You take the theoretical boat exam on the computer at the shipping office in your canton of residence.

Here are the most important tips on the theory exam and how you can prepare for it:



  • You can register for the theory test yourself at the shipping office in your canton of residence.
  • To register, you must complete a form, take an eye test and enclose a passport photo and confirmation of your identity.
  • You can find the form, the exam dates and the registration form on the homepage of the respective shipping office. Here is an overview of all shipping offices.
  • The cost of the theory test varies between CHF 30 and 60, depending on the canton.


Info about the exam

  • The theory exam for the sailing licence (cat. D) and motorboat licence (cat.A) is the same.
  • The exam takes place on the computer / tablet. It can be taken in German, French, Italian or English.
  • From around 510 questions, you will be asked a selection of 60 questions at the examination.
  • There are always 3 possible answers, one or two of which are correct. 180 points can be collected (3 points per question). Each wrong answer is counted as an error. You are allowed a maximum of 15 demerits.
  • You will be informed of the result immediately after the exam.
  • After passing the exam, you have 24 months to take the practical exam.


Learn on your own

You have to prepare yourself for the theory exam. You can order the official exam questions from the shipping office or there are various providers of learning applications:

  • The official exam questions can be ordered from the cantonal shipping office for CHF 89. Click here for their demo of the ship theory exam. (only on german and french)
  • offers both a free version and a pro version for 18.90 CHF with everything you need to know. (only in german)
  • offers various learning materials. There is also an app for the theory questions, which you can test for 7 days free of charge. After that, it costs 30 CHF, which you will get back when you take practical lessons at a BoatDriver partner school.