RYA Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster Theory Course

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RYA Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster Theory Course


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About This Course

RYA Coastal Skipper/Yachtmaster theory Course

Course Content:

The RYA Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster Theory course is an advanced navigation course for more experienced skippers building on knowledge gained during the Day Skipper theory and practical courses. The course equips you to navigate safely on coastal and offshore passages. It allows some time for revision of the basics and then moves on to advanced navigation techniques. This course will be held at our Gosport Marina classroom.

We have a maximum of 6 students on this course ensuring that each student gets the maximum possible attention from the instructor. Small class sizes allow each student to work at their own pace, ask questions and gain the greatest possible benefit from taking this theory course.

The RYA Coastal / Yachtmaster Theory course will take your theory knowledge to the standard required for the Coastal Skipper, Yachtmaster Coastal and Yachtmaster Offshore practical exams, concentrating on advanced navigation and meteorology skills.

The course is taught over 6 days with three exam papers at the end of the course.

Accommodation is available on board at £20 per night.

Go sailing for less!

Standby places – save 20% on course prices!

We will offer you a place shortly before the course start date.

This classroom based course takes place over six days.

We also offer the RYA Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster theory course as:

Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster Theory Course On-line

You will need to have studied Day Skipper theory and some practical sailing experience is desirable before taking this course, we recommend that you take the RYA Day Skipper course to prepare you for the RYA Day Skipper Theory Course. There are 3 exam papers at the end of the course and a certificate will be awarded for passing.

This course is non residential although we may be able to arrange accommodation on board a boat subject to availability.

Contact us if you would like us to run a Day Skipper Theory course in your club or office.

50 hour course

Are you ready for Coastal Skipper?

Day Skipper Practical Course

Pre Requisites for Coastal Skipper/Yachtmaster Theory (Classroom):

  • No Minimum Age
  • Day Skipper Theory

What is included:

  • Services of experienced RYA Instructor
  • Course pack and Training Almanac
  • Tea, coffee and biscuits throughout the day
  • Modern marina facilities at base within easy walking distance of public transport

What is not Included:

  • Breton Plotter and Divider set – available for purchase if required
  • 2B pencil, eraser, notepad etc
  • Accommodation on board a yacht if required – £20 per night
  • Meals
  • Secure parking at Gosport Marina (capped at £10.00 for duration of course)

What to expect:

  • Taught in small class of up to 8 students
  • Classes start at 9 am and usually finish around 5.30 pm. You may be set homework and you may study for longer some days if necessary

What next?

After this course we recommend you take the RYA Coastal Skipper practical course.

Duration6 daysMaximum students : instructor8:1
LocationGosportMinimum ageAll ages
What’s includedAll course materials.
Access to Navathome On-line Course
Tea, coffee and biscuits.
ExtrasLog books, Plotters and dividers available to purchase. Bring notepads + 2b pencils. Lunch can be purchased locally or you can bring your own.
When6 days all year, 0900hrs – 1700hrs AccommodationNon residential.
Let us know aboutAny special requirements and needsCost£380

The Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster Theory is an advanced course in navigation and meteorology for candidates for the Coastal Skipper and Yachtmaster Coastal and Offshore Certificates. The syllabus will include revision of subjects in the Day Skipper course but cannot provide the knowledge taught in the Day Skipper theory course in the time available.

The Yachtmaster Theory Course is applicable both to sailing and to motor cruising

Subjects covered are:

  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
  1. 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
  1. Tides
  • Causes of tide – Springs and Neaps
  • Tide tables – sources
  • Tidal levels and datum
  • Standard and secondary ports
  • Tide anomalies (Solent, etc.)
  1. Tidal Streams
  • Sources of tidal information
  • Tidal stream information
  • Course to steer allowing for tidal streams and leeway
  • Tide rips, overfalls and races
  • Tidal observation buoys, beacons etc.
  1. Buoyage
  • IALA system buoyage in Region A
  • Limitations of buoys as navigational aids
  1. Lights
  • Characteristics
  • Ranges – visual, luminous and nominal
  • Rising and dipping distances
  • Light lists
  1. Pilotage
  • Harbour regulations and control signals
  • Methods of pre-planning
  • Clearing lines
  • Use of soundings
  • Transits and leading lines
  1. 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
  1. Echo sounders
  • Principles of operation and limitations of use
  1. Logs (speed and distance measuring)
  • Principles of operation limitations of use
  1. Ship’s log
  • Importance of log
  • Layout of log, hourly and occasional entries
  1. 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
  1. Rules of the Road
  • A sound knowledge of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, except Annexes 1 and 3
  1. 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
  1. Navigation in restricted visibility
  • Precautions to be taken in fog
  • Limitations to safe navigation imposed by fog
  • Navigation in poor visibility
  1. 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

FEEDBACK – Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster Theory Course – Student Reviews

Great course, the instructor was very knowledgable and patient!

Tom – Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster Theory Course

We want you to pass!

What if I don't pass?

We will offer you a further weekend FREE!

In the unlikely event of you not passing by the end of the course we promise to provide extra training FREE to help you complete your Day Skipper¹. Whilst we cannot guarantee that you will pass we would like to assist as much as we can. (see below for conditions)


¹ Our ‘Free Weekend Offer’ is subject to the following conditions:

      • Students must have theory knowledge to Day Skipper level.
      • RYA Day Skipper theory course must have been passed within 12 months of the Day Skipper practical course OR the student may be asked to sit an Day Skipper theory exam paper in our classroom.
      • Students must have passed the RYA Competent Crew course.
      • Extra  training will be offered subject to the recommendation of one of our experienced RYA instructors up to a maximum of 2 days.
      • This offer excludes any expenses incurred by the student in attending the extra training.
      • Our instructor will offer instruction to Day Skipper level however we are unable to guarantee a pass.
      • Any training offered will be subject to availability.


The Small Print

Evening meals taken ashore on weekend courses.

** We will provide breakfast, lunch and two evening meal 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.