RYA Coastal/Yachtmaster Theory Course - 6 Day Solent Based from £349

RYA Yachmaster Coastal Theory Navigation Course Solent Boat Training
The RYA Coastal Skipper/Yachtmaster Offshore Theory Course consists of advanced navigation and seamanship training for students wanting to move on to the RYA Coastal Skipper or Yachtmaster qualifications.  This course equips you to safely navigate coastal and offshore passages by day and night and will take your theory knowledge to the standard required for the Coastal Skipper sailing practical course and also the RYA Yachtmaster Offshore practical exams, concentrating on advanced navigation and meteorology skills.

RYA Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster Theory Course Details

The RYA stipulates this Yachtmaster theory course must consist of a minimum of 40 hours instructor/student contact time, plus exam time. This fits nicely into 6 days of study and assessments at our classroom complex in Southampton.  Solent Boat Training offer this course in two formats; either 6 consecutive days or two 3 day sessions with a 4 day break for consolidation time between them.

Each day will start at 9.00am and finish at about 5.30pm We  endeavour to keep homework to a minimum.  However, you may be required to do some additional study or exercises each.


The course fee starts from £349, including all learning materials. We can loan you dividers, plotters, pens & pencils etc. or feel free to bring your own.  We are based at Shamrock Quay Marina in Southampton (Solent), with parking available onsite. 


RYA Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster Theory Classroom vs Online Course

We 'Do Not Offer' this course online.  We strongly believe the time spent in the classroom, with other students and our RYA Yachtmaster Instructors, will give you the best results and chance of successful completion.  Most students find this contact time invaluable, allowing interaction with others on the course, whilst learning from their different experiences.  

We feel our highly experienced and qualified instructor will explain many of the areas of the course, more clearly and in an easy to understand way, far better than just pictures and words.  Why pay an average of £300 for computer graphics, when you could pay less for a real life instructor, who can bring the subject matter to life.

It is also worth noting that, unless you attend a RYA Recognised Training Centre for the Assessments, your Theory Certificate gained from an online course, will be marked as "NOT INVIGILATED"

This will make the qualification unsuitable for commercially endorsing a RYA Yachtmaster qualification.  Please check if this is suitable for your usage, if completing an online course.  If in doubt do call for advice

Some online course providers do offer an invigilated exam option, usually at an additional cost.  Solent Boat Training classroom courses are always invigilated, therefore our courses are accepted by all, without restriction.


Previous Experience Required


This course is designed to take your existing knowledge as a well practiced Day Skipper Skills and raise it to the next level. Pre-requisite knowledge is a minimum of Day Skipper Theory.  To maximise your chances of achieving your goal and gaining the most from this course, please ensure your existing theory is at the correct starting level.  There will not be time during the course to start any subject from first principles.



 RYA Coastal Skipper Yachtmaster Theory Course Syllabus


1) Position 

a) Dead reckoning and estimated position 
b) Satellite-derived position 
c) Use of waypoints to fix position 
d) Radar fixes 
e) Techniques of visual fixing
f) Fixes using a mixture of position lines 
g) Relative accuracy of different methods of position fixing 
h) Area of uncertainty 
2) The magnetic compass a) Allowance for variation b) Change of variation with time and position c) Causes of deviation d) Swing for deviation (but not correction) e) Allowance for deviation f) Different types of compass 
3) Tides 
a) Causes of tide – Springs and Neaps 
b) Tide tables – sources 
c) Tidal levels and datum 
d) Standard and secondary ports 
e) Tide anomalies (Solent, etc.) 
4) Tidal Streams 
a) Sources of tidal information 
b) Tidal stream information in sailing directions and Yachtsmen’s Almanacs 
c) Allowance for tidal streams in computing a course to steer 
d) Tide rips, overfalls and races 
e) Tidal observation buoys, beacons etc. 
5) Buoyage 
a) IALA system buoyage in Region A 
b) Limitations of buoys as navigational aids 
6) Lights 
a) Characteristics 
b) Ranges – visual, luminous and nominal 
c) Rising and dipping distances 
d) Light lists 
7) Pilotage 
a) Harbour regulations and control signals 
b) Methods of pre-planning 
c) Clearing lines 
d) Use of soundings 
e) Transits and leading lines 
8) GPS and chart plotters a) Principles of operation and limitations of use b) Raster and vector charts c) Datum d) Importance of confirmation of position by an independent source and keeping a separate record of position e) Importance of paper charts 
9) Echo sounders a) Principles of operation and limitations of use 
10)Logs (speed and distance measuring) 
a) Principles of operation limitations of use 
11)Deck log 
a) Importance of log as yacht’s official document 
b) Layout of log, hourly and occasional entries 
a) Basic terms, the Beaufort scale 
b) Air masses 
c) Cloud types 
d) Weather patterns associated with pressure and frontal systems 
e) Sources of weather forecasts 
f) Ability to interpret a shipping forecast, weatherfax and weather satellite information 
g) Land and sea breezes h) Sea fog i) Use of barometer as a forecasting aid 
13)Rules of the Road 
a) A sound knowledge of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, except Annexes 1 and 3 
14)Safety at Sea 
a) Personal safety, use of lifejackets, safety harnesses and lifelines 
b) Fire prevention and fire fighting 
c) Distress signals 
d) Coastguard and Boat Safety Scheme 
e) Preparation for heavy weather 
f) Liferafts and helicopter rescue 
g) Understanding of capabilities of vessel and basic knowledge of stability 
15)Navigation in restricted visibility 
a) Precautions to be taken in fog 
b) Limitations to safe navigation imposed by fog 
c) Navigation in poor visibility 
16)Passage planning 
a) Preparation of charts and notebook for route planning and making, and use at sea 
b) Customs regulations as they apply to yachts 
c) Routine for navigating in coastal waters 
d) Strategy for course laying 
e) Use of waypoints and routes 
f) Use of weather forecast information for passage planning strategy 
g) Sources of local and national regulations 
17)Marine environment 
a) Responsibility to minimise pollution and protect marine environment
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