RYA Coastal Skipper Practical non exam

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Date Price (per person) Availability  
28 May 2018 - 01 Jun 2018 £525.00
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24 Sep 2018 - 28 Sep 2018 £525.00
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RYA Coastal Skipper Practical non exam

Venue: Cowes

Price from: £525 per person

Duration: 5 Days

Girls For Sail Verdict

Take the next step and become your own skipper!! We will coach you so you are confident taking your friends out on the water...and being in charge!

What the Girls Had to Say

"Their calm and clear instruction taught me more in 5 days than I'd learnt in 12 months cruising."  Allison, 2011

Starts: 10am Monday @ the GFS Office, Shepards Wharf Cowes

Finishes: 4pm Friday @ Shepards Wharf Marina, Cowes


About The Event

This is a great chance to get out there and become the skipper!

You will meet with your fellow crew members on the first morning 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 but you get the chance to do night sailing .

The preparation course is designed to give those already experienced at Day Skipper level the confidence to undertake longer and more complex passages which may involve sailing at night or involve watch keeping systems. The course can be taken as a standalone five day RYA Coastal Skipper course with a Course Completion Certificate at the end or as a lead-in to the RYA Yachtmaster Coastal full two-day exam (not consecutively on this week).

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.

At the successful completion of the RYA Coastal Skipper course you will be awarded the RYA Coastal Skipper Course Completion Certificate and will be able to skipper coastal passages safely and confidently. 


About Cowes

Cowes is widely credited as being the birthplace of UK yachting, seeing hundreds of 'yachties' descend every year on the seaside town and swelling its resident population multifold!

With a wealth of activities on and off the water and a year-round mild, sunny climate the island attracts loyal visitors and second home owners alike all year round but especially during the spring and summer months when the world class sailing conditions attract professional sailors from around the world to take part in famous regattas and races - as well as thousands of spectators who gather shoreside to watch the dramas unfold.

Easily reached by high speed passenger ferry, car ferry or even hovercraft (the island has the last remaining hovercraft service in the world) from Lymington, Southampton or Portsmouth on the mainland, the island is the perfect destination for young and old alike with plenty to see, eat and do.


Sample Itinerary


Day 1 - Meet at the office at 10am and receive introduction to your yacht - victuall and general get settled onbaord. You then deliver a full safety brief onboard - you need to get used to doing this, as the skipper. After the safety brief, you will work out how to leave the dock and practise. We will spend the first few hours practicing parking up the river Medina. One candidate will be called upon to deliver a brief on safely hoisting the main sail, taking into account the weather conditions. Our skipper of the day will plan our passage to Portsmouth Harbour. On route we will practice recovering MOBs under power. We will end our day in Beaulieu River or somewhere equally pleasant.

Day 2 - Waking early this morning more mooring practice onto and from pontoons. Then your instructor will demonstrate sailing onto a mooring buoy, and each candidate will take turns and be comfortable with the drill. Instructor will explain the procedures for handling navigation in restricted visibility followed by a simulated exercise to find a buoy in fog. This afternoon today's navigator will take us down to Chichester Harbour - we will practice pilotage plans in Chichester harbour - working out tidal calculations, clearing bearings for entry to this tight and shallow harbour. On route, MOB under sail!

Day 3 - This morning will be spent learning to prepare the yacht and crew to anchor, including the procedure for deciding a good anchorage and working out the required heights of tide. This afternoon, weather permitting we will undertake a longer coastal passage, e.g. to Poole. The navigation for this passage will be split between 2 candidates. You will be taught proper uses for electronic navigation equipment, as well as practice taking conventional fixes. Whilst we are making way we will discuss the action of a skipper in different distress situations. And practise some slightly advanced sail trim techniques and rudderless sailing. Don't be caught off guard by careless BOB going overboard on route!

Day 4 - After breakfast, clean up and getting the weather, our Skipper today will come up with the passage plan back to the Solent. On route discussions of different meteorological trends, how and why do they occur, and how can we predict them? Along with what affects the stability of a yacht. Before stopping for dinner on a mooring buoy in Yarmouth we will practice our approach to buoy's under sail. Slipping the buoy after dinner we will make our way up to the central Solent to practice finding an unlit buoy at night, departure and entry in to a harbour. Ending up in the River Hamble.

Day 5- After the usual morning routine, we will head back to Cowes, practicing all aspects of the course we've learnt. If there is anything particular you would like to practice again, let your instructor know! Arriving back in Cowes at 1430 for clean-up and final de-brief before departing the yacht at 1600.

*subject to wind and tide. Itinerary for guideline only

Extra 2 day exam optional - see other version fo £699.00 



What's included?

  • Exclusive use of yacht
  • Professional RYA qualified Skipper
  • 3 evening meals as well as breakfast and lunches
  • Certificate on completion 


What's excluded?

  • Transport to and from meeting points
  • Flights
  • Alcoholic drinks and evening meals
  • Mooring fees
  • Departure taxes/customs entries per person
  • Any clothing
  • *Accommodation upgrades where available






What you need to know

Pre-Course Experience

15 days aboard, 2 days as skipper, 300 miles logged and 8 night hours. A knowledge of navigation to RYA Coastal Skipper/Yachtmaster theory level 

The Boat 

We mostly coach on yachts of between 37 and 41ft. 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 aboard an Élan 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 on-board. On some events e.g. races we use the saloon which can sleep an additional 2-4 person. 

Other Activities

During the 5 days you get the chance to spend nights at anchor and in marinas. We try and make an allowance for one night to take a trip to one of the local pubs for a meal with all of your crew mates to relax and reflect on the previous days work. 

RYA Yachtmaster Coastal Certificate of Competence

At the end of the Coastal Skipper course you can choose to go on and take the RYA Yachtmaster Coastal exam which if successful, will then lead to the award of the RYA Yachtmaster Coastal Certificate of Competence. For holders of the Coastal Skipper Practical Course Completion Certificate, the seatime requirement for the YM Coastal is reduced to 400 nm, 20 days living on board, 12 night hours and 2 days as skipper. Please click here to view current RYA exam costs.

Why choose Girls for Sail?

  • First of all we want to give you some freedom, we want you to feel absolutely able to do 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! 

Our values are simple: Encourage, Support, Challenge and Respect!

How to book?

If you want to take the next step in becoming a skipper and being able to sail on longer passages, further afield then click on the dates below to check availability and book.

Want to gain some additional miles or practice your skills before signing up to this course? Why not have a look at our milebuilder or skills and experience courses!

If you want to check you have the necessary pre-course experience to do this course, then please get in touch!

Call us on:
+44(0)1983 28 28 67

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