Can an Online Course Prepare you for Life on the Waves?

Sailing is one of the most visceral experiences you can have. Yet an online course can put you in good stead to hit the water running.

You can do most things over the internet these days, but even the most die-hard devotee of the virtual experience might think twice at the concept of learning to sail online.

Of course, there is no substitute for getting out on the water, and nobody is going to become adept at sailing by sitting in front of a computer screen. However, in the same way that a theory test does not teach you to drive but does prepare you for driving, the RYA online courses are an important prerequisite to achieving prowess as a sailor.

What courses are available?

Currently, the following RYA courses can be taken online:

  • Essential Navigation and Seamanship
  • VHF
  • Day Skipper Theory
  • Coastal / Yachtmaster Theory
  • Yachtmaster Ocean theory
  • PPR
  • Safe & Fun Safeguarding

Previews and free trials are available online, so that you can get a taste for what each course entails, approximately how long it will take and what you will get at the end of it.

Advantages of online study

There are two key advantages to taking courses like these online. The first is flexibility and the second is price. For example, the Essential Navigation and Seamanship course takes around six hours to complete online. As it is built up of course units, it is easy to break it up into bite sized pieces and fit studies around your other day to day commitments. You can complete the course from the comfort of your own home and at your own pace – and at a cost of £89.

Taking the course in a classroom setting takes around 16 hours, and is often offered as an intensive two-day course. Prices vary between centres, but of course, a two day course is going to be significantly more expensive than £89. You might also have to factor in the additional costs of travel and accommodation, as well as the inconvenience factor of dedicating two full days to taking the course.

Course formats

The YSA online courses are designed to be enjoyable as well as educational. Unlike some distance learning courses, they do not simply throw information at you on slides or videos. Instead, they consist of fully interactive features and animations that keep you engaged and involved throughout.

Quizzes help you to check your learning along the way, and the answers are provided on the spot, so you can be confident as to when you are ready to take the final assessment.

For complete flexibility, the courses are compatible with all browsers and can be accessed from your PC or Mac. The Day Skipper Theory course can even be accessed from mobile devices, so you can take your studies with you wherever you go!

Gaining your qualification

With all the online courses, the ultimate objective is to obtain the necessary qualification. You will have full access to a dedicated instructor throughout the course, meaning you have all the support that would be available in a classroom environment, but with all the advantages of studying at your own pace from the comfort of home.