RYA Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster Offshore Theory

This is an advanced course in coastal navigation and builds on the knowledge gained in Day Skipper. It is more of the same with more complex navigation exercises and some additional subjects. The RYA Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster Offshore theory course covers both Coastal Skipper and Yachtmaster Offshore and is the required level of theory for RYA Coastal Skipper or the RYA/MCA Yachtmaster Examinations. The course aims to to take you to an advanced level of knowledge for chart work, tides, weather and collision regulations and is the peak theory qualification in coastal navigation. The course assumes you have navigation knowledge up to Day Skipper level.

If you are not sure if you have enough exisitng knowledge to do this course, or your skills could be a bit rusty, you can enroll in the Yachtmaster fastrack program which takes you through a short form unassessed version of Day Skipper as revision, and then takes you through the full Yachtmaster program. If you want the fastest path to Yachtmaster theory then fast track is the way to go. See the Yachmaster Fastrack page for details.


- RYA Coastal Skipper /
Yachtmaster Offshore Theory Certificate

  • - Online E-Learning program with immediate access.

  • - Interactive Animated Navigation Lessons, and interactive simulators. This is not a course of powerpoint slides.

  • - Course duration of 40 hours of self paced tuition plus Exercises and Exams.

  • - Navigation Instructor support as you need it.

  • - Course Pack sent direct to you.

  • - Southern Hemisphere Syllabus

  • - Online Assessment

  • - 6 Months course access with extension options.

  • - Bespoke, practical supplementary course material for Australia and South Pacific Weather Patterns.

  • The RYA

    Who is this course for?

    This course is ideal for anyone looking to progress to achieving the yachtmaster qualificaiton or wants to be certain of the skills for extended passages. The focus of the course is to prepare you for navigating in waters, as well as entering or departing ports that are unfamiliar to you or your crew. This course is the perfect course for those looking to go to sea and discover new places.

    The NAVatHOME Australia Yachtmaster theory course is one of the worlds most respected online RYA yachtmaster courses.

    Course Pre-Requisites:

    You should have knowledge up to Day Skipper Level. The Basic skills you should have include:

    If you are not certain on any of the elements, or if you have not done any formal training consider the Yachtmaster Fastrack Course. This will fill in all the gaps and give you all the theory you need for the Yachtmaster Offshore Exam.

        Do you know what sort of craft these lights represent and where it is heading?

    What the course covers:

    • Vessel Safety Requirements
    • Safety Briefings
    • Sea Survival Equipment
    • Vessel Stability
    • The impact of weather on safety
    • Emergency Response
    • Actions in Limited visibility
    • Interpreting Marine Weather Forecasts.
    • Pressure Systems and Weather Patterns.
    • Observation of Weather Systems.
    • Understanding Local Weather Effects.
    • The Impact of Weather on Safety.
    • Using Onboard Instruments to Predict Weather.

    Charts are the key tool used in navigation. All key jurisdictions still require the use of paper charts as both as on offical reference, and a primary navigtion use. A GPS and chart plotters are legally considered an aid, and we have become overly dependent on them. Would you know how to navigate if your GPS failed.

    • Use of the Compass, Variation and Deviation Compensation.
    • Position Fixing with Latitude and Longitude.
    • Verification of the Current Validity of charts, Manage Updates and Corrections.
    • Chart Plotting Skills.
    • Understanding the difference between official and un-official electronic navigation charts.
    • Using Electronic charts for position verification and course to steer.

    The effects of tide will push you off course. An effective navigator can use the tools available to compensate for the tide in advance and allow you to steer a shorter, faster course. A GPS will only tell you to compensate after you have gone off course.

    • Identification of Tidal Stream Information
    • Determining the effect of leeway and tide and how to compensate.
    • plotting ground track and water track on a chart.
    • Adjusting for variation and deviation with Course to Steer adjustments.
    • Plotting course to steer on electronic charts and interactive feedback on your process.

    Tidal rates change during the process of each tidal movement and throughout the lunar cycle. A Yachtmaster needs to be able to accurately work out the effects of tide when navigating, anchoring, and thorugh close quarters pilotage.

    • Understanding the mechanism that causes tides to occur.
    • Understanding Tide Tables.
    • Identification of Tidal Streams
    • Working with Tidal Diamonds and the Tidal Stream Atlas.
    • The differences in tidal behaviours for springs and neaps conditions.
    • Electronic tidal height calculations.
    • Graphical based tidal height calculations.
    • Interactive online tidal curve calculator with interactive feedback.
    • Applying tidal constraints on passage planning.
    • Secondary port calculations.

    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 accounts for the height of tide, and consideration for the height of tide for departure and arrival times.

    • The use of leading lines and lights.
    • Using dipping distances to determine range.
    • Recognition of different navigation aids and their purpose.
    • Identification of different Nav Aid Symbols on a chart and chartplotter.

    Nothing has changed navigation like the advent of satellite navigation systems, and affordable radar. But our over reliance on them mean we have lost awareness of the shortfalls and vulnerabilities of this technology. Your electrical system could fail, GPS signals could be compromised, or you may just make a simple error and not realise it.

    • The basics of an electronic chart plotter.
    • Basic Radar Operation using the NAVatHOME radar simulator.
    • Safe & practical use of satellite navigation.
    • Validation of Satellite navigation systems such as GPS.
    • AIS - Automatic Identification System.
    • Management & upgrades of Electronic charts
    • Passage Planning with an Electronic chart plotter.
    • Electronic Instruments.
    • Electronic System Security.

    As of 2002, SOLAS requirements changed internationally to require the skippers of all leisure vessels to make a passage plan of an intended voyage before leaving the dock. It is recognised as a fundamental aspect of the vessels safety.

    • Requirements of a passage plan
    • Execution of a passage plan
    • Crew management & watchkeeping
    • Development of close quarters pilotage plans
    • Understanding pilotage techniques
    • Restricted visibility pilotage
    • Transits, clearance lines
    • Harbour Requirements
    • Electronic Passage Planning.
    • Download pilotage plan templates to use on your own boat.

    Ultimately you will be able to put together a complete passage plan and pilotage plan with consideration for ports of refuge, weather and emergency response plans.

    • Understanding international rules of the road.
    • Required action to avoid a collision.
    • Definition of limited visibility and impact on the interpretation of collision regulations.
    • Stand on and give way in complex scenarios.
    • Traffic Separation Schemes.
    • Marine Clearance areas.
    • Vessel Day Shapes.
    • Sound Signals - including those in restricted visibility.
    • Recognition of a vessel from its ship lights.
    • What signals are you required to show.

    How is the course delivered?

    The course is provided using the world class NAVatHOME RYA accredited training program.

    Support and Extras

    Through out your course, you will be supported by specialist RYA Navigation instructors, and access to all NAVatHOME supporting resources.

    • Knots
    • Glossary
    • Buoyage
    • Collision Regulations
    • Vessel Lights & Flip Cards
    • Interactive VHF radio Simulator
    • Interactive Radar Simulator
    • Interactive Chart Plotter Simulator
    • Interactive Online Charts