The RYA Coastal Skipper sailing course runs over five days and aims to build on your existing experience and equip you with a thorough set of skills. It consists of skippered passages in a variety of situations. Each trainee will skipper more challenging passages and learn more about passage planning, pilotage by day and night, boat handling, safety and emergency situations.
RYA Coastal Skipper gives you the skills and confidence to skipper passages where it really is all up to you. Each trainee will get the opportunity to build up a substantial set of practical skills and putting navigational theory into practise. Ongoing constructive feedback from our instructors adds to your learning, as well as the chance to draw on their wide professional experience skippering a variety of sailing vessels.
“I thought our skipper Ben was excellent. His instruction methods and manner were praiseworthy. He communicated all instructions and explanations with complete clarity and understanding. He was always patient and was never impatient or angry or annoyed, even when we managed to do something wrong. He had our safety always at the fore front of his mind and made sure that at all times we were comfortable with the jobs we had been given. I learnt an exceptional amount from him and I appreciated his making the most of the time we spent on the yacht.”
Our RYA Coastal Skipper courses run from Ocean Quay, Southampton.
Prices are £550 May-September, discounted to £495 March-April and October; all inclusive.
Assumed knowledge: Boat handling to the standard of Day Skipper practical and navigation to RYA Coastal Yachtmaster Theory level.
Ability after course: To skipper a yacht on coastal passages by day and night
BOOK YOUR RYA Coastal Yachtmaster Theory WITH US AND GET £50 OFF A FULL-PRICE PRACTICAL COURSE
Preparation for sea
Passage making and ability as skipper
Yacht handling under power
Yacht handling under sail
Adverse weather conditions
By the end of the course you will be able to skipper a yacht on coastal passages by day and night
The course rate is £550 per person all inclusive, covering all food onboard, hire of sailing waterproofs and visitor mooring costs.
Courses run from Ocean Quay, Southampton.
5 day RYA practical courseAugust 16 @ 9:30 am - August 20 @ 5:00 pm at Southampton
5 day RYA practical courseOctober 4 @ 9:30 am - October 8 @ 5:00 pm at Southampton
Transcribe shipping forecast.
Student skipper for the morning gives briefing, outline plan including weather and sail plan.
Students take the boat out the marina, instructor keeps out of the way.
Discussion while underway about how to fix your position.
Everyone practises taking 3 point fixes, compare to GPS fixes recorded by instructor.
Student skipper decides to put reef in before we reach a headland in anticipation of increased wind strength, everyone involved.
Instructor requests we anchor along line of 5m contour in bay, using 'heights of tide' prepared earlier.
Lunch and feedback from everyone to student skipper.
Short presentation by student on hirearchy of different vessels, by day and night.
Different student takes over skipper duties, briefs the rest of us and we set off on short passage.
Instructor initiates discussion about fog tactics.
Sudden 'poor visibility', put discussion into practise!
Student skipper pilots us into river under sail, everyone fully involved.
Once up the river a bit, instructor demonstrates sailing on and off an empty pontoon.
Prepare dinner or tasks for next day.
Review day over dinner.
Student presents task - sharing a cross channel passage plan given a certain set of conditions.
Feedback from all, leading into yarns about various passages undertaken!
How many other people will there be onboard?
On our RYA courses we have four students per instructor, although occasionally we might also have a volunteer onboard.
For our sailing trips we have up to six people onboard plus skipper and volunteer first mate.
We can have up to ten people onboard for group activities.
Where do we sleep? Do we go back to the marina each night?
We all sleep onboard, with a berth allocated to you. We usually stay in a different place each night, which could be at anchor or mooring in a marina with walk ashore access to showers and toilets. A lot depends on people's needs, which we'll check with you at the start of a course or trip and as we carry on.
Do we eat onboard? Do you cater for special diets?
All meals and snacks are included in our rates and our vessels are well stocked for your time onboard. We provide vegetarian and vegan food by default as part of our commitment to lowering our company's carbon footprint, although please feel free to eat anything you want ashore. Thanks to our partners at Infinity Foods we have plenty of great snacks and ingredients. While we all take turns making meals, there are always some homemade pre-prepared dishes so you can make the most of your sailing and learning time. Please let us know about any other dietary needs - we are pretty familiar with various allergies and diets.
Is there a toilet onboard?
Each of our vessels are equipped with at least one sea toilet, called a 'heads', and by boat standards they are quite roomy, with washbasins. They have a slight knack to using them, which your skipper will show you, but they are pretty similar to a home flush toilet. We do ask you to use toilets ashore when in a marina.
Do you provide waterproofs?
Yes, we provide salapette trousers and jackets which are wind and waterproof, as well as sailing boots which provide a secure grip on deck. Please feel free to bring your own gear or to ask us for advice on where to purchase affordable sailing gear. Lifejackets and safety harnesses are provided.
Will it be rough, what if I feel sick?
Due to where our vessels are moored, the first days' sailing you will experience will be in sheltered waters, and we'll stay in such waters for entry and beginner levels. We want you to enjoy your sailing and our skippers remain very aware of how people are feeling and do their best to avoid unnecessarily unpleasant conditions by planning ahead.
What if the weather is really bad, what weather don't we go out in?
Sailing is obviously very weather dependent. We reserve the right to cancel trips and courses at our discretion, due to adverse weather. If we are forced to do so, we will be in touch with you in the days beforehand to advise and we will work with you to attempt to find you a suitable replacement or if not we will refund all of your money. However, Sail Boat Project cannot be held responsible for any other loss that you may have incurred due to cancellation of your course or trip. The final decision on whether a course or trip goes ahead is always based on the capabilities of those onboard and we are not interested in forcing anyone into being forced into a position they are uncomfortable with.
Will I get a certificate?
All the RYA practical and theory courses we deliver lead to a nationally recognised qualification within the RYA's sail cruising scheme, if you have met the syllabus requirements. We also issue certificate sof achievement as part of the RYA Sailability scheme and we have our own certificates of achievement for groups.
Do you make arrangements for people with special needs, learning or physical?
Yes, we have experience of taking people out sailing with a range of different needs. Our ethos is to make things possible and we will always work with you to allow inclusion and participation from everyone. While our vessels are not specifically adapted, for example for wheelchair users, we will always think about what changes we can make to get people out on the water. We use a variety of learning materials that engage and include people and our skippers and instructors are always learning and sharing with each other techniques to help people make the most of their time with us.
Can I talk to an instructor or skipper in advance?
Yes, if we can't put you through to one of our instructors or skippers when you call the office, we will pass on you details and have someone get back to you as soon as possible to have a chat with you.
Do you allow alcohol onboard?
Yes we do, in moderation! We may share a bottle of wine onboard or visit a pub during a course or trip, but please remember alcohol and getting used to the motion of the sea don't mix well.
Should I bring my log book?
Yes, if you have a sailing log book this is really to bring along. For courses it will outline your syllabus, help your instructor see what experience you have and you can get it signed off at the end. For sailing trips you can record the nautical miles sailed and treat it as a mile builder towards any examinations you go for. They are also a useful record for your own interest. We always have log books available for sale onboard for £6.
Is it all sailing, is there time to explore places we visit?
Depending on the level of course you are on, there is usually time to explore a couple of the places we visit. The Competent Crew course includes using a dinghy, so you'll be able to explore from the water! On our sailing trips part of the idea is to have a look around somewhere new. We usually agree as a group when to have time ashore as we always need to work around the weather and tides. If you have any particular requests make sure you let your skipper know.
Will I see any wildlife?
Plenty of birdlife and the odd seal - in Chichester harbour there is a whole seal colony at certain times of the year. Marine mammals are not as abundant as we'd like them to be, although porpoises in Poole Bay and dolphins off Chichester bar have been recent sightings. If we are lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time we would never move in close or cause any undue stress. We have marine wildlife spotter guides onboard to help you prepare.
- Clothing layers - even if it's sunny or warm on land it can get quite chilly when sailing
- Hat, sun cream, lip salve, sunglasses, gloves
- If you're staying overnight or longer you'll need to bring a sleeping bag, pillow, towel, toiletries
- Any medication you would normally require
- Pack your belongings in a soft bag that can be easily stowed
- Do bring any of your favourite snacks or soft drinks as we may not be near any shops
(If you have your own foul weather gear you are welcome to bring it)
- If you haven't been sailing before and don't know if you might get seasick, some good advice is to have a sensible breakfast and don't drink lots of alcohol the night before!
- Bring seasickness pills if you might need them.
- All meals & snacks while on board (vegetarian/vegan)
- Sleeping berth
- Course books in advance (if applicable)
- Access to our onboard sailing library, including RYA course books (copies available to buy)
- Quality XM foul weather trousers, jackets and waterproof deck boots
(If you have your own foul weather gear you are welcome to bring it)
- Please feel free to discuss equipment concerns with us prior to your sailing trip or course, we will happily advise on purchases if you would like to buy your own gear.
If you want to talk to one of our instructors or have a more general enquiry either call (+44) 07576 248 348 or fill in the form below.
We will do our best to get back to you as soon as possible.