The RYA�s one-day courses are a great way to pack a lot into a short space of time. So whether you want to encourage more of your family and friends out on the water, learn some practical skills, or try something completely new, there�s a course for you�
If you want to persuade your family and friends to come powerboating, RYA Level 1 Start Powerboating course is a great starting point. This one-day course is a safe and fun introduction to boating for beginners. An instructor starts with the basics, explaining how to launch and recover a boat from a road trailer and then how to handle the boat in different conditions.
As well as how to prepare a boat, they�ll learn top tips on using safety equipment, how to pick up and secure to a mooring buoy and how to come alongside a simple berth. By the end of the course they�ll be able to drive under supervision.
For a more rounded course covering things like navigation and pilotage, and for more time at the helm, try the two-day RYA Powerboating Handling Level 2 course. This provides everything you need to drive a powerboat and is the basis of the International Certificate of Competence. www.rya.org/go/power-courses
RYA Start Motor Cruising course is an introductory course in crewing on a motor cruiser. With more room on board, (maximum of 5 students per instructor) it�s the perfect course for whole families or groups to learn together. Children as young as eight can take part and everyone learns more about being a useful crew member, while getting a feel for safety routines on boats.
Many of the skills learned here are transferable to other vessels, which is useful if you own a boat and want to take your youngsters out after the course. Students will learn how to handle the boat in certain conditions, how to handle lines in marinas and how to pick up a mooring up safely. It�s a great precursor to the practical RYA Helmsman Course, which naturally leads up to the more intense RYA Day Skipper practical course, where you learn how to take charge of a yacht and its crew.
For action-packed instant fun, it�s hard to beat the RYA Personal Watercraft Proficiency course. This exciting introduction to riding personal watercrafts teaches you how to get the best out of your time on the water by covering safe launches, making a good recovery, riding safely at speed and also becoming confident at controlling the power when you want to manoeuvre at low speed. Some centres offer a discount if you book in pairs � so an adrenaline-fuelled day out with your friends could be on the cards.
Costs vary from centre to centre and includes PWC hire. Supervised kids can get involved from the age of 12. www.rya.org.uk/go/start-PWC
If you have a radio on board, you need a licence to be able use it.
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). Vital for days out boating, it covers how to operate the radio, what to say and how to relay information swiftly and clearly in emergency situations. The training course can be completed online or in a classroom.
Successful completion of a theory and practical exam held at an RYA Recognised Training Centre is required before the SRC certificate is issued. Exam candidates must be 16 years or older on the day of the exam. www.rya.org.uk/go/src-course
No one wants to be stuck out at sea or in a marina far from home with engine failure. Knowing how to fix the problem could save you time, money and stress. The one-day RYA Diesel Engine course is for beginners and helps you prevent and solve diesel engine failure. Mechanical failure is the main cause of rescue call-outs to cruisers, so basic maintenance and engine care will help ensure that you are not part of this statistic.
Most engine problems can be avoided by taking simple precautions, and you don�t need a detailed mechanical knowledge. This course teaches you how your engine works, how to keep it healthy by using basic checks and maintenance procedures, and how to get it started again in the event of a breakdown. www.rya.org.uk/go/diesel-course
Cruising boats increasingly have radar on board. The International Regulations for the Prevention of Collisions at Sea state that if you have a radar, you must know how to use it. Radar is probably the most versatile of all electronic navigation aids, but the best results are only obtained when you know how to use all the functions correctly. It is not an all seeing eye, and can easily mislead those who do not understand its controls, allow for its limitations, or interpret its picture.
RYA Radar is a one-day course providing a clear understanding of radar and how it can be used to aid navigation and avoid collisions. www.rya.org.uk/go/radar-course
For anyone going to sea, RYA Sea Survival is a genuine lifesaver.
Statistically you may never have to use a liferaft. But if the odds are stacked against you, you are more likely to survive if you have received training.
This one-day course provides a full understanding of how to use the safety equipment on board your boat, and teaches you techniques on how to survive and be found.
Another important part of the course is a practical session in a swimming pool. Experience first-hand the problems of entering an uncooperative liferaft and assisting others while fully kitted out in wet weather gear and a lifejacket.
For more information
To find a centre and course near you visit: www.rya.org.uk/go/wheresmynearest
For more about any of the RYA�s short courses visit: www.rya.org.uk/go/training