Coastal Skipper Practical (Motor): Course content

What’s covered in my RYA Coastal Skipper (Tidal) Practical course?

The contents of the RYA Coastal Skipper Practical course on motor yachts are listed in the RYA Yachtmaster Scheme Syllabus and Log Book (G158)

The course may be taught on sailing yachts of between 7m and 15m metres (water line length). During the 6 days (we have an extra day rather than the RYA recommended 5 days to help you consolidate) you will learn to apply your Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster theory knowledge of pilotage, navigation and rules of the road; and practise your seamanship, skippering and boat handling. Once all the elements are completed you will be awarded the RYA Coastal Skipper (Tidal) certificate for motor / power yachts. This is the perfect stepping stone if you wish to go on to take the Yachtmaster Coastal or Yachtmaster Offshore Certificate of Competence.

The contents of the course includes:

Passage Planning


  • The effects of fouling on boat speed and fuel consumption


  • Fuel consumption at different speed and can calculate fuel required for the passage, including reserve
  • Customs procedure
  • Stability


  • Plan a coastal passage, taking into account the capability of the vessel, navigation, victualling, weatehr, ports of refuge, tidal heights and tidal streams, publications required and strategy

Preparation for Sea


  • What saety equipment is required for an offshore passage


  • Prepare a cruising vessel for sea including: stowage; safety briefing; watchkeeping; delegating responsibilities; equipment and engine checks



  • Prepare a pilotage plan taking into consideration: soundings; transits; clearing bearings; buoyage; port or harbour regulatiuons and tidal facots.
  • Pilot a cruising vessel by day and night

Passage making and ability as skipper


  • The practical uses of integrated electronic aids to navigation including: AIS; RADAR; electronic navigational charts (ENCs) and Raster navigational Charts (RNCs)


  • Take charge of a yacht and direct the crew
  • Organise the navigation, deckwork and domestic duties of a cruising vessel on passage
  • Be aware of the significance of meteorological trends
  • Be aware of crew welfare on passage
  • Use electronic navigational equipment for planning and undertaking a passage, including the use of waypoints and routes

Yacht Handling under Power


  • Control the cruising vessel effectively in a confined space under power, including all berthing and unberthing situations in a variety of conditions and in various conditions of wind and tide
  • Avoid excessive use of power
  • berth and unberth in simple situations using one engine on a twin engined boat, including the correct use of lines

Adverse Weather Conditions


  • How to handle a cruising vessel in strong winds
  • General conduct in poor visibility


  • Prepare a cruising vessel for heavy weather
  • Navigate in restricted visibility

Emergency Situations


  • The action to be taken when abandoning to a liferaft, and during a helicopter and lifeboat rescue
  • How to carry out aftercare requirements on a casualty who has been in the water


  • Describe to a crew member the effects of cold water shock on a casualty who has been in the water
  • Recover a man under power

Details of other RYA courses

If you would like to view the contents of other RYA sail, motor and power courses please look at our RYA course contents page
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