RYA Coastal Skipper – Practical


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About this course

The RYA Coastal Skipper practical is the course for more advanced skippers who have a practical ability to RYA Day Skipper level and knowledge up to RYA Coastal Skipper/Yachtmaster shorebased standard.

The course concentrates on the techniques and skills required to skipper a yacht on passages involving more complex decision making, passage planning, advanced navigation techniques and pilotage. A passage of longer duration, with particular emphasis placed on watch keeping techniques will usually be undertaken to demonstrate how to manage the yacht on such a passage. You will also be introduced to the practical application of computation tables, secondary ports plus time zones and summer times.

Whilst living onboard throughout the course you will be given the opportunity to improve your close quarters boat handling skills under power and sail. Preparation of the yacht for heavy weather cruising and navigation in restricted visibility is also discussed and practiced.

By the end of this course the successful RYA Coastal Skipper will have sufficient knowledge to skipper a yacht safely on longer coastal and offshore passages by day and night.

This course is suitable those who wish to go on to take the RYA Yachtmaster examination. Candidates must also hold a VHF Radio Operator’s Certificate.

You should have knowledge up to RYA Coastal Skipper/Yachtmaster shorebased standard. Practical ability to RYA Day Skipper level, 15 days onboard (2 days as skipper), 300 miles, 8 night hours.

  • Advanced navigation working with GPS, waypoints, set and drift
  • Advanced methods of position fixing & accurate recording in logbooks
  • Advise radio stations of your position & plans, receive weather & warnings using VHF radio
  • Crew delegation & watch-keeping systems
  • Enter unfamiliar ports & choose a safe anchorage
  • Navigation & yacht handling at night
  • Provisioning as part of the syllabus, food costs to be determined by yourself

Bring a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, bathing suit, a warm jumper, change of clothes (minimal wardrobe needed), towel, sleeping bag and pillow, spray jacket, toilet kit and any personal medication you may require all packed in a flexible soft bag.

5, 6 or 7 Days for just the Coastal Skipper/Yachtmaster Practical course. RYA course completion certificate on successful completion of course. You will be assessed during the course and certificates of satisfactory completion will not be awarded to those who:

  • Are adversely affected by sea sickness to the extent that their ability to skipper a yacht is reduced to a dangerously low level.
  • Are unable to demonstrate sufficient ability in basic seamanship, navigation and yacht handling to appreciate the technique and skills required of a yacht skipper.
  • Demonstrate a lack of understanding of any part of the syllabus to the extent that it would be dangerous for them to go to sea as the skipper of a yacht.

All meals are provided. If you have special dietary needs, please be sure to indicate this in advance when you register for the course.

The RYA Coastal Skipper certificate presented upon successful completion of your course. Please make sure you bring along a passport size photo for the certificate.

Passage Planning
Can plan a coastal passage including consideration of the capability of the yacht, navigation,
victualling, weather, ports of refuge, tidal heights and tidal streams, publications required and

Knows Customs procedures.

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.

Can prepare a pilotage plan, with consideration of soundings, transits, clearing bearings,
buoyage, port or harbour regulations and tidal considerations.
Can pilot a yacht by day and night.

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 navigation equipment for planning and undertaking a passage, including
the use of waypoints and routes.

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.

Yacht handling under sail
Can use the sails to control the yacht in a confined space.
Anchoring and mooring in various conditions or wind and tide.
Can sail efficiently on all points of sailing.

Adverse weather conditions
Preparation for heavy weather and yacht handling in strong winds.
Navigation and general in restricted visibility.

Emergency situations
Recovery of man overboard under power and sail.
Understands actions to be taken when abandoning to the liferaft and during helicopter and
lifeboat rescues.

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