RYA Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster Offshore Shorebased Online

About the course

UKSA’s online RYA accredited theory course can be completed in the comfort of your own home with unlimited support from our dedicated team.

You will develop a comprehensive understanding of navigation theories, techniques and practices.

Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster Offshore Shorebased online covers all of the theory knowledge to the standard required for the Yachtmaster Coastal and Yachtmaster Offshore practical exams, concentrating on advanced navigation and meteorology skills. Providing the background knowledge needed to progress to the practical examinations for the RYA Coastal Skipper or RYA Yachtmaster Certificates of Competence.

The course includes:
  • Position fixing
  • Course shaping and plotting
  • Tidal knowledge
  • Use of almanacs and admiralty publications
  • Electronic position finding equipment
  • Taking and interpreting forecasts
  • Plotting weather systems
  • Weather predictions using a barometer and by observation
  • Collision regulations
  • Customs and excise regulations for cruising abroad

The course will be run over 10 days (Monday – Friday) with 1/2 day sessions running from 0830 – 1300 via zoom with one of UKSA’s expert instructors.


  • Understand dead reckoning and estimated position
  • Understand satellite-derived position
  • Use of waypoints
  • Radar fixes
  • Techniques of visual fixing
  • Understand fixes using a mixture of position lines
  • Relative accuracy of different methods of position lines
  • Understand areas of uncertainty
The magnetic compass
  • Allowance for variation
  • Understand change of variation with tie and position
  • Understand causes of deviation
  • Swing for deviation (but not correction)
  • Allowance for deviation
  • Different types of compass
  • Causes of tides – Springs and Neaps
  • Tide tables – sources
  • Tidal levels and datum
  • Standard and secondary ports
  • Tidal anomalies
Tidal streams
  • Sources of tidal information
  • Tidal stream information in sailing directions and yachtsmen’s Almanacs
  • Allowance for tidal stream in computing a course to steer
  • Tide rips, overfalls and races
  • Tidal observation buoys, beacons etc
  • IALA system buoyage in Region A
  • Limitations of buoys as navigational aids
  • Understand characteristics
  • Ranges – visual, luminous and nominal
  • Rising and dipping distances
  • Light lists
  • Harbour regulations and control signals
  • Methods of pre-planning
  • Clearing lines
  • Use of soundings
  • Transits and leading lines
GPS and chart plotters
  • Principles of operation and limitations of use
  • Raster and vector charts
  • Understand datum
  • Importance of confirmation of position by an independent source and keeping a separate record of position
  • Importance of paper charts
Echo sounders
  • Principles of operation and limitations of use
Logs (speed and distance measuring)
  • Principles of operation and limitation of use
Deck log
  • Importance of log as yachts official document
  • Layout of log, hourly and occasional entries
  • Understand 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
Rules of the road
  • A sound knowledge of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, except Annexes 1 and 3
Safety at sea
  • Personal safety, use of life-jackets, safety harnesses and lifelines
  • Fire prevention and fire fighting
  • Distress signals
  • Coastguard and Boat Safety Scheme
  • Preparation for heavy weather
  • Life-rafts and helicopter rescue
  • Understanding of capabilities of vessel and basic knowledge of stability
Navigation in restricted visibility
  • Precautions to be taken in fog
  • Limitations to safe navigation imposed by fog
  • Navigation strategy in poor visibility
Passage planning
  • Preparation of charts and notebook for route planning and making, and use at sea
  • Custom regulations as they apply to yachts
  • Routine 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
Marine environment
  • Responsibility to minimise pollution and protect the marine environment

What’s included?

  • Plotters and dividers
  • All course materials including RYA Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster Offshore course notes and training almanac
  • Unlimited access to qualified RYA Yachtmaster shorebased instructors (via email, phone and zoom)
  • All exams are included in the course fee

** Reminder that the exam will not be classed as an invigilated exam as the exams are conducted online. Therefore if your end goal is to progress on to the MCA Yacht qualifications you will need to sit an invigilated RYA Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster Offshore Shorebased exam at a recognised RYA centre at a later date.

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