RYA Coastal Skipper Combined Theory and Practical Course

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RYA Coastal Skipper Combined Theory and Practical Course


RYA Coastal Skipper Combined Theory and Practical Course with free accommodation on board for the full course!



About This Course

RYA Coastal Skipper Combined Theory and Practical Course

Combined Coastal Skipper theory and practical course – have the best of both worlds! We have added a new course – Combine the Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster Theory and Coastal Skipper practical in one 9 day course. There will be some on-line study to do at home but plenty of classroom study to go through the chartwork and tease out any issues. Having trialled this course over the summer, we have extended it from 7 to 9 days to include the assessment. We have been asked for this course by so many people – now here it is!

The RYA Coastal Skipper Combined Theory and Practical Course is a great way to achieve both the advanced Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster Theory navigation certificate and Coastal Skipper practical certificate in one intensive Fastrack Coastal Skipper course. This course takes place over 9 days and is backed up by home study on-line with the Navathome Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster Theory On-line course. This is an essential part of the course and enables us to reduce the course length from 12 days down to a more manageable 9 days.

You will generally spend the first few days of the course in our classroom at Gosport Marina where you will study advanced navigation, collision regulations and meteorology. You will then go to sea on one of our modern Bavaria yachts during which time you will be taught further theory including passage planning, advanced pilotage and seamanship. You will also be taught the full Coastal Skipper practical syllabus.

We offer a flexible approach to the itinerary of this course and the mix of theory and practical study to take individual learning requirements into consideration, returning to the classroom for further theory study and assessments during the course.

As this is a combined Coastal Skipper theory and practical course you will be expected to complete both aspects and pass the theory assessment before your Coastal Skipper theory and practical certificates can be issued.

Unlike most sailing schools we provide free accommodation on the yacht for the duration of this course including ‘Bed and Breakfast’ during the theory part so you will not need to look for a hotel and incur extra expenses.

Course fee includes RYA Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster course packs, berthing fees, hire of waterproofs and accommodation on board throughout.

After successful completion of this course you will receive FREE access to Navathome Revision for 2 years after you pass this course.

Pre Requisites for the RYA Coastal Skipper Combined Theory and Practical Course:

  • Minimum Age 17
  • Day Skipper

What is included:

  • Services of experienced RYA Instructor
  • Access to Navathome Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster Theory course
  • Access to Navathome Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster Revision for 2 years after completion
  • Accommodation on board your yacht throughout – you do not need to find a hotel for the theory part
  • Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster theory pack + training almanac
  • Meals eaten on board (excluding joining night and during theory) *
  • Berthing Fees
  • Use of foul weather gear
  • Use of a life jacket and all safety equipment
  • RYA Coastal Skipper Sail Photo Certificate (Bring a passport sized photo)
  • Modern marina facilities at base within easy walking distance of public transport

What is not Included:

  • Meals eaten ashore and during theory part of course
  • Secure parking at Gosport Marina (capped at £10.00 for duration of course)
  • Postage of course materials outside Europe and to Spain, Portugal and Italy. We will invoice you £30 for DHL delivery.

What to expect:

  • You will need to put in approximately 25 hours home study before attending this course
  • At least one evening will be spent with navigation self study during the week – please bring a laptop or other device
  • Up to 5 students on board
  • You may have to share a cabin or saloon although we try to match boat layout to mix of students
  • There is a sole occupancy option for anyone who would prefer the privacy of their own cabin
  • The best plans are drawn in the sand at low tide – in order to complete the syllabus be prepared for your instructor to make changes based on wind, tide and anything else that can effect the course.

Useful pre course preparation

The RNLI have produced a series of useful quizzes and games on their interactive learning website. They are a fun way to prepare for your Coastal Skipper course. Check out  RNLI Interactive

What next?

After this course we recommend you build up your experience either by taking one of our milebuilding cruises, chartering a yacht or sailing on your own or friend’s boats. The next stages in the RYA cruising scheme are Yachtmaster Coastal and Yachtmaster Offshore.

Upon successful completion of the RYA Coastal Skipper Combined Theory and Practical Course you will be awarded the RYA new style of certificate which will be registered on the RYA database. Students will be required to provide a passport size photograph when attending the RYA Day Skipper practical course.

Are you ready for Coastal Skipper?

This is an advanced level course and you will need to have completed the RYA Day Skipper course or have equivalent experience before taking the RYA Coastal Skipper course

Coastal Skipper course

Not ready for the Coastal Skipper course?

The RYA 9 day Combined Day Skipper theory and practical course is the ideal preparation for Coastal Skipper.

Can’t find the time to take this Combined Coastal Skipper course?

Why not take the Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster on-line theory  course at home and then come down to our Gosport Marina base to take your Coastal Skipper practical course over 5 days.

Can’t find the time to take this Combined Day Skipper course?

Why not take our Day Skipper on-line theory  course at home and then come down to our Gosport Marina base to take your Day Skipper practical course over 5 days or weekends.

You can even book a cabin to yourself for your course.

Duration9 days + On-line study at homeMaximum students : instructor5:1
LocationSolentMinimum age17 although under 18s must be accompanied by an adult
What’s includedAccommodation on board one of our Bavaria yachts, throughout, berthing fees, Day Skipper Theory pack Almanac, Navathome access + Navathome Revision
breakfast, lunch, 2 evening meals and drinks on board, free hire of wet weather gear. 'Bed and Breakfast' during theory part.
ExtrasEvening meals eaten ashore during the course and on joining night if required. Lunches and evening meals during theory part of the course. Log books £6.49 available to purchase if required.
WhenUsually Sat 9am to Sunday afternoon 1600hrs.  All year roundDon’t forgetAnything you cannot travel without as we cannot cater for everyone’s special favourites!
Let us know aboutAny special dietary requirements and needs.
Please note, we will do our best to cater for vegetarian diets or food allergies but not general food fads! Please call the office if in doubt.

Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster Theory Syllabus

1. Position

  • Dead reckoning and estimated position
  • Satellite-derived position
  • Use of waypoints to fix position
  • Radar fixes
  • Techniques of visual fixing
  • Fixes using a mixture of position lines
  • Relative accuracy of different methods of position fixing
  • Area of uncertainty

2. The magnetic compass

  • Allowance for variation
  • Change of variation with time and position
  • Causes of deviation
  • Swing for deviation (but not correction)
  • Allowance for deviation
  • Different types of compass

3. Tides

  • Causes of tide – Springs and Neaps
  • Tide tables – sources
  • Tidal levels and datum
  • Standard and secondary ports
  • Tide anomalies (Solent, etc.)

4. Tidal Streams

  • Sources of tidal information
  • Tidal stream information in sailing directions and Yachtsmen’s Almanacs
  • Allowance for tidal streams in computing a course to steer
  • Tide rips, overfalls and races
  • Tidal observation buoys, beacons etc.

5. Buoyage

  • IALA system buoyage in Region A
  • Limitations of buoys as navigational aids

6. Lights

  • Characteristics
  • Ranges – visual, luminous and nominal
  • Rising and dipping distances
  • Light lists

7. Pilotage

  • Harbour regulations and control signals
  • Methods of pre-planning
  • Clearing lines
  • Use of soundings
  • Transits and leading lines

8. GPS and chart plotters

  • Principles of operation and limitations of use
  • Raster and vector charts
  • Datum
  • Importance of confirmation of position by an independent source and keeping a separate record of position
  • Importance of paper charts

9. Echo sounders

  • Principles of operation and limitations of use

10. Logs (speed and distance measuring)

  • Principles of operation limitations of use

11. Deck log

  • Importance of log as yacht’s official document
  • Layout of log, hourly and occasional entries

12. Meteorology

  • Basic terms, the Beaufort scale b. Air masses c. Cloud types d. Weather patterns associated with pressure and frontal systems e. Sources of weather forecasts f. Ability to interpret a shipping forecast, weatherfax and weather satellite information g. Land and sea breezes h. Sea fog i. Use of barometer as a forecasting aid

13. Rules of the Road

  • A sound knowledge of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, except Annexes 1 and 3

14. Safety at Sea

  • Personal safety, use of lifejackets, safety harnesses and lifelines
  • Fire prevention and fire fighting
  • Distress signals
  • Coastguard and Boat Safety Scheme
  • Preparation for heavy weather
  • Liferafts and helicopter rescue
  • Understanding of capabilities of vessel and basic knowledge of stability

15. Navigation in restricted visibility

  • Precautions to be taken in fog
  • Limitations to safe navigation imposed by fog
  • Navigation in poor visibility

16. Passage planning

  • Preparation of charts and notebook for route planning and making, and use at sea
  • Customs regulations as they apply to yachts
  • Routine for navigating in coastal waters
  • Strategy for course laying
  • Use of waypoints and routes
  • Use of weather forecast information for passage planning strategy
  • Sources of local and national regulations

RYA Coastal Skipper Syllabus

The aim of this course is to teach the skills and techniques required to skipper a cruising yacht safely on coastal passages by day and night.

  • 1. Passage planning
  • Can plan a coastal passage including a consideration of the capability of the yacht, navigation, victualling, weather, ports of refuge, tidal heights, and tidal streams, publications required and strategy
  • Know Customs procedures
  • 2. Preparation for sea
  • Is aware of safety equipment required for offshore passages
  • Can prepare a yacht for sea including stowage, safety briefing, watch keeping, delegating responsibilities and equipment and engine checks
  • 3. Pilotage
  • Can prepare a pilotage plan, with consideration of surroundings, transits, clearing bearings, buoyage, port or harbour regulations and tidal considerationsb. Can pilot a yacht by day and night
  • 4. Passage making and ability as skipper
  • Can take charge of a yacht and direct the crew
  • Can organise the navigation, deckwork, and domestic duties of a yacht on passage
  • Is aware of the significance of meteorological trends
  • Is aware of crew welfare on passage
  • Can use electronic navigational equipment for planning and undertaking a passage, including the use of waypoints and routes
  • 5. Yacht handling under power
  • Can control the yacht effectively in a confined space under power
  • All berthing and unberthing situations in various conditions of wind and tide
  • 6. Yacht handling under sail
  • Characteristics
  • Can use the sails to control the yacht in a confined space
  • Anchoring and mooring in various conditions of wind and tide
  • Can sail efficiently on all points of sailing
  • 7. Adverse weather conditions
  • Preparation for heavy weather and yacht handling in strong winds
  • Navigation and general conduct in restricted visibility
  • 8. Emergency situations
  • Recovery of man overboard under power and sail
  • Understands action to be taken when abandoning to the liferaft and during helicopter and lifeboat rescues

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The Small Print

** We will provide breakfast, lunch and three evening meals with some cakes and biscuits for coffee / tea breaks. We are unable to provide an endless supply of food  / fruit / snacks including crisps and chocolate. Should you like to snack throughout the day or have particular food favourites we respectfully request that you purchase these yourself. 

Additional information


April 6th – 14th