Essential Navigation & Seamanship

RYA Essential Navigation and Seamanship

An inspiring classroom and online course for anyone interested in sailing, motor boating, sea angling or diving – or pretty much anything else on the water. This course will give you the essential knowledge needed when you’re afloat, from navigation to safety and seamanship to passage planning and is ideal to get a head start before doing our flotillas, assisted sailing or driving powerboats. If you want to brush up before an ICC examination it is also a great option.

View our full range of RYA courses here


RYA Theory courses can be taken anytime, anywhere and at your own speed. All you need is a computer and the internet and your course pack.

The course structure is

  • Sailing Theory Syllabus
    • Basic terms
    • Chart overview
    • Introduction to chart datum and depths
  • Buoyage
    • Lateral buoys
    • Cardinal buoys
    • Where to find information
  • Navigation
    • Plotting a position
    • Measuring distance and bearing
    • Position fix
    • Heading
  • Safety
    • Personal and boat safety equipment
    • Safety procedures and briefing
    • Communications
    • Engine checks
    • Rescue procedures
  • Anchoring
    • Where to anchor
    • How to anchor
  • Tides
    • Tidal streams
    • Tidal heights
  • Electronic navigation
    • GPS terms
    • GPS use
    • Using waypoints
  • Rules of the road
    • Risk of collision
    • Who gives way
  • Weather forecasts
    • Sources of forecast
    • Terms used in forecasts
  • Pilotage
    • Harbour information
    • Transits
    • Pilotage plans
    • Nautical Terms
  • Passage planning
    • SOLAS V requirements
    • Pre planning
    • Chart choice

Top 10 reasons to take the online course:

  1. Flexibility – anytime, anywhere, at your own speed
  2. Suitable for all – new crews through to budding skippers
  3. Safety Essentials – all the essential knowledge for going afloat
  4. Simplicity – easy to use, interactive and full of great graphics
  5. Supporting your knowledge – an ideal accompaniment to your practical course
  6. Complements other courses – a great starting point before more advanced courses
  7. Real skills – use real skills alongside online technology
  8. Best advice – written by top RYA instructors, created by award winning designers
  9. Learn it, try it, test it – practice what you’ve learnt before taking the test
  10. Be part of it – the RYA’s 1st fully interactive online course

The online course Includes:

  • Plotter
  • Dividers
  • Handbook
  • Electronic chart plotter CD
  • Email and phone support from our RYA qualified instructors

The course can be completed on a PC, Mac or iPad and is modular.

An instructor will be available at all times to help answer your questions about the course.

Please contact us for more information.