The Royal Yachting Association, or RYA, is a globally-respected national sailing body that ensures incredibly high standards of sailing practice are maintained on waters around the UK and the wider world. Britain is famous for its maritime history and the RYA has long been at the forefront of this pedigree. The different boating qualifications by RYA instructors take in all the levels of skill, professionalism and knowledge that you might wish to attain, helping to give you a lifetime of enjoyable and safe sailing.
There are over 100 types of training for all levels of sailors around the world, with over 2,200 RYA recognised courses in more than 44 countries. So wherever you are in the world, you won’t be to far from a RYA course. The RYA courses are divided into several set categories which are outlined in the sub-headings below. This will hopefully make it easier to work out which course is most suitable to your needs.
There are a number of different boating qualifications on offer in the sail cruising section. Whether you are a complete novice looking for an introduction to sailing, a passenger looking to become an active crew member or an experienced sailor looking to graduate to day or coastal skipper, there is an RYA course for you.
You can also attain the world-renowned RYA Yachtmaster certificate of competence by proving you have the skills and knowledge to cut it on the open seas. Young sailing enthusiasts will enjoy the under-sixteen sail cruising courses on offer.
A similar range of motor cruising courses are available as in the sail cruising category. New boat owners can take an introductory course and more experienced boat owners can enhance their skills with a helmsman’s, day skipper or advanced pilotage course.
Again, as with the sail cruising category, Yachtmaster and under-sixteen courses are available.
Navigation and seamanship theory
For those of a more theory-based persuasion, a navigation or seamanship course might be more what you’re looking for. Unravel the mysteries of navigating using just astral landmarks, learn to use a sextant and find out just how mankind has been navigating its way around the world for centuries.
With several levels of skill and qualification attainable, from novice to Yachtmaster Ocean, there is something for everyone to learn on a navigation course. Who knows, one day it might just save your life.
Of course, not all the different boating qualifications apply to open water and coastal sailing. With thousands of miles of inland waterways, accompanied by a set of rules and laws you need to know, these inland courses are ideal for anyone wanting to own a barge, narrow boat or inland cruiser.
These small but powerful boats require a very specific skill set. With the different boating qualifications by RYA you can learn and pass your level 1, 2, intermediate and advanced powerboat qualifications. This will mean you can drive by day or night, and handle unfamiliar or demanding conditions. Again, there are special courses for sailors under the age of sixteen.
Small boat sailing
If you’re starting out in a smaller boat, like a dinghy, keelboat or multihull, then the RYA courses for small sail boats are essential. With beginner classes for adults and juniors, this is a great way to fall in love with sailing and learn the basics before moving on to larger boats.
There are also courses for more advanced small boat sailors and those looking to race competitively.