RYA Day Skipper Theory - Online

Taught over 40 hours, the course is a comprehensive introduction to cruising for inexperienced skippers and provides you with the required knowledge to navigate safely. A list of modules is below and at the end of each module, you are invited to try out what you have learned with online tests. Full answers are immediately available for every test question and you can go back and re-do any part of the module – giving you confidence to move onto the next section when you know you are ready.

Once you have completed every module you are ready to sit the exam. Again, this is done from your own home or office and completed in a time limit. You will need to have your RYA training charts, books and equipment to hand, and all answers should be entered into Skippers online exam form. There are 2 exam papers, General Questions and Chartwork, both of which are 90 minutes in duration. You can take them individually any time you feel ready. Your submitted answers will be marked by a qualified RYA shorebased instructor within two working days (often within one working day).

Passing the course gives you ideal preparation ahead of completing the RYA Day Skipper practical course, which is provided by Sailing Life Academy. We use modern yachts and insist on a low ratio of students to instructor, meaning you spend more time learning and less time waiting for others to take their turn.


Some practical experience is desirable although not essential.




You will be assigned a dedicated RYA Yachtmaster Instructor to answer your questions.


40 hrs online study

  • Seamanship
  • Coastal navigation and pilotage
  • Chartwork
  • Electronic charts
  • Position fixing
  • Plotting a course to steer
  • Weather forecasting and meteorology
  • Tides
  • Collision regulations

This course equips you with enough knowledge to understand how to navigate around familiar waters by day. A basic knowledge of lights is also included to introduce you to night cruising. Successfully gaining your certificate will enable you to confidently progress with your Day Skipper practical course.