RYA Sail Cruising Course Advisor

The following chart shows the recommended path through the RYA Sail Cruising Courses. You can start your training with a course appropriate to your experience – you do not have to start at the beginning.

The tables following the chart show the experience required for the different course levels together with the certification requirements.

Cruising Courses

Afloat

Start Yachting
  • No Experience Required
  • No Assumed Knowledge
  • Introduction to Sailing & Seamanship
  • Gives Basic Sailing Experience
  • Minimum 2 Days Duration
  • Covers:
    • Level 1 – Start Sailing
    • Level 2 – Basic Skills
Competent Crew
  • No Experience Required
  • No Assumed Knowledge
  • Basic Seamanship, Helmsmanship, Navigation & Meteorology
  • Makes You a Useful Crew Member
  • Minimum 5 Days Duration
Day Skipper
  • Experience Required: 5 Days Sea Time, 100 Nm & 4 Night Hours
  • Assumes Navigation to Day Skipper Shorebased Level & Basic Sailing Experience
  • Covers Basic Pilotage, Boat Handling and Watch Organisation
  • Gives You the Ability to Skipper Small Yacht in Familiar Water by Day
  • Minimum 5 Days Duration
Coastal Skipper
  • Experience Required: 15 days sea time (2 days as Skipper), 300 Nm & 8 Night Hours
  • Assumes Navigation to Coastal Skipper theory standard, sailing to Day Skipper practical standard or above
  • Covers Skipper Techniques and Passage Planning
  • Gives You Ability to Skipper a Yacht on Coastal Passages by Day & Night
  • Minimum 5 Days Duration

Theory Courses

On-Line

Online Theory

RYA certificates for Day Skipper and above require a theory element and exam. The most convenient way to achieve these requirements is to study online, in the comfort of your home. Our fully interactive animated courses will allow you to do just that.

Our online courses are delivered by our partners Navathome, a recognized training centre specializing in online training. We also offer a Free Trial.

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Essential Navigation & Seamanship
  • No Experience Required
  • No Assumed Knowledge
  • Introduces Navigation & Safety
  • Minimum Duration: 16 hours

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Day Skipper Theory
  • Some Practical Experience Required
  • No Assumed Knowledge
  • Basic Seamanship, Introduction To Seamanship & Navigation
  • Gives You the Knowledge to Skipper Yacht in Familiar Waters by Day
  • Minimum Duration 40 hours + Exam

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Coastal Skipper - Yachtmaster Offshore Theory
  • Experience Required: Day Skipper Shorebased Course
  • Assumed Knowledge: Navigation to Day Skipper Shorebased Standard
  • Covers Offshore & Coastal Navigation, Pilotage & Offshore Passages
  • Gives You the Knowledge to Skipper on Coastal Passages by Day & Night
  • Minimum Duration: 40 hours + Exam

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Yachtmaster Ocean Theory
  • Experience Required: Coastal/Yachtmaster Shorebased Course
  • Assumed Knowledge: Navigation to Coastal Skipper/Yachtmaster Shorebased Standard
  • Covers Astro Navigation, Ocean Meteorology
  • Gives You the Knowledge to Skipper a Yacht on an Ocean Passage
  • Minimum Duration: 40 Hours + Exam

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Certificates

of Competence

Yachtmaster Coastal
  • Experience Required: 30 Days at Sea (2 as Skipper), 800 Nm, 12 NIght Hours
  • Form of Examination: Practical Exam
  • Certification Required Before Exam: VHF SRC Licence & First Aid Certificate
  • Minimum Duration: 8/10 hours for 1 Candidate, 8/14 hours for 2 Candidates
Yachtmaster Offshore
  • Experience Required: 50 Days at Sea (5 as Skipper), 2500 Nm, 5 Passages > 60 Nm, 2 Overnight & 2 as Skipper
  • Form of Examination: Practical Exam
  • Certification Required Before Exam: VHF SRC Licence & First Aid Certificate
  • Minimum Duration: 8/10 hours for 1 Candidate, 8/14 hours for 2 Candidates
Yachtmaster Ocean
  • Experience Required: Ocean Passage as Skipper or Mate of the Watch
  • Form of Examination: Oral Assessment of Sights Taken at Sea & Passage Overview
  • Certification Required Before Exam: RYA/MCA Certificates – Yachtmaster Offshore & Yachtmaster Ocean Shorebased Courses
  • Minimum Duration: Normally Around 1.5 Hours
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