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FAQ's - All About The RYA Coastal Skipper Course

How much will the Coastal Skipper course cost including exam fees?

Typically £700 (approx. $1,100 or 880 Euros), or up to £825 (approx. $1,290 or 1,040 Euros) in high season to include the practical and theory elements. 

What will you get out of this course?

This will develop your skills from that of a day sailor to someone competent to sail a longer passage – perhaps a passage across Biscay as against the Day Skipper’s marina hopping up the coast.

You will learn about navigation offshore and in limited visibility, as well as longer distance passage planning. You will be expected to handle the boat and passage in heavy weather as well.

It is seen as a gentle step between Day Skipper and the much harder Yachtmaster Coastal.

What are your limits on passing this?

This will give you confidence to do a multi night passage in most weather conditions.

Is it shorebased, practical or both?

It's combined! You will have to sit a theory and a practical exam, and do courses for both.

Where can you take it?

You can do this course anywhere in the world that offers RYA training to this level.

Can you do it in another country?


What level of experience do you need before you begin?

You need a minimum of 15 days aboard a yacht, of which you must be skipper for two days. You need to have done 300 miles at sea, including eight night hours.

Put in perspective, over a two day passage as skipper you will do at least 12 hours on deck at night and even a small yacht stemming reasonable tides should cover over 300 miles on such a passage.

How long does the Coastal Skipper course take?

The theory course can be done in six days as an intensive course or over a series of evenings at night school.

The practical course involves five days at sea, to include night passages.

What does the course involve?

This takes the competent day sailor and gives you the resources to sail in most conditions, without going too far offshore.

It involves passage planning to include victualing, weather, navigation, ports of refuge along a route, tidal conditions, customs requirements and any publications required for the plan.

Preparation for sea including safety equipment, stowage, as well as crew briefing and organisation. You will be able to deal with emergency situations at sea.

You must also be able to do a detailed pilotage plan, and be able to run the boat on a passage, including skilled boat handling, crew management and welfare, have an idea what the weather will do during the passage, as well as be able to use electronic navigation aids during daylight and night hours. 

You must be able to handle the boat under power and sail, as well as handle the vessel in adverse weather conditions and deal with emergency situations as soon  as they arise.

How do I progress after completing it?

You will be able to do the Yachtmaster Coastal or Yachtmaster Offshore course.

Does the RYA Coastal Skipper course give you international accreditation?

No, though you can apply for an International Certificate of Competence if you have not already with your RYA Day Skipper. You can get Maritime and Coastguard Agency accreditation to work professionally, though this may require additional coursework that you can find out about here.

Where can I learn more?

Look at the RYA website here. Have a look around our website for venues to do the course in your area. 

Wikipedia also has a helpful page.

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