RYA Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster Theory Course

RYA Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster Theory Course in Southampton: Course Summary

  • Course Duration: 6 days
  • Course Cost: From £637.50pp
  • Course Location: Saxon Wharf Marina, Southampton, SO14 5QF
  • Previous Experienced Required: Yes
  • Minimum Age Requirement: 
  • What The Course Includes: Access to RYA E-Nav app, use of plotter and dividers, and more!
  • What You Will Learn: Sailing in foreign waters, electronic navigation, CTS, EP’s, DR, and more.

You have 2 ways to undertake this course, in your own time online or face-to-face with an Ocean Sports Tuition instructor at our classroom in Southampton.


The RYA Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster Theory Course will teach you how to passage plan and navigate along offshore and coastal passages.

This course is ideal for students wishing to attend a Yachtmaster or Coastal Skipper Practical week and is aimed at motor boaters and sailors alike.

The course schedule is 6 days – five days teaching with one day for exams.


This course is not for complete beginners. You will need navigation knowledge to a Day Skipper Shore Based standard. Students will gain more from the course if they have had the opportunity to put this into practice.

Over the years that Ocean Sports Tuition has been teaching this course, we have found that both the online course and face-to-face tuition are a must before any practical course or exam.


In your 2 day training course you will learn:

  • Basic knowledge & understanding of meteorology
  • Charts
  • Tides
  • Anchoring
  • Safety
  • Buoyage
  • Navigation
  • Pilotage
  • Passage planning
  • Rules on the water
  • Electronic navigation

Included in the course are a number of assessment papers which your instructor will guide you towards.


There are 16 areas covered by the course syllabus:


  • Dead reckoning and estimated position
  • Satellite-derived position
  • Use of waypoints to fix position
  • Radar fixes
  • Techniques of visual fixing
  • Fixes using a mixture of position lines
  • Relative accuracy of different methods of position fixing
  • Areas of uncertainty

The magnetic compass:

  • Allowance for variation
  • Changes of variation with time and position
  • 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 (Solent etc)

Tidal streams:

  • Sources of tidal information
  • Tidal stream information in sailing directions and Yachtsman's Almanacs
  • Allowance for tidal streams 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


  • 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 chartplotters:

  • Principles of operation and limitations of use
  • Raster and vector charts
  • 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
  • Echo sounders
  • Principles of operation and limitations of use
  • Logs (speed and distance measuring):
  • Principles of operation and limitations of use

Deck log:

  • Importance of log as yacht's official document
  • Layout of log, hourly and occasional entries


  • 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

Rule 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 lifejackets, 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
  • Customs regulations as they apply to yachts
  • Routine for 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.


The course costs £637.50 per person for group face-to-face tuition.

We also offer this course on a one-to-one basis, the cost of this is £2499.


  • Expert tuition
  • Access to RYA E-Nav app
  • Use of plotter and dividers
  • RYA Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster course notebook
  • RYA Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster exercise book
  • Low instructor student ratio of 1:4 

Book Your Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster Theory Course Here

Book online below, or call on 023 81 242159.

If there are no courses listed below, please email us to enquire about availability:  info@oceansportstuition.co.uk.