What is the difference between RYA Day Skipper and RYA Coastal Skipper for Sail?

I have my RYA Day Skipper – am I ready to take the RYA Coastal Skipper?

The RYA recommend that you have:

  • RYA Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster Theory
  • 15 days teatime
  • 2 days as skipper which can be as part of your RYA Day Skipper course
  • sailed 300 nautical miles
  • experienced 8 night hours
  • boat handling to the standard of the Day Skipper practical sail cruising course

Even if you have the above we sometimes find that people are not ready for the Coastal Skipper course. Have a look below at the differences between the two syllabi and decide for yourself:

Preparation for sea

Day Skipper

Knowledge of:

  • Basic stability and buoyancy for small vessels

Understands:

Can:

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

Coastal Skipper

  • What safety equipment is required for an offshore passage
  • Prepare a cruising vessel for sea including: stowage; safety briefing; watchkeeping; delegating responsibilities; equipment and engine checks

Deck work

Day Skipper

Knowledge of:

Understands:

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.

Coastal Skipper

  • How to handle a cruising vessel in strong winds
  • General conduct in poor visibility
  • 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 crew welfare on passage
  • Prepare a cruising vessel for heavy weather

Navigation

Day Skipper

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

Coastal Skipper

  • The practical uses of integrated electronic aids to navigation including: AIS; RADAR; electronic navigational charts (ENCs) and Raster Navigational Charts (RNCs)
  • Plan a coastal passage, taking into account the capability of the vessel, navigation, victualling, weather, ports of refuge, tidal heights and tidal streams, publications required and strategy
  • Use electronic navigational equipment for planning and undertaking a passage, including the use of waypoints and routes
  • Navigate in restricted visibility

Pilotage

Day Skipper

Knowledge of:

  • 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

Understands:

Can:

Coastal Skipper

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

Meteorology

Day Skipper

Knowledge of:

Understands:

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

Can:

  • Source forecast information

Coastal Skipper

  • Be aware of the significance of meteorological trends

Rules of the Road

Day Skipper

Knowledge of:

Understands:

Can:

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

Coastal Skipper

  • Demonstrate a more in depth knowledge of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea

Engines

Day Skipper

Knowledge of:

Can:

  • 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

Coastal Skipper

Victualling

Day Skipper

Knowledge of:

Understands:

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

Can:

Coastal Skipper

  • Victual a yacht for a longer passage, including overnight

Emergency situations

Day Skipper

Knowledge of:

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

Coastal Skipper

  • 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
  • Recover a man under sail

Yacht handling under power

Day Skipper

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)

Can:

Coastal Skipper

  • 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

Yacht handling under sail

Day Skipper

Knowlege of:

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

Coastal Skipper

  • Use the sails to control the yacht in a confined space
  • Anchor and moor in various conditions of wind and tide
  • Sail efficiently on all points of sail, including down wind techniques

Passage making

Day Skipper

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

Coastal Skipper

  • 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

Night cruising

Day Skipper

Knowledge of:

Understands:

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

Can:

  • Special considerations for pilotage plans, keeping a look

Coastal Skipper

  • Sail at night including entering and leaving harbour

Not sure that you are quite ready for the RYA Coastal Skipper?

If you are not sure if you are ready there are a few options:

  • join us for the RYA Coastal Skipper and if you are not quite ready complete the elements of the course you can, and complete the rest later
  • join us for our Day Skipper Plus course - great to bridge the gap
  • if you can spare a couple of weeks join us for some skills and the Coastal Skipper practical course
Posted in Go Club Yachting! News.