This course covers the following topics:

  1. The earth and the celestial sphere
    • Definition of observers zenith and position of a heavenly body in terms of latitude, ongitude, GHA and declination
    • Right angle relationships, latitude and co-lat, declination and polar distance
    • Relationship between GHA, longitude and LHA
    • Tabulation of declination in nautical almanac
    • Rate of increase of hour angle with time
  1. The PZX triangle
    • The tabulated components of the triangle, LHA, co-lat and polar distance
    • The calculable components, zenith distance and azimuth
    • Relationship between zenith distance and altitude
    • Introduction to the tabular method of solution in the Air Navigation Tables and the basic sight form
    • The use of calculators for the solution of the PZX triangle
  1. The sextant
    • Practical guide to the use and care of a sextant at sea
    • Conversion of sextant altitude to true altitude
    • Application of dip, index error and refraction
    • Correction of side error, perpendicularity, index error and collimation error
  1. Measurement of time
    • Definition of and relation ship between UT, LMT, standard time and zone time
    • Rating of chronometers and watches
  1. Meridian altitudes
    • Forecasting time of meridian altitude
    • Reduction of meridian altitude sights
  1. Sun, star and other sights
    • Reduction and plotting of sun sights using Air Navigation Tables
    • Awareness of use of calculator for sight reduction
    • The plotting of a sun-run-sun meridian altitude
    • Awareness of the reduction and plotting of sights obtained from stars, moon and planets
  1. Compass checking
    • Use of amplitude and azimuth tables systems and/or calculator
  1. Satellite navigation systems
    • Principles and limitations of use of all systems
  1. Great circle sailing
    • Comparison of rhumb lines and great circles
    • Vertices and composite tracks
    • The computation of a series of rhumb lines approximating to a great circle by use of gnomonic and Mercator projections
  1. Meteorology
    • General pressure distribution and prevailing winds over the oceans of the world
    • Tropical revolving storms, seasonal occurrence and forecasting by observation
  1. Passage planning
    • Publications available to assist with planning of long passages (routeing charts, ocean passages of the world and other publications)
    • Preparation for ocean passage including
      • survival equipment
      • victualling
      • water and fuel management
      • chafe protection
      • spares and maintenance
  1. Passage making
    • Navigational routine
    • Watchkeeping
    • Crew management
  1. Communications
    • Satellite and terrestrial systems
    • Weather information

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

What to bring


  • Suitable clothing – layers are always a good idea
  • Gloves (optional) – can be purchased from us
  • Socks
  • Sailing or soft light-soled shoes – can be purchased from us
  • Sleeping bags
  • Sun cream, hat, towels, toiletries
  • Weather proof jacket / foul weather gear – we can provide foul weather gear on loan for free
  • Extra money for food & beverages – cooking on board the yacht is encouraged for the experience and to help stretch your budget


  • Light lunches during theory modules
  • Booklets supplied on loan for RYA Competent Crew course
  • Charts & navigation equipment on loan – can be purchased from us
  • Course completion certificates
  • Sheets & pillows
  • Full galley
  • Cleaning products
  • Tea, coffee, sugar, milk
  • Foul weather gear on loan for practical courses


National and some international flights land at Cape Town International Airport. The airport is approximately an hour’s drive from our office in Langebaan.

Car rentals from airport/Cape Town

There are drop-off points for the following rental car companies in Langebaan:


  • Telephone/Fax number: +27 (0)22 772 2807


  • Telephone/Fax number: +27 (0)22 772 1006

Airport transfers

Cape Shuttles

  • Contact person: Bill Spurling
  • Contact number: +27 (0)82 677 4672
  • E-mail address: bilros@telkomsa.net

Travel Arrangements

If the need be, we can assist you in making arrangements to meet your transport and alternative accommodation needs. We make use of a registered shuttle service between Cape Town and Langebaan.

EVENING BEFORE COURSE STARTS (only by prior arrangement)

We can meet you the day before your course starts between 17:00 and 18:00 at our office. Please make arrangements with our office prior to your arrival.


Please meet us at the Atlantic Yachting Office at the Club Mykonos Marina, Agora Square at 08:30. After the first day theory courses will commence at 08:30am and finish by 17:00.

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