RYA Courses at York Cruiser Training Centre


The York Cruiser Training Centre (YCTC) is a provider of Royal Yachting Association (RYA) shorebased training in York. YCTC teaches the RYA Day Skipper Theory and RYA Coastal Skipper & Yachtmaster Offshore Theory courses plus one-day courses for Diesel Engine, RADAR, First Aid and VHF.

There are many options available for shorebased training including some excellent online courses. We encourage everyone to train in a manner that suits them. We pride ourselves on genuine face-to-face learning where you have time with a dedicated instructor. You also will not be distracted by anyone in your household or the TV in another room.

Attending an instructor-led course will require travelling to classes on a regular basis but we think you will find it to be time well invested and hopefully an enjoyable way of learning. Our instructors are very experienced, and we keep class sizes small. You will benefit from interacting with students on your course along with other members of YCTC at social gatherings.

We generally run the RYA Day Skipper Theory and RYA Coastal Skipper & Yachtmaster Offshore Theory courses over the winter months from October although depending on numbers and preference, we can also run these as a more intensive six-week course on a weekend day. The Theory courses are the same for powerboat and sailing boat students, and you will usually find a mixture of both on the course.

Each of the one-day courses is scheduled to meet demand usually twice a year.

Please contact us using the link at the bottom of the page to register your interest and to discuss your preferences. You can also join us as a social member and be kept up to date with everything happening at YCTC.

We do not provide Practical Courses, nor do we recommend any particular provider as we find that people like to do practical courses in locations specific to their budget, experience and requirements. Join us at a social event to find out where our members would recommend from their experiences.

The RYA Day Skipper Shorebased Course

introduces the aspiring skipper to the wide range of subjects needed to take a cruising yacht to sea.

These include the construction, parts and equipment of a yacht, emergency and safety equipment and procedures (such as distress calls, use of flares, safety harnesses, life jackets and liferafts).

RYA Day Skipper Shorebased candidates are taught the basics of coastal navigation and pilotage covering chartwork, position fixing, plotting a course to steer, weather forecasting, a knowledge of tides and the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea.

The course is run in a relaxed and informal setting to encourage enjoyable learning.

At the end of the course, you will sit two assessments, one on navigation and the other a general paper covering seamanship, meteorology and the collision regulations.

At the end of the course, students will be awarded the RYA/MCA Day Skipper for Sail & Power Craft Shorebased Course Certificate and will have sufficient knowledge to undertake the RYA Day Skipper Practical Course.

There are no entry requirements but we would recommend that you have a basic knowledge of the sea before starting this course, such as the RYA Start Sailing or RYA Competent Crew practical courses.

The next course will be ran around September 2022. Please contact us on yctc.information@gmail.com to register your interest and we will contact you closer to the time.

RYA Coastal Skipper & Yachtmaster Offshore Shorebased Course

builds on the information learned in the RYA Day Skipper Shorebased course. It is the most advanced shorebased course in the RYA Syllabus.

Most people will use the RYA Coastal Skipper & Yachtmaster Offshore Shorebased course to prepare for the higher practical courses but we should remember that this course also teaches valuable skills for skippers undertaking longer and more advanced passages in unfamiliar waters.

Practice makes perfect, and completing this course will give you more confidence and a better understanding of many of the principles used when skippering a boat.

If you are looking to move up the RYA Coastal Skipper & Yachtmaster practical courses, this theory course will give you the knowledge you need. Although it is not mandatory for your Yachtmaster qualifications, passing this course will ensure that your theory knowledge is up to standard and one less thing to worry about during the exam.

This is an intensive RYA course covering:  
- Advanced navigation techniques including navigation and electronic position finding equipment.
- Tidal knowledge and use of almanacs and Admiralty publications.
- Meteorology including the taking and interpretation of forecasts, plotting of weather systems, and weather prediction using a barometer and by observation.
- Using this information to create a safe and efficient passage plan.
- Customs and Excise regulations for going, and returning from, abroad.
- Detailed understanding of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea.

During the course, students sit three assessments on chartwork, collision regulations and a detailed passage planning exercise. Successful students will be awarded the RYA/MCA Coastal Skipper & Yachtmaster Offshore Shorebased Course Certificate.

There is no formal entry requirement for the course but we would recommend as a minimum completing the RYA Day Skipper Shorebased and Practical Courses before joining this course.

The next course will be ran around September 2022. Please contact us on yctc.information@gmail.com to register your interest and we will contact you closer to the time.

One Day - RYA Short Range Certificate / VHF Course

RYA Marine Radio Short Range Certificate (SRC), also known as Marine VHF (Very High Frequency) is about learning to use the Ship to Ship and Ship to Shore radio correctly.

This certificate is a must for anyone going on to the Yachtmaster and other certificates like advanced powerboat. It's a legal requirement to have someone with a VHF certificate when chartering boats in some countries now like Croatia. Did you know it's illegal to use a VHF without a certificate?

More importantly, it will allow you to use the radio correctly and legally. Some people find talking to the coastguard or other boat users daunting but it does not have to be. Spend a day with us learning how to use the radio correctly in our own private network. Practice distress calls and learn the difference between a Mayday and a PanPan in the comfort or one of our training venues - with a cup of tea and be prepared for when you need to use it for real.

This is a course that is partly on-line and comprises a number of modules. We aim to help you by providing experience and practice in addition to the course elements.

Cost: £95 payable to YCTC + £60 payable to the RYA for the certificate. The £60 is required to be paid to the RYA before the commencement of the assessment. You should be familiar with the NATO phonetic alphabet for this course.

Our Next Course will be on Sunday 15th May

SRC Training Material can be found here

One Day - RYA Diesel Engine Maintenance Course

Boat engines are often considered someone else's responsibility. But think of the scenario. You've anchored for lunch and a swim in a beautiful cove but a safe haven is an hour away and there is a storm forecast. It's dangerous to stay here too long.

You decide it's time to leave with a nice margin to get to a safe haven. Prepare to leave, batten the hatches, I'll raise the swim ladder, go to turn the key and nothing happens. Ah, you can't have done it properly so have another go - nothing. Ok, put it in gear and back to neutral - nothing. Take the key out, turn the engine electrics off. Try again - nothing.

At this stage, you probably have three options if you're in a sailing boat, two in power. Sail off anchor if you're skilled enough in the conditions - a storm is coming. Fix the engine or basically panic.

Diesel engines are really reliable if you know how to check them and fix the few problems the encounter. This course will not teach you to be an engineer but it will teach you the basic information anyone taking a power or sailboat to sea should know.

Mike, our instructor, is experienced and has a calm, thorough approach to teach you what you need to know.

We thoroughly recommend this course and think it should be mandatory for anyone wanting to skipper a boat.

Numbers are restricted to six students on each Diesel course to allow hands-on access to the cross-sectioned, colour-coded engine. No pre-course knowledge is necessary, and the RYA Diesel Handbook and course manual will be provided to help in recording progress and competence.

Cost : £110 per person

Our next Course will be Saturday 21st May.

One Day - RYA Small Craft First Aid

We all like boating and it can be a lot of fun, but unfortunately, boats can be a hazardous environment and injuries do happen. In addition, help is not usually imediately available on a boat and you have to deal with whatever happens, alongside managing the boat and keeping everyone else safe. Thankfully most boating injuries are non-life-threatening and a little knowledge can be very useful.

At YCTC we think first aid is a must for everyone, not just the skipper. At the end of the day, even the best skipper can't care for an injured person and manage the boat at the same time.

This is a generic first aid course tailored to boating. You will learn techniques and gain knowledge that is just as useful in the street as it is on a boat but it will be tailored to the boating environment, for example, we will cover hypothermia more than land-based courses do.

Each course is restricted to a maximum of eight students so you will get plenty of time with the instructor. This is a practical course so dress ready to lie on the floor and act as a casualty. We find older track-suits work well. There will also be physical contact on this course as we simulate turning people over and putting them in the recovery position and other similar activities.

The cost of the course includes the certificate and the latest edition of the First Aid Manual. Candidates for the RYA Yachtmaster Offshore Practical Exam MUST hold this or a valid First Aid certificate approved by the RYA. The certificate is valid for three years.

Cost £80 per person. We run these courses on demand so please check the calendar or contact us on yctc.information@gmail.com to register your interest and we will advise you when the next courses are due.


RADAR is an acronym for “radio detection and ranging,” invented during the second world war. It’s a fantastic technology to have on your boat, but like everything else boating, it’s only any good if you know how to use it.

Did you know that collision regulations require “Every vessel shall at all times maintain a proper lookout by sight and hearing as well as by all available means appropriate in the prevailing circumstances and conditions so as to make a full appraisal of the situation and of the risk of collision.” Usually, this is interpreted as if your boat has RADAR; you are obliged to know how to use it. We would undoubtedly hate being in low visibility and guessing what those buttons and knobs mean.

This course is for all boaters, including people with no prior radar experience. However, it would be beneficial to have a working knowledge of boat navigation and collision regulations.

The course will focus on how RADAR works, its limitations and how to interpret the information displayed. And follow on to how to use RADAR to aid navigation and avoid collisions. 

Cost £100 per person. We run these courses on demand so please check the calendar or contact us on yctc.information@gmail.com to register your interest and we will advise you when the next courses are due.

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