RYA Day Skipper theory course

The RYA Day Skipper theory course is a full and comprehensive introduction to seamanship skills for inexperienced skippers.

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RYA Day Skipper theory course

Covering all that you need to know for safe cruising, this course is for those who want to develop the skills to manage and be in charge of a small craft in daytime in familiar waters. This Splash Day Skipper course covers the theory requirements for an ICC (International Certificate of Competence) and more.

The Splash RYA Day Skipper course has been jointly developed by e-learning specialists and experienced sailors. The unique Splash database manages the student / tutor interaction and means you have your own teacher keeping an eye on your progress and guiding your learning. There is no more thorough method of learning.

The accessibility of the RYA Day Skipper online theory course brings a whole new concept to attaining marine qualifications that lead to a higher level of confidence and safety on the water.

Course features

Our unique Splash learning system helps you through all the topics - letting you build up skill as you go. You will measure your improved skill level at each stage, receive progress updates from your own tutor, and help is there at every stage for you. We also make the process fun!

Firm foundation for navigation

The Splash course will set you on the road to navigation expertise – whether you want to day sail or move on to crew superyachts. Tides, lights, weather and planning passages are just a few of the topics that you will soon learn to master with the help of the Splash team and technology.

Great value

There are no hidden extras with Splash. The price for our RYA Day Skipper course includes charts, plotter, drawing tools, and even the RYA Navigation reference books. In your Splash bag, you receive all of these (worth up to £70) and they're not "extras", they're included in the price. With free UK courier shipping, it makes the Splash courses incredible value. This course takes approximately 40 hours of self-paced study to complete. Most students complete their courses in 2-3 months or less, which is the ideal length of time to maximise thorough learning - but you will have a full six months to work through the course from the day you purchase.

Student comments on their Day Skipper theory course

We ask all of our Splash students to tell us what they think of their course

One of the best things about this course was the flexibility to complete it when and where I could. It fitted in well with a busy work and home life! The level of support I received from John was excellent; always quick to reply with really clear advice and instruction, together with great encouragement! I didn't think that distance learning would be easy, but Splash really did help make my Day Skipper Theory a success.

The easy access when you can manage it 24/7 is what I like most about the course . Homework been my least thing i liked ,not been a homework lover i quickly got thru it all with the support of john (thanks again)10 out of 10 for your support. I found out about this course on the internet i was over the moon no classroom no traffic to and from always there to assist all your study material everything a bargain and a delight of which i would recommend to anyone, superb!

The Splash course suited my requirements of an online provider that I could access 24/7 at times that suited me - an easy site to navigate and is very intuitive. You can do it at your own pace which was really important to me. The homework element was really strong and the feedback from Splash was encouraging, responsive and first rate. A reply back on a Sunday afternoon after having just clicked “send” with some answers, is great customer service in my book!

Typical Day Skipper candidates

The Splash course is suitable for those with a range of sailing experience, from newcomer to experienced.

The Splash course is suitable for those with a range of sailing experience, from newcomer to experienced. As the course is self-paced, you can spend more time on topics that are new to you, and move more quickly through subjects where you might just need to top-up your knowledge. Day Skipper level suits a wide range of students including:

  • Newcomers to navigation theory
  • Experienced sailors wishing to reach International Certificate of Competence (ICC) knowledge level
  • Sailors with some tide knowledge, but may not be confident to calculate figures
  • Sailors with some hands-on sailing experience
  • Beginners starting towards a career in professional navigation

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Contained in your RYA Day Skipper course pack

Your Splash pack of charts and books will be courier shipped for normally next day delivery.

RYA Day Skipper Theory Charts and Books Pack
RYA Day Skipper Shorebased Notes book, RYA DS1 Exercises and Course Information book, RYA Training Chart 3, RYA Training Chart 4, RYA Training Almanac, Reeds Skipper's Handbook - (course reference book), Splash Chart Plotter Breton Style, Dividers - single handed, Compasses, 2B chartwork pencil, Special pencil eraser for chartwork, Rope.
This course suited my requirements - an online provider with 24/7 access. It’s simple and fun and you can do it at your own pace which was really important to me. The homework element was really strong and the feedback from Splash was encouraging, responsive and first rate.

Simon T.

How do you qualify for day skipper?

The RYA Day Skipper theory course is the perfect introduction to cruising for inexperienced skippers and those with limited knowledge of navigational theory. From the very basics of seamanship the course syllabus builds students to a competent level of theoretical understanding.

Students are introduced to all the basic areas of navigation and seamanship and also goes beyond the standard required for the International Certificate of Competence (ICC).

Do you need Day Skipper theory?

Although not a requirement, you are expected to have some level of knowledge before your Day Skipper practical course. Our RYA Day Skipper theory course introduces and builds the student up to a competent level of navigation of a small craft in daylight and gives the student a sound base on which to build the navigation skills by experience. It is for anyone wishing to learn the theory required to navigate a small craft in home waters. Our course is divided into manageable sized modules, addressing the RYA syllabus and the chapter headings are given below in the coloured boxes.

What does RYA day skipper allow you to do?

With this RYA qualification, successful students are awarded the Day Skipper theory certificate and it is the basis for the RYA Day Skipper practical course.

No previous experience is required for anyone wishing to study the RYA Day Skipper theory qualification, although some experience on water is beneficial. Some boating experience is advantageous but the course is aimed at anyone wishing to learn enough to safely and confidently navigate in local waters by day.

The RYA Day Skipper Theory Qualification is applicable for both power and sail students, in both tidal and non-tidal situations.

Some of the amazing things you’ll learn on your Splash course

Fast, easy, and affordable way to build your skills

Nautical Terms

The Magnetic Compass

Position, Course and Speed


Tidal Streams




GPS & Electronic Aids to Navigation

Echo Sounders

Navigation Drawing Instruments



Rule of the Road

Safety at Sea

Navigation in Restricted Visibility

Passage Planning

Marine Environment


Visual Aids To Navigation

Position Fix

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Further reading at the RYA Book Shop

One way of building up your navigation and boating skill is to read as much as you can and learn from the experience of experts. Here is a great place to start your boating library collection.

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The benefits of Splash

Great depth of learning with fun on the way means you will achieve the status of expert navigator. Recognised worldwide, your qualification will be your passport to boating success or a professional career in the superyacht world.

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Try before you buy

Click here to have a quick peek inside a few of our modules to see how clearly it's laid-out and how easy to follow it is. In addition to the online and offline learning resources, students have full support throughout from experienced professional tutors.

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A superior eLearning experience

Wherever you are online, Splash will work with you – suitable for all modern devices. We even have our own secure messaging system – no need to email. Total support and great learning is the Splash experience.

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