Skysail Training


RYA 1 Day Radar Course

RADAR Training - the RYA 1 Day Course - at your home, boat or sailing club (S England)

Available for 1 to 1, groups or on your own boat. Contact  me to make arrangements on a convenient date.

120 for one person including RYA certificate and radar handbook.  Prices negotiable for groups of two or more.

Radar resources - click here - Course notes, MAIB reports, Ouzo report , Wahkuna report, free Radar Plotting Sheet, instructions. Abbreviations

Radar Controls -  crib card - with guide to all the Controls, and Collision Regs in restricted visibility.

3 photos of the same view from a boat moored at Dittisham

Radar is one of the most useful safety assets on a small boat, but needs  knowledge and practice with the controls, and awareness of its limitations, to make it safe and useful. If you have radar fitted to your vessel you are required to know how to use it, and how  to apply the Collision Regulations in restricted visibility.

 We deliver the knowledge required for the RYA 1 Day  Radar Course Certificate using the latest RYA approved simulator software, showing both CRT and LCD screen displays.

The Radar Simulator acts exactly like a real marine radar set, but the environment can be fully controlled. All the standard set-up options are provided, giving control over brilliance, gain, range, tuning, sea clutter and rain clutter.  All of the common functions, such as Head-Up or North-Up, EBL, VRM, echo stretch, wakes, and Guard Zones, has either its own control button, or follows the modern practice ( like Raymarine) of using menus and soft-keys for function selection.  The exercises provide plenty of practice in target plotting, collision avoidance including MARPA, and recognition and control of sea and rain clutter.

At the end of the course you will have a good working knowledge of radar operations and be able to apply it to collision avoidance and navigation. 

Course contents

The small boat Radar system

    • Radar - overview of principles
    • Limitations of small craft radar
    • Primary controls and adjustments

Understanding the radar picture

  • Radar screen presentation
  • Sea and Rain clutter controls, interference
  • False images causes and effects
  • North Up, Head up & Course up
  • Accuracy and inaccuracies of radar
  • Relative and True Motion

Use of radar as a navigation and pilotage aid

    • Fixes by range and bearing
    • Parallel indexing

Radar reflectors

    • Radar cross section

    • Passive and Active radar reflectors

    • Limitations of Reflectors

Collision avoidance

    • Case studies - Wahkuna/Vespucci and Ouzo
    • IRPCS and application of the Collision Regulations in restricted visibility
    • Radar Plotting techniques, and many worked examples and exercises
    • Use of Mini Automatic Radar Plotting Aid (MARPA)
    • AIS - Automatic Identification System - not part of the RYA syllabus, but we cover it.

You will use a PC simulator throughout the course to learn the techniques and see the effect of your actions.

This course also meets the training requirements for skippers of licenced workboats fitted with radar.

Suitable for maritime security officers requiring radar knowledge to meet their career requirements for anti piracy operations.

Please bring plotter and dividers. The RYA Course Handbook and Question & Answer book are provided.


References from yacht clubs are available - RYA Reference


Books for more detailed guidance:  (hover mouse over link).


 by Bill Johnson.
Good chapter on AIS (not in most radar books).
 By Tim Bartlett.
Good all round on electronics
 by Robert Avis.
Excellent on seamanship in general, good chapters on Radar


You can buy a personal copy of the radar simulator for 60.00, please for details  


Radar RYA 1 day course notes



Radar plotting instructions

Radar plotting exercises worked examples


Radar abbreviations


Loss of the Ouzo - MAIB and MCGA documents

Click here for live AIS feeds:    and

FMCW BroadbandRadar:  AND New Radar Technology.pdf

RYA 1 Day Radar Course In Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire.  Ox Berks and Bucks 

posted 18TH April 2012