Keep up to speed with the RYA – on paper or in practice

RYA - All At SeaOne of the great things about any watersport is that you are constantly learning.

Whether you’re heading out on to the water for the first time, or perfecting some tricky manoeuvre, it’s all about improving and refining your skills.

And this is where the RYA training structure really comes to the fore: It doesn’t matter what kind of boating you are in to, the RYA will have a course and a qualification for you, ensuring that you have the skills to head out onto the water in a confident frame of mind and with safety uppermost.

If you think about it, recreational boating has been most fortunate over the years to benefit from minimal interference from the bigwigs in Whitehall. This is in part due to the generally excellent safety record we have, but it is also a result of the huge success of the RYA training syllabus.

Over the years this has provided a safe, structured training programme. The scheme was formulated in the 1960s, with a specific ethos of ‘education not legislation’ at its heart.

The RYA has stayed true to this ethos and, in an age where the nanny state seems all pervasive, recreational boaters remain trusted to mind their own affairs, while enjoying the benefits of training schemes that are recognised, admired and often adhered to the world over. The courses are readily available too, with over 2,200 RYA recognised training centres providing training via thousands of RYA instructors. Just look for the RYA tickmark.

RYA courses are constantly being developed and these days they really do offer something for everyone with practical and shorebased courses covering a whole range of subjects from Diesel Engine Maintenance, right through to Sea Survival.

So if you feel that you would benefit from a brush up over the winter months, or perhaps you want to try something out for the first time, you can rely on the RYA training schemes to help you out.

Of course, while a lot of learning has to be done out on the water, sometimes there is no better way to hone your technique than kicking back with some expert tips from a book. Here again, the RYA has it covered.

Over the past decade or so, RYA Publications has grown to establish itself as one of the biggest ‘how to’ marine publishers in the world. Originally intended purely to complement the RYA’s famous training courses, the books have now become very much stand alone titles, covering all aspects of boating from handbooks on deep sea fishing, through to tips on wiring your boat. An indication of the success of this policy is the fact that RYA publications are now available in 13 different languages.

Naturally, the books complement the training schemes and both are all about helping you to be prepared: The classic illustration of the merits of both books and training is in boat handling: get it right in a tight space in a marina and there are few more satisfying feelings, get it wrong and, well, at the very least it’s going to be embarrassing.

Training and reading around the subject can ensure that you have a plan and a greater understanding of what to expect when you throw your engine in reverse ensuring that the only thing you will hear as you come in to berth are murmurs of admiration as opposed to the ominous sound of shattering fibreglass.

An RYA book would make the ideal stocking filler for any seasoned seadog- or beginner for that matteryou can place your order by going to or calling 08445569518.

For more information on courses go to, or contact the RYA Training Department direct on: 08445569528.

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