Coastal Skipper

What is the Coastal Skipper course?

Longer passages!

Girls for Sail verdict: This is a great chance to get out there and learn to skipper a yacht on longer passages. Get that qualification that you've been telling yourself to do for years now!

What our girls had to say: "I was on a very steep learning curve throughout the week but thankfully when it came to the exam I was able to implement all I'd learned! The environment and atmosphere was very conducive and worked with my learning style - thank you!"

Who is the Coastal Skipper course for?

This course is an ideal bridge between the Day Skipper Course and the full RYA/MCA Yachtmaster Coastal examination course. The course is designed to give an experienced RYA Day Skipper the confidence to undertake longer and more complex passages which may involve sailing at night or involve watch keeping systems. At the end of the 5 day course, you can choose to undertake the RYA Yachtmaster Coastal exam*, successful completion of which results in the award of the RYA Yachtmaster Coastal Certificate of Competence which can then be commercially endorsed for those wishing to work professionally.

How long does the course last?

You will meet with your fellow crew members on the first evening and get to know each other over a cup of tea. You then spend the next 5 days sailing the Solent and South coast. Not only do you spend the days sailing you get the chance to do a night sail, what better way to really appreciate sailing but in the peace and quiet with clear skies...

What does the Coastal Skipper course syllabus cover?

The aim of the course is to teach the skills and techniques required to skipper a cruising yacht safely on coastal and offshore passages by day and night. The minimum age for the award of the course completion certificate is 17.

  • Passage planning
  • Preparation for sea
  • Pilotage
  • Passage making
  • Yacht handling under power and sail
  • Weather
  • Managing emergency situations

Skippering a yacht on coastal and offshore passages demands strong navigation, seamanship and leadership skills. During the RYA Coastal Skipper course your instructor will guide you through navigation, both offshore and in limited visibility, weather forecasting and passage planning, watch keeping, preparation for sea and handling heavy weather. You will put this all into practice as each student plans and executes passages taking complete command of the yacht. Coastal skippers must be good boat handlers and you will receive plenty of practice mooring the yacht and have at least 4 hours night sailing. Weather permitting the yacht will undertake a longer coastal passage.

Parking the boat!

What will I be sailing on?

We mostly coach on yachts of between 37 and 41 feet. Our yachts have been specifically chosen as they are easy to handle, great for learning! There is no denying us girls sometimes don't have the physical strength of the boys but with our technical ability and a well-chosen yacht we can do just as well.  You will usually find yourself on board an Elan 37, Jeanneau 37 or a Beneteau 40.7. All of your time will be spent living as crew-mates on your yacht.  Most of the yachts have 9/10 berths, with 3 cabins and a saloon so the boats will normally have 2 persons in each cabin i.e. 6 - this is always the case for an RYA course, MAX 6 persons onboard. On some events e.g. races we use the saloon which can sleep an additional 2-4 people.

Elan 37


What's included in the course?

  • Fully coded yacht with safety equipment
  • Fully qualified RYA skipper
  • All safety equipment
  • Accommodation on board
  • RYA Courses (UK) - full board food (dinner on 3 nights)
  • RYA Courses (St Lucia) - full board food (dinner on 1 night only)
  • RYA Courses (weekends) - half board (breakfast and lunches only)
  • Shower facilities on site in marina
  • Diesel, water, electricity
  • Wet Weather Gear (by prior arrangement)
  • Fun, fun, fun!

What isn't included?

  • Transport to and from meeting points
  • Mooring fees
  • Flights
  • Alcoholic drinks and evening meals (unless otherwise stated)
  • Departure taxes/customs entries per person
  • Accommodation upgrades where available

*Exam cost (visit the RYA for up to date exam fees) Pre-exam requirements for holders of the Coastal Skipper Practical Course Completion Certificate: 400nm; 20 days living on board; 12 night hours; 2 days as skipper.


Why choose Girls for Sail?

  • First of all we want to give you some freedom, we want you to feel able to do absolutely anything onboard, so we will greet you, make you feel welcome, confident and safe, and of course you won't have anyone rushing you! You can learn at your own pace with our skippers and feel the benefit of this in your handling of our yacht!
  • We pride ourselves on our levels of tuition.  There's no such thing as a silly question!  There's no shouting onboard and as it's also your holiday, we want you to have fun and go home relaxed and satisfied with your time here! Not to mention you get to meet new lifelong friends! 

How do I book?

This the perfect next step for girls who have completed their Day Skipper, gained a few more miles and are now keen to learn to skipper a boat on longer passages or overnight.

If you are unsure what would be best for you, call our office and speak to one of our lovely team members who will be able to help you out with any queries you may have!


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+44(0)1983 28 28 67

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