there is. At the end 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 though addresses 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 at the conclusion of the course.

You can either sit the course on your own on your computer or if you prefer then you can do so at no charge at our offices in Poole.

If you would want to use the qualification commercially then the end of course test will need to be invigilated – please contact us to discuss this option.

What’s best – doing the course online or in the classroom?

In all honesty if you can afford the time to come to us and do the course in the classroom in our opinion this is by far the best way. Whilst the online course is excellent what you really miss out on is the real hands on experience of our instructors who have many years of experience afloat and add to the syllabus to maximise the benefit of the course and your investment in it.

However if you want to do the course away from the classroom, or of course, simply cannot afford the time to be in the classroom for that length of time then the online course is great.

I’m a sailor – is this course valid for me too?

Absolutely. The RYA Dayskipper Theory course has been written to be completely relevant to both powerboats and those boating under sail.

The Course

Over the period that this course lasts, course participants gain a thorough and in depth understanding of a variety of subject areas. The duration of the course affords far more time to cover and understand the subject matter than is possible in a course that includes practical work too.

The course is equally valuable for those who want to build on Level 2 or the Intermediate course, those progressing towards the Advanced Certificate or Yachtmaster or those simply keen to improve their background knowledge of many aspects of boating. Those who have Powerboat Level 2 find the more detailed coverage of areas such as tides, navigation, charts etc gives them a chance to really build on what is, by necessity, only covered briefly at Level 2. Potential candidates for the Advanced Course find the course giving them the level of knowledge they need to acquire to address subject areas on the Advanced Course whilst others simply find that the course reinforces the skills they have acquired on other courses.

The syllabus covers:

  • Nautical terms
  • Ropework
  • Anchorwork
  • Safety
  • Collision Regulations
  • Definition of position, course and speed
  • Navigational charts and publications
  • Navigational drawing instruments
  • Compass
  • Chartwork
  • Tides and tidal streams
  • Visual aids to navigation
  • Meteorology
  • Passage planning
  • Navigation in restricted visibility
  • Pilotage
  • Marine environment


At the end of the course there is an exam which covers all of the above areas. Success in the exam leads to the award of your course certificate

No prior experience is required to attend the course.

This course is aimed at

The RYA Dayskipper Theory course is a great course both for those starting out in boating but equally those that have been boating for years.


Some examples of the sorts of people that have attended this course include:

  • Those with little or no boating experience keen to ensure that as they progress in terms of their boating they are doing so with firm foundations under them.
  • Those who have taken the Level 2 or Intermediate courses and are keen to take their theory knoweldge up a step.
  • Those keen to progress to the Advanced Course who want and need to take their theory knowledge up to the standar required for that course.
  • Those progressing up the boating ladder wanting to ensure their theory skills/knowledge are at the rigt level before stepping on to Yachtmaster Theory.

If you have a large group to train….

For yacht clubs and other organisations requiring group training we are happy to provide the course to large groups and are happy to travel to you to get the course set up for your staff.

Please contact us to discuss this option and the associated costs – which may be far less per head than our standard rates depending on the numbers being trained.


The course is a comprehensive introduction to chart work, navigation, meteorology and the basics of seamanship. You will find this course invaluable if you want to learn to start making decisions onboard in terms of safety, passage making etc.

Nautical terms:

Parts of a boat and hull; General nautical terminology; Ropework: Knowledge of the properties of synthetic ropes in common use; Anchorwork: Characteristics of different types of anchor ; Considerations to be taken into account when anchoring.


Knowledge of the safety equipment to be carried, its stowage and use (see RYA Boat Safety Handbook, C8); 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.

The ‘collision regulations’:

Steering and sailing rules (5, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 12-19); General rules (all other rules)

Definition of position, course and speed:

Latitude and longitude; Knowledge of standard; navigational terms; True bearings and courses; The knot

Navigational charts and publications:

Information shown on charts, chart symbols and representation of direction and distance; Navigational publications in common use; Chart correction

Navigational drawing instruments:

Use of parallel rulers, dividers and proprietary plotting instruments


Application of variation; Awareness of deviation and its causes; Use of hand-bearing compass


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

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

Visual aids to navigation:

Lighthouses and beacons, light characteristics


Sources of broadcast meteorological information; Knowledge of terms used in shipping forecasts, including the Beaufort scale, and their significance to small craft; Basic knowledge of highs, lows and fronts

Passage planning:

Preparation of navigational plan for short coastal passages; Meteorological considerations in planning short coastal passages; Use of waypoints on passages. Importance of confirmation of position by an independent source; Keeping a navigational record

Navigation in restricted visibility:

Precautions to be taken in, and limitations imposed by, fog


Use of transits, leading lines and clearing lines; IALA system of buoyage for Region A; Use of sailing directions; Pilotage plans and harbour entry

Marine environment:

Responsibility for avoiding pollution and protecting the marine environment


Dayskipper Theory – Online - Book Now

Thank you for your interest in this course.

This is an online course so all you need to do is to choose the courses that you want to do, pay and we will send your login details and instructions for taking the course and of course send you out your course pack. The logins will arrive the next business day as we need to manually set you up on the interactive website for this course.

We’re always really keen to chat to you when you’re booking a course as whilst we are happy to take bookings through this system for your convenience – nothing beats chatting about boats and courses!

If you would prefer to discuss or book this course by phone please do contact us, alternatively feel free to use the form below and we will respond promptly to your enquiry.

To book places please select the number of places you want and ‘Add to Marina Trolley’