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RYA Coastal Skipper and Yachtmaster Offshore Theory via Distance Learning

Correspondence Course : £365

Second Student: £275

East Anglian Sea School's Coastal Skipper Yachtmaster Offshore distance learning course allows you to study anywhere in the world and at your own pace within the time frame of 1 year from date of enrolment.

This is an advanced course that follows on from the RYA Day Skipper Theory. This course will develop further knowledge and skills on navigation, pilotage, collision regulations and meteorology.

It is for those who are looking at embarking on difficult passages, for example, offshore and/or at night and is suitable for sail and motor. This course is also the theory foundation for anyone wishing to progress towards RYA Coastal Skipper and Yachtmaster Offshore practical qualifications.


Suggested Previous Experience

Some prior knowledge is required. If you have the RYA Day Skipper certificate (or an equivalent level of knowledge) then this is the right course for you. It shouldn't matter if you are a bit 'rusty' because our correspondence course includes a lot of Day Skipper level revision material. 

You will find the course extremely challenging if you cannot read a chart and carry out basic plotting and tidal calculations. If you are a complete beginner then this is unlikely to be the right course for you.


PLEASE NOTE: This course is currently not compatible with MAC






The complete course includes:

  • Study material on CD
  • Study guides
  • Additional material on CS let you (optionally) delve deeper into some aspects of navigation. 
  • Interactive modules
  • RYA Student pack
  • 2B pencil for chartwork
  • Marking and Support 
  • Exams
  • Postage to UK addresses

Popular extras:

  • Navigational instruments - plotter and high quality dividers
  • Books - RYA books and other publications that are not essential for completion of the course however are nice to have on the book shelf and can help when moving onto higher level courses.
  • Extra training charts


  1. Pilotage - covering buoys, lights and successful pilotage.
  2. Electronic Navigation - introducing the RYA electronic chart plotter and use of GPS.
  3. Navigation - covering DR, EP and course to steer.
  4. Tides - calculating tidal heights, tidal streams and secondary ports to a high degree of accuracy.
  5. Passage Planning - not just planning but making as well.
  6. Safety - everything a skipper should know about safety on board including coping with disaster, restricted visibility and heavy weather.
  7. Collision Regulations - an in depth knowledge is required and this lecture guides you through the regulations.
  8. Weather - two lecture. Lecture 1 covers the causes of weather both global and local while Lecture 2 covers forecasting and the sources of forecasts.


  1. Chartwork
  2. Meteorology
  3. Collision Regulations


RYA/MCA Coastal Skipper and Yachtmaster Offshore Shorebased Certificate.


Other options for RYA Coastal Skipper Yachtmaster Offshore Shorebased courses @ EASS

5 Days: Call us for a price, or submit an enquiry and we will get back to you.

2 Weekends: Call us for a price, or submit an enquiry and we will get back to you.

Evening class: £265.00

10 Day (Theory & Practical Combined): Call us for a price, or submit an enquiry and we will get back to you.



5 Day

2 Weekends

Evening Class

05 October '17Places


RYA Coastal Skipper Yachtmaster Offshore Shorebased Syllabus


  • Dead reckoning and estimated position
  • 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
  • Changes of variation with time and position
  • Causes of deviation
  • Swing for deviation (but not correction)
  • Allowance for deviation
  • Different types of compass


  • Causes of tides - Springs and 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 Yachtsman's Almanacs
  • Allowance for tidal streams in computing a course to steer
  • Tide rips, overfalls and races
  • Tidal observation buoys, beacons etc


  • IALA system buoyage in region A
  • Limitations of buoys as navigational aids


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


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

GPS and chartplotters

  • Principles of operation and limitations of use
  • Raster and vector charts
  • Datum
  • Importance of confirmation of position by an independent source and keeping a separate record of position
  • Importance of paper charts
  • Echo sounders
  • Principles of operation and limitations of use

Echo sounders

  • Principles of operation and limitations of use

Logs (speed and distance measuring)

  • Principles of operation and limitations of use

Deck log

  • Importance of log as yacht's official document
  • Layout of log, hourly and occasional entries


  • 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, weatherfax and weather satellite information
  • Land and sea breezes
  • Sea fog
  • Use of a barometer as a forecasting aid

Rule of the Road

  • A sound knowledge of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, except annexes 1 & 3

Safety at sea

  • Personal safety, use of lifejackets, safety harnesses and lifelines
  • Fire prevention and fire fighting
  • Distress signals
  • Coastguard and boat safety scheme
  • Preparation for heavy weather
  • Liferafts and helicopter rescue
  • Understanding of capabilities of vessel and basic knowledge of stability

Navigation in restricted visibility

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

Passage planning

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

Marine environment

  • Responsibility to minimise pollution and protect the marine environment.

East Anglian Sea School Ltd.
Tel: 01473 659992    Email: sales@eastanglianseaschool.com