RYA Essential Navigation and 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 Content:  Charts and Publications, safety, Engine checks, Buoyage, ideal awareness, visual and electronic navigation, Pilotage, Rules of the road, anchoring, weather, passage planning.

Course Duration: In the classroom – 2 Days.  Online – at speed of candidate.

RYA Day Skipper Shorebased Course

A comprehensive introduction to cruising for those looking to develop their theoretical skills and begin working towards skippering a vessel.

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.

Course Content:  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

Course Duration: 6 days (taught over weekends, or in a week block)


2020 Weekend courses:

Block 1: 29 Feb/01 Mar, 14/15 Mar, 28/29 Mar.

2020 Week Long Course: 

20-25th January  (Monday to Saturday)

14-19th Sept 2020 (Monday to Saturday)


Assessment criteria:  There are two exams assessing general knowledge and chartwork.

RYA 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.

Course Content:  Position Fixing, Course Shaping and plotting, tidal theory, use of almanacs, electronic position finding equipment, interpreting weather forecasts, plotting weather systems, weather predictions, collision regualtions, customs and excise regualtions for cruising abroad.

Course Duration: 7 days (taught over weekends, or in a week block).  


Weekend Dates

(2020): Dates to be scheduled shortly

Week Long Course Dates: . Run on demand.  Please contact EMA for information

Assessment criteria:  There are three exams assessing general knowledge, chartwork, and meteorology.

RYA VHF Marine Radio (SRC)

The RYA Marine Radio Short Range Certificate (SRC) is the minimum qualification required to operate marine VHF radio equipment on a UK flagged vessel. This includes both fixed and handheld equipment with and without Digital Selective Calling (DSC). It is obtained by successfully completing an SRC exam.

Candidates are required to complete an RYA SRC training course prior to taking the exam.  The RYA SRC training course may be taken in the classroom or online. There is no age limit for taking the SRC training course but exam candidates must be 16 years old on the day of the exam.

SRC training course subjects include: 

  • Routine operation of marine VHF radio including Digital Selective Calling

  • Correct VHF channels (frequencies) to be used for each type of communication

  • Distress, emergency and medical assistance procedures

  • Ship to shore communication

  • Practical use of Marine VHF DSC training radios

  • Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS)

  • Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRB)

  • Search and Rescue Transponders (SART)

The exam: The exam following the training course is a combination of a written theory test and practical assessment in the use of Marine VHF DSC radios. Candidates must be 16 years or older on the day of the exam. 


2020 Classroom SRC course and Exam Dates

25th (training) /26th (exam) January 2019

7th (training) /8th (exam)March

11th (training) /12th (exam) April

9th (training) /10th (exam) May

14th (training) /15th (exam) May

13th (training) /14th (exam) June

11th (training) /12th (exam) July

8th (training) /9th (exam) August

12th (training) /13th (exam) Sept

17th Sept (training) /18th (exam)

10th (training) /11th (exam) October

7th (training) /8th (exam) November

12th (training) /13th (exam) Dec

2020 Online SRC course Exam Dates

You can take your SRC course online at any time, but on completion then you will need to sit an exam.  This can be organised at time of booking the online training course, and exam dates are below:

26th January

8th March

12th April

10th May

15th May

14th June

12th July

9th August

13th Sept

18th Sept

11th October

8th November

13th Dec

RYA Marine First Aid

Our one-day course covers all the usual first aid subjects, but from a boating perspective. It is aimed at anyone who goes afloat, whether on inland waters, rivers, estuaries or on cross channel passages.

In a medical emergency a little first aid knowledge and immediate action can save lives, especially in remote locations. This one-day course is designed to provide a working knowledge of first aid for people using small craft and to support skippers.

It fulfils the requirements for: 

  • Professional skippers working under the Maritime and Coastguard Agency Codes of Practice for Small Vessels Operated Commercially;

  • Senior First Aid certificate needed by offshore racers subject to World Sailing’s regulations on first aid training (OSR 4.08.4); 

  • The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations, 1981 for the purposes of Emergency First Aid at Work.

The subjects specific to boating include:

  • Recovery position in a confined space

  • CPR, including the drowning protocol

  • Cold shock and hypothermia from immersion and/or exposure

  • Seasickness and dehydration

  • Obtaining medical assistance or advice by VHF

  • Helicopter rescue


Course dates 2020

26th January

8th March

12th April

10th May

13th May

14th June

12th July

9th August

13th Sept

16th Sept

11th October

8th November

13th December

RYA Diesel Engine Maintenance

A one-day course to help prevent and solve diesel engine failure.  

Mechanical Failure is the main cause of rescue call outs for vessels at sea, and the majority of these are simple problems that could have been solved by preventative maintenance or basic diesel engine knowledge.  This course might not just save you money in the event of a breakdown, but might also save your life if you can get the engine started again to get yourself home.

Course topics include: 

  • The principals of how an engine works
  • The systems and parts of an engine

  • Fault Finding

  • Rectification of common problems
  • Bleeding the fuel system
  • Changing the impellers,

  • Routine maintenance,

  • Winter lay up procedures.

Course Dates 2020

19th January 2020

16th Feb

22nd March

19th April

21st June

19th July

16th August

20th Sept

18th Oct

15th Nov

RYA Sea Survival

A one-day course for anyone going to sea, providing an understanding of how to use the safety equipment on board your boat.

A genuine lifesaver.

Cruising is one of the safest leisure sporting activities, and 99.9% of those afloat will never use their liferaft. However, if you are part of the unlucky 0.1% your chances of survival will be greatly increased if you understand how to use the equipment and how to help yourself.

It is a well-proven fact that, in the event of an emergency at sea, people with training are more likely to survive.

An important part of the course is a practical session in a swimming pool. Experience first hand the problems of entering an uncooperative liferaft and assisting others while fully kitted out in wet weather gear and a lifejacket.

Course topics include: 

  • liferafts and the equipment they contain

  • survival techniques

  • the design of lifejackets

  • medical aspects of sea survival

  • search and rescue techniques


Course Dates 2020

18th January

14th March

18th July

19th Sept

14th Nov

RYA Radar Course

This is a one day course which gives you an understanding of radar, and how to use it as an aid to navigation and collision avoidance.

Boats increasingly have radar on board, and the International Regulations for the Prevention of Collisions at Sea state that if you have a radar, you must know how to use it.  Radar is probably the most versatile of all electronic navigation aids, but the best results are only obtained when you know how to use all the functions correctly.

Course topics include:

  • how the radar set works
  • how its adjustments and features affect the way it works
  • target definition
  • radar reflectors
  • types of radar display
  • radar plotting
  • the use of radar in navigation and collision avoidance

Course Dates 2020

15th of Feb

18th April

20th June

15th August

17th October

RYA Professional Practices and responsibilities (online course)

A compulsory online course for RYA Commercial Endorsement holders.

Who this course is for: Each year approximately 4,500 people apply to the RYA for a commercial endorsement in order to use their RYA qualifications professionally as skipper or crew. You could be doing anything from delivering a new 35’ yacht or driving a workboat with lifting and towing gear, to running a superyacht in the Med. Whatever your job is on board, in the commercial world you are a professional seafarer. As such, you are no different from the captain of a cruise liner – you have a duty of care to crew, passengers, and other water users, and you will be held to account if things go wrong.

RYA Safe and fun (online course)

This course is suitable for anyone working with children and vulnerable adults in an RYA environment. This includes those volunteering or working at recognised training centres and affiliated clubs.

It provides a basic level of knowledge and awareness, put in the context of realistic scenarios that anyone could encounter at their club or centre.

It is a requirement for all newly qualifying Level 2 Racing Coaches, Dinghy and Windsurfing Instructors and Senior Instructors to complete prior to their instructor/coach training course. They must also complete a pre-course worksheet which is accessed within the Safe & Fun course, and take that with them to the instructor course.

Got a question?

If you have any questions please get in touch and we would be happy to help