RYA Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster Offshore Shorebased

About the course

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

Yachtmaster / Coastal Skipper Theory covers all 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, using a magnetic compass, tides, tidal streams, buoyage, lights, pilotage, an introduction to GPS and electronic chart plotters, meteorology, collision prevention regulations, safety, navigation and passage planning.

The syllabus is taught with a ratio of 12:1 students to instructor and the price includes all food and accommodation.


Successful completion of RYA Day Skipper Shorebased course or a level of Navigational knowledge up to RYA Day Skipper level (Please assess your level of knowledge against the RYA Day Skipper Shorebased course syllabus).

Course syllabus

  • 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

Dates and pricing

Course From To Non-res All-inc
RYA Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster Shorebased 09/05/2020 15/05/2020 Full Full
RYA Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster Shorebased 16/05/2020 22/05/2020 £480 £600
RYA Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster Shorebased 27/06/2020 03/07/2020 £480 £600
RYA Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster Shorebased 01/08/2020 07/08/2020 £480 £600
RYA Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster Shorebased 10/10/2020 16/10/2020 £480 £600
RYA Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster Shorebased 22/11/2020 28/11/2020 £480 £600
RYA Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster Shorebased 09/12/2020 15/12/2020 £480 £600
RYA Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster Shorebased 10/12/2020 16/12/2020 £480 £600
RYA Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster Shorebased 11/01/2021 17/01/2021 £480 £600

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