Online RYA Essential Navigation Course

Before taking a Day Skipper Practical course, you will need to learn theory. A good place to start is with the online Essential Navigation & Seamanship (ENS) course provided by the RYA.

The ENS course doesn’t cover everything you’ll need for Day Skipper but, at only 10 hours study, which you can do in your own time, it includes most of the basics. Once you have completed the ENS you’ll have a basic knowledge on which to build.

It’s also a good course for those taking RYA Competent Crew but who would like to understand more about charts, rule of the road, etc.

We send you a course pack, which includes practice charts, course book, and navigation instruments. You work through the course at your own pace, taking a short test at the end of each module. Once you have successfully completed all the modules we will prepare your certificate which you can pick up when you come for your practical course. Should you need any help or support during the course you can contact us by telephone or email but this is a well-structured course and most students manage without any further support.

Although the ENS course covers most of what you need to start sailing here in Greece, where navigation is simpler, you will require some additional theory for your Day Skipper Practical course as your certificate will be valid in more challenging areas.

You can either take a follow-on online course or you can attend one of our weekend Day Skipper Theory Upgrade courses, immediately prior to your practical.

On our weekend course we cover additional material, including more tidal theory, light characteristics, sound signals etc. plus tuition on Med-mooring, one of the essential techniques you will need. We cover the theoretical knowledge needed to take your Day Skipper Practical course.

What You’ll Learn

The RYA Essential Navigation includes the following modules:

  • Charts:– main features of a chart, symbols, latitude and longitude, compass
  • Buoyage:– different types of buoys and what they mean, buoyage in different areas of the world
  • Navigation:– position fixing, measuring distances and bearings
  • Safety:– safety equipment, Mayday and rescue, actions to take in poor visibility.
  • Anchoring:– how to choose an anchorage, how to anchor
  • Tides:– simple intoduction to tidal heights and tidal streams
  • Electronic Navigation:– using GPS, abbreviations
  • Collision Regulations (Rule of the Road):– general regulations, collision avoidance, stand on and give way.
  • Weather:– weather forecasts and sources of information
  • Pilotage:– skippering a yacht close to land
  • Passage Planning:– planning a passage to get you safely from A to B

We Give you More!

When you take an ENS course with us, you’ll be able to download additional information relevant to sailing in Greece:

  • Charts:– the charts most commonly used in Greece, advantages and disadvantages of each.
  • Light Characteristics:– how to recognise lighthouses and use them to navigate on your night sail
  • Anchoring:– theory of Med mooring, an essential technique to master for sailing in Greece.
  • Collision Regulations:– lights, day marks, and sound signals.
  • Weather:– Greek weather areas, radio bulletins, useful Internet weather sites and apps for Greece.
  • Passage Planning:– our passage planning template for use with or without GPS

What It Costs

The price of our online ENS course, including our additional downloads is 150 EUR. We offer a discount for two or more people booking at the same time. This also includes postage of your course pack and navigation equipment by normal mail. If you live in a country where post is not good, we can arrange for delivery by carrier at additional cost.

Use Of Personal Data

To enable access to your online course we need to share some of your personal data with the RYA via your user profile in This learning management website is hosted and maintained by a third party called Learning Pool, who will not use your personal information for any reason other than enabling your course.


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