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RYA Essential Navigation and Seamanship Course - An Essential Introduction to Navigation and Seamanship

essential navigation

The Essential Navigation and Seamanship Course is tailored for those new to boating, anglers, divers, dinghy and keelboat sailors wishing to extend their horizons. Equally suitable for all types of craft, power and sail, from Albacore dinghies to Zapcat racers.

This course provides a solid foundation in concepts which later RYA qualifications will expand upon. It teaches the basic essentials of navigation and chart-reading, how to recognize navigation buoys at sea, how tides and weather forecasts work and how to get started planning routes across the water.


The Essential Navigation and Seamanship course does not assume any previous knowledge of chartwork or boat-handling, making this an ideal course for anyone who is new to the world of navigation or looking to learn the theory essentials to support their practical experience.

rya essential navigation

Essential Navigation Shorebased




  • Whether Anglers, Divers, Surfers, Sailors or Power boaters, the course builds a firm foundation to broaden horizons on the water and to start developing skills to cope with the demands of crewing or skippering in the marine world. Equally suitable and applicable to all types of craft - power, sail, hovercraft, from Albacore dinghies to Zapcat racers.

Course Content

  • Charts and publications
  • Safety
  • Buoyage
  • Tides
  • Navigation
  • Pilotage
  • Rules of the road
  • Anchoring
  • Passage Planning