Coastal Skipper Course – your questions answered
I want to charter a yacht, which sailing qualification do I need?
Whilst the Day Skipper course will teach you how to skipper a cruising yacht on short coastal passages by day and is accepted by most charter companies in the UK, the Coastal Skipper course will enable you to add night sailing. If you are chartering a yacht abroad, your Coastal Skipper certificate will enable you to apply for an International Certificate of Competence (subject to the ICC terms and conditions). If you wish to charter a larger yacht or sail further afield, you may need to prove that you are an experienced skipper or pass a Yachtmaster Coastal or Yachtmaster Offshore exam.
Do I need to take a Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster Skipper theory course?
You will need to have navigation theory to the level of the RYA Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster theory course. We offer this:
These methods will enable you to be awarded the Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster theory certificate subject to passing an exam and ensure that you are at the correct level to take the Coastal Skipper practical course.
What sailing experience do I need before taking the practical course?
We recommend that you take the RYA Day Skipper course. This 5 day course will give you the requisite mileage as well as all the skills you need to skipper a sailing yacht. It is the perfect course for new skippers learning to navigate as well as providing a sound basis on which to move on to Coastal Skipper.
What sort of yachts do you use?
All our yachts are modern Bavaria cruising yachts. Each yacht is designed for comfort first and has 3 or 4 comfortable cabins with on board toilet and washing facilities. The galley is well equipped with a oven and gas hob, fridge and plenty of storage. The cockpit is spacious with wheel steering and plenty of seating for the crew.
How many other students will be on the boat?
There will be a maximum of 5 students on the boat and a skipper. You will be accommodated throughout the course on a comfortable cruising yacht which can sleep up to 8 people in 3 cabins and the saloon. Occasionally you will be on a larger yacht with 4 cabins. There is likely to be a mix of Competent Crew and Coastal Skipper students.
How can I be sure about safety?
All our yachts are coded by the Maritime Coastguard Agency (MCA) and have to meet demanding standards of safety. In addition Commodore Yachting have added extra safety features such as crotch straps on life jackets for extra peace of mind. Our RYA instructors are all highly qualified and are expected to attend one of our ‘School Instructor Days’ led by the school principal just so we can be sure that they meet our high standards.
What is included in the course fee?
The course fee is fully inclusive and includes:
* Accommodation on board the yacht throughout the course –
* Breakfasts, lunches and two evening meals
* Free hire of waterproofs
* All berthing fees
* All safety equipment
Are you able to offer a discount as there are two of us booking and it’s slightly more than we wanted to pay?
This is a difficult one! The question we ask ourselves is where can we make the saving?
The answer then is is easy – we can’t! What we can do if offer a quality course on modern boats with top class instruction. Behind the scenes are our engineers, boat maintainers, cleaners and admin team. They ensure your course runs as smoothly as possible, from the moment you make that first enquiry to the end of your course.
In 2019 we were awarded the Trip Adviser ‘Certificate of Excellence’ for the fourth time so it would seem we are getting it right!
So no discounts?
Luckily, we are able to make discounts from time to time. Amazingly, the way we offer discounts actually helps us to save money by ensuring unfilled places are offered. Check our Website and Facebook page for last minute discounts. You will find ‘SALE’ items on many of the course pages. We also send out newsletters from time to time with special offers. If you are flexible with regard to dates you might consider booking a STAND BY course saving 20% on course fees.
I have a long distance to travel and would like to arrive the evening before the course begins. Do I need to book a hotel?
You will be accommodated on board your yacht on the Friday or Sunday evening before your course begins. Your instructor will usually be on board and by arriving the evening before there is time to get to know your yacht, instructor and fellow crew members before going out for a relaxing meal or drink at a local pub. We suggest 1900 hrs as a good time to arrive but there is no problem if this is too early for you, just e-mail us with your arrival time. There is no charge for this accommodation.
I would like my friend to come but she has never been sailing before. Can we do the course together?
The RYA Competent Crew course would be the perfect course for your friend. This sailing course is suitable for the complete beginner and teaches them the sailing skills necessary to become a useful member of the crew. We often have a mix of people taking the Coastal Skipper course and the Competent Crew course on the same boat and we find this works very well.
I would be arriving by train, how far is the sailing school from the station?
We are based at Gosport Marina and it takes about 5 minutes to cross the harbour from Portsmouth Harbour station on the Gosport ferry which can be found just outside the station. We are then 5 minutes walk from the Ferry port. We are also within easy walking distance of the national coach drop off points.
What do I need to bring with me?
You will need to bring a sleeping bag, pillow and pillow case, towel and some warm clothing. It can sometimes be cooler on a boat even in the summer. You will also need some non slip shoes with non marking soles. You don’t need to buy special sailing clothes but if you want to purchase anything there is a Marine Store, ‘You Boat’ just outside the marina which offers our students a 10% discount off most items.
You may also want to bring any special snacks / drinks that you can’t live without as it is impossible to cater for everyone’s favourites!