The Coastal Skipper practical course prepares those with previous skippering experience to undertake longer voyages. Students live aboard the yacht for the duration of the course, visiting various harbours and anchorages to put their skills into practice in different situations.

At the successful completion of the course, participants are awarded the RYA Coastal Skipper course completion certificate.

5 days (consecutive); some courses include a weekend

Previous experience required
RYA Coastal Skipper/Yachtmaster Theory course completion (or equivalent knowledge or experience) AND sailing ability to the level of  RYA Day Skipper.

The RYA recommends that students have the following experience as minimum – 15 days on board, 2 days as skipper, 300 miles logged and 8 night hours.
Course content

  • Preparation for sea: safety equipment, safety briefing, watch keeping engine checks.
  • Passage planning: capability of vessel/crew, impact of hull fouling on boat performance/ fuel consumption, stability and buoyancy, weather , ports of refuge, tidal heights/streams, publications
  • Ability as a skipper: organise duties/direct crew, use of electronic navigational aids, meteorological trends, crew welfare
  • Pilotage: prepare plan (day/night), port/harbour regulations, tidal considerations
  • Yacht handling under power: control in confined space, berthing/       un-berthing situations with wind/tide
  • Yacht handling under sail: in confined situations, anchoring and mooring under sail, sail efficiently on all points of sailing
  • Adverse weather conditions: preparation for heavy weather, yacht handling in strong winds, navigation in restricted visibility
  • Emergency situations: recovery of man overboard under sail or power, actions when abandoning to a liferaft, helicopter/ vessel rescue

This course is suitable for those who wish to proceed to a commercial qualification by undertaking a Yachtmaster Coastal or Offshore Certificate exam. See RYA Yachtmaster Offshore Preparation course for details