Skip to main content

RYA Essential Navigation & Seamanship Course

  • The RYA Essential Navigation & Seamanship Course can either be completed online or as a two day classroom based introductory course. It is aimed towards anyone new to sailing, power-boating, sea angling and diving as well as those experienced in dinghy and keel boat sailing. It gives students an awareness and knowledge of essential navigation techniques and seamanship in a relaxed environment and covers the key areas that anyone who goes out in a boat should be aware of such as:

    • How to get to and from your mooring. This may sound obvious but the harbour often looks completely different on the way in than it did on the way out. The tide may be higher or lower, there may be shallow areas that you can only get to at certain states of the tide. During the two days we will teach you how to interpret charts and how the buoyage system works and what you need to be aware of to be able to get in and out of your harbour safely.
    • How to avoid a collision with another boat. There are specific rules on who should give way and when. These rules are covered in sufficient detail to avoid confusion when you are out on the water.
    • How to obtain and interpret weather forecasts and what it is likely to mean on the water.
    • What the tide is doing both to ensure that you have sufficient water but also to be aware of the direction and strength of the flow of tide.
    • How to ensure that your boat is safe including routine engine checks and having the correct safety equipment on board.
    • Additionally most boats no longer solely use traditional means of navigation and therefore electronic navigation including the use of the electronic chart plotter is included in this course.

    By the end of the course you will know how to get safely between two nearby harbours during the day in good weather and will have had experience of preparing a passage plan.

  • RYA Essential Navigation & Seamanship – Syllabus

    1. Charts, publications and terms
      • Basic terms
      • Chart overview
      • Introduction to chart datum and depths
    2. Buoyage
      • Lateral buoys
      • Cardinal buoys
      • Where to find information
    3. Navigation
      • Plotting a position
      • Measuring distance and bearing
      • Position fix
      • Heading
    4. Safety
      • Personal and boat safety equipment
      • Safety procedures and briefing
      • Communications
      • Engine checks
      • Rescue procedures
    5. Anchoring
      • Where to anchor
      • How to anchor
    6. Tides
      • Tidal streams
      • Tidal heights
    7. Electronic navigation
      • GPS terms
      • GPS use
      • Using waypoints
    8. Rules of the road
      • Risk of collision
      • Who gives way
    9. Weather forecasts
      • Sources of forecast
      • Terms used in forecasts
    10. Pilotage
      • Harbour information
      • Transits
      • Pilotage plan
    11. Passage planning
      • SOLAS V requirements
      • Pre planning
      • Chart choice
  • RYA Essential Navigation & Seamanship – FAQ’s

    These are a few of the questions we get asked by people booking on the RYA Essential Navigation & Seamanship Course. If you have any further queries or are unsure whether this is the course for you please call us on 01243 432485 and we will be only too happy to chat to you.

    What time does the RYA Essential Navigation & Seamanship Course start and finish?

    Typically we start at 9.00am and finish at about 5.30pm with an hour break for lunch

    What is included in the course fee?

    The price includes all course materials to be able to complete the course and exam fees. Plotters and dividers are provided for the duration of the course .

    What do I need to bring?

    You just need to bring a notepad with you (ideally A4 size).

    Where is the course held?

    It will be held at one of our classroom in Emsworth Yacht Harbour, Thorney Road, Emsworth, Hants PO10 8BP

    What qualifications or experience do I need to complete the RYA Essential Navigation & Seamanship Course?

    You do not need to have any practical experience or navigational knowledge to be able to complete this course.

    Are there any exams?

    There are no exams so you can just relax and enjoy it without the pressure of being examined at the end.

    What qualification will I get once I have completed the course?

    On successful completion of the course you will be issued with the RYA Essential Navigation & Seamanship Course Certificate.

    How many people will there be on the course?

    We have a maximum of 8 people on a course, though usually the numbers are smaller than this.

    Who is a typical Essential Navigation & Seamanship Student?

    It is difficult to say what a typical student looks like but we often find that students are:.

    •  New or prospective boat owners who want to gain knowledge on the basics of navigation & tides and safety at sea before setting of on their newly acquired yacht or powerboat.
    •  People who wish to be more useful crew members.

    How do I book?

    Just click on the book now button

    What courses should I do after completing the RYA Essential Navigation & seamanship Course?

    If you own your own boat or intend to charter a boat one person on board will be required to have the RYA VHF SRC Operators certificate which can be obtained by successfully completing the one day RYA VHF SRC Radio Course.  Other support courses you may find useful are the RYA Diesel Engine Course and the RYA First Aid Course.

    If you wish to go further afield in the future then the RYA Day Skipper Theory is recommended.

  • We just wanted to say thanks again for a very informative and useful course. We learnt a lot and look forward to being able to put all that into practice. It has also helped us to understand what we need to know and learn more about. Next step will be purchasing some charts and continuing to practice on our navigation skills.
    Carlotta Holt
    I just wanted to say a big thank you for running such a good Navigation course over the w/e. I wasn't really looking forward to it as was convinced I wouldn't understand any of it, but its now all so much clearer. The real test was when I got back I picked up a navigation book (how keen is that!) which I'd previously tried to read and given up on as it was double dutch - and suddenly it all made sense! I'm really looking forward to putting it all into practice (though equally slightly dreading being responsible if and when we end up on the mud!). I thought your approach was really methodical ( just what I needed) but you also made it interesting which is why I just about managed to maintain concentration levels until 5.30 yesterday! I'll definitely recommend it to other sailing friends - specially navigation idiots like me who are completely starting from scratch!
    I'm sure I'll be back
    Howard Matthews
    Firstly thank you so much for the great course...despite all of our initial reservations about attending such a thing :-) we all thoroughly enjoyed it, learnt a lot of useful and vital stuff, and were VERY impressed with your teaching. We shall certainly spread your word. Thanks again
    Lizzie Dymock
    Karen, your style of teaching I consider excellent. Patience and empathy.... rock solid knowledge....confident.... kind..... yup Karen....... really good. Thankyou. If you are vetted by RYA from time to time and they need teaching recipient feedback, tell them to give me a ring.
    Geoff Newsome
    Thank you Karen, for the recent course I attended with you. I have learned a huge amount and much of the mystery I previously felt around navigation has gone. You have an excellent and patient teaching style and I would certainly look to enrol on your courses in future.
    Steve Jenness
to discuss your requirements you can contact us seven days a week from 8.00a.m to 7.30pm on 01243 432485 or 07702 842190

Complemented by