RYA Day Skipper Shorebased Course (Theory) – detailed syllabus


Duration of course: 6 days

This course provides a comprehensive introduction to chartwork, navigation, meteorology and the basics of seamanship and covers the following topics:

  1. Nautical terms
    • Parts of a boat and hull
    • General nautical terminology
  1. Ropework
    • Knowledge of the properties of synthetic ropes in common use
  1. Anchorwork
    • Characteristics of different types of anchor
    • Considerations to be taken into account when anchoring
  1. Safety
    • Knowledge of the safety equipment to be carried, its stowage and use
    • Fire precaustions and fire fighting
    • Use of personal safety equipment, harnesses and lifejackets
    • Ability to send a distress signal by VHF radiotelephone
    • Basic knowledge of rescue procedures including helicopter rescue
  1. International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea
    • Steering and sailing rules
    • General rules
  1. Definition of Position, Course and Speed
    • Latitude and longitude
    • Knowledge of standard navigational terms
    • True bearings and courses
    • The knot
  1. Navigational Charts and Publications
    • Information shown on charts, chart symbols and representation of direction and distance
    • Navigational publications in common use
    • Chart correction
  1. Navigational Drawing Instruments
    • Use of parallel rulers, dividers and proprietary plotting instruments
  1. Compass
    • Application of variation
    • Awareness of deviation and its causes
    • Use of hand-bearing compass
  1. 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
  1. 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 streams atlases for chartwork
  1. Visual Aids to Navigation
    • Lighthouses and beacons, light characteristics
    • Sources of broadcast meteorological information
  1. 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
  1. Passage Planning
  • Preparation of navigational plan for short coastal passages
  • Meteorological considerations in planning short coastal passages
  • Use of waypoints on passage
  • Importance of confirmation of position by an independent source
  • Keeping a navigational record
  1. Navigation in Restricted Visibility
  • Precautions to be taken in, and limitations imposed by, fog
  1. Pilotage
  • Use of transits, leading lines and clearing lines
  • IALA system of buoyage of Region A
  • Use of sailing directions
  • Pilotage plans and harbour entry
  1. Marine Environment
  • Responsibility for avoiding pollution and protecting the marine environment

(Source: Royal Yachting Association Syllabus and Logbook G15/10)

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