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RYA Essential Navigation & Seamanship Course

About the course

An introduction to the basic concepts of inshore navigation and safety in an easy to understand and enjoyable online format...
Our Online RYA Essential Navigation & Seamanship Course provides a fantastic knowledge base for taking your sailing or motorboat on short coastal passages. This  e-learning course offers a great introduction to navigation and safety awareness for new skippers. 
The course offers the right balance of quality information and convenience when learning coastal navigation online and is suitable for those seeking navigation training. This course is ideal if you are learning navigation in Australia and throughout the rest of the world.
For the boaters who plan to keep learning, this course gives you the skills and knowledge to be ready to enrol in our RYA Day Skipper Shorebased Course. Above & Beyond Boating are an internationally accredited training centre, and our courses are recognised globally.

Course Topics - RYA Essential Navigation and Seamanship Syllabus

"What will I learn?"
The basics of essential navigation and seamanship training, including the use of charts & almanacs
Harbour entry, passage planning, and departure pilotage techniques
Tidal awareness and how to recognise buoyage on charts and on the water
Collision regulations and rules of the road
Weather forecast sources and information including local apps and websites
Essential inshore safety equipment to carry and how it should be used

Boat Navigation Techniques

"Will I learn the real world application?"
In the 21st century, the fusion of traditional navigation techniques with cutting-edge technology is essential for effective boat navigation. The advent of sophisticated systems offers unprecedented access to navigational data, making it crucial to understand both the advantages and the limitations of what you have available.
Traditional pilotage skills remain indispensable for verifying electronic data accuracy. Modern chart plotters simplify navigation, consolidating planning, execution, and monitoring into one accessible interface. However, it's vital to recognise that no system is infallible. 
Being cognizant of these limitations and having strategies to mitigate potential failures ensures a safer and more reliable navigation experience. This course shows you how to harness the best of both worlds, enhancing boating safety and efficiency through the intelligent use of technology while still relying on proven navigational practices.

View our video to see what this course offers


  • "I'm already enjoying the course and more importantly learning something"

    Pam Leatch

  • "The course was valuable and informative and increased my knowledge of the rules and regulations. The online course was very easy to navigate and was clearly set out thus making it user friendly."

    Larke Missiris

  • "Greatly recommended for any new explorers"

    Paula Garrett

Supporting Materials

"What's included in the course?"
Navigation training materials sent via express post in Australia and registered airmail for international addresses.* 
RYA Essential Navigation & Seamanship Course Notes so that you can keep your notes handy whenever you are on the water.
RYA Training Charts & Training Almanac so that you can gain practical experience in managing navigation and planning for tides in a huge range of simulated harbours. These training resources are based on some of the world's most intricate passage planning puzzles.
Navigation tools: course plotter, dividers, 2B pencil & eraser so that you have everything you need to plan you next adventure and use the skills you learn in this course.
Personal online course user account so you can fit your studies in around your life and return to your completed lessons as often as you like. We make it easy to start learning the day you enrol.
*You do not need to wait for the supporting materials to arrive before starting the course.

Additional Course Information

Previous Experience

No previous navigation experience nor special skills and knowledge are required before taking this course since this is an introduction to inshore navigation and safety.

Course Duration

The navigation training course takes around 8 hours in total to complete, but it is structured so you can take it at your own pace.

Personal Device Requirements

This course has been developed by the RYA and run with a PC, Mac or tablet with internet access and pop-ups enabled. This course will not run on a smart phone.


On successful completion, you will receive the 'RYA Essential Navigation & Seamanship Certificate'.

How do we maintain our 99% course completion rate?

The fresh approach from Above & Beyond Boating to e-learning combines proven navigation techniques in online learning with our experience in personalised training.
Above & Beyond Boating is committed to helping you every step of the way. We are here to ensure you feel supported while learning online. You can receive support and assistance from our dedicated course instructor over the phone, via live chat and email, or arrange a video call.
We are always seeking to improve our RYA Essential Navigation and Seamanship training course experience. We always listen to our customers feedback and update our training on a regular basis!
Neil Driscoll is your course instructor. With extensive experience as an RYA Yachtmaster Ocean Instructor for over 20 years, Neil has delivered the full range of courses.
You can rely on a prompt reply from Neil should you need any assistance throughout the course!

Passage Planner & Vessel Logbook

Enrol today and you will receive a bonus Passage Planner & Vessel Logbook.

Above & Beyond Boating is an RYA Training Centre. 

The Investment

Access to the course is open for the lifetime of the product. Your course support for 12-months from completing the registration. If life gets too busy and you need more time, you have an option to pause your course support for up to 6-months and then continue when you have more time. 
RYA Essential Navigation & Seamanship Course


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