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RYA Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster Theory Course

  • NEXT COURSE: Sun 7th - Fri 12th April 2024

    The RYA Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster Theory Course is is an advanced course aimed towards students who wish to skipper a yacht on longer coastal passages or who are working towards taking the Coastal Skipper or Yachtmaster Offshore practical exams. It requires knowledge equivalent to the RYA Day Skipper Theory Course and some practical experience is also recommended.

    The RYA Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster Theory Course covers:

    • Advanced navigation techniques,
    • Tidal heights including detailed secondary port calculations
    • Tidal Streams
    • GPS and chart plotters
    • Meteorology including weather prediction by observation all of which will be used when planning and undertaking a passage
    • Collision regulations
    • Stability
    • Safety
    • Pilotage
    • Passage Planning

    The standard course is run over six consecutive days or two long weekends from 9.00am to 5.30pm or you can complete it online.   We also run this course over evenings from October to April.  Towards the end of the course you will be given three assessment papers to complete, the first on chartwork and tides, the second on passage making and the third on the collision regulations. We strongly recommended that you revise the Rules of the Road before attending the course and that you brush up on your chartwork in order to get the most out of the teaching time. We can also run this course to suit your individual needs (see the link to bespoke courses).

    All equipment to complete the course will be provided. You just need to bring a notepad. Tea and coffee is included and you can get lunch from the deck cafe on site or in the village which is a short walk away.

    To help our students after the course you will be provided with a Coastal Skipper Yachtmaster Theory post course revision pack together with a service to answer your queries by e-mail.

    In order to obtain the Yachtmaster Offshore Practical Certificate you also need to obtain the RYA VHF Radio Operators Certificate together with the RYA First Aid Course.

    1. Position
      • Dead reckoning and estimated position
      • Satellite derived positions
      • 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
      • Areas 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 tides - Springs and Neaps
      • Tide tables - sources
      • Tidal levels and datum
      • Standard and secondary ports
      • Tidal anomolies (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 and 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
      • Air masses
      • Cloud types
      • Weather patterns associated with pressure and frontal systems
      • Sources of weather forecasts
      • Ability to interpret a shipping forecast, weatherfax and weather satellite information
      • Land and sea breezes
      • Sea fog
      • Use of a barometer as a forecasting aid
    13. Rule 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 cababilities of vessels and basic knowledge of stability
    15. Navigation in restricted visibility
      • Precautions to be taken in fog
      • Limitations to safe navigation imposed by fog
      • Navigation strategy 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
    17. Marine Environment
      • Responsibilty to minimise pollution and protect the marine environment
  • These are a few of the questions we get asked by people booking on the RYA Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster Theory Course.  If you have any further queries or are unsure whether this is the course for you, please call us on 01243 432485 or 07702 842190 and we will be only too happy to chat to you. 

    What time does the course start and finish?

    Typically we start at 9.00am and finish at about 5.30pm each day with an hour break for lunch

    What is included in the course fee?

    The price includes all course materials to be able to complete the course and exam fees. Plotters and dividers are provided for the duration of the course except for evening classes when you will need to provide your own.

    What do I need to bring?

    You just need to bring a notepad with you (ideally A4 size).

    Where is the course held?

    It will be held at one of our classroom in Emsworth Yacht Harbour, Thorney Road, Emsworth, Hants PO10 8BP

    What qualifications or experience do I need to complete the RYA Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster Theory Course

    You need to have the knowledge equivalent to the Day Skipper Theory Course to be able to attend this course. As a guide you need to be able to:

    • To be able to plot bearings on a paper chart with either a Portland plotter or parallel rules
    • To be able to plot an estimated position taking into the effect of tidal streams.
    • To be able to plot a course to steer onto a paper chart taking into account the effect of tidal streams
    • To be able to work out the relevant hour for tidal streams and to know how to use tidal diamonds and the tidal stream atlas
    • To be able to work out tidal heights at a standard port using the tidal heights curve in an almanac
    • To be reasonably familiar with the collision regulations

    Are there any exams?

    There are three assessment papers which are completed towards the end of the course:

    • Collision Regulations
    • Passage Making
    • Chartwork & tides

    We offer flexibility in completing the papers, so on the rare occasions where you feel you need more time to prepare for them we allow you to complete them at a later date.

    What qualification will I get once I have completed the course

    On successful completion of the course you will be issued with the RYA Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster Shorebased Certificate.

    How many people will there be on the course?

    We have a maximum of 9 people on a course, though usually the numbers are smaller than this.

    Do I need to do the RYA Coastal skipper / Yachtmaster Shorebased Course

    If you need to obtain the RYA Yachtmaster Coastal Certificate of Competence or the RYA Yachtmaster Offshore Certificate of Competence then it is a requirement that you have the shorebased course certificate.

    How do I book

    Just click on the book now button or if you need any further information, please call us on 01243 432485.

  • Can I just say how much I have enjoyed doing the course with you, I was a bit sceptical of the zoom aspect at the outset but your were able to make it interesting and varied throughout and it really did work very well. You were always patient and encouraging and we all appreciated that. I feel like I have made the most of those dark lockdown evenings.
    Russell Shellard
    Thank you very much for looking after me last week and most of all for being so patient and good humoured. I think that your Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster Theory Course is absolutely excellent and I very much appreciated your relaxed but professional teaching style, it was just what I needed. I have learned a huge amount this week and my enthusiasm for this new endeavour has been redoubled.
    Hamish Griffiths
    Hi Karen, Just wanted to drop you a quick email to thank you for course I did with you last week. I really enjoyed the course, I found your subject knowledge and style of teaching great. I will be recommending you to anyone wanting to do any of the navigation type courses.
    Kevin (Bob) Hoskins
    Once again thank you.
    Peter Norval
    Just a short e mail to thank you very much of your patience and understanding over the last 5 days.The course was great, pitched at the right level, well paced and superbly presented. And most importantly of all, I enjoyed it.
    Jonathan Pyper
    Just a note to say thanks for a great week – I thoroughly enjoyed the training in this (often overlooked) aspect of being on the water. Your approach to sharing knowledge and skills was second to none and I certainly benefited from the individual tuition provided as an integral part of the weeks course. Best wishes and thanks again – continued success for you and the school...!
    Gordon Pownall
    Thank you for your excellent instruction and patience last week. I was impressed with how you recognised our weaknesses in order to set a personalised homework each day and with your calm pacing of the course in order to cover everything we needed to know during the week in order to achieve the required standard to succeed in the exams. I now look forward to more tidal sailing miles with greater confidence and when the time comes to do additional classroom courses before the next practical exam you will be the first port of call!
    Neville Moody
    I just wanted to say a big thank you for the course. I thought it well structured and extremely well conducted. I like your style ! You make all the topics interesting and the personal anecdotes add significantly.
    David Joll
    Just to let you know I really enjoyed the diesel engine course and Les was such a good teacher that the day flew past.
    Sally Cholmondeley
    Just to thank you for the recent Coastal Skipper course. I think you judged it just right and found the course both instructive and fun. You quickly made me remember all the Day Skipper stuff I'd forgotten and managed to do in a few days what I had failed to achieve in months on the correspondence course (and at the same price). Emsworth is a pretty little town and the whole experience was very pleasant. I would recommend you to anyone.
    Peter Malone
    Dear Karen. Just a short note to say many thanks for a very enjoyable course. It was well paced and you have a lovely clear teaching style.
    Lilias Lamont
    I thought it was perfect. Explanations were extremely clear and this enabled me to apply what was being taught to the variety of questions and exercises posed. Your course definitely made me feel that a subject which can inspire concern or worry can in fact (with practice) inspire confidence. It was excellent, thank you.
    Both courses were fantastically run. Very engaging and taken at the perfect pace. Tea and coffee with a plentiful supply of biscuits added to what was already guaranteed to be a great few days! A highly recommended school for anyone to go to.
    Ben Dukoff-Gordon
  • We run this course over consecutive days, over two long weekends or evenings.  Please see below for full details.

    Alternatively if you can't commit to a classroom based course we offer an online version

    6 Day Courses

    • Mon 16th to Sat 21st September 2024
    • Mon 11th to Sat 16th November 2024
to discuss your requirements you can contact us seven days a week from 8.00a.m to 7.30pm on 01243 432485 or 07702 842190

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Cost: £400

Next Course Dates

6 Day Courses

  • Mon 16th to Sat 21st September 2024
  • Mon 11th to Sat 16th November 2024

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