Difference with the Day Skipper practical cours.
The RYA Coastal Skipper practical course builds on the skills learnt on the Day Skipper practical course. These courses cover advanced skippering techniques in terms of boat handling and passage making.
How it differs from the Day Skipper practical course.
The emphasis is on developing higher levels of independence. The training moves away from the shorter passages of Day Skipper and starts looking at passages that require watch-keeping routines, crew management and the ability to pilot a vessel both day and night. With longer passages it is less likely that you will be familiar with the sailing area, so a higher level of overall navigational and pilotage skill needs to be developed.
The passage planning process for coastal skippers begins to involve consideration of the requirements for offshore passages e.g. vessel equipment or the significance of meteorological trends. Coastal passages can easily be out of sight, and shelter, of land for a number of hours and span a series of weather forecasts.
This is a hands-on course with your instructor focussing on coaching your practical skill-set up to the next level. It is therefore essential that you are comfortable with practical boat handling skills taught on the Day Skipper practical course. As the course focuses on the practical application of this theory it is assumed that you have the theoretical knowledge required for coastal and offshore passages. In reality this means you should have theory knowledge up to the level of the RYA Coastal Skipper/ Yachtmaster™ shore-based course.
It is therefore suggested that you have at least 15 days sea-time, two of these days as skipper, having covered 300 miles with eight night hours.
The course is a satisfying but intensive 5-days. Successful completion of the Coastal Skipper practical course means you have the knowledge and understanding, although not necessarily the experience, to be examined for the RYA Yachtmaster™ Coastal Certificate of Competence.