RYA Radar



This course can be delivered by online webinar or in the classroom. On both versions of the course you will practice various scenarios live on a PC Radar simulator.

Popular on both sailing and motor boats, Radar is an invaluable aid for pilotage, navigation and for collision avoidance. It is though only useful in the hands of a knowledgeable and experienced operator. This course provides the knowledge for you to then gain the experience.

RYA Radar Course


Small craft radar is probably the most versatile of all electronic navigation aids. Over a day or 2 evenings of training we can teach you how to adjust the controls, interpret the picture and make use of the set for navigation and for collision avoidance. The course can be delivered to you by webinar with a simulator installed on your PC, it can be in our class room using our Radar simulators or can be on board your boat.

RYA Radar Course at our classroom

Most students join one of our regular classroom courses. The day is a mix of theory and of practical use of our touch screen radar simulators.

RYA Radar Course by webinar

During the first through lockdown we  re configured this course so you could complete it as two webinars and receive the entire RYA Radar course in the comfort of your own home. Not only that but we included a Radar simulator (usually £60) in the course fee so you can practice on your PC later. Following lockdown we continue to offer this option but with less frequency

RYA Radar Course onboard your vessel

If we run a bespoke course on board your vessel we will start with your on-board Radar and take you through its functions and tuning. We will then switch to a lap top simulator where the Instructor can reproduce scenarios and set bits of coastline, buoys and approaching vessels to appear on the screen as required. We will then return to your live radar set for a few more exercises. Onboard courses typically work with 1 or 2 students but can be extended to 3 or 4 if you have room on board for two lap top simulators, the Instructor and all of the students.


Classroom – 1 Day 0930 to 1630

Webinar – Two evenings 1800 to 2120 (UK time)


  • No previous radar knowledge is required
  • Basic understanding of navigation and collision regulations (Day Skipper level or above).
  • This course is aimed at sailors and power boaters of approaching Coastal Skipper level or Advanced Powerboat Level or above.

Many students on this course have seen and tried to use a radar set previously but not necessarily experienced a great deal of success.


  • Basic understanding of Radar, wave propagation and conditions that give rise to abnormal propagation
  • Correct use of controls (brilliance, contrast, gain, range, tuning)
  • How to measure bearing and range
  • Target definition & discrimination
    • Spot size, pulse length & beam width
    • Target characteristics, size, shape, material
    • False Echos
    • Shadow sectors & shadow diagram
    • Sea clutter and rain clutter
  • Radar reflectors, (passive & active)
  • Navigation
    • Radar Ranging
    • Three point fixes
    • Fix by EBL and VRM
    • Parallel indexing
  • Collision Avoidance
    • Relative motion
    • Auto plotting aids
    • The implications of IRPCS rules 5 (look-out), 6 (safe-speed), 7 (risk of collision) and 19 (restricted visibility)
    • The practical limitations of small craft radar
    • Assessing risk of collision with another vessel
    • Assessing the closest point of approach of another vessel and determining whether it will pass ahead or astern
    • Plotting and assessing the course and speed of another vessel


RYA Radar Webinar Version of Course (2 sessions)

  • 2 Evenings face to face webinar training with our Instructor and a small group
  • A lifetime license to the Lightmaster Radar Simulator (for Windows PC computers), usually £60.
  • Chieftain Radar Resources, sent digitally, (you will need to print before the course)
    • 2 Chieftain chart extracts for the position fixing and pilotage exercises
    • 4 Chieftain radar plotting Sheets
    • 2 Radar plotting exercises
    • 2 page Rule 19 and radar definitions sheet
  • After your course, by post (UK postage included, overseas postage is extra)
    • RYA Radar Course Certificate
    • RYA Radar Course Book

RYA Radar Classroom Version of Course (1 day)

  • Day of shorebased Training
  • Use of our PC based Training Simulators
  • RYA Radar Student book and plotting sheets
  • RYA Radar Course Certificate
  • Tea & Coffee
  • Free (on street) Parking


The RYA requires centres to provide a radar simulator for every 3 students and an Instructor for every 12 students. We smash that ratio.

RYA Radar Webinar Ratio

  • maximum 12 students
  • Simulator is 1:1 and yours to keep

RYA Radar Classroom Ratio

  • maximum 8 students
  • Simulator is 1:1 or 2:1

While the class does not exceed 8. The class size is  typically 3-6,and we will run the course with as few as 2 students .


If you choose this option you should read the following terms first;

RYA Radar Webinar – Requirements

In order to join the webinar you will require;

  • Use of a desktop, laptop or tablet with reasonable broadband connection (smart phone is too small)
  • A room at home where you will not be disturbed by other household members
  • Ideally a webcam (this aids interaction between the Instructor and the group)
  • Access to a printer so you can print 10 sides of A4 “before” the course
  • A Windows computer to run the simulator (see details below)

RYA Radar Webinar – Simulator

All students must have the simulator in order to complete the course. As much as we are massive fans of Macs and iPads, the simulator is only available for Windows based PCs, it will work with any version of Windows from Windows XP to Windows 10. You can not book this course if you do not have access to a Windows computer to run the simulator.

Included in the course fee is a lifetime license to the Lightmaster Radar Simulator (normally £60 on its own). If you already have the Lightmaster Simulator installed on your PC then the course fee is reduced by £40 (use promo code “NOSIM” at time of booking).

If you are booking this course alongside another household member and intend to share the simulator then the course fee for the second student is reduced as per the above paragraph.

The simulator does not need to be installed on the same device as you use for the webinar, however it is easier if it is as you can then screen share with the Instructor when you have a question for him.


If you are considering this course then please do not delay booking as we would like to email you the software download instructions and the sheets which require printing. It helps if you have some time to do this before the course.

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