Sailing in the Canary Islands

What’s the weather like?

It a perfect location for great sailing. In the winter months day time temperatures are in the low 20's, rising to the high 20's in July and August.

With its low humidity, neither to hot or cold as well as the north easterly trade winds we can offer some great atlantic sailing.

Great Sailing Canary Islands

The Canary Islands are not known as the land of eternal spring for nothing!

Great wildlife too!

More than a third of dolphin and whale either live in the Canarian waters, or pass through during the year. Resident are pilot whales, rise dolphins, bottle nose dolphins and sperm whales.

With pilot whales basking off Los Christians, dolphins joining our yachts to play and turtles swimming in El Pris while we anchor for lunch you will definitely see some great sea life during your sailing experience.

dolphins joining a winter sail

Sailing, motor cruising, power boating – the choice is yours

We offer the RYA Competent Crew, Day Skipper, Day Skipper Plus and Coastal Skipper courses on our sailing yachts every week of the year. Coastal Skipper Plus and Yachtmaster Preparation and exams are available every other week; and mile building twice a month so we certainly can fit in with you sailing needs.

Motor boat and powerboat courses are available on demand and are run at least 3 times a month - just email us for more details.

A group of friends enjoying doing a Day Skipper course with Annie

Don't just take our word for it - have a look at this great Yachting Monthly article.

Milebuilding in style – one way trips from Tenerife to Lanzarote and back

New mile building options

We are very excited to announce that, in collaboration with very experienced RYA Sailing School - Endeavour Sailing, we are offering one way mile building trips from Tenerife to Lanzarote, the chance to join in one of Endeavour's miles and skills weeks sailing around the islands of Lanzarote and La Graciosa, with the return trip to Tenerife on the third week.

We would be delighted if you joined us for one, two or all three weeks - the choice is yours.

On board your skipper will be an experienced RYA Instructor, who will be delighted to teach and guide while you are enjoying the great Canarian climate.

Which boat?

The boat is our Beneteau First 50 - with just three cabins, and plenty of space on board as well as that luxurious forepeak.

With her 15m length and greater speed, she is perfect for covering those miles in style, and giving some great sailing in the atlantic waters of the Canaries.

So if you fancy learning to sail a larger yacht these are the passages for you!

Longer distance passages – Tenerife to Lanzarote & Lanzarote to Tenerife

These longer distance trips are not non-stop mile-building voyages. Due to the more relaxed timescales you will have the opportunity to maybe explore La Palma or Gran Canaria (depending on which way the wind is blowing), before sailing around Lanzarote to Puerta Colero.

On the return sail you will have time to stop and explore Fuerteventura and Gran Canaria en route to Las Galletas.

Miles and skills around Lanzarote

Following Endeavour Sailing's popular itinerary you will cover about 150nm during your week exploring the delights of Lanzarote and the adjacent island of La Graciosa.

The week is a perfect way to enjoy sailing, exploring the Canaries and just perfect for those who do not want to do an RYA course.

The unique island of Lanzarote is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve site due mainly to César Manrique; while the adjacent unspoilt island of La Graciosa, with its small population of some 500 people is a stunning delight od sand and volcanic cones - it is our favourite of all the Canary Islands!

With lots of small marinas and anchorages that are just short distances apart (see the map), you will have a great week exploring whilst enjoying some great sailing.

Dates Available

We run these weeks every other month and currently have the following dates scheduled:

  • 27th January to 5th February – Tenerife to Lanzarote
  • 5th to 11th February – Sail around Lanzarote & La Graciosa
  • 11th to 17th February - Lanzarote to Tenerife

and also:

  • 24th March to 2nd April – Tenerife to Lanzarote
  • 2nd to 8th April – Sail in tandem with you around the island venture
  • 8th to 14th April - Lanzarote to Tenerife

Please note:

  • More dates available on request!
  • Each week can be booked separately (though we would love for you to join us for more than one week!)

What’s included:

  • Breakfast and lunch, as well as evening meals when sailing after 20:00
  • mooring fees and fuel
  • an experienced RYA School Instructor
  • bedding (duvets, sheets, pillows and towels), changed every week
  • Canarian warm sunshine

How much does it cost?

Sailing on the First 50
850 each
Longer distance sailing around the Canaries
Tenerife to Lanzarote (& back) - great passages; Lanzarote & La Graciosa - shorter miles around the islands

Family sailing holidays

What’s available?

Club Yachting have been offering sailing holidays for families for as long as we can remember.

You have a yacht just for you and your family, and we can either offer training for the you, the whole family or not - its your choice.

It's a perfect holiday for teenagers as there is so much to do (and you can get internet!), but we also welcome little ones (we even have Ocean Safety lifejackets to suit) - but we do ask you to be responsible for looking after them.

Learning to sail

It is optional - but if you would like to take an RYA course we can offer:

  • RYA Start Yachting - available for all ages
  • RYA Competent Crew - there is no minimum age but children have to want to take part (if they only want to take part occasionally we recommend the Start Yachting)
  • RYA Day Skipper - unlike the courses offered in the Mediterranean (countries like Greece, Turkey and Croatia) are courses are all tidal so the qualification is valid all over the world including the Caribbean. The minimum age to be awarded the qualification is 16 years, and you also have to have a knowledge of theory
  • RYA Coastal Skipper - like Day Skipper this is also a tidal qualification, but for the more experienced with a minimum age of 17 years

What do I get?

  • Time to relax - we visit traditional Canarian towns, small anchorages and inlets perfect for swimming, pottering in rock pools and a BBQ on the back of the boat!
  • Lots of wildlife to see - dolphins, whales and turtles
  • Time to explore - the boat is yours so therefore so is the agenda!

What you give us?

You get from us:

  • One of our 12m (3 cabins) or 14m yacht (4 cabins) for your sole use
  • Tuition, or guidance its your choice!
  • Bedding, breakfast and lunch
  • The same price all year around - no extras for school holidays
  • Guaranteed sunshine and temperatures in the high 20's in August, or low 20's in December!

(note the 4 cabin yacht is available for a supplement)

Complete yacht just for you
2500
Sailing
Private tuition on your own 12m sail boat - great for a group of friends or a family holiday!
Book now!

What our sailors think…..

Complete yacht for family – Competent Crew to Day Skipper +

Really good hands-off instruction whilst being very attentive at the same time. Loads of friendly advice and sailing/boat handling tips and tricks. We learnt an awful lot in 6 days. Ovi is a real asset to your business.

A most productive week for us and I would have no problem in recommending Club Yachting to others.

Complete yacht for group of friends – Competent Crew, Day Skipper and lots of fun!

Hi Janet, big thank you to your company from the lads from Newcastle. We had a brilliant weeks sailing particularly with Annie as our instructor.

The Lads from Newcastle!

Helmsman: Course content

What’s covered in my RYA Helmsman course?

The contents of the RYA Helmsman course are listed in the RYA Yachtmaster Scheme Syllabus and Log Book (G158)

The course is designed to be taken over two days - either over a weekend, or combined with a Day Skipper course over a week. Upon successful completion you will be awarded the RYA Helmsman Certificate and be ready to move on to the RYA Day Skipper Practical course.

The contents of the course includes:

Safety and Seamanship

Understands:

  • The importance of crotch straps
  • The difference between manual and auto-inflating life jackets
  • Appropriate clothing

Can:

  • Correctly fit a life jacket

Engine Operation and Maintenance

Knowledge of:
Fuel consumption range and reserve

Understands:

  • Engine monitoring while running
  • Routine maintenance checks
  • Basic fault diagnosis

Can:

  • Perform pre-start checks
  • Locate fuel cut offs
  • Perform close down procedure

Boat Preparation

Knowledge of:

  • Local boating conditions and regulations
  • CE marks, loading, effect on handling and performance

Understands:

  • Safety equipment, lifejackets, dangers, the need for crew
  • use of kill cord (if fitted)
  • Secure stowage of equipment

Can:

  • Tie and know the use of: round turn and two half hitches, bowline, clove hitch
  • Prepare boat, lines and fenders

Boat handling

Knowledge of:

  • Differences between hull shapes and propulsion systems

Understands:

  • Steering, controls, and windage
  • The effect of wind on the bow
  • Carrying way
  • Movement around the yacht and crew positioning at sea
  • Boat control in waves
  • Use of power trim and trim tabs

Can:

  • Start and stop the engine
  • Steer a straight course at low speed
  • Turn in a confined space
  • Handle a boat at planning speed
  • Use trim tabs / power trim (where fitted)

Securing to a buoy

Understands:

  • The importance of crew communication
  • Methods of approach in various wind and tide conditions
  • Taking way off
  • The procedure when overshooting

Can

  • Prepare mooring warps
  • Use a boat hook
  • Make fast
  • Approach and secure to a buoy

Berthing Alongside and Leaving

Understands:

  • Preparation and us of lines and springs
  • Methods of approach in various conditions

Can:

  • Attach fenders
  • Coil a warp
  • Throw a mooring warp
  • Secure warps to cleats
  • Make fast alongside
  • Use springs to leave berths

Man Over Board (MoB)

Knowledge of:

  • Various methods for recovering the person from the water

Understands:

  • That engines should be switched off unless it is unsafe to do so
  • Drift down approach

Can:

  • Take immediate action
  • Observe the MoB
  • Carry out the correct return with awareness of the propellors
  • Approach and recover the MoB dummy

Anchoring

Knowledge of:

  • Types of anchor
  • Depth of water, holding ground and scope required

Theory

Knowledge of:

  • Types of craft
  • The advantages and disadvantages of different hull types with respect to seakeeping ability and wash considerations
  • Engine and drives - advantages and disadvantages of different drive systems
  • The choice and use of fuel

Details of more RYA courses

If you would like to view the contents of other courses please look at our RYA course contents page

Competent Crew: Course content

What’s covered in my RYA Competent Crew course?

The contents of the RYA Competent Crew course are listed in the RYA Yachtmaster Scheme Syllabus and Log Book (G158)

The course is modular and upon successful completion you will be awarded the Competent Crew Certificate.

The contents of the course includes:

Sea Terms and Parts of a Boat, her Rigging and Sails

Can:

  • Understand orders concerning the sailing and day-to-day running of the boat

Sail Handling

Can:

  • Bend on, set, reef and handle sails
  • Use sheets and halyards, and their associated winches

Ropework

Understands how to tie and the correct use of a:

  • Rolling hitch
  • Single and double sheet bend

Can:

  • Use sheets and halyards and their associated winches
  • Handle ropes, including coiling, stowing, securing to cleats and single and double bollards
  • Handle warps
  • Tie the following knots and knows their correct use: Figure of eight; Clove hitch; Bowline; Round turn and two half hitches; Reef knot

Fire Precautions and Fighting

Understands:

  • The hazards of fire and the precautions necessary to prevent it

Can:

  • Carry out the action to be taken in the event of fire

Personal Safety Equipment

Understands:

  • How to comply with guidance for the wearing of safety harnesses, life jackets and personal buoyancy aids

Man Overboard

Understands:

  • The action to be taken to recover a man overboard
  • How cold water shock can affect a casualty in the water

Emergency equipment

Understands:

  • How to launch and board a life raft

Can:

  • Operate distress flares and knows when they should be used

Manners and Customs

Understands:

  • Accepted practice with regard to: use of burgees and ensigns; prevention of unnecessary noise or disturbance in harbour including courtesies to other berthed craft
  • The responsibility of the boating community to protect the environment

Rules of the Road

Can:
Keep an efficient lookout at sea

Tender Usage

Understands:

  • The loading rules and complies with them
  • The use and importance of a kill cord
  • Safety equipment for tenders

Meteorology

Knowledge of:

  • The Beaufort Scale

Understands:

  • The forecasting services and where to obtain a forecast

Seasickness

  • Working efficiency is unaffected/partially affected/severely affected by seasickness (delete as applicable)

Helmsmanship and Sailing

Understands:

  • The basic principles of sailing

Can:

  • Steer and trim sails on all points of sailing
  • Steer a compass course, under sail and power

General Duties

Can:

  • Carry out general duties satisfactorily on deck and below decks in connection with the daily routine of the vessel

More RYA courses

If you would like to view the contents of other courses please look at our RYA course contents page

Day Skipper Theory: Course content

What’s covered in my RYA Day Skipper Theory course?

The contents of the RYA Day Skipper Theory course are listed in the RYA Yachtmaster Scheme Syllabus and Log Book (G158)

The course can be taken either in our classroom or on-line. Upon successful completion you will be awarded the RYA Day Skipper Shorebased Certificate and be ready to move on to the RYA Day Skipper Practical course.

The contents of the course includes:

Nautical termsSea Terms and Parts of a Boat, her Rigging and Sails

Working knowledge of:

  • Parts of a boat and hull
  • General nautical terminology

Ropework

Working knowledge of:

  • The properties of synthetic ropes in common use

Anchorwork

Working knowledge of:

  • Characteristics of different types of anchor
  • Considerations to be taken into account when anchoring

Safety

Working knowledge of:

  • The safety equipment to be carried, its stowage and use (See RYA Boat Safety Handbook, C103)
  • Fire precautions and fire fighting
  • Use of personal safety equipment, harnesses and lifejackets
  • Ability to send a distress signal by DSC and VHF voice
  • Basic knowledge of rescue procedures including helicopter rescue

International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea

Full knowledge of:

  • Steering and sailing rules (5,7,8,9,10 and 12-19)

Working knowledge of:

  • General rules (all other rules)

Definition of position, course and speed

Working knowledge of:

  • Latitude and longitude
  • Standard navigational terms
  • True bearings and courses

Outline knowledge of:

  • The knot

Navigational charts and publications

Working knowledge of:

  • Information shown on charts, chart symbols and representation of direction and distance

Outline knowledge of:

  • Navigational publications in common use
  • Chart correction

Navigational drawing instruments

Working knowledge of:

  • Use of parallel rulers, dividers, and proprietary plotting instruments

Compass

Working knowledge of:

  • Application of variation
  • Use of hand-bearing compass

Outline knowledge of:

  • Deviation and its causes

Chartwork

Full knowledge of:

  • Use of waypoints to fix position

Working knowledge of:

  • Dead reckoning and estimated position including an awareness of leeway
  • Techniques of visual fixing
  • Satellite-derived positions
  • Use of waypoints to fix position
  • Course to steer

Tides and tidal streams

Working knowledge of:

  • Tidal definitions, levels and datum
  • Tide tables
  • Use of Admiralty method of determining tidal height at standard port and awareness of corrections for secondary ports
  • Use of tidal diamonds and tidal stream atlases for chartwork

Visual aids to navigation

Working knowledge of:

  • Lighthouses and beacons, light characteristics

Meteorology

Working knowledge of:

  • Sources of broadcast meteorological information
  • Knowledge of terms used in shipping forecasts, including the Beaufort scale, and their significance to small craft

Outline knowledge of:

  • Basic knowledge of highs, lows and fronts

Passage planning

Full knowledge of:

  • Importance of confirmation of position by an independent source
  • Keeping a navigational record

Working knowledge of:

  • Use of waypoints on passage

Outline knowledge of:

  • Preparation of navigational plan for short coastal passages
  • Meteorological considerations in planning short coastal passages

Navigation in restricted visibility

Working knowledge of:

  • Precautions to be taken in, and limitations imposed by fog

Pilotage

Working knowledge of:

  • Use of transits, leading lines and clearing bearings
  • IALA system of buoyage for Region A
  • Use of sailing directions
  • Pilotage plans and harbour entry

Marine Environment

Working knowledge of

  • Responsibility for avoiding pollution and protecting the marine environment

Other RYA courses

If you would like to view the contents of other courses please look at our RYA course contents page

Details of further RYA courses

If you would like to view the contents of other courses please look at our RYA course contents page

Day Skipper Practical (Motor / Power): Course content

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

The contents of the RYA Day Skipper Practical course on motor yachts (sometimes called "power") are listed in the RYA Yachtmaster Scheme Syllabus and Log Book (G158)

The course may be taught on motor yachts of between 7m and 15m metres (water line length). During the 4 days (please note this course may be combined with the RYA Helmsman course over 6 days if you have no previous experience) you will learn to apply your theory knowledge of pilotage, navigation and rules of the road; and practise yopur seamanship, skippering and boat handling. Once all the elements are completed you will be awarded the RYA Day Skipper (Tidal) certificate for sailing yachts.

The contents of the course includes:

Preparation for sea

KNOWLEDGE OF:

  • Basic stability and buoyancy for small vessels

CAN:

  • Prepare a cruising vessel for sea, including engine checks, securing and stowage of all gear on deck and below
  • Selection of sails

Deck work

CAN:

  • Can Reef, shake out sails and change sails to suit prevailing conditions.
  • Can prepare an anchor, mooring warps and take charge on deck when mooring alongside, coming to a buoy, anchoring, weighing anchor and slipping from a buoy or an alongside berth.

Navigation

Is proficient in chart work and routine navigational duties on passage including:

KNOWLEDGE OF:

  • The uses and limitations of AIS

UNDERSTANDS:

  • Working up Dead Reckoning (DR) and Estimated Position (EP)
  • How to work out a course to steer to allow for tidal stream, leeway and drift
  • Use of lead line or similar

CAN:

  • Take and plot visual fixes
  • Estimate Tidal streams and tidal heights
  • Use electronic navigation equipment for position fixing
  • Use secondary means of position fixing
  • Use of waypoints and routes
  • Knowledge of IALA Buoyage
  • Maintain navigational records
  • Use an echo sounder

Pilotage

CAN:

  • Prepare and execute a pilotage plan for entry into, or departure from, harbour
  • Use leading and clearing lines
  • Use transits and soundings as aids to pilotage

Meteorology

UNDERSTANDS:

  • How to interpret shipping forecasts and use a barometer as a forecasting aid

CAN:

  • Source forecast information

Rules of the Road

CAN:

  • Demonstrate a practical understanding of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea

Engines

Has a working knowledge of the prevention of common engine faults and is competent in the following areas:

UNDERSTANDS:

  • The need for periodic maintenance checks on engines and electrical installations
  • Requirements for tool kits, spares and lubricants
  • The location of filters and bleed points for fuel
  • The tension of drive belts and how to adjust or replace them.

CAN:

  • Carry out checks before starting, while running and after stopping
  • Clean water filters and knows the location of impellors
  • Estimate fuel consumption at various speeds and knows the effects of fouling
  • Basic troubleshooting

Victualling

UNDERSTANDS:

  • How to victual a cruising yacht appropriately for the planned passage

Emergency situations

UNDERSTANDS:

  • How to issue distress signals by all available means, including distress flares and a VHF radio in an emergency
  • How to use a life raft
  • How to secure a tow
  • Rescue procedures including helicopter rescue
  • The effects of cold water shock on a casualty in the water
  • The aftercare requirements of a casualty who has been in the water

CAN:

  • Carry out the correct action as skipper for the recovery of a man overboard

Yacht handling under power

KNOWLEDGE OF:

  • Effects of waves on boat handling and crew comfort

UNDERSTANDS:

  • Differing styles of hull and propulsion systems
  • How to moor and leave a bow/stern to mooring (practical experience where possible)

Passage making

KNOWLEDGE OF:

  • Marina Locks

UNDERSTANDS:

  • The practical benefits and limitations of a chart plotter or GNSS

CAN:

  • Plan and make a coastal passage, taking account of relevant navigational hazards and limitations imposed by the type of boat and the strength of the crew

Night cruising

KNOWLEDGE OF:

  • Has experience of sailing at night, including leaving and entering a harbour

UNDERSTANDS:

  • Special considerations for pilotage plans, keeping a look

Details of more RYA power / motor courses

If you would like to view the contents of other courses please look at our RYA course contents page

Day Skipper Practical (Sail): Course content

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

The contents of the RYA Day Skipper Practical course on sailing 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 theory knowledge of pilotage, navigation and rules of the road; and practise yopur seamanship, skippering and boat handling. Once all the elements are completed you will be awarded the RYA Day Skipper (Tidal) certificate for sailing yachts.

The contents of the course includes:

Preparation for sea

KNOWLEDGE OF:

  • Basic stability and buoyancy for small vessels

CAN:

  • Prepare a cruising vessel for sea, including engine checks, securing and stowage of all gear on deck and below
  • Selection of sails

Deck work

CAN:

  • Can Reef, shake out sails and change sails to suit prevailing conditions.
  • Can prepare an anchor, mooring warps and take charge on deck when mooring alongside, coming to a buoy, anchoring, weighing anchor and slipping from a buoy or an alongside berth.

Navigation

Is proficient in chart work and routine navigational duties on passage including:

KNOWLEDGE OF:

  • The uses and limitations of AIS

UNDERSTANDS:

  • Working up Dead Reckoning (DR) and Estimated Position (EP)
  • How to work out a course to steer to allow for tidal stream, leeway and drift
  • Use of lead line or similar

CAN:

  • Take and plot visual fixes
  • Estimate Tidal streams and tidal heights
  • Use electronic navigation equipment for position fixing
  • Use secondary means of position fixing
  • Use of waypoints and routes
  • Knowledge of IALA Buoyage
  • Maintain navigational records
  • Use an echo sounder

Pilotage

CAN:

  • Prepare and execute a pilotage plan for entry into, or departure from, harbour
  • Use leading and clearing lines
  • Use transits and soundings as aids to pilotage

Meteorology

UNDERSTANDS:

  • How to interpret shipping forecasts and use a barometer as a forecasting aid

CAN:

  • Source forecast information

Rules of the Road

CAN:

  • Demonstrate a practical understanding of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea

Engines

Has a working knowledge of the prevention of common engine faults and is competent in the following areas:

UNDERSTANDS:

  • The need for periodic maintenance checks on engines and electrical installations
  • Requirements for tool kits, spares and lubricants
  • The location of filters and bleed points for fuel
  • The tension of drive belts and how to adjust or replace them.

CAN:

  • Carry out checks before starting, while running and after stopping
  • Clean water filters and knows the location of impellors
  • Estimate fuel consumption at various speeds and knows the effects of fouling
  • Basic troubleshooting

Victualling

UNDERSTANDS:

  • How to victual a cruising yacht appropriately for the planned passage

Emergency situations

UNDERSTANDS:

  • How to issue distress signals by all available means, including distress flares and a VHF radio in an emergency
  • How to use a life raft
  • How to secure a tow
  • Rescue procedures including helicopter rescue
  • The effects of cold water shock on a casualty in the water
  • The aftercare requirements of a casualty who has been in the water

CAN:

  • Carry out the correct action as skipper for the recovery of a man overboard

Yacht handling under power

KNOWLEDGE OF:

  • Effects of waves on boat handling and crew comfort

UNDERSTANDS:

  • Differing styles of hull and propulsion systems
  • How to moor and leave a bow/stern to mooring (practical experience where possible)

Yacht handling under sail

UNDERSTANDS:

  • The characteristics of different types of keel

CAN:

  • Bring a boat safely to and from a mooring buoy and anchor under various conditions of wind and tide
  • Steer and trim sails effectively on all points of sailing

Passage making

KNOWLEDGE OF:

  • Marina Locks

UNDERSTANDS:

  • The practical benefits and limitations of a chart plotter or GNSS

CAN:

  • Plan and make a coastal passage, taking account of relevant navigational hazards and limitations imposed by the type of boat and the strength of the crew

Night cruising

KNOWLEDGE OF:

  • Has experience of sailing at night, including leaving and entering a harbour

UNDERSTANDS:

  • Special considerations for pilotage plans, keeping a look

Details of more RYA Sailing courses

If you would like to view the contents of other courses please look at our RYA course contents page

RYA qualifications voted premiere sailing accreditation for excellence and global reputaition

The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) sailing qualifications have been voted the premiere sailing accreditation for excellence and global reputation following a recent survey targeting 200 professional yacht and motorboat charter companies. The professional charter companies that were surveyed own and manage in excess of 6,000 charter boats across the Mediterranean, Caribbean and Asia.

This survey, undertaken by British yacht charter agency Seamaster Yachting, was conducted in response to the growing requirement for sailing qualifications by local boat charter authorities. Where once a very loose approach prevailed, this is now tightening considerably, particularly in the Mediterranean. Where once some sailing holidays companies had even issued their own ‘licenses’, we are now provided with a prescriptive list of acceptable sailing licenses. Consequently, there is an increasing international demand for sailing accreditations by sailors looking beyond their own local accreditations.

The survey asked the yacht charter companies to rate the quality and international reputation of 10 nationally accredited sailing accreditations including those from the United Kingdom, France, Germany, New Zealand, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Spain, Sweden and the USA.

On average, across all of the respondents, the British RYA regime was rated a whopping 9.28 out of 10 by the yacht charter companies, followed by the German Sailing Association (Deutscher Segler-Verband) with 8.7 out of 10. The Russian qualification came in last with a rating of only 5.6 out of 10.

Berni Blaha, who runs a charter company in Turkey that completed the survey comments: “I have been in the yacht charter industry for eight years and recently we have seen an improvement in skipper’s abilities and qualifications, notably those charter guests with the RYA training course accreditation. Those charter guests holding an RYA qualification has significantly decreased the volume of damage on charter boats and saved our labour costs for repairs.”

Tim Anderson, who has worked in the UK yacht charter industry for the past decade, comments: “We are seeing in the yacht charter market a transition towards a more stringent requirement for quality sailing qualifications, which can only be a good thing for the wellbeing of both boats and the people operating them. Thankfully the days of sailing holiday companies issuing their own mock certificates to even novice sailors, whereby exposing other sailors and insurance companies to unnecessary risk, are rapidly coming to an end.”

Professional yacht charter skipper, Thomas Karanatsis from Greece, comments: “I chose the RYA qualification because simply, it is the most respected worldwide. Since I wasn’t only interested in the Greek sailing market for professional opportunities, I knew I had to sign up to the RYA course in order to pursue a sailing career internationally.”

Upon hearing the results of the survey RYA Training Manager and Chief Examiner, Richard Falk, had the following to say:  “We are very proud of the outstanding work done by our 2,500 RYA Recognised Training centres around the world. However, there is nothing quite as flattering as independent confirmation of the quality of RYA training from the companies that see so many RYA qualification holders use their services each year. Our instructors are passionate about what they do and I am delighted that the quality of RYA training is as evident to those within the charter industry as it is to those who actually deliver the training. Money and time spent on RYA training is a sound investment in ensuring you get the skills and qualifications you have paid for.”

Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster Theory: Course content

What’s covered in my RYA Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster Theory course?

This course is designed for those people who are going on to do the Coastal Skipper Course Completion Practical certificate for both sail and motor. The theory is the same standard as that required for the MCA Yachtmaster Coastal and Yachtmaster Offshore Certificate of Competence (CoC).

The contents of the RYA Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster Theory course are listed in the RYA Yachtmaster Scheme Syllabus and Log Book (G158)

The course can be taken either in our classroom or on-line. Upon successful completion you will be awarded the RYA Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster Shorebased Certificate and be ready to move on to the RYA Day Skipper Practical course.

The contents of the course includes:

Position

  • Dead reckoning
  • Satellite Derived position
  • Use of waypoints to fix position
  • RADAR fixes
  • Techniques of visual fixing
  • Fixes using a mixture of position lines
  • Relative accuracy of different methods of position fixing
  • Areas of uncertainty

The Magnetic Compass

  • Allowance for variation
  • Change of variation with time and position
  • Causes of deviation
  • Compass checks for deviation, but not correction
  • Allowance for deviation
  • Different types of compass

Tides

  • Causes of tides - springs or neaps
  • Tide tables - sources
  • Tidal levels and datum
  • Standard and secondary ports
  • Tidal anomalies (Solent etc)

Tidal streams

  • Sources of tidal information
  • Tidal stream information in sailing directions and yachtsmen's almanacs
  • Tide rips, overfalls and races
  • Tidal observation buoys, beacons etc

Buoyage

  • IALA system buoyage in Regions A and B
  • Limitations of buoys as navigational aids

Pilotage

  • Harbour regulations and control signals
  • Methods of pre-planning
  • Clearing lines
  • Use of soundings
  • Transits and leading lines

Lights

  • Characteristics
  • Ranges - visual, luminous and nominal
  • Rising and dipping distances
  • Light lists

GNSS and Chart Plotters

  • Principles of operation and limitations of use
  • Raster and vector charts
  • Datum
  • The importance of secondary means of position fixing via an independent source and keeping a separate record of position
  • The importance of paper charts

Echo sounders

  • Principles of operation and limitations of use

Logs (speed and distance measuring)

  • Principles of operation and limitations of use

Deck log

  • The importance of the log as a yachts official document
  • Layout of log, hourly and occasional entries

Rules of the Road

  • A sound knowledge of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (IRPCS) except Annexes 1 & 3

Meteorology

  • Basic terms, the beaufort scale
  • Air masses
  • Cloud types
  • Weather patterns associated with pressure and frontal systems
  • Sources of weather forecasts
  • Ability to interpret a shipping forecast, weather fax, and weather satellite information
  • Land and sea breezes
  • Sea fog
  • Use of a barometer as a forecasting aid

Safety at sea

  • Personal safety, use of lifejackets, safety harnesses and lifelines
  • Fire prevention and fire fighting
  • Coastguard and boat safety scheme
  • Preparation for heavy weather
  • Life rafts and helicopter rescue
  • Understanding the cap[abilities of vessel and basic knowledge of stability

Navigation in restricted visibility

  • Precautions to be taken in fog
  • Limitations to safe navigation imposed by fog
  • Navigational strategy in poor visibility

Passage planning

  • Preparation of charts and notebook for route planning
  • Customs regulations as they apply to yachts
  • Routine for navigating in coastal waters
  • Strategy for course laying
  • Use of, and visual confirmation of, waypoints and routes
  • Use of weather forecast information for passage planning strategy
  • Sources of local and national regulations

Marine environment

  • The responsibility to minimise pollution and protect the marine environment

Details on more RYA courses

If you would like to view the contents of other courses please look at our RYA course contents page