RYA Coastal Skipper Practical Syllabus

The RYA Coastal Skipper Sailing Course is designed to teach you the skills and techniques required to skipper a cruising sailing yacht, between 7 -15 meters in length, safely on coastal and offshore passages  by day and night.

The course is 5 days in duration.

Minimum age is 17.

Pre-Course Experience:

  • 15 days actively sailing a sailing yacht at sea
  • 300 sea miles
  • 8 night hours
  • 2 days as skipper

Practical Course Syllabus

1. Passage planning

Knowledge of

  • The effects of fouling on boat speed and fuel consumption


  • Fuel consumption at different speeds and can calculate fuel required for a passage, including reserve
  • Customs procedures
  • Stability


  • Plan a coastal passage, taking into consideration the capability of the vessel, navigation, victualling, weather, ports of refuge, tidal heights and tidal streams, publications required, and strategy

2. Preparation for Sea


  • What safety equipment is required for offshore passages


  • Prepare a cruising vessel for sea, including stowage, safety briefing, watch keeping, delegating responsibilities, equipment, and engine checks

3. Pilotage


  • Prepare a pilotage plan, taking into consideration soundings, transits, clearing bearings, buoyage, port or harbour regulations, and tidal factors
  • Pilot a cruising vessel by day and at night

4. Passage-making and Ability as Skipper


  • The practical uses of integrated electronic aids to navigation, including AIS, radar, electronic navigational charts (ENC)s, and raster navigational charts (RNCs)


  • Take charge of a yacht and direct the crew
  • Organise the navigation, deck work and domestic duties of a cruising vessel on passage
  • Be aware of crew welfare on passage
  • Use electronic navigational equipment for planning and undertaking a passage, including the use of waypoints and routes

5. Yacht Handling Under Power


  • How to identify and take into account wind and current conditions when planning and executing manoeuvres (practical experience where possible)


  • Control the cruising vessel effectively in a confined space under power, including all berthing and unberthing situations 
  • Pick up a mooring bow or stern-to
  • Avoid excessive use of power

6. Yacht Handling Under Sail


  • How to identify and take into account wind and current conditions when planning and executing manoeuvres (practical experience where possible)


  • Use the sails to control the yacht in a confined space
  • Consistently pick up a mooring
  • Sail efficiently on all points of sail, including downwind techniques

7. Adverse Weather Conditions


  • How to handle a cruising vessel in strong winds
  • General conduct in restricted visibility


  • Prepare a cruising vessel for heavy weather
  • Navigate in restricted visibility

8. Emergency Situations


  • The actions to be taken when abandoning to a life raft, and during helicopter and lifeboat rescues
  • How to carry out the aftercare requirements on a casualty who has been in the water


  • Describe to a crew member the effects of cold-water shock on a casualty who has been in the water
  • Recover a man overboard under power
  • Recover a man overboard under sail

Get in touch

Office hours

Mo - Fr 9.30 - 16.30
Sa 10.00 - 14.00

Out of office contact

Mobile 0034 628 478 400


Edifico Antiguo Varadero
Bloque D No 15 - 2nd Planta
35571 Puerto Calero Marina
Lanzarote - Canary Islands


Email stephanie@endeavour-sailing.co.uk
Phone 0034 928 849 670
Mobile 0034 628 478 400

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