The CEVNI Online test costs £33.

Anyone requiring an ICC valid for inland waters must pass the CEVNI online test.

A valid ICC is often required for cruising Europe’s inland waters. To validate your ICC (International Certificate of Competence) for inland waters you must take the CEVNI test, which checks your knowledge of the rules and signs that skippers of pleasure craft are expected to know and follow.

The CEVNI code was devised by the United Nations in 1985 and governs navigation on all interconnected European inland waterways. It was established to enable boatmen of all nationalities to communicate, and to understand what is going on without the need to speak each other’s language. By law, all those cruising on European inland waterways must have passed the CEVNI test and have a reference copy onboard.

The CEVNI test is a short multiple choice online paper that you can take remotely from your own home or indeed from anywhere in the world.

The “RYA European waterways regulations (the CEVNI rules explained)” publication G17 provides the information you need to learn the code in a clear and concise way. A sample paper can be found at the back of the book.


It is possible to take your CEVNI test online, anywhere, anytime as an alternative to the paper-based test.

When you purchase your test, you have unlimited practise tests before taking it for real and your score won’t be recorded.

When you feel ready to take the real test, the online CEVNI test will be displayed.

Once you have completed the test, you will be told immediately whether you have been successful or not. Follow the on-screen instructions for details of how to get your ICC validated for inland waters.

Accessing the online CEVNI test is simple!  You Click below, to purchase your course and we will provide you with your login details. You then log on to the course and enter the Username and Password we have supplied you when you purchased the test and then you are up and running!

The cost of the Online CEVNI test is £33


If you don’t have access to the internet and wish to arrange to take a paper based test, contact SAILTRAIN and we will arrange for you to attend our premises where you will be able to take the test.

We will confirm your successful completion of the test by signing the relevant section of the ICC application form

In addition to you passing the CEVNI test, for an ICC to be issued you must present a qualifying RYA practical course completion certificate or pass an ICC practical test and be eligible to be issued with an ICC.

Course extension


You can extend your Day Skipper, Yachtmaster or Yachtmaster Ocean online course for a further 6 months for a fee of – £30.
Your course will be extended from the expiry date or today’s date whichever gives you the longest.
You do not have to extend until you are ready to restart your course.
Only your access has expired – your login will last for two years after your last access expiry date.

To extend your course just select your below preferred payment method. Once we receive your payment we will extend your course and send you an email confirmation within one working day.


RYA Diesel Engine course


As an introductory offer, this 20 hour self-study Online Diesel Engine course costs only £95.

No prior knowledge is required.

To book and purchase a Sailtrain Online Diesel Engine course, just click the above “Add to Basket” button.

(Free when you purchase an Online Day Skipper or Online Yachtmaster course)

Mechanical failure is the main cause of rescue call-outs to cruisers. Basic maintenance and engine care will help ensure that you are not part of this statistic.

Most engine problems can be avoided by taking simple precautions, and you don’t need a detailed mechanical knowledge.

This course teaches you how your engine works, how to keep it healthy by using basic checks and maintenance procedures, and how to get it started again in the event of a breakdown.

Whilst this is not an RYA course, It is a course that provides the essential knowledge required for the care and maintenance of an onboard diesel engine.

Whether you sail a yacht with an auxiliary diesel engine or are a motor cruising enthusiast, this ONLINE Diesel Engine course could not just save you money, but one day could save your life.

Whilst this is not an RYA course, It is a course that provides the essential knowledge required for the care and maintenance of an onboard diesel engine.

The Video below is an extract from the course.


There is a six-month initial access period. In the unlikely event that you will need an extension, there is an option to extend as many times as you like. The cost of administrating each 6-month extension, beyond the initial 6 months, is £30.



The online PPR course (Professional Practices and Responsibilities)  is designed for new RYA Commercial Endorsement holders.

The online RYA PPR course costs £42.00 in total and there is no VAT added.

Each year around 4,500 people apply to the RYA for a commercial endorsement in order to use their RYA qualifications professionally as skipper or crew. From April 2012 anyone wishing to apply for the endorsement must complete the Professional Practices and Responsibilities (PPR) course online first. This applies to the following certificates:

  • Yachtmaster Ocean
  • Yachtmaster Offshore
  • Yachtmaster Coastal
  • Day Skipper practical (tidal)
  • Day Skipper practical (non-tidal) supported by Day Skipper shorebased
  • Advanced Powerboat Course Completion Certificate (only if issued before 1st Jan 2005)
  • Powerboat Advanced Certificate of Competence
  • Powerboat level 2

During the PPR course you will cover the legal framework that commercial operators need to adhere to, whichever vessel they work on. While we can’t teach the specific rules for every type of operation, this online PPR course will help you understand and execute your duty of care, and give you principles, guidance and techniques to help make the right choices and decisions.


  1. Commercial enviroment – showing how you fit into the professional maritime world
  2. People – explaining the importance of correct manning, keeping skills up to date and the safe management of commercial vessels
  3. Vessel – teaching about the compulsory carriage and maintenance of safety equipment, and how to create an implement risk control and operating procedures
  4. Purpose – making sure the vessel is suitable and legal for the work, obligations in protecting the environment, appropriate planning and situational awareness

At the end of these four training modules will come two online assessments.

How to take the PPR course

Click your preferred payment method below and make your purchase, and we will provide you with your log in details for the PPR course. You then log on to the course and that’s it, you are up and running!

The online PPR course costs £42.00 in total and there is no VAT added.

PPR course technical requirements

Minimum requirements:

    • Mac or PC with JavaScript enabled in your web browser.
    • iPad (iOS 6 or above)
    • Android Tablet on OS 4.1 or above (we advise using Google Chrome NOT default Android browser)
      – Please note, we cannot guarantee the course will work on all Android Tablets as the variety on the market is so vast, but our testing so far has been successful. Please let us know if you come across any problems
RYA Diesel Engine course

RYA Diesel Engine Course

The RYA Diesel Engine course, is a one-day beginners’ course to help you prevent and solve diesel engine failure.

Mechanical failure is the main cause of rescue call-outs to cruisers. Basic maintenance and engine care will help ensure that you are not part of this statistic.

Most engine problems can be avoided by taking simple precautions, and you don’t need a detailed mechanical knowledge.

This course teaches you how your engine works, how to keep it healthy by using basic checks and maintenance procedures, and how to get it started again in the event of a breakdown.

Whether you sail a yacht with an auxiliary diesel engine or are a motor cruising enthusiast, the RYA Diesel Engine course could not just save you money, but one day could save your life.

The course costs £120 and includes  an RYA pack that will help you through the day and that you will be able to take away with you. Your certificate is also included.

Courses are held in Wickford, Essex. 10 minutes from Junc 29 of the M25 or by train, 35 minutes from London Liverpool St.

  • the principles of diesel engine operation
  • the systems and parts of the engine
  • fault finding
  • rectification of common problems
  • bleeding the fuel system
  • changing the impeller
  • routine maintenance
  • winter lay up procedures

Click here for available dates

Full RYA Diesel Engine Syllabus

This one day course provides an awareness of the main systems of a marine diesel engine and teaches the ability to take simple measures to prevent mechanical breakdown at sea and rectify defects which do not require workshop support. Mechanical failure is the main cause of lifeboat callout to yachts and motor cruisers. Basic maintenance and engine care may make sure you are not part of these figures.

1. Introduction

Principles of the diesel engine

2. The four-stroke cycle

Naturally aspirated engines


Intercooling / aftercooling

3. The fuel system

The basic system

The tank

The water-separating pre-filter

Fuel lift pump

The engine fine filter

Injection pump


Bleeding the system

4. The cooling system

Seawater cooling

Freshwater cooling

Temperature control

The thermostat

The seawater impeller pump

5. The air systems

The airway in

The airway out

6. Engine electrical systems

The basic system

Battery capacity and care

Drive belts

The alternator

7. Spares and tool requirements

Basic spares and tools

8. Importance of winterisation and servicing

Engine lubrication

Transmission lubrication

Winterisation and servicing

Service schedule

9. Fault finding

Diesel Engine Troubleshooting top tips

Top tips to help keep you going.

Modern marine diesel engines are pretty reliable things – most of the time. Feed them with diesel and air, cool them with seawater/coolant and add sufficient lubricant to keep the cogs turning and they will often give hundreds or thousands of trouble free hours.

However we all have our off-days and diesel engines are no exception. Knowing a few troubleshooting tips will go a long way to keeping you going.


When checking the engine, isolate the engine battery and remove the engine keys, so that others cannot start the engine whilst you have hands in the way. Consider using plastic/latex gloves.


Be fastidious about keeping the engine compartment clean. It makes spotting a potential leak or problem so much easier.


The crankshaft, usually the pulley wheel at the bottom of the engine, usually drives the belts. Belts transfer power to other pulley wheels on the engine and drive the alternator, to provide power to the batteries, and the water pump to circulate cooling water around the engine.

If the belt is too loose:

  • The alternator may be inefficient resulting in uncharged batteries.
  • The water-circulating pump may be inefficient resulting in the engine running hotter.
  • Regularly checking gauges such as the voltmeter and engine temperature will highlight both of these problems.

A slipping or loose belt is often visually indicated by black belt dust around the engine near the pulleys. There are two common types of belt; flat belts or ‘V’ shaped. Consult your owner’s manual about their accurate testing and adjustment, but a common rule of thumb to check adjustment is:

  • V Belts can be deflected by about 12mm and no more.
  • Flat belts should be able to twist through 90 degrees and no more.

A belt adjusted too tight can put excess pressure on the pulley wheel shaft and increase wear on the shaft bearings of the pulley wheels.


A properly functioning engine does not really consume much lubricating oil; it just uses the oil to lubricate and cool its moving internal parts. So if the correct level is checked it should stay roughly the same and only change over longer periods, unless there is a problem. Oil is kept inside the engine and separate from the water and fuel system by internal seals and gaskets.

The ways that oil escapes from the engine is by leaking through an engine seal or gasket. There are three visual ways to check for oil leaks:

  • 1) Externally looking for leaks around the engine and engine tray
  • 2) Oil leaking through a seal and mixing with the water cooling system.
  • 3) Oil leaking into the combustion chamber, through the piston rings and coming.

The oil will burn in the combustion chamber and change to blue smoke coming out of the exhaust.

Oil levels need monitoring and too much or too little oil is bad for the engine. Looking at the condition of the oil is a little like reading tealeaves.

  • Green/brown oil is often clean oil in good condition.
  • Black oil is oil that has picked up carbons or soot, is starting to age and could possible need a change.
  • Grey or emulsified oil possibly has water mixing and may signify an internal leak. Contact an engineer.
  • Burnt smelling oil could be due to overheating.
  • Particles in the oil could be pieces of worn engine. Contact an engineer.


Many modern marine diesel engines have both seawater cooling and fresh water cooling. The seawater cools the fresh water/coolant that circulates around the engine.

Checking the seawater intake strainer is the main check on the seawater system apart from running the engine and ensuring that seawater is exiting through the exhaust (if you can see it). The exiting seawater water also quietens and cools the exhaust so if water is not passing through the exhaust, the exhaust note sounds hollow.

Times when seawater circulation can be a problem are:

  • On a sailing yacht at heel – if the water intake seacock is out of the water.
  • Outdrives and sail drives pick up their cooling water through the drive unit and these easily get blocked by polythene bags or lumps of seaweed in the water wrapping themselves around the drive. Often slowing the boat or reversing gently will clear the obstruction.
  • If the seawater strainer is blocked or the water circulating pump or impellor malfunctions.
  • If the overheat alarm sounds

A way of establishing whether the seawater or freshwater system is the problem when the overheat alarm sounds, is to:

  • Reduce the revs but keep the engine running
  • If water is normally visible exiting through the exhausts, check if it still is exiting. If it is, then the seawater system is probably working ok and the problem will probably be with the fresh water system.
  • Check the temperature gauges, a reduction in revs may reduce the temperature.
  • If not stop the engine and deal with the problem.

Want to know more about diesel engines, then why not join one of our courses? just (click here) to find our next avaialable date then click the “Booking button” to book.

Winterising top tips

Things to consider to protect your boat through winter

“When putting your boat to bed for the winter there are a few things to consider to protect it through the winter months”, explains RYA Chief Instructor, Motor Cruising and Power, Rachel Andrews. “This list is by no means exhaustive but it will give you a few top tips”.

Use it. The best way to winterise a boat is to use it as it’s designed to move. A boat contains a multitude of systems that hate inactivity – particularly the engine.

There are plenty of other items that would benefit from winterisation but if you only do one thing, do it on the engine.

1. First on the list – general engine cleaning and observation. Shine plenty of light, use a mirror on a stick or a digital camera to see under and behind things. Dry the bilges to prevent corrosion and if necessary, paint them white to highlight any leaks and drips in the future.

2. Whether your boat is being hauled out for the winter or not, fill your fuel tank to prevent condensation, which in turn prevents the growth of diesel bug.

3. Change the engine oil and replace the oil filter before leaving your boat for the winter. Leaving the old oil contaminated with the acidic by-products of combustion inside the engine block will shorten the engine’s life and a neglected oil system will cause expensive damage. Also consider using flushing oil or a flushing additive during the oil change which helps to remove more of the contaminants.

4. Check the gearbox or outdrive oil and replace if it looks cloudy or milky.

5. Most diesel engines use either raw water or keel cooling – both of which need attention when winterising. Raw water systems require draining before leaving for the winter, by closing the water inlet valve, or sea cock, disconnecting a hose from the circulating pump, (unless there is a dedicated tap or plug), then refilling with a strong solution of fresh antifreeze. Run the engine to fully circulate the new solution. Simply draining the system is unlikely to remove all the water inside, which may then freeze and cause damage over the winter.

6. Check the water pump impeller and consider replacing it when de-winterising in case the blades have deformed over the winter. Keel cooling systems can be left alone providing they contain the correct water/antifreeze mixture. This can be checked using a strength tester available from marinas and good car spares outlets. Note that antifreeze has a limited life and if it has to be replaced then it is a good time to replace any suspect hoses. Keep the old hoses as emergency replacements.

7. Remove the air intake filter and block the intake with an oily rag to prevent rust inside, do the same for the exhaust. Squirt a little oil into the intake and turn over the engine, (without starting), to distribute it over the cylinder walls. Be sure to place a warning about the blocked intake on the engine control panel to prevent anyone turning the engine over.

8. Where possible, remove the batteries and keep them warm and dry over the winter, fully charged or topped up at least every four to six weeks. Batteries left uncharged for long periods may need to be replaced completely. If you’re unable to remove batteries or if the boat is staying on its mooring, leave them fully topped up and regularly recharged, as full batteries are less likely to freeze in sub-zero temperatures.

9. Relax or remove all belts and protect the drive wheels. Rust on these can chew up a belt very quickly in the new season.

10. If you’re taking the boat out of the water make sure it is angled bow upwards slightly to enable rain water to run off immediately from covers, decks and cockpit.

11. Covers should keep water out but allow air to circulate. Proper through-draught will prevent condensation which leads to dry rot, mould and corrosion (especially if left for more than a single season).

12. The internal freshwater supply system also requires attention. Drain the entire system including tank, pump, calorifier, water filters and all taps especially shower mixers. Look for any areas where water could still be trapped in pipes. Plastic piping is less vulnerable than copper piping but rigid unions can still be damaged by freezing.

13. If you have a water-based central heating system using antifreeze then the same checks carried out to the keel cooled engine system should be applied. If the system doesn’t use antifreeze then it should be drained as for the freshwater supply.

14. Remove any foodstuffs which may be damaged by the frost or attract unwanted visitors such as mice and rats.

15. Store all linen, clothing, blankets, curtains etc. ashore – washed and dry. Prop the fridge door open – mould will form in less than a week if left closed. Ensure through-ventilation. Leave cupboards and drawers open; prop up bunk cushions, leave under-berth locker lids open. Get circulation into every possible conceivable nook and cranny.

16. Ensure tight-fitting covers for deck-installed electronics and consider spraying behind electronics with water-repellent silicone. Check your navigation lights are still serviceable.

17. If leaving the boat afloat, check all through hull fittings for leaks and corrosion. Don’t forget to check your stern glands and repack with grease if appropriate.

18. Make a list of what you have done to winterise the boat so you remember what to reverse in the spring and leave signs all around the boat so no-one accidentally operates a winterised system.


The RYA Safe and Fun 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.

The course costs £22.75

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

From April 2015 onwards it will be 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.

This course is fully online.

For a “Taster” click the video below



Newly qualifying Level 2 Racing Coaches, Dinghy and Windsurfing Instructors and Senior Instructors must take this course if their instructor course takes place after 1 April 2015.

Can anyone who isn’t an instructor take this course?

Yes, anyone can take this course. It is useful for anyone involved in teaching or volunteering with children or vulnerable adults in an RYA environment such as a club or training center.

Is it possible to take this course in a classroom instead of online?

No, this course is only available online. If you take it as part of your instructor training you will also complete a classroom workshop during the instructor course, but the course itself must be completed online.


The certificate doesn’t have a specific expiry date. However, your training center, club or organisation should have a policy for ongoing staff training and ensuring that everyone is up to date. That may involve you taking the course again at regular intervals, or completing other relevant safeguarding training. Please check your own organisations policy for details.




Online Course
Certificate on successful completion
Support from one of RYA Instructors


You can take the course on a PC, Mac or iPad, so long as you are connected to the internet.


This course is equivalent to classroom training of approximately three hours. However, the benefit of learning online is that you can work through it at your own speed. It may take you more or less time than that.


The certificate doesn’t have a specific expiry date. However, your training centre, club or organisation should have a policy for ongoing staff training and ensuring that everyone is up to date. That may involve you taking the course again at regular intervals, or completing other relevant safeguarding training. Please check your own organisation’s policy for details.


The RYA Safe and Fun course forms the basis of the safeguarding workshop that you will complete during your instructor course and puts safeguarding issues into context specifically for those instructing at RYA centers or clubs. It is therefore not possible to use other courses as alternative certification prior to your Instructor, Senior Instructor or Level 2 Racing Coach Course.

Safe and Fun course technical requirements

Minimum requirements:

  • Mac or PC with JavaScript enabled in your web browser and Adobe Flash Player.
  • IPad (iOS 6 or above).
  • 100MB free hard disk space
  • Speakers or headphones.
  • Please make sure your pop-up blocker is switched off.
VHF Online course


This is a RYA VHF course online for anyone who owns a fixed or hand-held marine VHF radio.

The Marine Radio VHF (Short Range Certificate) course costs £69.

A marine radio is an important piece of safety equipment to have on board and it is vital to understand the correct operational procedures. Unnecessary radio transmissions could block out a Mayday distress call.

The Short-Range Certificate (SRC) is the minimum qualification required by law to operate a VHF radio fitted with Digital Selective Calling (DSC) on any British vessel voluntarily fitted with a radio.

All new VHF sets are either fitted, or can be interfaced, with DSC allowing calls to specific vessels. If you hold the ‘old’ VHF licence (pre-1999) you need to upgrade your qualification if you purchase new equipment. This can be done by completing this course and taking your final exam.


RYA VHF Radio course online radio with AIS

Course topics include:

  • the basics of radio operation
  • the correct frequencies (channels) to be used
  • distress, emergency and medical assistance procedures
  • making ship to shore telephone calls
  • Digital Selective Calling (DSC) using simulators
  • Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS)
  • Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRB)
  • Search and Rescue (SART)

This RYA VHF Radio course online course can be undertaken at the candidates own pace in the comfort of their own home. The course is web-based and compatible with PC, Mac, iPads and Android tablets.

VHF Radio handbook for RYA online VHF course

The cost of the Online course is £69 (including a free copy of the RYA VHF Handbook, shown opposite, worth £17.99*).

Once successfully completed, the candidate will download a completion certificate. This will then make the candidate eligible to take the SRC assessment.

More details can be found within the “VHF (src) FAQs” and “VHF Exam (SRC assessment)” tabs shown below.

Minimum Technical requirements
This web-based training is designed to work across the devices and operating systems shown below. It is optimized for the latest technology, fully responsive and suitable for high definition screens.

You will need:

  • Internet connection (broadband or 3G). Charges may apply for 3G.
  • JavaScript enabled in your web browser.
  • Microphone and speakers/headphones.
  • Pop-ups enabled

Minimum requirements:

  • PC running Windows 10 minimum with the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome or Firefox.
  • Mac running 10.13 minimum with the latest version of Safari, Google Chrome or Firefox
  • iPad running iOS 11 minimum using Safari.
  • Android tablet running 4.1 minimum using Google Chrome.
Marine Radio (SRC) Syllabus

1. The general principles and basic features of the maritime mobile service relevant to vessels NOT subject to a compulsory fit under the SOLAS convention:

  • RYA VHF Radio course online user using a radioTypes of communication of the maritime mobile service
  • Types of station in the maritime mobile service
  • Elementary knowledge of radio frequencies and channels appropriate to the VHF maritime mobile band
  • Functionality of ship station equipment

2. Detailed working knowledge of radio equipment:

  • Radiotelephone channels
  • Basic controls and usage
  • Portable two-way VHF radiotelephone apparatus
  • Maritime VHF antennas
  • Purpose and use of Digital Selective Calling (DSC) facilities
  • Types of Call
  • The Maritime Mobile Service Identity (MMSI) number system
  • Call categorisation and priority (eg. Mayday)
  • Call telecommand and traffic information
  • VHF DSC facilities and usage

3. Operational procedures of the GMDSS and detailed practical operation of GMDSS subsystems and equipment.

  • Search and rescue (SAR) procedures in the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS)
  • Distress, urgency and safety communication procedures in the GMDSS
  • Protection of distress frequencies
  • Maritime Safety Information
  • Alerting and locating signals
  • Emergency Position Indication Radio Beacons (EPIRBs)
  • Search and Rescue Radar Transponder (SART)

4. Operational Procedures and regulations for VHF radiotelephone communications:

    • Ability to exchange communications relevant to the safety of life at sea
    • Distress communications
    • Urgency communications
    • Safety communications
    • Reception of MSI by VHF radiotelephone
    • Awareness of the existence and use of the IMO Standard Marine Navigational Vocabulary
    • Use of international phonetic alphabet
    • Regulations, Obligatory procedures and practices
    • Practical and theoretical knowledge of radiotelephone call procedures
    • Traffic charges
    • Practical traffic routines

Do I have to take the SRC assessment at the same training centre that I purchased the online course from?

No you don’t. You can purchase an online course from any approved Training centre and take the assessment at any other approved Training centre.

If it’s not convenient to go to Sailtrain for my assessment, how can I find a nearer Training centre.

When you purchase your VHF online course we will send you a link that will allow you to find your nearest. There are literally hundreds countrywide so it it won’t be a problem finding a suitable centre.

Is there an alternative to taking the online course?

Yes there is. You can take a 10 hour classroom course followed by the one hour assessment but whether you opt for the Online course or the Classroom course you must still take an assessment at an RYA approved Training centre of which, Sailtrain is one..

Can I just take the assessment without taking the course?

No you can’t. You must successfully complete a course before you will be eligible to take the assessment.

Will I be able to take the RYA SRC exam with SAILTRAIN after taking the Online RYA VHF Radio course?

Yes you will, all you will need is your pre course knowledge certificate and your completed RYA short range application form including photograph. THE RYA will charge you an additional exam/licence issue fee of £70 and Sailtrain will charge £25 for the use of theit facilities.

Is the RYA Changing the way they deliver the RYA VHF Radio course in 2014?

Due to European Regulations (Cept) the RYA will be changing the way the course is delivered in 2014. The new method, delivered by SAILTRAIN, is to take the New RYA Online VHF Radio course which you will be able to take on a PC or a MAC. Then bring along your online completion certificate, on the date we agreed at the time of booking, and take the short Practical/Theory exam.

Will I get a chance to familiarise myself with the actual Radio Equipment I will be using during my exam?

Yes, absolutely. Before the exam starts you will be given the ability to “play” with the radios you are going to use. You will be given sufficient time to become familiar with the menus and functions of the particular radios you will use. Also available will be the Radio manual and a quick start guide.

Is there a minimum age for the VHF Radio Course?

The minimum age for the VHF Radio Course is 16 years old.

I have a pre-1999 restricted VHF radio certificate. Can I upgrade it to include Digital Selective Calling (DSC)?

Yes, you can upgrade the restricted Marine VHF radio licence, you can now book the new format SRC examination direct but its unlikely that you wil pass the new examination without taking some refresher training before attending the examination, i.e.: take the online course .

Will SAILTRAIN run a exam for a group, i.e. a dive club or sailing club etc?

Yes we will run a group examination to a maximum of 12 persons. Please contact us for a quote

If I pass the course, can I teach my crew on the boat how to use the VHF radio?

Yes, when you have passed the vhf radio course you can ask a member of crew to use the radio under your guidance, but it would be a good idea for them to enrol on the course in the future.

I have purchased a second-hand radio with DSC. Can I fit it to my boat?

Any radio equipment must be Type Approved – beware second-hand equipment or radios bought from online auction sites or jumble-sales. In addition, equipment from the USA is completely different from European radio – it will not work properly, and is illegal for use in Europe.

Every DSC radio has a unique MMSI number, issued to you by OfCom. This cannot be deleted manually once entered, and a qualified electronic-engineer (usually the Original Equipment Manufacturer) must erase the units memory. You must then apply to OfCom for a new Ships Radio Licence (different to the Operators Licence), with a Call-Sign and MMSI Number, which you can input manually into the radio. You can do this for online for FREE by (Clicking Here)

At current prices, it may be more cost-effective to buy new rather than buy second-hand and pay to have it sent back to the manufacturer for resetting.

I only have a hand held VHF radio, what type of licence do I need?

You will need a ship’s portable licence issued by Ofcom. The hand held vhf radio will be issued to you with an international callsign, which includes the letter T to denote that it is a transportable and licensed to an individual and not the vessel. But, you still need to have passed the exam to use it.

I’m going to use my radio in the European inland water ways. Do I need Automatic Transmitter Identification System ( ATIS) fitting to my radio?

Yes, you will need to upgrade your set to transmit ATIS. For more info go to:

I have just purchased an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB ). Who do I register it with in the UK?

You register it on the EPIRB Registry with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) in Falmouth. To register online go to:

I am a Sea Kayaker and have been told that as well as a VHF hand held radio and mobile phone I can get a PLB. What type do you suggest?

We suggest a small Personal Location Beacon ( PLB), such as a FASTFIND  made by McMurdo. It’s totally waterproof and has a GPS 50 channel receiver inside for better location in an emergency situation. Also this small PLB operates on a global 406 MHz system with a 121.5 MHz homing signal.

For more information Click here for the Fastfind website.

How long does it take for my licence to arrive?

Up to 21 Days, but usually this is much sooner – sometimes 7-10 days. There are Fast-Track Options Available, for an additional fee.

Please Contact Us for more information.

Pre-Exam requisites


Minimum age: 16

Pre-exam experience: Completed Online SRC course



Duration: Approx 30 minutes

Utilising ‘real’ training radios.

You will be given an opportunity (minimum 15mins) to familiarise yourself with the sets prior to your exam commencing and your assessor will be on-hand to guide you through its various featurers but will be unable to guide you on any other aspects.

The items you will want to familiarise yourself with are:

  • Power switch
  • Volume / Squelch
  • High/Low Power
  • Channel control
  • Distress button and menus
  • DSC call menus and buttons

The practical exam will include all or a selection of the following (see Practical exam details in RYA Book G26 for further details):

  • Distress situations
  • Urgency situations
  • Safety situations
  • Routine Communications


Duration: Approx 30 mins

Question paper: approximately 50% of the questions are multiple choice.

Re-taking the theory exam: It is possible to re-take the theory exam on the same day should you not reach the required grade. Please be aware that you will not sit the same exam paper twice.

However, if you do not pass within these 2 papers, you will need to re-attend on a separate day and an additional charge will apply.

You can take your final VHF/SRC exam at any RYA approved training centre regardless of where you purchased your Online course. Should you require a link that will allow you to find your nearest of the 550 or so exam centres, just requested the link in the notes section when you make your online course payment/booking.

So that the necessary exam paper work can be passed to the examining centre, where students wish to take an exam at a Training centre other than at Sailtrain, they should provide the details of the examining centre. An email sent to Sailtrain at containing the examining centre name and address is sufficient. Whilst postage within the UK is free of charge postage of the VHF exam paperwork to Training centers outside of the UK will incur an additional charge.


On successful completion of the assessment (practical & written paper) the VHF application form will be sent to the RYA along with your passport photo and exam fee (not included in the price of the Online SRC/VHF course). The RYA certification department will then post your RYA VHF certificate directly to you.

The operators licence (Short Range Certificate) you will receive is for Class D radios, the type fitted to most leisure craft. It is generally accepted internationally for operators on British flagged boats, but to operate a radio on a foreign craft you should contact the appropriate national authority.

To Book an Exam with Sailtrain:

The RYA charge £70 for the exam and there is a £25 exam hosting fee making a total charge of £95.

To Book the next available exam here in Wickford, Essex simply click the here: VHF EXAM.

*Postage outside of the UK will be charged at cost.
VHF Online course

VHF Exam

VHF/SRC exams

Arranging and paying for your RYA Marine Radio Short Range Certificate exam
The RYA Marine Radio Short Range Certificate (SRC) is the minimum qualification required to

operate marine VHF radio equipment on a UK flagged vessel. It is obtained by successfully completing an SRC exam conducted at an RYA Recognised Training Centre.

SRC exams consist of a written theory exam and assessment in the practical use of marine VHF radios, with the exam fee payable to the RYA. See the section on the exam fee for more details.

Eligibility for the Examination

To be eligible for the exam, on the day of the exam all candidates must:

1. be 16 years old or older, and
2. present one of the following eligibility documents:

– evidence of completing an RYA SRC training course through an RYA Recognised Training Centre*, or
– an RYA Restricted VHF certificate, or
– a suitable aviation radio operator’s certificate.

*The RYA SRC course may be taken in the classroom or online. Find out more about the VHF/SRC course here.

Arranging an exam

Our next exam date will be shown on your login email that will be sent to you when purchasing a VHF/SRC Online course.

To find out what the current scheduled date is just contact us at:

The exam fee

The SRC exam fee is £70 and covers the cost of the examiner and the administration of processing and issuing the certificate. In addition there is a charge of £25 that we will make to cover the cost of providing exam facilities; Premises, Training Radio’s etc. Making a total cost of £95.

Payment can be made by clicking the “Add to Basket” button above.

1. Online payment by debit or credit card

The card payment does not need to be in your name. When completing the checking out process just click the box “BO