Navigation Courses

These Joining Instructions cover the following navigation shorebased courses

For shorter shorebased courses please go to the Short Shorebased Courses Joining Instructions page. For E Learning / online courses please go to the E-Learning / Online Joining Instructions Page.


Courses normally meet at the Southampton Training Centre at unless your email specifically indicates otherwise or you have booked a private courses at your own home or premises.


Course 5 or 6 day (Consecutive) Split Weekends Night School
RYA Day Skipper Shorebased Saturday to Wednesday or Monday to Friday, starting at 0915 and finishing around 1745 each day Saturday to Monday and then again on Saturday to Sunday, 0915-1745 each any 13 evenings 1830-2130
RYA Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster Offshore Shorebased Sunday to Friday or Monday to Saturday, starting at 0915 and finishing around 1745 each day 0915-1745 each day 15 evenings 1830-2140
RYA Ocean Yachtmaster Shorebased Starting 0915 and finishing around 1730 each day 0915-1745 each day 13 evenings 1830-2130


Lunch is not included, we recommend you bring a packed lunch. Tea and Coffee is included throughout the course and you can help yourself.


Most of our courses have pre requisites, these are not optional, they are requirements. If you are unsure what they are please check back against the relevant product page (the links in the list of courses at the top of this page).


  • Note Pad & Pen
  • 2b pencils, eraser & sharpener
  • Pair of Drawing compasses
  • Calculator (optional)
  • Laptop or Mac Book (if you have one)
  • Warm coat for the Ocean course (as there will be an outdoor sextant session)

Day Skipper and Yachtmaster Offshore students will also require Chart 5011, a Training Almanac, Dividers and a Plotter. For 5-day, 6-day and split weekend courses we will lend you this equipment (however it cannot be taken away between weekends). Night school students however will need to purchase these items so they can complete any home work, you can do this from us on the first evening or through a chandlery.


Certification is issued at the discretion of your Instructor and the Principal. For each course there is one or more assessment papers. Certification is also conditional on attendance. The certificate is usually issued at the end of the course before you leave.


During your course you will be introduced to navigation, seamanship, IRPCS, electronic navigation and meteorology. While the course is based on continual assessment and attendance, there are two assessment papers taken towards the end of the course. Your instructor will outline the course programme to you on the first day/evening.

There is no specific preparation required before this course, although there will be homework during the course. At the start of your course we will issue you with the RYA Day Skipper Shorebased pack which includes 2 practice charts, a question book and the RYA Day Skipper Shorebased Course Notes. There is no requirement to read any other publications before or during your course however if you are looking for further reading then we recommend.

Buy RYA Navigation Handbook 2nd Edition at the RYA Shop


On the first day/evening you will be issued an RYA pack, practice charts, exercise book and RYA Yachtmaster Shorebased Course notes. On the first day/evening, your instructor will start with the Day Skipper Chart work exam, containing 4 questions (position fix, estimated position, course to steer and a tidal heights/curve problem). This is intended as a refresher. You should be familiar with these topics before the course starts. During the course you will cover advanced coastal and offshore navigation, IRPCS, meteorology and safety; these subjects will all make you a better skipper. Assessment is based on attendance and overall understanding. There are three assessment papers.

Before your course you should learn the IRPCS (night lights and day shapes). Although your instructor will go through them, there is not time on the course to learn them from scratch. You should arrive ready for the IRPCS Assessment paper. Students attending night school will have time during the course to study. Please ensure that your overall standard of navigation is to the level of Day Skipper.

Useful Pre-Course study

Buy RYA Navigation Handbook 2nd Edition at the RYA Shop Buy RYA Weather Handbook - Northern Hemisphere at the RYA Shop


On the first day/evening we will issue with the RYA Ocean Yachtmaster Pack. You will find an accurate watch useful for the outdoor sextant session. During your course you will learn how to use the sextant and navigate by the celestial bodies. The course also covers ocean passage planning, safety and worldwide meteorology. The course is based on continual assessment and one paper at the end of the week.

With regard to astro-navigation, the course will start from basic principles. In terms of preparation please ensure the following subjects are not rusty; estimated position, variation, deviation, chart projections and latitude and longitude. An understanding of the running fix will also help greatly.

Useful Reading

Buy RYA Astro Navigation Handbook at the RYA ShopBuy RYA Weather Handbook - Northern Hemisphere at the RYA Shop

%d bloggers like this: