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RYA Day Skipper Theory Online Course

Enjoy this RYA Day Skipper theory course. A comprehensive introduction to chartwork, navigation, meteorology, and the basics of seamanship. This RYA online course is delivered in video and text format, to give you flexibility and control over your learning. Made up of 15 modules with interactive activities and knowledge checks to get the most out of your distance learning experience.

Your success is our priority with unlimited on demand support from world-class RYA instructors.

This online skippers course will give you more confidence and ability as a competent crew and even allow you to take command as a competent day skipper.

RYA Day Skipper Theory

What You Can Do With An RYA Day Skipper Certificate.

RYA qualifications are the most internationally recognized yachting qualifications in the world. With an RYA Day Skipper license, you can charter a boat for your own holiday all over the world. You can even work commercially as a professional seafarer*, whilst building experience towards your RYA Coastal Skipper or Yachtmaster course qualifications. As a boat owner, you will be able to use your vessel to its full potential whilst enjoying reduced insurance costs.

The combination of the RYA Day Skipper Theory Exam Online and practical course will enable you to step up from crew to skipper, with the confidence and knowledge to take charge of a motor or sailboat. Be prepared to challenge yourself, the RYA day skipper theory covers a wide range of subjects and we have packed this course with important and useful content. Once you have completed it with Ardent Training you’ll have the foundations to build experience as a safe and knowledgeable Skipper.

What You Get In This Online RYA Day Skipper Course:

On booking your course with us you will receive your immediate RYA log in details for 12 months access to the course website and app (app coming soon). We will post your student training pack to you within 24 hours via express delivery. international deliveries are only collected on weekdays

RYA Day Skipper course training pack contents:

  • 2x Admiralty Training Charts
  • RYA Day Skipper Shorebased Notes revision book
  • RYA Exercises and Course info booklet
  • RYA Training Almanac
  • 2b mechanical chartwork pencil
  • Soft chartwork rubber
  • ‘Handy hints’ bookmark
  • Professional quality Portland Plotter and Dividers
  • Two lengths of Marlow rope
RYA Day Skipper Theory

You Will Gain Access To:

  • Our ‘Knowledge Base’ for extra learning resources.
  • The ‘Communities – Student Forum’, a place to engage with other students and Instructors.
  • LIVE SUPPORT from our Instructors via our chat window, email, by phone or video calls between 0800 and 2000 (UK time) 364 days a year.
  • RYA Day Skipper Shorebased Certificate on completion of the course and assessment.
  • 50 hours of video and written content for 12 months

How Is The RYA Day Skipper Course Delivered?


We cover all material in text AND video so that you can choose which works best for you.

You will be led through the RYA Day Skipper theory course module by module with each module broken up into lessons and knowledge checks. We have designed the lessons to be as engaging as possible and the knowledge checks are implemented to consolidate your knowledge and keep you on track when completing our RYA online courses.

At the end of each module there will be a ‘module assessment.’ These will be made up of the official RYA exercise questions and will give you some familiarity of what the final exam will look like. Your answers to the module assessments are checked by our qualified instructors, your results are saved, and you’ll be given personal feedback on your progress.

Have a question? Ask away, we have instructors on hand 7 days a week to answer your queries!

Still not sure? Why not check out our free trial

What About The RYA Day Skipper Theory Exam?

Once all the Day Skipper coursework has been completed, we will help you decide if you are ready for the online RYA Day Skipper Theory exam. The Day Skipper exam is broken in to two 1.5hr papers that are designed to be taken consecutively. It’s all completed at home, in a format that you will be familiar with from the Day Skipper module assessments, and you’ll be given feedback from your examiner.

There are no extra fees for the exam (unless you need it invigilated for commercial purposes*).

This is not an attendance course and we cannot guarantee everyone who signs up that they will pass the Day Skipper Theory online exam and get a certificate. However, we do endeavour to coach every student to a passing standard and inspire them along the way and we promise that so long as you are willing to put the effort in and accept our guidance, we won’t give up on you until you pass.

After completing your online RYA Day Skipper Theory online Shorebased qualification, you will have the theory needed to take charge of a motor or sail boat in day time. You will also gain an introductory knowledge of night navigation.

You will walk away with the RYA Day Skipper Shorebased certificate. To obtain the full RYA Day Skipper course qualification you will also need to complete a practical part of the course at a practical centre of your choosing.

*A few students intending to use the RYA Day Skipper certificate for commercial purposes may need to get their final exam invigilated. We will arrange this at the most convenient location available to you, however, as it may involve getting a third party invigilator there may be a small additional fee to be paid directly to the invigilator. If you think this might apply to you, or are unsure, please get in touch for advice and more information.

*’We will post your student training pack to you within 24 hours via express delivery. International deliveries are only collected on weekdays.’

RYA Day Skipper Theory Online Course Content

Good Seamanship

Nautical terminology, ropework and tools of the trade. From compasses and chartplotters, to buoyage and radar.

Chartwork And Navigation

From how to find your way around a chart, to fixing a position and calculating a course to steer.


Calculating tidal heights and the rate of tidal streams is a key component to the day skipper course.


International Regulations for the Prevention of Collisions at Sea, the ‘rules of the road’.


From personal safety to processes such as abandoning ship and helicopter rescue.


Understanding the weather: Land and Sea breezes, fog, and pressure systems. How do all these affect us at sea?

Marine Environment

How do we best look after the marine environment and what laws must we be aware of? Find out about our responsibilities as skippers.

Plan Your First Trip!

Bring everything together and uncover the art of pilotage and passage planning.

  • Nautical Terminology
  • Charts
  • Buoyage
  • Latitude and longitude
  • Measuring bearings
  • Measuring distance
  • The compass and magnetic variation
  • GNSS
  • Chartplotters
  • Transducers
  • Radar
  • AIS
  • Position fixing including range and bearing, transits and three-point fixes
  • Rope materials and construction
  • Knots
  • Tidal theory
  • Tidal curves
  • Anchors
  • Anchoring
  • Dead reckoning
  • Tidal streams
  • Estimated positions
  • Course to steer
  • Vectors
  • International regulations for the prevention of collisions at sea
  • Pressure systems and the passage of fronts
  • Land and sea breezes
  • Fog
  • Forecasts
  • Personal care
  • Lifejackets
  • Man overboard
  • Stability
  • Fire
  • Distress signals
  • Helicopter rescue
  • Abandon ship
  • Safety brief
  • Pilotage
  • Passage planning
  • Marine environment
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