Day Skipper Shorebased

A comprehensive introduction to cruising for inexperienced skippers.

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.

The course is taught over 40 hours with two exam papers. It can be covered as a series of short sessions, as an intensive week-long course, or by distance learning.

Maximum student:instructor ratio is 4:1

Classroom courses are held here in our classroom at Wickford, Essex.

Course topics include:

  • 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
Full Day Skipper Syllabus

A comprehensive introduction to chart work, navigation, meteorology and the basics of seamanship for Competent Crew. You will find this course invaluable if you want to learn to start making decisions onboard.

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 (see RYA Boat Safety Handbook, C8)

Fire precautions and fire fighting

Use of personal safety equipment, harnesses and lifejacketsd. Ability to send a distress signal by VHF radiotelephonee. Basic knowledge of rescue procedures including helicopter rescue

5. International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea

Steering and sailing rules (5,7,8,9,10 and 12-19)

General rules (all other 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 to small craft

Basic knowledge of highs, lows and fronts

14. Passage planning

Preparation of navigational plan for short coastal passagesb. Meteorological considerations in planning short coastal passages

Use of waypoints on passaged. Importance of confirmation of position by an independent source

Keeping a navigational

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 pollution and protecting the marine environment