The fastrack course pack.
General seamanship, including learning about the parts of the boat, tying up alongside a dock, preparation for sea, sailing knots, anchoring techniques including consideration for weather, tide, and
The theory behind how sailing works, includes setting sails, tacking, gybing and steering to a heading.
Safety and Environment
Vessel Safety Requirements.
Sea Survivial Techniques
Mayday and rescue, abandon ship, life jackets
Actions in limited visibility including the use of radar reflectors.
Means of obtaining weather forecasts including via marine radio, publications and internet.
Understanding of weather systems, forecasts, global effects, local effects, highs and lows.
Causes of weather systems, reading and taking into account present and future weather forecasts, understanding weather charts and sources of weather information.
How to use your own observations and understanding of onboard
instruments such as wind and barometric pressure to assess pending changes in weather conditions, and determination when it is appropriate to seek shelter. Understanding of local weather patterns.
Understanding marine weather
Working with Charts
Familiarisation of points of the compass, latitude and longitude, position of an object. Identification of key information on charts, and how to check currency, source information on chart
updates, and incorporate chart corrections. Confirmation of chart datum. Methods of marking on charts for position fixes, plotting course to steer, and documenting the effects of tide and leeway on the chart. The course will cover
magentic variation, deviaiton, and local magnetic anomalies and how these impact bearings with a compass, and determination of course to steer. The course will cover how to find information with regard to magnetic conditions. Impact
of time on variation.
The modules will use extensively navigation tools such as dividers, and a Portland/ Bretton plotter, which are included in the Yachtmaster Fastrack course pack. These are the tools of trade of a yachtmaster,
and the course will teach you how to use these tools so that the information on the chart can translate to the real world.
Course to Steer
Plot a course to steer taking into account tidal flow and leeway, how to maintain an accurate ground track.
Consideration of magnetic variation when determining the course to steer.
These modules will cover in detail the various impacts of tid even in geographically similar locations.
Working with tidal streams, the tidal stream atlas, and tidal diamonds.
Understanding the impact of time zones and daylight savings on tidal calculations.
Predict the impact of the tide on your journey using tidal tables and a tidal stream atlas.
Adapt between spring and neap tides and the
gradient between them using the computations of rates graph for various ports as part of your navigation calculations.
You will be able to adapt tidal data to primary and secondary ports where there is less detail in the available
Cumulatively you will be able to predict the impact of tidal movements throughout your journey, offset your course to account for the tidal stream, plan a course that safely accunts for the height of tide, and consideration
for the height of tide for departure and arrival times.
Passage Planning and Pilotage
Leading lines and transits.
Pilot plans and the impact of restricted visibility.
Understanding SOLAS regulations, and local local regulations.
Planning, routines and watch systems.
Execution and monitoring a passage.
Passage making and practice chartwork assessment.
This will culminate with you integrating everything together to form a detailed
plan for a safe passage taking into account all passage and pilotage elements, harbour requirements, and include weather and tide impacts.
As a Yachtmaster, you will be able to plan for multiday passages, taking into account
tidal heights, streams, port entry and exit, weather, ports of refuge, waypoints, crew management and supplies.
Understanding internaitonal rules of the road.
Agreed actions to avoid collisions.
Stand on and and Give way
Traffic Seperation Schemes
Marine Clearance areas.
Lights, shapes and sound signals.
Bouyage and Lighting
The use of Leading lines and lights.
Determination of distance by rising and dipping of prominent light features.
The unique light, sound, and shape charachteristics of individual
Safe and planned navigation is one of the most fundamental principles of being a yachtmaster. The Navigation modules will cover position fixing using landmarks, navigation marks and other features
and how to translate them to a position on a chart with compensation for magnetic variation and deviaiton. How to understand the degree of error, and how to validate position on the chart. The course will cover using charts, depth
contours, three point fix, plotting a course to steer that will compensate for the anticipated impacts of the tide over the course of the journey and how to compensate on route. Skills will also include estimating positions using dead
reckoniong, with account for leeway,drift, and the tide.
Nothing has changed navigation like the advent of GPS and affordable radar. The course will focus on GPS as a default world standard, however the course will discuss the difference in other
systems. The modules will go through Abbreviations and terminology, how to use handhelo GPS, and an integrated GPS plotter, the differnces between raster and vector charts and how to update charts. The course will also cover the limitiations
of GPS and why paper charts are still recommended, and what mechanisms are available to validate the GPS readings.
The course will cover the use of Radar as a means to take bearings, and how all other electronic instruments
can now play a part in accurate navigation practices. Depth guages, barometric pressure, and wind measurements now allow the yachtmaster to have more information in determining the accuracy of their position, validating weather forecasts
and in doing so adjusting the passage plan in account of the revised information.
The course will also cover the use of AIS and how it has made a dramatic improvement in safety when going to sea.
As part of
the the course, you will get access to the free NAVatHOME radar simulator.
All elements of the DaySkipper and Coastal Skipper are covered in this course. Further detail on the content covered by the fastrack course is captured in the syllabus definitions for coastal skiper and day skipper. This course will cover inforamtion
that even experienced skippers may not have been exposed to before. The RYA syllabus ensures that a yahtmaster has been exposed to all techniques that have been proven in use over thousands of sea miles by its memebers and students. To be
awarded an RYA Yachtmaster is to attain one of the highest standards that can be given to a recreational sailor.