The RYA Coastal Skipper Practical course teaches advanced skipperingtechniques for those wanting to undertake coastal passages by day and night.
The Practical Coastal Skipper Course is your next step after the Day Skipper Practical Course. It covers the more refined skipperingtechniques required for sailing in coastal and offshore waters.
In moving to this more advanced level, it is assumed you have navigation skills to the same standard as the Coastal Skipper/Yachtmaster Shorebased Course, and sailing training and experience to the previous course level.
The RYA Practical Coastal Skipper Training Course lasts for five days and must be completed over five consecutive days. On successful completion of the course you will be awarded a Coastal Skipper Course Completion Certificate.
You can come and do the course by yourself or with friends, a partner or family. If someone you know wants to do the Competent Crew Course, they can do it at the same time as you do your Coastal Skipper Course, on the same boat as yourself.
Looking for the theory Course? View Coastal Skipper Yachtmaster Theory Course.
Like the Day Skipper course the Coastal Skipper course consists of skippered passages in a variety of situations however there is more emphasis on passage making. It is a satisfying and intense week and you may well be working towards a Certificate of Competence.
The RYA Coastal Skipper Course lasts for five days. As emphasis is placed on passage making it is the one course that has to be carried out over 5 consecutive days.
Minimum Pre Course Experience: 15 days (2 as skipper), 300 miles, 8 night hours.
Recommended Knowledge: It is assumed you are up to Day Skipper Practical standard and have navigation skills to the same level as the Coastal Skipper/Yachtmaster Shorebased course. There is insufficient time on the course to teach the basic skills of seamanship, helmsmanship and navigation, as well as teach how these skills should be applied by the skipper of a yacht.
Course Content: Skippering techniques for coastal and offshore passages.
Ability after the Course: You will be able to skipper a yacht on coastal passages by day and night. On successful completion of the course you will be awarded a Coastal Skipper Course Completion Certificate.
A relatively tough week! You will be pushed and may well do a fair amount of night sailing. You will be assessed during the course and certificates of satisfactory completion will not be awarded to those who:
Are adversely affected by sea sickness to the extent that their ability to skipper a yacht is reduced to a dangerously low level. Are unable to demonstrate sufficient ability in basic seamanship, navigation and yacht handling to appreciate the techniques and skills required of a yacht skipper. Demonstrate a lack of understanding of any part of the syllabus to the extent that it would be dangerous for them to go to sea as the skipper of a yacht.
We run the Coastal Skipper Practical Course from our South Coast base, Shamrock Quay in Southampton.
If you choose to take the course from Southampton you will sail in and around the Solent and given the course is about passage making you may go out of the Solent to Poole, Weymouth or if conditions are right across to France. So pack your passport!
During your sailing course you’ll sleep on board the yacht. There’s typically three double cabins and two single berths which provide accommodation for eight people. However, there’s only ever a maximum of 5 students on board, plus the instructor.
It is very very rare that you will have to share a cabin with someone you don't know, even if you come by yourself. Sometimes two people have to 'share' the saloon, but the saloon is a large airy space with two single berths on opposite sides of the yacht, one of which converts to a double.
Whilst we do have showers onboard the yacht, most nights you can use the hot showers and facilities in a marina.
Throughout the course we provide all meals on board, apart from supper on the evening you join the boat, as this takes place in a local pub if you haven't eaten before you arrive.
We always provide food that is healthy and nutritious, including; salad, vegetables, white and wholemeal bread, chicken, lean minced beef, muesli, cereal, yoghurt and good quality orange juice. In fact, just the kind of food that you would most likely buy yourself. We also provide plenty of fruit for snacking, as well as a good supply of chocolate and biscuits.
If you have any special dietary requirements, we can normally accommodate these. Please let us know when you fill out your booking form.
Our courses run from Shamrock Quay in Southampton on the South Coast.
Getting to Shamrock Quay: Shamrock Quay is about an 8 minute taxi ride from Southampton Central Station, or 15 minutes from Southampton Airport if you’re flying. If you arrive by car there is plenty of free parking and 24/7 security.
On occasion a South Coast course may start on one of our boats from a location other than Shamrock Quay. This is likely to be close to Shamrock Quay or in Portsmouth. We will always give you plenty of notice if this is the case.
We find it is better if you arrive the evening before your course starts. This way you can start getting to know the yacht, the skipper and your crew mates before the course really gets under way. If this is not possible then you need to be at the boat by 8.30am on the first day of the Sailing Course.
You can expect to get away by 5pm on the final day of your course. If you are catching a train we recommend you do not book a ticket in advance as we can’t guarantee you will get away at 5pm on the dot. It may be a bit earlier it may be a bit later.
The aim of the course is to teach the skills and techniques required to skipper a yacht safely on coastal and offshore passages by day and night.
"There's no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing", Billy Connolly.
Whilst the weather sailing of the south coast is actually fairly mild it is important to have the correct clothing. We provide state of the art Musto Oilskins that are brand new every year.
Space on a boat is always at a premium, so you should pack your clothes in a soft holdall that can be stowed away in a locker. Bags with wheels or metal buckles should be avoided, as these may damage the woodwork on boats. You will need:
We provide all safety equipment such as lifejackets and harnesses.
"Good clear explanations and pragmatic approach, was very easy to follow. Excellent instructor."Neil M
"Friendly informative courses delivered in a relaxed environment by knowledgeable instructors. "Allyson F, Head of UK Retail Marketing, Henderson Global Investors
"I have just finished a week of the Coastal Skipper Course with FCS. Really good mix of passages, boat handling, navigation, night sailing and more… really fun crew… Have done Day Skipper with them and will come back in the future. Thank you Charlie/Harriet!"Michal L
"I cannot fault this course - excellent instruction both theory and practical. Very intense courses but great balance of professionalism and fun. Do it!"Julia S
"We had five great days sailing with instructor Stuart. My husband and I wanted to gain more experience as we already have Day Skipper and Competent Crew certificates, respectively. It was a great trip and we learned so much more. Our friend also joined us and got his Competent Crew certificate too. In our experience, First Class sailing have first class instructors, great yachts and we would highly recommend them."Linz
"Good mixture of conditions gave us varied experience, good team spirit."Geoff K