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RYA Theory Courses
We are now taking bookings for intense and/or bespoke RYA Day Skipper and Yachtmaster theory courses.

Set your own schedule and timetable for a course run at your home address, club or office.

Bespoke theory courses over a spread of 5 days are prices at £350 per student based on 3 students, £500 for 2 based on 2 students and £900 based on one student only.

We are also offering corporate RYA theory courses at superb value. Only £280 per student based on a minimum of 10 students over 15 weeks. If booked before courses get 2 extra students free of charge, making a fantastic offer course of 12 students at only £ 2,800. Corporate courses can take place in London or Hertfordshire and run between January and April 2015.

Please call Mason King for details on 07973 295027 or email at

Taking The Helm are an RYA Recognised Training Centre for teaching the RYA shorebased theory courses.

Through our Association with Fairview Sailing, the River Hamble's premier yacht charter company, we are also able to arrange a complete range of RYA practical courses, from Start Sailing and Competent Crew through to Yachtmaster prep courses and exams.

We can offer you all the RYA theory courses at competitive prices and at your convenience. We run evening courses and intense courses during the winter months but will always try to accommodate any requests for courses throughout the year and at a venue of your choice.

We have venues in Central and North London and Hertfordshire.We can also arrange to teach you, your family and friends in the comfort of your own home or a venue local to you.

We offer complete flexibility and would advise you to contact to discuss exactly what you require.

RYA Essential Navigation and Safety
This course is aimed at those who don't necessarily sail or want to sail but who have an alternative interest which involves the marine environment, such as diving, kayaking or sea fishing for example.

It offers introduction to navigation and safety awareness for new, inexperienced or rusty skippers and crew.

This course is suitable for anyone new to sailing and motor boating (including RIBs), sea angling and diving, as well as dinghy, keelboat sailors and inshore racers.

The course is the perfect introduction or refresher for anyone going afloat on inshore waters, and a stepping stone to the more in-depth Day Skipper shorebased course.

It also compliments RYA on-the-water training such as the Intermediate Powerboat, Start Yachting, Helmsman or Day Skipper courses.

You will receive a course pack which includes a chart, plotter, course handbook, exercises and an electronic chart plotter CD.

This is a highly practical course with lots of opportunities for you to put your new found knowledge into practice using the exercises provided.

The course is taught over 16 hours with exercises to complete along the way. It can be covered as a series of short sessions or over two full days.

Course topics include:

  • charts and publications
  • engine checks
  • tidal awareness
  • pilotage
  • anchoring
  • passage planning
  • safety
  • buoyage
  • visual and electronic navigation
  • rules of the road
  • weather forecasts

Day Skipper Theory
This is a shorebased course which offers a comprehensive introduction to cruising for inexperienced skippers and is by far the RYA's most popular shorebased course.

Taking The Helm can offer courses that run as evening classes throughout the winter. However, more people are requesting intense courses that run for longer evenings over a shorter period and/or over weekends. We are completely flexible, can cater for each group's need and are able to teach smaller groups or individuals.

This course equips you with enough knowledge to navigate around familiar waters by day. A basic knowledge of lights is also included to introduce you to night cruising.

The RYA are continually updating courses to take into account developments in technology and the electronic navigation aids now available on most cruising boats.

In conjunction with the UK Hydrographic Office they have developed a chart plotter specifically for use on training courses, giving you a realistic insight into electronic navigation.

The course is taught over 40 hours with two exam papers. It can be covered as a series of short sessions, spread over several weekends or as an intensive week-long course.

Course topics include:

  • the basics of seamanship
  • chartwork
  • position fixing
  • weather forecasting and meteorology
  • collision regulations
  • emergency and safety procedures including distress calls,use of flares, safety harnesses, lifejackets and liferafts
  • the essentials of coastal navigation and pilotage
  • electronic charts
  • plotting a course to steer
  • tides
  • construction, parts and equipment of a cruising boat

RYA Yachtmaster Theory
This shorebased course offers advanced training for more experienced skippers building on the Day Skipper course.

The course equips you to navigate safely on coastal and offshore passages. It allows some time for revision of the basics and then moves on to advanced navigation techniques.

This course will take your theory knowledge to the standard required for the Coastal Skipper and Yachtmaster Offshore practical exams, concentrating on advanced navigation and meteorology skills.

As with the Day Skipper shorebased course, the RYA’s specially designed chart plotter software will be used during the course to help give you a realistic taste of modern electronic navigation.

The course is taught over 40 hours with three exam papers. It can be covered as a series of short sessions, spread over several weekends or as an intensive week-long course.

Course topics include:

  • position fixing
  • tidal knowledge
  • electronic position finding equipment
  • plotting weather systems
  • customs and excise regulations for cruising abroad
  • course shaping and plotting
  • use of almanacs and admiralty publications
  • taking and interpreting forecasts
  • collision regulations

RYA Yachtmaster Ocean Theory
This course offers the student the opportunity to unravel the mysteries of astro navigation, using a sextant, ocean passage planning, worldwide meteorology and electronic navigation aids.

This course is for those aspiring to blue water cruising and is ideal for holders of the Yachtmaster Offshore certificate who are preparing for their first ocean passage.

The course involves 40 hours of tuition with a written exam. This can be a series of short sessions or an intensive course of 4 days.

Course topics include:

  • The earth and celestial sphere
  • Sun star and planet sights
  • Practical guide to using a sextant at sea
  • Ocean passage planning, including hurricane avoidance and worldwide meteorology

RYA Practical Courses
Taking The Helm are proud to be associated with Fairview Sailing, the premier yacht charter company and RYA sailing school based on the Hamble River in the Solent.

Fairview Sailing have the largest match fleet of Benetau 37 foot yachts available for use in regattas, race training and sailing instruction.

Taking The Helm can arrange any practical course through Fairview Sailing, offering excellent value for money based on chartering one of Fairview's yachts with one of our instructors for the duration of your practical course.

The charter and instructor price for the course is the same no matter how many students are on board, up to a maximum of 5 students. We can even arrange a larger yacht with two instructors on board. Alternatively, you can bring some of your friends and family along who are not taking part in the RYA course but who want to learn to sail informally.

This means that you choose how many students are on board and thus how intense your instruction is.

Call us now for a quote for any type of practical course from Competent Crew up to and including Yachtmaster preparation weeks. We can also arrange an examiner for you if you are taking a Department of Transport and RYA examination at the end of the week.

Sailing Modules
Taking The Helm can arrange sailing modules covering close quarters boat handling under power and sail; spinnaker handling; pilotage and more.

The modules are usually two days long but you can speak to us about your wishes and needs so that we can tailor the course to suit you.

Call or email us to discuss your needs and options.

Other RYA Courses
Taking The Helm can also arrange any other RYA training course via our partners at Uptown Sailing and Yachtwise.

These include VHF courses, First Aid at Sea, Diesel engine courses and Sea Survival courses.

Please contact us for details.

Shorebased Theory Course Dates and Fees
Taking The Helm are taking bookings for our winter RYA day Skipper and Yachtmaster Theory courses. 

We are offering pairs of students discounted courses at £500 per student, to take place at either students' home address or at a venue to be arranged and paid for by them. This means that if you are looking for a course and can find someone else to come in with you, you can both be taught in the comfort of a home at a very low price. Learning and study becomes so much easier in pairs compared to 12 students in the same class. Dates are of the students choosing, subject to availability, and can be either weekdays or weekends. Book now to avoid the post Christmas rush. 

Maybe buy a course as a Christmas gift, Taking The Helm can issue course vouchers. 

  • RYA Day Skipper Theory - Corporate Discount

  • Have 12 students for the price of 10 at a cost of £280 per student. 

  • A 15 week evening class running between Christmas and Spring, held at your own office or club. This means that 12 students can be taught for a total of £2,800. That is staggering value for money.

  • Have 15 students taught for the price of 13.

  • All you provide is the venue with a conference room.

  • Please call Mason King on 07973 295027 to book a place or for more details.
  • RYA Coastal/Yachtmaster Theory

  • We are offering a similar deal to the day skipper course opposite.

  • The YM theory course will run for 16 weeks between Christmas and Spring and cost £320 per student.

  • We are offering a discount of 12 students for the price of 10. That means you get 12 students take the course for a total price of £3,200.

  • Please call Mason King on 07973 295027 to book a place or for more details.

Yachmaster Ocean Theory (Astro Navigation and Ocean Passage Planning & Meteorolgy)
Courses are arranged on request at any rtime of the year. Courses can be delivered to between 1 and 4 people at your private address or at another suitable location arranged by the client, for example a Sailing Club. Prices are £1,000 total for two students (£500 each) plus and £450 per students for 3 students. one to one tuition for a course of 5 days is £900. This is excellent value for money and you will struggle to beat the price and will benefit from the small number of students in the class.

The cost of the course includes charts, exercise books and course notes. You can borrow navigation equipment such as plotters and dividers from us for the duration of the course or purchase these from us at the start of the course.

Day Skipper and Yachtmaster Theory Courses 
We understand that occasionally students have commitments on some of these dates. In certain circumstances we can arrange alternative or additional tuition at an extra cost.

We have also decided to structure our bespoke courses for individuals and couples in a similar way to last season. This means that the cost of one to one tuition for theory courses will be £900 and two people will cost £500 per student. 3 students for £350 per student. This represents excellent value for money. This is based on 5 whole days or a combination of days and evenings on dates agreed with the students, and at the students’ home address or other suitable premises arranged by them, for example a local sailing club.

Taking The Helm can also arrange more bespoke and compact courses to suit your needs and there are discounts available for students who can supply or arrange accommodation of their own.

Please call Mason King for details on 07973 295027 or email at

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