RYA Coastal Skipper Course Syllabus

The RYA Coastal Skipper course is intended to teach the skills and techniques required to skipper a yacht safely on coastal and offshore passages by day and night.

Passage Planning

  • Can plan a coastal passage including a consideration of the capability of the yacht, navigation, victualling, weather, ports of refuge, tidal heights and tidal streams, publications required and strategy. 
  • Knows Customs procedures.

Preparation for sea

  • Is aware of safety equipment required for offshore passages.
  • Can prepare a yacht for sea including stowage, safety briefing, watch keeping, delegating responsibilities and equipment and engine checks.


  • Can prepare a pilotage plan, with consideration of soundings, transits, clearing bearings, buoyage, port or harbour regulations and tidal considerations.
  • Can pilot a yacht by day and night.

Passage making and ability as skipper

  • Can take charge of a yacht and direct the crew.
  • Can organise the navigation, deckwork and domestic duties of a yacht on passage.
  • Is aware of the significance of meteorological trends.
  • Is aware of crew welfare on passage
  • Can use electronic navigation equipment for planning and undertaking a passage, including the use of waypoints and routes.

Yacht handling under power

  • Can control the yacht effectively in a confined space under power.
  • All berthing and unberthing situations in various conditions of wind and tide.

Yacht handling under sail

  • Can use the sails to control the yacht in a confined space.
  • Anchoring and mooring in various conditions or wind and tide.
  • Can sail efficiently on all points of sailing.

Adverse weather conditions

  • Preparation for heavy weather and yacht handling in strong winds.
  • Navigation and general in restricted visibility.

Emergency situations

  • Recovery of man overboard under power and sail.
  • Understands actions to be taken when abandoning to the life raft and during helicopter and lifeboat rescues.