RYA Coastal Skipper Yachtmaster
Theory - Online

RYA Coastal Skipper/Yachtmaster™ theory is an advanced course that builds on the knowledge gained at the theory Day Skipper level. It is aimed at sailors and motor boaters who are looking to undertake more complex passages perhaps offshore or at night. It will take your theory knowledge to the standard required for the Yachtmaster™ Coastal and Yachtmaster™ Offshore practical course.

This online course is delivered on Skippers online website. Through carefully written modules, it guides you through advanced techniques in all areas of navigation. At the end of each module, you are invited to try out what you have learned with online tests. Full answers are immediately available for every test question and you can go back and re-do any part of the module – giving you confidence to move onto the next section when you know you are ready. 

Once you have completed the course you’re ready to sit the exams. This is done from your own home or office and completed in a time limit. There are 4 exams:

  1. Chartwork (2hrs) – You will be required to demonstrate that you have a reasonable grasp of the topic
  2. IRPCS (90 mims) – pass mark 60%
  3. Passage Making Part A (90mins) – pass mark 60%
  4. Passage Making Part B (2hrs) – pass mark 60%
Your submitted answers will be marked by a qualified RYA shorebased instructor and if successful you will be awarded the RYA Coastal Skipper/Yachtmaster™ Theory Certificate.

Knowledge to Day Skipper Shorebased standard. Practical sailing experience is desirable, as this provides invaluable context to the subjects you’re learning.


A basic knowledge of navigation, tides, meteorology and safety theory.


You will be assigned a dedicated RYA Yachtmaster Instructor to answer your questions.


40 hrs online study

  • Position fixing
  • Course shaping and plotting
  • Tidal knowledge
  • Use of almanacs and Admiralty publications
  • Electronic position finding equipment
  • Taking and interpreting forecasts
  • Plotting weather systems
  • Safety equipment and procedure

The background knowledge needed to skipper a yacht on coastal passages by day and night. The holder of this certificate can go on to work towards their Coastal Skipper practical course or Yachtmaster™ qualification’s.