Doing chartwork

RYA Day Skipper Theory

Weekend Classroom Course

Course dates & booking information at bottom of page

The RYA Day Skipper theory course covers all the essential things you need to know to start navigating a boat safely at sea. After completing this course you'll have the required theory knowledge for a Day Skipper practical course or the International Certificate of Competence (ICC) test.

Bay Sea School teach the day skipper theory course over 6 days during winter weekends in the North West. Classes are held in spacious facilities at a local school. With the new Bay Gateway that's just 10 mins from the M6 motorway junction 34.

What's special about Bay Sea School?
You'll be taught by the award-winning RYA 'Instructor of the Year'. John's no ordinary shore-based instructor. He's a Yachtmaster Instructor & Examiner & inspects other Training Centres for the RYA too. That's top notch in the RYA Instructor world! So if experience, quality instruction and a supportive friendly environment is important to you, don't miss John's next classroom Day Skipper course. Deirdre's also a highly experienced teacher & shore-based instructor and often assists John with the class too.

Extra Online Facility
When you choose Bay Sea School you'll also have access to John's unique online study feature as well. It includes explanatory video tutorials and extra practise exercises with the answers to check your work. He's passionate about giving you the best possible foundation to your boating life and is available during the week by phone and email if you have any questions. Over the years of teaching people to sail, Bay Sea School have collected many useful training aids to help bring your course to life. There's also a selection of recommended books for you to look at. You can buy some of them right now by following the links provided below. 

What do I need?
The RYA course pack is included in the course price. You'll need to provide your own writing equipment, a pair of dividers & a Portland course plotter. If you do the RYA Essential Navigation & Seamanship course the RYA include the plotter & dividers free with the course pack. It's a short introductory online course for beginners. And it's a useful way to get started on your day skipper work right now. 

Day Skipper course topics include:
All the basics of coastal navigation using both traditional and electronic methods, position fixing, estimated position, planning a course to steer, tidal streams & tidal heights, weather forecasting, navigation buoys, collision regulations, emergency & safety equipment, including distress calls, flares, life-jackets, life-rafts and much more!

Can I do the course online?
Yes this course is available online but we strongly recommend the classroom delivery to our clients. We want you to have a successful learning experience and move forward with your sailing. Completion figures for the online course are nationally much lower than for the classroom version of the day skipper course. The interaction with other students makes for a broader learning experience and the structure of regular classes adds a helpful focus to the course. Having a great instructor certainly helps too!

"What an amazing course and instructor...
John Parlane thank you for sharing your expertise and for your patience." Justine 2017

Bay Sea School choose to spread out the course dates a little instead of offering the intensive options of every day or three consecutive weekends. Feedback from our clients suggests they benefit more from time to assimilate the material and practise the numerous exercises at home between classes. For most people with work and family life this isn't possible on the very intensive courses. There's a tremendous amount to cover on day skipper & we want you to enjoy the journey!

Short Beginners' Online Course
The 'Essential Navigation & Seamanship'  is a really good introductory course to navigation which does work well online. The RYA have created this course themselves. It's a relaxed & enjoyable way to get started on the basics of navigation. If you do Essential Nav. first, you'll cover the same topics again on your Day Skipper course but go into more detail and move on more quickly. There's no requirement to do Essential Nav. before doing Day Skipper it's just a helpful option for you.

Want a day skipper refresher?
Navigation techniques have developed with the increased use of electronic aids. If it's several years since your Day Skipper Theory course or if you're struggling with aspects of an online course, why not treat yourself to a Day Skipper classroom course with John? There was a new RYA course pack a few years ago with lots of different exercises.

After you've completed a Day Skipper theory course with Bay Sea School, you're welcome to return for occasional days to sit-in. Just bring all your charts, almanac and kit. There's no fixed charge. We just ask you to contribute whatever you feel the day's revision was worth to you. Please let us know in advance if you're coming. You'll need the current RYA course pack with the exercises to join in.

Email us or call John if you'd like any advice 07721 891 615

Private Day Skipper courses & coaching
These can be arranged throughout the year. However John has more availability in the winter months mid-week outside of the sailing season. Please get in touch for more details.

Buy now at the RYA shop

Buy Symbols and Abbreviations

Buy RYA International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea Buy RYA International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (eBook) Buy Portland course plotter and dividers kit
Symbols and Abbreviations
International Regs for Preventing Collisions at Sea International Regs for Preventing Collisions at Sea (eBook) Portland course plotter and dividers


6-Day Course Dates Start Time Places Left

2018 Sundays: Nov 4th, 11th, 18th, 25th, Dec 2nd, & 9th

9.30 am


2019 Saturdays: Feb. 23rd, March 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th - dates to be confirmed

9.30 am