RYA & VM Theory Courses

We offer both theory and shore-based short courses from the RYA syllabus. Theory can be completed in the classroom and combined with a practical course or online and our shore-based courses are all offered from our base at Ipswich Haven Marina.

One of the great joys of sailing is being able to make a safe passage from your home port to another as a visitor. The sheer exhilaration and satisfaction of navigating your own vessel and pitting yourself against weather, wind, tide whilst following the course you have set out and getting there to plan is unparalleled. To do this over increasing distances safely does take practice and support in the early stages but with experience there is no reason to believe we are not all capable of taking the challenge. The world really does become your oyster with so many new experiences open to you, your family and friends.

We teach both on the water and ashore using traditional navigation practices augmented with electronic instruments such as Chart Plotters (electronic charts) GPS and AIS which are basically only more sophisticated Sat Navs now fitted to most cars.


For those attending courses in Ipswich, we can also offer concessions at the luxurious boutique Salthouse Hotel, conveniently loacated on the marina, for those wishing to stay overnight or for the weekend. Nearby we also have a Premier Inn and Traveldoge providing good quality budget accommodation.

Shore Based Courses: RYA Theory

'Viking Mariners Online' provides state of the art online learning which we can deliver in two formats in addition to traditional shore based courses. We offer all three training options for the following RYA theory courses:

  • Essential Navigation & Seamanship
  • Day Skipper Theory
  • Coastal/YachtMaster Theory

Day Skipper - combined theory & practical

An ideal format to move from Competent Crew to Day skipper in one course. You can experience this very focussed and demanding event with like-minded people who are time poor and often become sailing friends for life

This course is taken over 10 consecutive days.

Course fees

Online theory

Delivered by Navathome, a RYA Recognised Training Centre specialising in online training.

Online learning is fast becoming the convenient way to learn by working through the theory courses without the need to take off valuable time from work or the family. Have a look at our free trial to see how it works.

You can start your online training whenever you are ready. The course must be completed within 6 months of commencement (this can be extended, although an admin fee will be charged).

Day Skipper covers the basics of inshore and coastal navigation, position fixing, chartwork, planning, collision regulations, lights and buoyage, safety at sea, electronic navigation and pilotage

The Coastal Yachtmaster builds on the knowledge you attained during your Day Skipper theory course. It is more of the same with more complex navigation exercises and some additional subjects.

The Ocean Yachtmaster theory course is for those aspiring to blue water cruising and unravels the mysteries of astro navigation, using a sextant, ocean passage making, worldwide meteorology and electronic navigation aids.

Course fees
Day Skipper: £295 | Coastal/Yachtmaster: £310 | Ocean YachtMaster: £285

*As soon as payment has been confirmed we’ll email you our student guide and login information. Your Course Pack will normally be posted by First Class Mail within 24 hours of payment clearing. Online learning terms & conditions (PDF)

Navigation top-ups

I hear and I forget - I see and I remember - I do and I understand

Online learning provides the flexibility of learning in your own time, however for many who have not much previous practical experience or for those who have not been using their naviagation skills and are a little bit rusty, we offer face to face sessions designed to consolidate previous learning or hone your skills. The sessions will be run aboard one of our vessels where you can touch, feel and use the real thing such as GPS, chart plotters, radar and the current Reeds Almanac.

Course fees
£150 for 2 x 2hr sessions

2017/8 course dates

Classroom theory
5 - 9 February 2018

Combined theory & practical
5 - 14 February 2018

If you don't see the dates you are looking for, please contact us as we will try to be flexible to accommodate you.

No hidden extras

Online and telephone support is available throughout and the course fees for all learning formats include the following:

> RYA Course Pack
> Course Information & Exercise Booklet
> Course Notes
> Training Charts
> PC Chartplotter Software*
> Training Almanac
>RYA Certificate on successful completion

You just need a 2b pencil, eraser, Brass Dividers and Blundell Harling Portland Plotter which we can supply.

*All Compatible with Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac and Android Devices

Short courses

We run one day short courses in Frirst Aid and Marine Radio - these are one-day support courses to expand your knowledge and skills in specialist areas. They are great as stand alone courses, but also complement our practical RYA courses.