The RYA Day Skipper theory course aims to develop your skills in planning and undertaking short coastal passages by day and is ideal for sail or power driven craft. It will improve your knowledge of seamanship, safety and coastal navigation
and is recognised as a world class sailing and boating qualification. It is an essential foundation course for coastal navigation and is a pre-requisite for further RYA courses.
A sector light in operation.
General seamanship, including learning about the parts of the boat, tying up alongside a dock, preparation for sea, tying sailors knots, approriate anchoring techniques to account for tide and weather
conditions. Basic sailing skills such as the theory behind setting sails, tacking, gybing and steering to a heading.
You will learn how to use landmarks, and navigation marks to create a poition fix with a chart and a compass, and understand the error. The course will cover using charts, depth contours, three point
fix, plotting a course to steer that will compensate for the anticipated impacts of the tide over the course of the journey and how to compensate on route. Skills will also include estimating positions using dead reckoniong, means
to verify your position. Position fixing using by various means and estimated position taking into account tidal set and drift.
Nothing has changed navigation like the advent of GPS and affordable radar, but do you know how many differnet types of satellite navigation there are, and do you know its limits? Using
various onboard electronic equipment such as chart plotters, depth, wind instruments, radar, and more.
Primarily used as a means to confirm whether a craft is within the safe limits of a channel when navigating at night. The skipper can tell, by looking at the colour of the light,
if they are on course, or in a potentially dangerous situation.
Tides, Streams and Heights
Did you know that the tide doesn't just come in an out, tidal streams are the direction the water is moving and can even change direction part way through a tide change? Were you aware
that some ports close at low tide?
These modules will cover the concepts about how and why tides occur, explain why the impact of the tide varies in differnet locations, and even why there can be dramatic changes even in
geographically similar locations. You will learn how to predict the impact of the tide on your journey using tidal tables and tidal stream data. You will be able to predict the height of tide throughout your journey accounting for
hazards, how to plot a course to steer that offsets the impact of the tide, and to assess the impact of the tide when attempting dead reckoning positions. You will learn how to get the information you need using tidal diamonds, and
a tidal stream atlas at any given point of time in the tidal movement, and to account for spring and neap tides.
Causes of weather systems, reading and taking into account present and future weather forecasts, understanding weather charts and sources of weather information. How to use your own observations and understanding
of onboard instruments such as wind and barometric pressure to assess pending changes in weather conditions. Understanding of local weather patterns.
An introduction to planning short daytime passages using waypoints and visual aids, planning to take into consideration the impacts of tide, and windows for entry into ports. A basic understanding
of the weather and how to anticipate what the conditions will be like. Planning alternative ports, crew management, supplies and safety equipment.
How to recognise navigations markers by their lights characteristics, shape, colour, name and what action to take when approaching one. Recognise the differences in navigations schemes in various locations
around the world.
Did you know that any indication of fire on a vessel is regarded automatically by search and rescue as a mayday, or that one of the most important items onboard a yacht is a well stocked first aid kit.
The unit will cover safety aspects from conducting safety briefings for the crew unfamiliar with a vessel, preparation and storage of safety equipment. Response to emergency events including fire, man overboard, abandonment
procedures. The content will cover basic safety at sea including the use of life rafts, use of life jackets, how to handle and use flares, types of fire fighting equipment and fire prevention, how to make mayday calls, emergency signalling
techniques and other various ways of making other vessels aware that there is a mayday situation. The course will also cover the use of radar reflectors that are essential in busy shipping routes, actions in fog, and actions in response
to medical emergencies.
Basic collision regulations including collision avoidance, the correct lights to use and how to identify various types of vessel from their lights. How to recognise a vessel by its day shapes
and what day shapes to use for various situations, the course also covers the various sound signals in use during navigation.