What can you learn in a day?

A little bit of training goes a long way and you might be surprised by what you can achieve in just one day...
 
Whether you’re looking to gain experience, increase confidence or learn a new skill, there are a number of practical and shorebased RYA courses that can be completed in less than 24 hours.

With more than 2,400 RYA recognised training centres, located all over the world and more and more options for online and distance learning, it’s never been easier. Here we take a look at what you could learn if you’ve got a day to spare…

RYA Personal Watercraft Proficiency

There’s no substitute for getting really close to the water and blasting about on a Personal Watercraft (PWC) - with just the push of a button you enter a thrilling world of exhilaration.

Lots of people try PWCs on holiday, but don’t realise there are plenty of places to get afloat in the UK too. The RYA Personal Watercraft Proficiency course is the perfect place to start, giving you the skills to use a PWC safely and with confidence.

With something for novices and experienced riders alike, you’ll learn essential safety information, launching, handling and recovery skills, passage planning, collision avoidance and orientation at sea. Of course you’ll also cover how to ride safely at speed and become confident at controlling the power when you want to manoeuvre at lower speeds.

Suitable for young people from 12-years-old, this is a great way to get make sure they’re safe on the water too. Many centres offer discounts for pairs, so why not sign up for an adrenaline filled day with friends or family?

Further reading – everyone that does an RYA PWC course will receive a copy of the RYA Personal Watercraft Handbook (G35) - an essential guide for all PWC users.

RYA First Aid

Accidents happen when you least expect them. Thankfully serious incidents are rare, but getting to grips with basic first aid will ensure that everyone on board will be in good hands should the unexpected occur.

Administering first aid at sea or even just afloat is very different to doing so on land. The RYA First Aid course has been specifically developed for water users.

The one-day classroom course is taught by instructors with considerable boating experience. Topics covered include; CPR, including the drowning protocol, bleeding, head injuries, cold water shock and hypothermia, first aid kits and requesting medical advice or assistance by marine radio.

A little bit of knowledge is useful for all crew members and ideally everyone should do the course - it’s very difficult for one person to navigate, helm, call for help and resuscitate at the same time!

Further reading – the First Aid Book (FAB) is provided to everyone doing an RYA First Aid course. With detailed information, clear visual aids and a section dedicated to marine specific content, it’s a valuable resource for all water users.

RYA Level 1 Start Powerboating

Whether you’re looking to explore the coastline, or want to provide safety cover on the race course at your local club, an RYA Powerboat course is a great way to get to grips with the basics of powerboating.

Many people go straight in with the two-day RYA Powerboat Handling Level 2 course, but the RYA Level 1 Start Powerboating course is a fantastic introduction if you’re short on time.

Covering launch and recovery, preparing the boat and crew, boat handling, picking up and securing to a buoy and leaving and coming alongside. No previous experience is required and at the end of the day, you should be comfortable helming under supervision.

Perfect for novices or crew members wanting to contribute more to their time on the water, the entry-level course can be completed on a centre vessel or your own craft. It’s also a great introduction for younger crew members, with a minimum age of eight-years-old.

Further reading – packed with information and advice, RYA Start Powerboating (G48) is a must read for all novice powerboaters.

RYA Sea Survival

For anyone going to sea, the RYA Sea Survival course is a genuine lifesaver. Hopefully you’ll never need to use a liferaft, but if you do find yourself in difficulty, you are more likely to survive if you know what to expect.

The course provides candidates with a full understanding of how to use the safety equipment onboard their boat, as well as techniques on how to survive and how to be found.

For most, the highlight is a practical session in a swimming pool, as you experience the problems of entering an uncooperative liferaft and assisting your ‘crew mates’ first hand - all while fully kitted out in wet weather gear and a lifejacket.

Further reading – the RYA Sea Survival Handbook (G43) is provided with the course and packed with supporting information and safety advice.

RYA Start Motor Cruising

Motor cruising is perfect for venturing further afield and exploring new places in comfort. Equipped with powerful engines, these boats travel large distances quickly and better still, you won’t have to worry about there being enough wind!

The RYA Motor Cruising course is designed for complete novices and is ideal for potential new crew members, introducing basic principles and how to assist the helm.

You’ll cover personal safety and seamanship, how to deal with emergency situations, coming alongside, picking up a mooring and basic boat handling.

And with children as young as eight-years-old able to do the course, why not get the whole family involved?

Further reading – Competent Crew Skills (CCPCN) is the perfect introduction to the basic practical elements of motor boating.

RYA Marine Radio (SRC)

If you have a VHF radio onboard your boat, or even carry a handheld VHF whilst kayaking or paddle-boarding, you need to hold an operator’s licence.

The RYA Marine Radio Short Range Certificate (SRC) course is a one-day course aimed at anyone who wants to operate a marine VHF radio, with or without Digital Selective Calling (DSC). With options to complete the course online or in the classroom, you really can learn at your own pace and convenience.

Vital for days out boating, it covers radio functionality, how to relay information clearly and swiftly in an emergency situation, as well as hands-on practice of operating and talking over the radio.

Further reading - learn more about VHF radio in the RYA VHF Handbook (G31), included with the course.

And if that’s left you wanting more…


The RYA training schemes cover everything from dinghy sailing to radar and are structured in such a way that you can enter at any level. With over 100 courses, there really is something for everyone.

You’ll also find additional information and expert advice in the RYA’s range of publications and accessible eBooks. As well as books that directly support RYA training courses, there are plenty of titles that will help support your boating by improving your knowledge.

For more information about RYA courses visit www.rya.org.uk/go/courses or visit www.rya.org.uk/go/wheresmynearest to find an RYA recognised training centre near you.

Visit www.rya.org.uk/shop to browse the full selection of RYA publications.