Round year sailing in the Canaries RYA Training Centre

Coastal Skipper Plus

Course content

Pilotage, boat handling, seamanship and navigation. Use of the equipment on board the yacht, rules of the road and meteorology

Notes: Club Yachting's Coastal Skipper + course is designed for those clients who have already gained experienced to the level of the RYA’s Coastal Skipper Practical (Tidal) Course and do not yet feel ready to take the MCA Yachtmaster preparation and exam – or just wish to consolidate the knowledge learnt when they did their Coastal Skipper.

This is very much a hands-on course - introducing new skills which you will polish if you go on to do the MCA exams (Coastal Skipper MCA or Yachtmaster Offshore). During the week you will spend time doing passages as well as learning things like sailing on and off buoys and pontoons, sailing in confined areas as well as blind navigation, running fixes etc.

You will be spending the complete week on board the yacht visiting the beautiful areas of the Canaries away from the beaten track.

Pre-course experience

20 days, 2 days as skipper, 500 miles, 12 night hours.

Assumed knowledge

Boat handling to the standard of the Coastal Skipper Practical sail cruising course. It is recommended that you attend the Yachtmaster shorebased and also the Coastal Skipper Practical course before taking this course.

Ability after course

Can confidently skipper a yacht by day and night.


All our courses are run by one of our experienced instructors.

Suggested itinerary

This is a relaxing course where you spend the week visiting other ports such as San Sebastian de la Gomera - giving you a chance to see the unspoiled areas of the Canary Islands. A typical week includes:

On Saturday morning the course proper starts at about 10:00 with a comprehensive safety briefing and familiarisation with the boat and its equipment. After lunch you will prepare the boat for sea and set sail for a gentle introduction to the boat including man over board techniques, points of sail etc. You will often return to the base marina on the Saturday night. If you are on a more advanced course, or crewing on one, then you will often sail for another harbour.

On the Sunday morning you sail west around Tenerife, perhaps stopping for the night in the beautiful fishing harbour of San Juan - anchoring for a peaceful night amongst the fishing boats. If you like fish we can suggest a wonderful Spanish fish restaurant that is hidden away in the back streets. Other options for the night is anchoring in El Pris and also mooring on the pontoons in the harbour of Los Gigantes. Further north can be found Masca bay – a perfect anchorage, ideal for a swim or lunch stop.

We then cross from Tenerife, on a beam reach through the wind acceleration zone, to San Sebastian de La Gomera for a night in a marina. This is the town that Christopher Columbus departed from on three of his four trips across to America. In this picturesque Canarian town you can find a steak restaurant to rival the best, and a fish restaurant (known to those who have sailed with us before as Thomas’) where, if you are lucky, the locals join together for a sing song after the food has finished cooking.

After a morning maybe exploring the town, you travel around the south of the island to Valle Gran Rey – maybe stopping en-route in one of the little bays for some swimming.

You moor in the old fishing harbour - either anchor stern to in the harbour (Mediterranean style), or tie onto the harbour wall. Puerto de Vueltas, the other name for Valle Gran Rey (the valley of the King), is a delightful town surrounded by red cliffs, with narrow back streets. This wonderful setting is one of the best in the Canary Islands - a world apart from the resorts of Las Americas! Once you have watched the sun go down over the ocean from a little bar you can enjoy a delightful Lebanese restaurant or if you fancy Spanish food you will not be disappointed. The only problem with the town is it is so hard to leave its peaceful environment.

From Valle Gran Rey we either make our way back to San Sebastian – or for the more adventurous and experienced sail to Santa Cruz de La Palma. The locals call La Palma “Isla Bonita” (beautiful island) - it is the greenest of the Canary Islands – as well as being the home to the world’s largest volcanic crater!
On the Wednesday afternoon we wend our way back to Las Galletas – just in time for the Thursday regatta and the chance to race the other yachts.

On the evening of Thursday we have our end of course drinks in our classroom, with the certificate presentation. A great chance to chat over the highlights of the week – and commiserate with the losers of the race!

Please note that this a suggested itinerary and the route may change subject to wind direction etc.


We ask our clients to arrive on Friday. We clean our boats and do any maintenance between 10:00 and 17:00 so if you arrive earlier we will look after your bags for you. At 17:00 we invite you to get on the yachts and meet your Instructor, and at 18:30 we hold a welcome drink in our club house to introduce you to the crew on the other boats, and all our Instructors.
Notes: Because of our location you have the advantage that you normally arrive in our marina within 15 minutes of collecting your bags.

On the Friday we ask you to get off the yacht at 10:00 so we can clean her ready for the next week. If you have a later flight we can look after your bags for you – and why not think of our one day courses:
Diesel Engine ; First Aid ; RADAR ; Sea Survival and VHF (SRC) course

As usual with Club Yachting the following is included

  • Six days of teaching and seven nights accommodation – that extra day helps you consolidate your knowledge, and also we understand that you are on holiday and give you time to relax as well as learn;
  • a maximum of 4 persons on board (rather than the RYA recommended maximum of 5 students - who likes to be crammed in?)
  • Tuition from an experienced Instructor – we do not use instructors who have just qualified;
  • Light weight waterproof jacket – just in case of the odd wave;
  • Food and drink on board – breakfast and lunch, evening meals when sailing after 20:00 and a glass of wine, or a beer after a days sailing;
  • All mooring fees, gas and diesel – no hidden extras;
  • Your own berth – no need to share (unless you want to);
  • Freshly laundered sheets, duvets and 2 pillows and towels per person – no sleeping bags with liners or any need to bring your own (we suggest you may be able to fly with hand luggage only);

Notes: We do not include: flights, travel insurance or evening meals ashore.

What do I need to bring?

Not surprisingly most people pack to much when going sailing so Andy has put together a great sailing holiday packing list - useful for both RYA courses, flotillas and charters.

Course prices

What’s next?

The Coastal Skipper Plus course is designed to bridge the gap between Coastal Skipper and Yachtmaster Coastal. It teaches the extra skills needed to be able to get the most out of a Yachtmaster preparation week, so I am sorry there is no RYA certificate.

Andy started the course some years ago when he recognised that a lot of students with Coastal Skipper Practical course completion certificate had not used the skills taught, and also need more teaching for the big jump between Coastal Skipper and Yachtmaster Coastal.

When is the course run?

The Coastal Skipper Plus course is normally run on the week prior to the Yachtmaster Coastal or Yachtmaster Offshore: