RYA Yachtmaster Theory Course - 6 Day Solent Based £399

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 passage 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 at our classroom complex in Southampton which includes free parking. For those students wanting the satisfaction of obtaining the course completion certificate the 6th day is the exam day !

Each day will start at 9.30am and finish at about 5.30pm with revision homework set each night ( don`t worry only 30 minutes worth ).  The course fee is from £349 inc all learning materials. We can loan you dividers, plotters, pens & pencils etc or just bring your own.

We are based at Shamrock Quay marina in Southampton ( Solent ) with free parking. 

RYA Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster Theory Classroom vs Online Course

We do not offer this course online as we have found the classroom contact experience invaluable to most students. We strongly believe time in the classroom with other students and our RYA Yachtmaster instructors will give you the strongest result. We feel a highly experienced and qualified instructor will explain many areas of the course more clearly than Microsoft Powerpoint or similar. 

Also be aware that your theory certificate from an online course will be marked as "NOT INVIGILATED"

It would be unsuitable in certain circumstances, one example would be if you wish to commercially endorse.

Solent Boat Training courses are always invigilated and so are accepted by all without restriction.

Previous Experience Required

This RYA Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster Theory is the follow on course to the RYA Day Skipper Theory course. We therefore expect students to be at a practiced RYA Day Skipper Theory level prior the arriving at our training centre. We allow a small amount of time for revision, but can`t take you from nowhere to Yachtmaster Theory level in 6 days.


 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