RYA Coastal Skipper

Practical course

RYA Coastal Skipper practical course


Sunsail’s Coastal Skipper Practical course is the next step on from the RYA Coastal Skipper and Yachtmaster Theory courses. 

The Coastal Skipper course content is designed to equip students with strong boat handling and navigational skills in tidal waters. It provides them with the knowledge and experience to handle sailing in coastal passages by day and night.

The course includes instruction in passage planning, preparing a yacht for sea (including engine checks and safety briefing), and dealing with emergency situations at sea.

At the core of the Coastal Skipper practical course is the honing and reinforcing of the assertive leadership skills that are key to the making of a safe, confident skipper.

Course information

Class size: 5:1 maximum ratio

What’s included: 5 nights’ accommodation on board the yacht. Breakfast and lunch on board. Certificate awarded upon successful completion of the course.

Recommended pre-course experience: 15 days, 2 days as skipper, 300 miles, 8 night hours. Navigation to the standard of the Coastal Skipper/Yachtmaster shorebased course.

Where to take this course with Sunsail

Portsmouth, UK

Why take this course with Sunsail?

The Sunsail Coastal Skipper practical course is the next step from your Coastal Skipper or Yacht Master theory assessment and Day Skipper practical course, providing you with the knowledge to safely and assertively skipper your yacht on more demanding passages.

Upon completion of the Coastal Skipper practical course, you'll have become an advanced and confident skipper, with good boat handling and navigational skills in tidal waters. You will also be able to clearly understand chart work and electronic techniques, demonstrating strong leadership and sailing skills by day and night.

To book your course or to find out more:

For dates and availability please contact our UK sailing school on 02394 350 505 or [email protected]

Course syllabus

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.
  • Know 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 surroundings, 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

  • Characteristics
  • 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 sailing.

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 liferaft and during helicopter and lifeboat rescues.

Choose Sunsail

Stunning Sailing Destinations 
Flotilla routes
Types of yachts
44 yrs
Creating holidays
4 hr
Service commitment
Consumer protection