The Essential Navigation and Seamanship Course

Essential Navigation & Seamanship

For a Basic Introduction to Sailing Theory

The RYA Essential Navigation and Seamanship Course is an inspiring classroom and online course for anyone interested in sailing, motor boating, sea angling or diving – or pretty much anything else on the water.

This RYA theory course will give you the essential knowledge needed when you’re afloat, from navigation to safety and seamanship to passage planning.  If you want to brush up before an ICC examination it is also a great option.




RYA Interactive courses can be taken anytime, anywhere and at your own speed.  All you need is a computer and the internet and your course pack.

The theory course is taught over roughly 16 hours with exercises to complete.  The online course will take around 6 hours, possibly longer, but the beauty of it is that you can work at your own speed, wherever and whenever you like. The course has been available in the classroom for years, but it is now possible to take it online through the RYA Interactive e-learning site.

This course offers a great introduction to navigation and safety awareness for new, inexperienced or rusty skippers and crew.

For a taster of the course click HERE

The course covers:

  • Sailing Theory Syllabus
    • 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
    • GPS terms
    • GPS use
    • Using waypoints
  • Rules of the road
    • Risk of collision
    • Who gives way
  • Weather forecasts
    • Sources of forecast
    • Terms used in forecasts
  • Pilotage
    • Harbour information
    • Transits
    • Pilotage plans
    • Nautical Terms
  • Passage planning
    • SOLAS V requirements
    • Pre planning
    • Chart choice

Top 10 reasons to take the online course:

  1. Flexibility – anytime, anywhere, at your own speed
  2. Suitable for all – new crews through to budding skippers
  3. Safety Essentials – all the essential knowledge for going afloat
  4. Simplicity – easy to use, interactive and full of great graphics
  5. Supporting your knowledge – an ideal accompaniment to your practical course
  6. Complements other courses – a great starting point before more advanced courses
  7. Real skills – use real skills alongside online technology
  8. Best advice – written by top RYA instructors, created by award winning designers
  9. Learn it, try it, test it – practice what you’ve learnt before taking the test
  10. Be part of it – the RYA’s 1st fully interactive online course

The online course :

Contact us in the first instance if you would like to book the course.

Sail Ionian will then log you onto the RYA interactive website and email you with your log-in details in order to start the modules.


£99 including:

  • Plotter
  • Dividers
  • Handbook
  • Electronic chart plotter CD
  • Email and phone support from our RYA qualified instructors

The course can be completed on a PC, Mac or iPad and is modular.

An instructor will be available at all times to help answer your questions about the course.

Please contact us for more information.

For terms and conditions, click here.

Please note that delivery is not included in the course price and will vary depending on location.