Online Boating Training Courses – Yes, You Can Learn Sailing Skills From Your Laptop!

Posted on June 19, 2013 by Lee under Boating, Sailing Training Courses Comments Off on Online Boating Training Courses – Yes, You Can Learn Sailing Skills From Your Laptop!

Online CourseIt sounds strange at first. Learn how to sail via a course on your PC?  We can certainly understand any skepticism.

Obviously, you can’t learn every aspect of sailing just by sitting in front of your monitor. To really develop skill on the waves, there’s no two ways about it – you simply need to put in your time on the water.

However, not everything about learning to sail involves practical experience. There are some excellent online courses available that transmit the knowledge and theoretical concepts that are absolutely essential to developing boating competence.

Let’s take a closer look at the courses available, and why they might be a good idea for you.

What Are the Advantages?

  • Convenience. Obviously, the main advantage of an online boating course is the convenience of being able to study in the comfort of your own home.  You can learn at any time you like, you make your own schedule, and the course materials are instantly accessible at the touch of a button. There’s no hunting around for extras, and if you misunderstand something, simply spend time with the materials until it clicks.
  • Cost. Online boating training courses often work out to be less expensive than in-person courses. Once the digital materials have been produced, they’re “evergreen” – they can be used again and again, with minimal maintenance costs.

    Over time, it works out a lot cheaper than hosting regular training events, renting space, and paying instructors.  These cost savings are then passed on to you, the sailor-in-training.

  • Flexibility. The beauty of an online course is that you can pause, review, and go at your own pace. Some elements of sailing theory are fairly meaty – so you’ll appreciate the ability to come back to difficult parts, and re-watch a complex instructional video several times until you “get it”.


But Can Boating Really be Taught Online?

In other words, can you actually learn everything you need without in-person instruction? The answer is that, well, if the course is a good fit for the online format – then yes. Obviously, you’ll want in-person training for the very practical elements of sailing such as rope skills, first aid, or piloting the boat.

But many boating skills have a large theoretical element, where most of the learning is about understand the concepts and absorbing the information. These theoretical elements absolutely lend themselves well to the online course format.

What Type of Courses Are Available?

As mentioned, the courses that are the best fit for the online format are generally theoretical in nature.  The RYA allows theoretical elements of it’s courses to be taught online – and here are a couple of it’s popular online courses which are available in the UK.

RYA Day Skipper Theory Online Course

The theoretical element of the popular Day Skipper course will set you up with all the knowledge you need to be fully prepared to skipper a yacht. The course covers position fixing, tidal streams, course plotting and a variety of essential tips. Take the test at the end to pass the theory section of the Day Skipper course.

Coastal Skipper/ Yachtmaster Theory Online Course

Covering advanced navigational techniques, along with coastal and offshore safety, this online course is part of the popular Coastal Skipper course, which helps you take your sailing acumen to the next level. You’ll need to have attained the Day Skipper certificate as a pre-requisite.

These are the two most popular online boating courses, but there are several more. Find the right online course for you on The Boating Hub in our online boating courses section.


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