Yachting - Sail Cruising, Motor Cruising, Powerboat, Navigation & Seamanship Certification and Training

RYA

The RYA is the national body for all forms of boating, including dinghy and yacht racing, motor and sail cruising, RIBs and sports boats, powerboat racing, windsurfing, inland cruising and narrowboats, and personal watercraft.

RYA training is forward thinking and designed for whatever level of skill, professionalism and knowledge you want to achieve. RYA delivers over 100 courses to professional and recreational boaters, which are right up to date with safety issues, regulations, and emerging trends.

There are over 2,200 RYA recognized training centers in more than 44 countries; 22,000 RYA instructors across the world; 15,000 professionals working on commercial vessels using RYA Certificates of Competence; 155,000 people completing RYA courses every year; Over 300,000 expert RYA publications are added each year to the personal libraries of recreational and professional boaters; and Over 100 professional and recreational courses on the water, in the classroom and online.

RYA works closely with Governments and official organizations and is given the responsibility for issuing certificates of competence by the British Government through the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), an agency of the Department of Transport.

Training Programs

Sail Cruising

  • Start Yachting (2 days): : A short introduction to sailing for complete beginners. By the end of the course you will have experienced steering a yacht, sail handling, ropework and be aware of safety on board.
  • Competent Crew (5 days): This course is for beginners and those who would like to become active crew members rather than just passengers. By the end of the course you should be able to steer, handle sails, keep a lookout, row a dinghy and assist in all the day to day duties on board. You should also have visited some interesting places and had an enjoyable holiday.
  • Day Skipper (5 days): A course for aspiring skippers with some yachting experience and basic navigation and sailing skills. Learn to skipper a short passage with the instructor on hand to give advice and encouragement and ensure your safety. Experience being in charge, taking credit when it all goes well and being responsible when it doesn't.
  • Coastal Skipper (5 days): Advanced skippering techniques for yachtsmen and women with considerable knowledge of sailing and navigation, wanting to undertake coastal passages by day and night. Coastal Skippers should be able to undertake more difficult passages by day and night and handle the yacht in more demanding conditions. By the end of the course you should have the knowledge, if not the experience, to become a Yachtmaster.
  • Yachtmaster (Certificate of Competence): An RYA Yachtmaster Certificate of Competence is often the ultimate aim of aspiring skippers. It is a well known, highly respected qualification worldwide, proving your experience and competence as a skipper. Unlike other courses in the cruising program, there is no formal training to complete in order to become a Yachtmaster. Instead, provided that you have sufficient experience and seatime, you can put yourself forward for an exam to test your skills and knowledge.

Motor Cruising

  • Helmsman (2 days): A two-day course covering basic boat handling, engine checks and safety. This course is ideal for new owners conscious of the difficulty and hazards of boat handling in the marina. It is useful for crews as well as skippers. Apart from the obvious safety benefits of extra boat handlers on board, it adds interest if everyone can contribute to the trip.
  • Day Skipper (4 days): This course can also help you get the best from your modern electronic aids such as GPS and radar, which are now virtually standard equipment on modern motor cruisers. Before attending the course you should be able to navigate and are well advised to attend the RYA Day Skipper shorebased course to brush up on your skills.
  • Coastal Skipper (5 days): For the more ambitious skipper to improve their skills, take charge and learn to make full use of the boat on longer, more complex passages. Before taking this course it is virtually essential to have attended the equivalent shorebased course, to ensure that time is not wasted teaching theory on board.
  • Yachtmaster (Certificate of Competence): An RYA Yachtmaster Certificate of Competence is often the ultimate aim of aspiring skippers. It is a well known, highly respected qualification worldwide, proving your experience and competence as a skipper. Unlike other courses in the cruising program, there is no formal training to complete in order to become a Yachtmaster. Instead, provided that you have sufficient experience and seatime, you can put yourself forward for an exam to test your skills and knowledge.

Navigation & Seamanship Theory

  • Essential Navigation & Seamanship course: This course is for anyone interested in sailing, motor boating, sea angling or diving, and works well in complementing the on-the-water training, such as the Powerboat Level 2, Start Yachting and Helmsman courses. This is a highly informative course with lots of opportunities for you to put your new found knowledge into practice. If you decide to take the course online, you will find many interactive exercises to help reinforce the information and lots of chances to try out what you've learned. Also available online too through the RYA Interactive e-learning site (6 hours).
  • Day Skipper: A comprehensive introduction to cruising for inexperienced skippers. This course equips you with enough knowledge to navigate around familiar waters by day. A basic knowledge of lights is also included to introduce you to night cruising. The course is taught over 40 hours with two exam papers. It can be covered as a series of short sessions, as an intensive week-long course, or by distance learning.
  • Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster Offshore: Advanced training for more experienced skippers building on the Day Skipper course. This course equips you to navigate safely on coastal and offshore passages. It allows some time for revision of the basics and then moves on to advanced navigation techniques. The course is taught over 40 hours with three exam papers. It can be covered as a series of short sessions, as an intensive week-long course, or by distance learning.
  • Yachtmaster Ocean: This course is for those aspiring to blue water cruising and is ideal for holders of theYachtmaster Offshore certificate who are preparing for their first ocean passage. If you are working towards your Yachtmaster Ocean Certificate of Competence, completion of this shorebased course exempts you from the written exam. The course is taught over 40 hours with one exam paper. It can be covered as a series of short sessions, as an intensive week-long course, or by distance learning.

Powerboat

  • Powerboat Level 1 (1 day): This course is an introduction to boating techniques for launching and recovering a boat from a road trailer, everyday boat handling and the use of safety equipment. It can either be taken as a stand-alone course or integrated into the two-day Level course.
  • Powerboat Level 2 (2 days): This two-day course provides the skills and background knowledge needed to drive a powerboat and is the basis of the International Certificate of Competence. It includes close quarters handling, high speed manoeuvres, man overboard recovery and collision regulations. The course can be taken inland or on the coast and your certificate will be endorsed accordingly.
  • Powerboat Intermediate (2 days): This course covers the practical use of pilotage and passage planning by day on coastal waters using both traditional and electronic navigational techniques. During the two days you also cover more advanced boat handling. It is recommended for anyone considering moving on to the Advanced course.
  • Powerboat Advanced (2 days including at least 1 night navigation exercise): This course is for leisure and professional boaters wanting to undertake more adventurous trips. It includes navigation by day and night, weather and other aspects of skippering a small boat on more challenging passages in coastal waters. Anybody undertaking this course must have the practical skills of the Intermediate course and knowledge of navigation to at least the standard of the Day Skipper shorebased course.
  • Safety Boat(2 days): This two-day course provides the skills required when acting as an escort craft, safety boat or coach boat for a fleet of dinghies, windsurfers or canoes, or for racing or training activities. It includes rescue techniques and elements of race management and mark laying.

Specialist Short Courses

  • Diesel Engine (1 day): A one-day beginners’ course to help you prevent and solve diesel engine failure. This course teaches you how your engine works, how to keep it healthy by using basic checks and maintenance procedures, and how to get it started again in the event of a breakdown.
  • Marine Radio Short Range Certificate (1 day): A one-day course for anyone who owns a fixed or hand-held marine VHF radio. The Short Range Certificate is the minimum qualification required by law to control the operation of VHF and VHF Digital Selective Calling (DSC) equipment on any British flagged vessel voluntarily fitted with a radio. This includes both fixed and hand held equipment using International channels.
  • Radar (1 day): A one-day course giving you an understanding of radar as an aid to navigation and collision avoidance. Cruising boats increasingly have radar on board. The International Regulations for the Prevention of Collisions at Sea state that if you have a radar, you must know how to use it.
  • Sea Survival (1 day): A one-day course for anyone going to sea, providing an understanding of how to use the safety equipment on board your boat. An important part of the course is a practical session in a swimming pool. Experience first hand the problems of entering an uncooperative liferaft and assisting others while fully kitted out in wet weather gear and a lifejacket.
  • Offshore Safety : Training for recreational and racing skippers and crews who encounter rough weather and problems at sea. At the end of the course you will have a good knowledge of the safety equipment carried on small boats and the seamanship techniques needed to survive at sea in heavy weather.
  • First Aid (1 day): The one-day course covers all the usual first aid subjects, but from a boating perspective. It is aimed at anyone who goes afloat, whether on inland waters, rivers, estuaries or on cross channel passages.

Inland Waterways

  • Inland Waterways Helmsman's Course (1 or 2 days): This course is for anyone wanting to cruise the UK's inland waterways or Europe's extensive network of lakes, rivers and canals. It deals specifically with the requirements of the inland boater, whether they be a narrow boat owner or cruiser enthusiast. It assumes no prior knowledge and so is ideal for the first timer, yet the more seasoned boater will learn plenty of tricks of the trade and tips to make their boating safer and more enjoyable. It is a hands-on course with minimal theory.

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