Course Objectives and Outcomes

The RYA Essential Navigation course is aimed at a wide audience, including anyone new to sailing, motor boating, kayaking, fishing, diving, experienced dinghy or keelboat sailors.

This online course is the perfect stepping-stone to the more in-depth RYA Day Skipper shore-based course, or to courses on the water such as the Powerboat, Start Yachting or Competent Crew.

By the end of this course you should feel you have an introduction to the topics covered during this course, and be ready to move on to either the RYA Competent Crew course, or the RYA Day Skipper Theory course.

Who Should Do The Course?

This course is suitable for a wide audience, including:

  • Anyone wanting to learn the foundations of local and coastal navigation
  • Sail vessel owners
  • Power vessel owners
  • Members of crew on sail and power vessels
  • Coastal kayakers
  • Recreational fisherman

If you want to improve your knowledge of the topics below in an online coastal navigation course this course would suit you well.

What Will I Learn? (Course Syllabus)

This course will give a fantastic introduction and foundation knowledge of the following subjects in the RYA Essential Navigation and Seamanship syllabus:

Charts, Publications and Terms

  • Basic terms
  • Chart overview
  • Introduction to chart datum and depths

Buoyage

  • Lateral buoys
  • Cardinal buoys
  • Where to find information

Navigation

  • Plotting a position
  • Measuring distance and bearing
  • Position fix
  • Heading

Safety

  • Personal and boat safety equipment
  • Safety procedures and briefing
  • Communications
  • Engine checks
  • Rescue procedures

Anchoring

  • Where to anchor
  • How to anchor

Tides

  • Tidal streams
  • Tidal heights

Electronic Navigation

  • GNSS terms
  • GNSS use
  • Using waypoints

Rules of the Road

  • Risk of collision
  • Who gives way

Weather Forecasts

  • Sources of forecast
  • Terms used in forecast

Pilotage

  • Harbour information
  • Transits
  • Pilotage plan

Passage Planning

  • SOLAS V requirements
  • Pre-planning
  • Chart choice

What Do I Need To Do The Course?

All you need is internet access.

A course pack with charts, plotter, dividers, handbook and course notes will be mailed out to you (Australia-wide) after you register. We can also send this internationally if you like.

What about if I need help or support?

This course is run by Sunshine Sailing Australia, with our experienced local instructors on hand to help you whenever you have questions or need support.

The online component is provided in partnership with the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) through Sunshine Sailing Australia’s training centre.

How Long Is The Course?

The course is completed 100% online, and takes around 16 hours. Access to the course is 12 months.

What Certificate Do I Get?

RYA Essential Navigation and Seamanship certificate presented upon successful completion of your course.

Course Preview

What To Do Next?

To keep growing your sailing skills we recommend the RYA Competent Crew as your next port of call.

RYA Competent Crew

This course is for beginners and those who would like to become active crew members rather than just passengers. Experience living on board and really get to know the boat. Virtually all the course is hands on. You are the crew - without you the sails won't go up and the boat won't be steered

Reviews

Bob course completed 5th March 2020

“..an excellent introduction that all new boat users should be encouraged to complete. It gives you the confidence to get the most out of your boat, whilst being aware of the risks.”

Misty course completed 17th August 2018

“..to be recommended for newcomers, but also very useful for those who want to do more than pull ropes and tie on fenders.”

Lachlan course completed 16th August 2019

“I would definitely recommend it to new boat owners or anyone keen to get into boating.”