RYA Coastal Skipper

Skippering a yacht on coastal and offshore passages demands solid navigation, seamanship and leadership skills. The RYA Coastal Skipper Practical course prepares those with previous skippering experience to undertake longer voyages.

During the RYA Coastal Skipper course your instructor will guide you through navigation, both offshore and in limited visibility, weather forecasting and passage planning, watch keeping and preparation for sea. You will put this all into practice as you plan and execute passages taking complete command of the yacht. Coastal skippers must be good boat handlers and you will receive plenty of practice mooring the yacht and longer coastal passages with plenty of night sailing. The Coastal Skipper practical course is usually run over 6 days and you can spend 7 nights aboard the yacht.

At the successful completion of the course you will be awarded the RYA Coastal Skipper Course Completion Certificate and will be able to skipper on coastal passages safely and confidently by day or night.

RYA Coastal Skipper - Course Syllabus

The Coastal Skipper course teaches the skills and techniques required to safely skipper a yacht on a coastal passage by day or night in non tidal waters. The 5 days provides a great opportunity to sail further afield within the Ionian, meet more challenging conditions and gain more experience in sail and power handling, passage planning and emergency situations.

Pre Course Experience: Previous skippering experience, 300 miles and 8 night hours.

Knowledge required: You must have passed the RYA Coastal Skipper Yachtmaster theory course before your practical sailing course or be able to demonstrate you possess this knowledge. We cannot teach the practical Coastal Skipper course unless you have already learnt the theory before you come to Greece.

It is highly recommended that all students invest in additional reading material including the RYA Yachtmaster handbook. You can buy these books directly from the RYA website, Amazon or other good book retailers.

RYA Theory Courses: You can take a classroom based theory course at some RYA Training Centres but you may prefer to take the course online in your own time and at your own pace. Island Sailing customers can access exclusive discounts off online theory courses through our recommended online course provider. Please contact us for more information.

Minimum age: 17 years. 

Following Courses: Yachtmaster Preparation and more mile building

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 navigational 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 of wind and tide - Can sail efficiently on all points of sail.

Adverse weather conditions

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

Emergency situations

Recovery of man overboard under power and sail - Understands action to be taken when abandoning to the life raft and during helicopter and lifeboat rescue.

The full syllabus for each course can be found in the RYA's Sail Cruising Syllabus & Logbook (G158). This book explains the syllabus for the RYA Competent Crew, Day Skipper, Coastal Skipper and RYA Yachtmaster sailing courses. The book includes space for personal log and course completion certificates.

The completion certificate is included in the cost of your course. You ideally need to purchase the Sail Cruising Syllabus & Logbook before you start your course directly from the RYA website, from Amazon or other good book stores but it can also be purchased from us in Greece.

For more information call us on 0330 088 4744 or email contact@island-sailing.com

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