RYA Day Skipper Navigation Theory

Study theory for the Shorebased RYA Day Skipper certificate

What is the Day Skipper Theory course?

The RYA Day Skipper/Watch Leader navigation theory course can either run on weekends either side of the practical sailing or motor courses, or five consecutive days in a classroom. The whole syllabus must be covered over 40 hours of tuition time.

In order to successfully complete the full Day Skipper Sailing, or Day Skipper Motor course it is recommended that you complete the Day Skipper Theory/Watch Leader navigation course.



Virtual Interactive course through Zoom without Shorebased exam



Classroom course in Palma with Shorebased exam (optional)

What’s included in the Day Skipper Theory course?

A full five-day mid week course, usually from Monday to Friday, covering the 40 hour syllabus.

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 (this may be done during a practical training week)

We also provide a Day Skipper Theory student pack with included in every course fee, with course materials, charts, plotter, divider, pencil and eraser in a handy folder.

Can I just do the Day Skipper Theory course?

You can of course join this Day Skipper Theory course on it’s own without taking the practical course. One of the pre-requisites for Yachtmaster candidates is navigation theory knowledge to the level of Day Skipper/Watch Leader standard.

We welcome all who are progressing in their learning and skills base.


During the current Covid-19 pandemic we want to ensure that students are still able to study, this is why we are offering Virtual interactive courses. You’ll learn in real-time with our experienced instructors.

To take part in a virtual interactive course you need to download the Zoom app to your PC/Mac/Tablet (we recommend using these rather than a phone for quality), full instructions on this can be found in the course dates below.

The Virtual Interactive Theory course does not include the invigilated exam, this will be arranged after the course has finished, or we will co-ordinate with a local RTC to you if you’re not in Palma.

Please note that virtual courses will be recorded, both through video and audio, to verify your participation in the course; these recordings will not be given to third party companies with the exception of the accrediting body for the course if necessary. If you have any objections to this, please inform us immediately.

What is a Commercial Endorsement, do I need one and how do it arrange it?

A commercial endorsement will be required if you intend to work onboard British flagged vessels which are subject to the MCA’s codes of practice for small commercial vessels.
A number of additional training courses and medical fitness certificates are required to be eligible for a commercial endorsement.
For full information to check which certificates may be commercially endorsed, details concerning additional courses to be completed and fitness certificates, Please use the following link to the RYA website where the information appears in full.

Upcoming Courses

Please contact the Nautical team if you have any questions.
*Dates and timings may be subject to change at our discretion. We can arrange the dates to suit your schedule. Minimum of four students required.

Due to the current Covid-19 crisis, classroom course dates are dependant on local restrictions.

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