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The RYA RADAR course is a one-day course giving you an understanding of radar as an aid to navigation and collision avoidance.

Cruising boats increasingly have radar on board. 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. It is not an all seeing eye, and can easily mislead those who do not understand its controls, allow for its limitations, or interpret its picture.

The course costs £120 and includes the RYA pack that will help you through the day and which 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.

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

Full RYA RADAR Course Syllabus

The aim of the course is to teach students to use small boat Radar to assist decision-making in navigation, pilotage and collision avoidance.

1. Switching on and setting up

Adjusting brilliance, contrast, gain, range and tuning

2. Refining the picture

Adjust the sea clutter and rain clutter controls to suit prevailing conditions Head up, North up mode

3. Understanding the picture

The factors affecting the clarity of the visual image

4. Radar reflectors

Understanding what affects the received image

5. Fixing position by radar

Plot the vessel’s position. Use of VRM and EBL

6. Pilotage by radar

Understands how to prepare a simple pilotage plan including use of clearing ranges

7. Collision avoidance

Understands how to determine the risk of collision with another vessel

CPA, course and speed

The existence of automatic radar plotting aids (ARPA & MARPA)

The implications of IRPCS when in restricted visibility