RYA Coastal Skipper sail

Advanced skippering techniques for yachtsmen and women

The 5-day RYA Coastal Skipper (Sail) course teaches the skills and techniques required to skipper a cruising yacht of up to 15m LOA safely on coastal and offshore passages by day and night.

Taught in English

All RYA courses are taught in English. We recommend a minimum level of B1 for 1-day and 2-day courses and a minimum level of B2 for longer courses, theory courses and specialised training, such as SRC (VHF) radio.

Quick facts

Here’s a summary of what you need to know.

Read the requirements carefully

The RYA is very strict about required experience

5-day intensive practical course

Hone your skills before the Yachtmaster exam

Optional 2-day theory refresher

Theory refresher course before the 5-day practical

Taught by our Chief Instructor · Sail

Taught by a qualified RYA Yachtmaster Instructor and examiner

Allow 9 days for the course & exam

2-day theory + 5-day practical + 2-day exam

Our vessels

At our training facility, we utilize commercially coded vessels that have undergone thorough inspection and approval from the RYA.


Coastal Skipper course the details

Click on the tabs for more detailed information.

This is a hands-on course focussed 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.

The Boat School’s RYA Coastal Skipper (Sail) course aims to provide experienced yachtsmen and women with the skills they need to undertake more difficult passages by day and night and handle a yacht in more demanding conditions. By the end of the course you should have the knowledge, if not the experience, to be examined for the RYA Yachtmaster Coastal Certificate of Competence.

Is this course for me?

For many students, the RYA Coastal Skipper course is the first step towards the coveted Yachtmaster certificate of competence. The next step (after acquiring the prerequisite experience for the exam), is the Yachtmaster Coastal exam preparation course.

On successful completion of an RYA Coastal Skipper course, UK nationals and nationals of certain other countries automatically qualify for an ICC issued by the RYA. The ICC is widely recognised internationally as evidence of competence.

Spanish law allows charter companies to rent powerboats to UK nationals or residents in possession of the RYA Coastal Skipper certificate; however, if you own your own boat (or you’re thinking of buying one), you will need to apply for the ICC.

aPYou have three options for your RYA Coastal Skipper course:

  • you can complete the course as part of an open group or
  • you can charter a boat for 5/ 6 days day and complete the course with family and friends
  • you have have the course on your own boat (pr a friend’s boat)

Open groups

With an open group booking, you book a place on a course and we’ll admit up to a maximum of three students onto that same course. This is the most economical option; however, it’s also the least flexible option if your availability is limited. The price of a seat on an open course includes fuel and mooring fees away from our base.

Your RYA Coastal Skipper course with The Boat School includes:

  • RYA Coastal Skipper certificate and materials
  • Use of light-weight inflatable life jackets
  • Cold water on the boat
  • Fuel and mooring fees (open groups only)

This course includes accommodation aboard,; however, we cannot guarantee that you will have your own cabin (this depends on the type of yacht used for your course). We do guarantee:

  • Couples (or friends) will have their own cabin
  • Female participants will only share a cabin with other female student

Please contact us if you have any questions about accommodation.

We publish course dates all year round and you can book the course directly online. Please contact us if you don’t find the dates your looking for; we can also schedule courses in accordance with the availability of students interested in the course.

Rental & course pack

With this option, you charter a sailing yacht and we provide the instructor and teaching materials. This option gives you maximum flexibility in terms of dates and the option to choose the boat on which you’ll be learning (subject to availability). With the rental and course pack, you’ll also have more say in the itinerary. As with any charter, you’re responsible for paying the fuel for the boat as well as mooring fees away from our home port.

The RYA Coastal Skipper course can be combined with other RYA courses in the sail cruising scheme. This means that you can choose a rental and course pack and have, for example, one participant preparing for Coastal Skipper, one candidate preparing for Day Skipper and two participants preparing Competent Crew.

Please ask us for a quote.

Own boat tuition

If you already own a yacht, or if you have a friend who owns a sailboat, we’re more than happy to run an RYA Coastal Skipper course on your own boat. This option is significantly cheaper than open groups and charters; however, you do need to make sure that your boat is up to the standard required by the RYA for training.

Please contct us for a quotation for own boat tuition.

Passage planning

How to plan a coastal passage including a consideration of the capabilities of the yacht, navigation, victualling, weather, ports of refuge, tidal heights and tidal streams, publications required and strategy. Customs procedures for most common circumstances.

Preparation for sea

Awareness of safety equipment required for offshore passages, and preparation for sea including stowage, safety briefings, watch keeping, delegation of responsibilities and equipment and engine checks.


Preparing a pilotage plan, with consideration of soundings, transits, clearing bearings, buoyage, port or harbour regulations and tidal considerations.

Organisational and skipper skills

Taking charge of a yacht and directing the crew, organising the navigation, deckwork and domestic duties of a yacht on passage, awareness of the significance of meteorological trends, aware of crew welfare and use electronic navigational equipment for planning and undertaking a passage, including the use of waypoints and routes.

Yacht handling under power

Controlling the yacht effectively in a confined space under power, including all berthing and unberthing situations in various conditions of wind and tide.

Yacht handling under sail

Using the sails to control the yacht in a confined space, including anchoring and mooring in various conditions of wind and tide.

Adverse weather conditions

Understanding of preparations for heavy weather and yacht handling in strong winds, and navigation in restricted visibility.

Emergency situations

Recovery of man overboard under power or sail, actions to be taken when abandoning to the liferaft and during helicopter and lifeboat rescues.

Where will I be sailing?

During the Coastal Skipper course, you’ll be sailing approximately 100 nautical miles. Our cruising ground for the RYA Coastal Skipper course includes Denia, the Bay of Javea, Moraira and Altea. Depending on the weather, we might also take a trip across to Ibiza!

During the course you will also complete a Yachtmaster qualifying passage of at least 60 nautical miles.

Before you book this course you should have significant sailing experience on a cruising yacht. There are no qualification requirements, but it is recommended that participants are at least Day Skipper standard before taking this practical course.

You should have 15 days, 300 miles and 8 night hours on board a sailboat with at least 2 days experience as skipper.

Knowledge of theory

The RYA Coastal Skipper qualification has two parts: the 5-day practical course and a 40 hour theory course. Holding a shorebased course completion certificate in not a prerequisite to attend this course, but it is essential that you have the same knowledge level as somebody that has completed the Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster shorebased course. Whenever possible, we recommend that you do the shorebased course in the classroom.

The minimum age for the award of the certificate is 17. You can do the course with family members under the age of 17 and these junior participants can qualify for another RYA sailing certificate, but we won’t be able to issue these students with the Coastal Skipper certificate.

You won’t need a medical certificate but you should be in reasonable physical shape.

Book your Coastal Skipper sail course

From 850€ per person in an open group
You can choose to complete this course either as part of an open group or you can rent a boat for the day and complete the course with family and friends.

Book a place in an open group

If you choose to book a place on an open group, we’ll put a maximum of four people on your course. Click on the “Book Now” link to get course dates. We run Coastal Skipper courses most months of the year, except in the months of July and August.

Rental with Course Pack or Own Boat tuition

The option of chartering one of our sailing yachts or running the course on your own boat gives you maximum flexibility whether you’re looking for a small group (up to 5 students) or you want one-to-one training. You can choose between:

  • Renting a sailing yacht and doing the course on this boat
  • Running a course on your own boat

Coastal Skipper

Advanced sailing skills

Ready to book? Got any questions?

If you’re interested in a course with The Boat School, please complete the form below and we’ll get back to you.

Or give us a call on:

Call an RYA Boat School instructor on: 639202297

We'd be delighted to talk you through different course options and send you a personalised proposal if you need a package of courses.

The Boat School

Recognized by the Royal Yachting Association to conduct Powerboat Training, Sail Cruising courses in the Yachtmaster (sail) scheme and Shorebased (theory) courses.

Recognized by the Spanish Directorate General for Merchant Shipping, the Comunidad Valenciana and the Region of Murcia to conduct sail, motor, powerboat and VHF training.

Operational Base Denia

Marina de Dénia (Sail courses)
Darsena de babor s/n
03700 · Denía
Alicante · Spain
Click to call

Marina El Portet (Powerboat courses)
Moll de la pansa, s/n
3700 · Dénia
Alicante · Spain
Click to call

Classrooms & pick up for certificates
Carrer de Fora Mur, 12
03700 · Dénia
Alicante · Spain
Click to call

Madrid Office

Greenwich Náutica
C/ Marqués de Lema 7, Local 6
28003 · Madrid
Click to call

Start chat
Scan the code
Do you have a question about boating qualifications?