The value of training | RYA courses and diplomas


Over 270,000 people of all ages and skill levels take some form of RYA training each year.

Our courses are recognized around the world for providing the skills and knowledge necessary to stay safe and enjoy our time on the water. But without a legal requirement to hold a ship captain’s license in UK waters, why is RYA training so popular?

Something for everyone

Just take a look at the courses section of our website to see the range of courses on offer: from sailing and motor cruising to power boating, small sailing, windsurfing and windsurfing, waterways and personal watercraft, specialized short courses, and navigation and seamanship. theory. There are over 100 different courses covering all of the water activities supported by the RYA.

With many of our theory courses now available online and with more flexible options for hands-on lessons suited to busy lifestyles, it is becoming more and more convenient for people to take lessons where and when it suits them.

While you don’t legally need a license to pilot a ship in UK waters, RYA ratings are highly respected around the world and can be used as proof of proficiency. So whether you want to charter a yacht on vacation or start a career at sea, an RYA certificate will prove your experience and abilities as a skipper.

For other activities, having a diploma is a law. For example, if you have a VHF radio on board your boat, or if you carry a portable VHF when out on the water, you must have an operator’s license to use it.

Whatever your motivation, RYA courses and qualifications offer an opportunity to build confidence, have fun and are often the starting point of a lifelong love for sailing, power boating or water sports.

They also make our waters a safer and more enjoyable place for all who use them.

Best choices

With so many offers, you might be wondering where to start. Here are some of our most popular courses …

Level 2 motor boat handling

  • Duration: 2 days
  • Minimum age: 12 years old
  • Experience required: none

Blog - The Value of Training - Powerboat Level 2 Course

This entry-level course is for anyone wishing to drive small open motor boats for leisure, work or in connection with another activity such as sailing or rescue.

You’ll focus on low-speed close-range driving, man overboard recovery, planing speed driving, and collision regulations.

For Victoria Jacobs, the course was a way to build confidence when her family first purchased her 6m RIB.

She decided to take a ‘own boat’ course on their motorboat and her 9 year old son Thomas was also able to accompany her and take the RYA Level 1 Start Powerboating course (minimum age 8).

“My husband is crazy about the boat and has a lot of experience, which means when we first got the RIB he ended up doing everything,” says Victoria. “I wanted to be able to contribute to the enjoyment of the family and have the confidence to take over in the event of a problem.

“I liked everything, but for me the best thing was seeing how much Thomas learned and enjoyed, as well as building my confidence. I now know that my family is much safer on the water.

Day Skipper Practical Sailing

  • Duration: 5 days
  • Minimum age: 16 years old
  • Experience required: Basic sailing ability. 5 days, 100 miles and 4 hours of night on board a sailboat. Knowledge of navigation and theory up to Day Skipper Shorebased level.

Blog - The Value of Training - Day Skipper Sail Internship.  Credit Shaun Roster Photography

RYA Day Skipper is a qualification that allows you to safely take charge of a 30-45ft cruising sailboat and its daytime crew in familiar waters.

Besides giving you the confidence to enjoy your boat and stay safe, it shows boat rental and sharing companies that you have enough knowledge and hands-on experience to look after their boats as well. You can also apply for an ICC (International Certificate for Operators of Pleasure Craft) which will allow you to go on a cruise abroad.

The course covers all aspects of boating: how to set the sails, plan a passage, moor and anchor safely, as well as learn how to make key decisions about everything from safety management and sailing. equipment for the well-being of everyone on board.

Vaughan Marsh, RYA Head Instructor of Sailing and Power Cruising Programs, explains, “RYA Day Skipper is a challenging and fun course with fantastic rewards. When you feel able to set sail with your friends and family, that’s when the hard work pays off.

The RYA Day Skipper course can also be taken on a motor cruiser.

Maritime radio (SRC)

  • Duration: 7 to 10 hours in class or online, plus independent examination.
  • Minimum age: 16 years old
  • Experience required: none

Blog - The Value of Training - Marine Radio Short Range Certificate (SRC)

The RYA Marine Radio Short Range Certificate (SRC) is the minimum qualification required by law to operate VHF and VHF digital selective calling (DSC) equipment in the UK.

The one-day course and exam covers the basics of radio operation, distress, emergency and medical assistance procedures, and everything you need to know to be able to use the radio.

Arnaud Coville took the online course last summer and said: “The course itself was very good, it was easy, very didactic and the instructions are foolproof. The best thing was that I could choose when and for how long.

Learn to Wingsurf

  • Duration: up to 4 hours
  • Minimum age: none, but always check with the training center as some will prefer children to be 8 years old and over.
  • Experience required: none

Blog - The value of training - Learn to Wingsurf course.

Wingsurfing and more advanced wingfoil are the latest water sports to reach our waters. And to help make them accessible to everyone, the RYA has set up a new training system in 2021.

The RYA Learn to Wingsurf course is intended for complete beginners and consists of two parts: learning to fly the kite on land, then afloat.

By the end of the course, you should be able to take off and land safely, travel a short distance into the wind, and perform a basic jibe.

Looking to try something new, water sports newbie Sarah-Maeva Cialec was one of the first people to take the course last year.

“I thought it was going to be really tough,” she explains. “But it didn’t take as long as I expected to get up and feel comfortable on the board. I can’t wait to go back and try again.

Endless opportunities

“If you learn to do something right, you enjoy it more, which fuels the encouragement and motivation to keep going and learn more,” says Amanda Van Santen, head instructor of the RYA Dinghy and Windsurf training programs.

“Fun is ultimately the only reason someone stays in a sport, but why people love something varies. The personal challenge and achievement is enormous. A lot of people also want to give back to the sport they are doing. love, and training allows them to do so as volunteers or trained professionals.

“Training gives people the chance to have fun all their lives on the water and that’s what we want. “

For more information on RYA courses and to find an RYA Recognized Training Center near you, visit


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