RYA Coastal Skipper and Yachtmaster Shorebased Course

RYA Coastal Skipper & Yachtmaster Theory Course

This 6 day course is an advanced navigation course for those who wish to take the RYA / MCA Coastal Skipper or Yachtmaster Offshore Certificate. We assume that you are already qualified or experienced to at least the level of RYA Day Skipper and although there is some time set aside for the revision of subjects covered in the RYA Day Skipper theory course you should arrive with a good understanding of the basics.

On this course you will cover more complex aspects of navigation at sea including how to work out secondary tidal heights, position fixing, navigation in restricted visibility, Collision avoidance, passage planning and the capabilities and limitations of plotters and electronic navigation aids.

It is recommended that you arrive for this course with a thorough knowledge of the International Regulations for the Prevention of Collisions at Sea (IRPCS). A full copy of the rules is very longwinded and most people will not read through them.

The Collision Regulations can best be learned by self study using "A Seaman's Guide to the Rules of the Road". This is available from us priced £12.50


RYA Training Centre

Coastal Skipper/Yachtmaster Shore based Course Syllabus

This is an advanced course in navigation and meteorology for candidates for the Coastal Skipper and Yachtmaster Offshore Certificate. The syllabus makes some provision for the revision of subjects in the Day Skipper Course but those who have not acquired the knowledge set out in the Day Skipper Course are unlikely to be able to assimilate all the subjects covered in this advanced course in the time available.

The assumed level of knowledge before starting this course is the Day Skipper Shore based Course. 

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
  •           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 anomalies (Solent, etc.)

4. Tidal streams

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

5. 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 

6. 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.

7. Buoyage

  •           IALA system buoyage in Region A
  •           Limitations of buoys as navigational aids
  •           Lights
  •           Characteristics
  •           Ranges - visual, luminous and nominal
  •           Rising and dipping distances
  •           Light lists           

8. Pilotage 

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, weather-fax 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 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 strategy in poor visibility 

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6 Days RYA Coastal Skipper and Yachtmaster Shorebased Course