Yachtmaster Coastal preparation and exam

RYA / MCA Yachtmaster Coastal preparation

The Yachtmaster Coastal MCA preparation is very much hands-on with little time to teach navigation or other theoretical subjects.

It is therefore recommended that you take the RYA Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster Theory course prior to your practical course so you can put those skills into practice on the water.

This is very much a hands-on course - and is designed to polishing exist skills to enable you to handle a yacht to the level required for Yachtmaster Coastal MCA. If you feel that you are not quite ready for this preparation course then we suggest our Coastal Skipper Plus course which is designed to teach the skills that are polished during this prep week.

You will be spending the complete week on board the yacht.

Pre-course experience

30 days, 2 days as skipper, 800 miles, 12 night hours.

For holders of the RYA Coastal Skipper Practical course completion certificate this is reduced to 20 days, 2 days as skipper, 400 miles, 12 night hours.

Half the qualifying seatime must be in tidal waters, and on a yacht of less than 24m. Further details can be found on our MCA Yachtmaster - what is involved page.

If you have sailed 2500nm, with the extra experience and done at least 5 passages of 60nm why not think of doing the RYA MCA Yachtmaster Offshore?

Suggested reading

Assumed knowledge

Practical experience: Has the knowledge to skipper a yacht on coastal cruises but does not necessarily have the experience needed to undertake longer passages.

Theory knowledge: Good knowledge of theory to RYA Yachtmaster Theory level is needed.

VHF (SRC), First Aid (taken during the previous three years) are also required.

Further guidance can be found in our post: Guidance on RYA MCA Yachtmaster qualifications

Ability after course

With a the MCA Yachtmaster Coastal Certificate of Competence and the Commercial Endorsement you will be able to take paying passengers on coastal voyages (up to 60nm offshore) by day and night. This is ideal for those who are thinking of working in the Mediterranean.


All our courses are run by one our experienced RYA Yachtmaster Instructors - normally Richard, Andy or Ovi.

Suggested itinerary

On the Friday evening you join your Instructor for a welcome drink, before being allocated a passage plan to prepare. You are also asked to familiarise yourself with the boat ready for the next day.

On the Saturday morning you will be asked to give a safety briefing with some assistance from your Instructor. For the rest of you time with us, until the Examiner gets on board on the Wednesday lunchtime, you will be practising your sailing skills. Time will also be given to run over your passage plan.

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.


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

  • four days of teaching
  • the yacht for the two day Yachtmaster exam;
  • seven nights accommodation;
  • Tuition from an experienced RYA Yachtmaster 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 late 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:

Must bring your own

  • Sun protection – Sun glasses, sun hat and non oily sun cream (without carotene) are a definite must!
  • Music / DVD – there is a CD on the boat (and a DVD player on Club Class boats), so please bring with you a CD / DVD or 2.
  • Mobile phone charging – There is a 12v “cigarette” style socket on board the yacht which is live even when sailing, and a 240v socket (Spanish type) for when connected to shore power.
  • Medication – If you are taking any medication please advise your Instructor on commencement of the course.
  • Health care – Health care in the Canary Islands is good, but it is a good idea to collect the EHIC form from your local post office or online at www.ehic.org.uk.
  • Seasickness - It is advisable to bring with you a seasickness remedy if you have suffered in the past. There is a local chemist in the town of Las Galletas – ask your Instructor where it is at the Friday night drink.
  • Travel insurance – While our boats are insured we do ask you to have your own Travel Insurance and suggest Top Sail if you live in an EU country.

Notes: All bedding, bed linen (sheet, duvet cover and pillow) and a towel are provided. Please make sure that you let us know if you suffer from allergies as we provide feather pillows as standard.

Recommended clothes

The climate in the Canaries is temperate. You are recommended to bring with you shorts and t-shirts, a jumper/cardigan, long jeans/trousers and jumper for the odd cooler evening in the winter months, shoes with non-marking bottoms for use on the boat, swimwear and something for dinners ashore. As the boat has limited storage space a sailing bag / holdall is the most suitable luggage.

Notes: We lend you a shower / wind proof jacket (normally only needed for the sea spray). Please give it back to us on the Thursday evening.

Dates we are running the Yachtmaster Coastal preparation week