Stokey + 44 : (0)7547 163231

A Welcome Statement

The approach and care to each individual student is always fair and equal and is matched by the wonderful hospitality offered here in Ventnor/Shanklin, because we at IOS, “We know you have a choice”. The above statements can be verified by the many testimonials received by the company over the years.


celestial COURSES


3 Day Astro For Beginners

This 3 day course is ideal for someone new to the subject or just wishing to brush up. The course will give both theoretical and practical insights to the fascinating art and subject of celestial navigation. For those people wishing to obtain the R.Y.A Ocean Yachtmaster theory qualification there is an optional 2 day add on to complete it. The village of Bonchurch is truly worth a visit to appreciate the quaint cottages, large imposing Victorian Mansions and the village pond. It is also renowned for its literary connections. Writers and poets such as Dickens, Stackpole and Swinburn all resided here for a time. Dickens once wrote about Bonchurch …”the prettiest place I ever saw in my life, at home or abroad”. This southern stretch of the island’s coastline has a tropical micro climate and is blessed with often wonderful star viewing skies due to the lack of light pollution in this area. The course is designed not only to be educational but also great fun. 

advanced astro


The Real Navigators Course

This advanced Astro course is 5 days long of which 4 of these cover the theory behind this wonderful skill, you will be taught how to reduce sights for the sun, stars, planets, and the moon. How to make your own chart using newly published plotting sheets sold by Imray and designed by Stokey. Finally you will discover the day in the life of a real celestial navigator by star planning and checking both magnetic and giro compasses for errors using the heavenly bodies. The tutor for this course is always Stokey so you will benefit from his life time Knowledge and experience as a real ocean sailor.  

The 5th day is a pure practical day this can be done either on a ferry to St Malo or in Ventnor on the isle of Wight.  During this day and evening you will be shown how to set up a sextant and practically shoot and reduce real celestial bodies with the real up-to-date Almanac and tables.  ideal for super yacht captains or people wanting to take their celestial skills to another level.  on completion, a certificate will be awarded showing that you have completed an advanced course and level in celestial navigation.    

Astro on the Sea-shore


2 Day Celestial Course

A great little course or add on to any person that has already done the Ocean theory course and now wants to put it into practice. This is a very practical “Hands On” course with both night and daytime sights. See how it is really done with expert tuition by Stokey one of the world’s leading ocean navigators and teachers. 


Day 1: 0900 - 1730 Theory revisited

1900: Brittany Ferries check in desk 

2000: Depart for St Malo

Day 2: 1730 Ferry arrives back into Portsmouth.

Course contents

  • Sextant Checks 
  • Star Planning
  • Star Sight
  • Planet Sight
  • Polaris Sight
  • Sun Sight
  • Noon Sight
  • Plotting

Notes: Sextants, plotting instruments & sheets + all tables provided. 

There will be 2 hours ashore in St Malo before the return crossing, nice time for a croissant and coffee in the old walled town.  

one day practical astro


1 Day - Practical Astro Course

A great little course for any person that has already done the Ocean theory course and now wants not only to put it into practice but also to get fully conversant with the requirements needed for the RYA Ocean qualifying passage. This is a practical “Hands On” course that is very informative with tips from Stokey that you will not read in a book. 

A Typical Day,s Program

  • 0900: Welcome coffee and chat
  • 0915: Sight planning, theoretical sight procedures, sextant checks and a morning sight
  • 1015: Visit Stokey’s Platform (SP) practical Astro, sextant checks, sight procedure and the taking of a morning sun sight 
  • 1100: Work out morning sun sight and reduce a theoretical noon sight Midday: (SP) Take noon sight before returning back to the class room to reduce it.
  • Lunch
  • 1400: Work out a theoretical afternoon sight. Afternoon: (SP) Shoot an afternoon sun sight.
  • 1430: Reduce the afternoon sun sight, make a chart and plot both the theoretical and the practical sights reduced that day. Compass checks, planning, and reduction
  • 1600: General discussion’s on proposed qualifying trip, weather, planning and the presentation of relevant material for the oral exam.
  • 1700: Course ends. 

rya courses


Day Skipper

This course is an introduction to chart work, navigation, meteorology and seamanship. You will learn how to figure out tidal heights and streams and how they affect your course. On the RYA Day Skipper Theory you will also learn the collision rules on how to identify the give way vessel and how to use dead reckoning and estimated position for accurate navigation. The first time you navigate successfully to a destination will give you a fantastic sense of achievement. Before attending the RYA Day Skipper Theory course it is essential that you have had some previous sailing experience.  

Offshore Yachtmaster

This course develops on from the navigation and other theory knowledge acquired on the Day Skipper Course. It is intended for cruising yachtsmen, motor boaters, and power boaters, who are looking to undertake more complex passages, perhaps offshore, at night, or crossing the Channel. It is a demanding theory course covering advanced navigation techniques such as – Position Fixing, Course to Steer, Passage Planning, Pilotage, Meteorology, IRPCS, Stability and Buoyage. By the end of the course the successful student will have a comprehensive knowledge of what is required to navigate to Yachtmaster standard, and will have passed 3 exams on chart work, meteorology, and IRPCS. It is highly recommended that you revise the collision regulations before attending the course, and have acquired the Day Skipper knowledge beforehand, to ensure successful completion.  

Ocean Yachtmaster

The RYA Ocean Yachtmaster  is the final theory course in the syllabus.  It is also the signature course offered by I.O.S. whose eminent students include Emma Richards, Ellen MacArthur, Barbara Harmer (the only female Concorde captain), Phillipe Kahn and John Howard Davies. This course is usually presented and taught in Ventnor on the Isle of Wight but can also be run worldwide. Teaching can be offered on a group or one-to-one basis.The RYA Ocean Yachtmaster theory certificate will be given to successful candidates upon completion.  

2019 A New Celestial Day

a walk through the heavens

 An interesting and fun packed day aimed at people have always wondered about the vastness of the universe and who would love to look up into the night sky and have a better understanding of what they are looking at. 

the venue




Located in Shanklin, on the Isle of Wight, Ocean View is set on the south-east coast of the island. 

Many of the rooms at Ocean View boast balconies with extensive sea views. Every room offers an en suite bathroom, a TV and tea/coffee making facilities.

Ocean View features a piano lounge and a large restaurant. There are a collection of shops housed in traditional thatched cottages just 10 minutes’ walk from the property, along with the start of a scenic coastal cliff walk.

Shanklin Train Station is half a mile away, and Carisbrooke Castle less than a 25-minute drive away. 



  Saturday January 25th 2020 Cost £30 For The Course (Price Includes light Lunch, Tea/Coffee) 

Special Hotel Room Rate £30 Dinner B&B/Person/Night

the DAYS program




  1. Size & Time & distance Of The Universe 
  2. Prowl Through The Planets (Ventnor)
  3. Distances Of The Known Universe  
  4. Putting It All Together
  5. Star Gazing (Culver Down)
  6. Celestial Evening Meal  (Optional)



Stokey's Solar System Walk


Student Testimonial

In October 2014, an evening in Perks Wine Bar somehow ended in an invitation to attend one of Stokey's 'Wonders of the Universe' courses the following day. Like many people, I had always looked up at the stars and planets and asked myself questions like 'how many stars are there?', 'how far away is the Sun?' and 'what is beyond the Milky Way', so I thought, why not? Stokey's presentation was accompanied by fabulous visuals, models and practical demonstrations that answered these questions and more and included the original walk.The talk was fascinating, as Stokey shared his enthusiasm for the mysteries of the solar system and a lifetime of knowledge, presented so that we laymen could grasp the concepts. Stokey led the group down to Horseshoe Bay at Bonchurch, held up a large orange balloon and pronounced it to be the Sun. He then walked us along to Wheelers Bay, pacing out the distance between the planets to. At each stop, we learned some interesting facts and figures about the planet. As we walked along it occurred to me that it would be great to see this walk marked out so locals and visitors could discover the Solar System as they enjoyed a stroll, and so the Solar System Walk was born.

Linda Davis

The Solar Walk

Follow the plaques Supported by Ventnor Enhancement that mark out the distances between the planets to scale, each one bearing some interesting facts. The walk is laid out based on the 1,000-yard model, where one inch represents 100,000 miles. 

Start from Bonchurch where a model of the Sun can be seen and a plaque explaining how many paces you then need to take to get to the first planet Mars. Once the walk is completed you will have walked a total of 1,019 paces, the equivalent to 3,666,000,000 miles! to Pluto.

weather weekend


The Course

This course covers all aspects of practical marine weather, starting from the very basics and ending with all you need to plan your voyages or - weekend outings - safely and efficiently taking into account the weather. This weekend course is intended to be both a practical and theoretical and aimed at the sailing fartienity. On completion it will certainly help you with your decision making whilst planning a voyage and once underway. No prior knowledge of weather is needed just the enthusiasm to learn. 

Course Contents

  • Principles of weather
  • Clouds, winds, fronts, lows, highs Understanding weather maps 
  • Making observations DIY Forecasting Weather Hazards 
  • Sources of weather Information 
  • Using and understanding the shipping forecast  

atlantic planning weekend


The Atlantic Circuit

Have you ever dreamt or even thought about doing a Trans-Atlantic crossing or are you actually planning one? Then! This one day seminar run by I.O.S will be invaluable.This day aims to be informative with practical advice, guidance and some top tips that you won’t have read in the books. Stokey Woodall, who has traversed the Atlantic some 31 times to date and has a wealth of ocean sailing knowledge and experience, will be your host.The content will include stunning visual presentations and will be delivered in Stokey’s own inimitable style with humorous anecdotes added for good measure.Topics to be covered will include 

Course Topics

  • Passage planning to the Canaries The Trans-Atlantic Westbound to the Caribbean
  • Return Atlantic crossing Eastbound to Bermuda and the Azores
  • The Azores Islands talk “Fire and Flowers” 
  • The return passage to Europe UK and the Mediterranean
  • Weather, tactics, sources and weather advice
  • The crew, watch systems, lifestyle and training
  • Publications and charts needed for the trip
  • Ports of call on route
  • Emergency navigation
  • The paperwork   

For More Information & Available Dates

Just Click Link For Email or Call Stokey +44 (0) 7547163231