RYA Dinghy Instructor Pre Course Quiz


NOTE:  This questionnaire has been designed to test candidates theoretical and general windsurfing knowledge and understanding of the RYA Sailing Scheme.  You are advised to prepare written answers to all these questions before attending the course.  Your answers to these may well serve as a useful reference when you arrive.  Your knowledge will be tested throughout the course.


  1. What is the no-go zone?
  2. Draw a sketch of the basic points of a sail
  3. Explain, using a diagram, how a sail works
  4. Explain, using a diagram, the difference between laminar and turbulent flow
  5. Describe how you would tune a boat in stronger winds
  6. What are the main functions of a dagger board?


  1. What are the pros and cons of a centreboard versus a dagger?
  2. Explain, using a diagram, the term apparent wind
  3. How do you know when you are sailing too close to the wind?
  4. What is the slowest point of sailing in a Force 3 wind?
  5. Explain why a boat turns if it is not flat?
  6. What is the fastest point of sailing in a Force 3 wind? Why?
  7. Describe the following:
    • Head to wind position
    • Illustrate the above, showing in your drawing, boat, wind and sail position
  8. What could be the causes of severe weather helm?
  9. If trapezing, when might you want to extend the lines?
  10. How would you describe a tack to a beginner?
  11. What are the five essentials?


  1. Explain how a wetsuit works
  2. How does a spray top work?
  3. List 10 bits of kit you would take for an unsupported day sail.
  4. What are the advantages and disadvantages of polyethylene over fibreglass?
  5. What are the main advantages and disadvantages of:
    1. a single lined wetsuit
    2. a double lined wetsuit
  6. Draw a diagram naming the 3 corners and 3 sides of a sail


  1. On weather maps, how is an occluded front indicated? (Diagram)
  2. Give 2 units for the measurement of wind
  3. Give 2 names for a low pressure area
  4. When, during a day, is a sea breeze usually at its strongest?
  5. Explain, using diagrams, how a sea breeze is established
  6. In the Northern Hemisphere, the wind caused by a depression blows in which direction?
  7. Describe a Force 4 in:
    • general terms
    • open sea state
    • knots
  8. What is the difference between a land breeze and a sea breeze
  9. What is an anti-cyclone commonly called?
  10. What is atmospheric pressure measured in?
  11. Draw a diagram of a bay indicating:
    • lee shore
    • the area you would expect rough water
    • the area you would expect calm water
    • weather shore
  12. What is the ideal wind direction for running a first time single hander session?
  13. Which wind and tide directions produce the worst sea state?
  14. Give 4 sources of weather forecasts?
  15. On a weather map showing isobars very close together, what conditions you would expect?


  1. Draw a diagram to indicate the rule of twelfths
  2. How often do neap tides occur?
  3. How are the earth, sun and moon positioned during a Spring tide?
  4. At which stages of a lunar month is a beach only likely to be completely covered by water?
  5. Along any stretch of coastline, give two places where you would expect to find the strongest tidal streams
  6. Give 4 sources of tidal information
  7. What are the initials of the buoyage system in operation around the UK?
  8. Under the system in the above question, what colour buoys mark the shipping channels close to ports?


  1. Describe 2 methods of signalling you require assistance
  2. Describe how you would tow another dinghy
  3. How could you get ashore with a broken dagger board?
  4. Describe the hand signals for ‘help’
  5. How would you tow several boats in a confined area?
  6. How would you deal with a broken rudder?


  1. What should you carry in a safety boat at sea?
  2. What is the difference between a buoyancy aid and a lifejacket?
  3. What is the telephone number of the HM Coastguard?
  4. Between sail craft what are the 3 main Rules of the Road?
  5. What is the overriding principle of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (IRPCS)?


  1. A powerboat collides with a board. By the time you arrive in the safety boat, the casualty has a badly gashed leg, is unconscious and not breathing.  What do you do first?
  2. What should you do with an unconscious but breathing person?
  3. What 2 actions would you take to stop minor bleeding?
  4. List the 4 main symptoms of Hypothermia?
  5. What major precautions should you take to prevent sunstroke?
  6. What should you not give to a patient with hypothermia?
  7. You have given first aid to a person with a badly cut foot. On your way to shore you notice that the blood has soaked through your dressing.  What further action would you take?
  8. In cases of apparent drowning how would you commence CPR and with what ratio?
  9. What condition do you need to monitor for after any injury or other condition?
  10. Someone has been hit on the head with the boom. What assessment or action should you take?