Getting In & Out of Harbour

With some planning and some knowledge, we can start and end our day safely, making for a relaxed and happy crew.

Learn how to plan and execute a safe departure and arrival.

Approximately 4½ hours

This module explores safely navigating in and out of a harbour, including the preparation and planning required. It covers visual aids for navigation, such as buoys and buoyage systems, both by day and night. It introduces navigational techniques to ensure a smooth process.

This knowledge allows us to perform pilotage, the nautical term for getting in and out of a harbour.

This module is part of the Day Skipper theory course.

Enrol to get access to this content now.

Module Prerequisites

Before learning about buoys and pilotage, you need to understand charts, positioning, where there will be water, and the impact wind and tide have on your vessel. Trying to get in and out of a harbour is only relevant if you know where the harbour is and if there’s enough water to float!

Don’t worry; we’ll walk you through each step step-by-step, and make sure you are confident in the subject.

Chart Familiarisation

Learn to read, interpret & use paper and electronic charts for navigation.

Position Fixing

Learn tools and techniques to position yourself on a chart visually & electronically.

Tidal Heights

Learn to find water depth anywhere on a chart using the Almanac & electronic tools.

Plotting Positions

Learn how to plot positions on a chart using tide, boat speed and direction.

Skills Covered

Once you complete this module, you’ll understand buoys & buoyage, lighthouses and how to plan to get in and out of a harbour safely. Of course, you’ll also have the coveted Buoyage & Pilotage insignia!

Buoyage & Pilotage

Learn how to plan and safely execute departure from or arrival at port.

For this module, you will need the following:
The Day Skipper course pack includes the RYA Almanac and charts required to complete this module. Enrol for access and your course pack will be dispatched within 24 hours.
Everything needed to complete this module is included in your course pack.
Downloadable resources:
Many of our downloads are available FREE! You don't have to be enrolled in one of our courses; you can study with any sailing school and still get access! Sign up for immediate access.
Downloadable resources are to support learning, not a pre-requisite for the sessions. You only need to download or print something if it helps your understanding of a topic.
Module downloads:

    Students enrolled on a course have direct access to a briefing room where they can get instructor support. If you are enrolled on a course, log in to access your briefing room.


    Module Includes

    • 3 Topics
    • 9 Sessions
    • 1 Exercise