Develop your navigational skills

The RYA Coastal Yachtmaster Theory course offers advanced online training for more experienced skippers. It is delivered by Navathome, a RYA Recognised Training Centre specialising in online training. The course equips you to navigate safely on coastal and offshore passages and builds on the knowledge attained during the RYA Day Skipper Theory course. The RYA Coastal Yachtmaster Theory course will raise your theoretical knowledge to the standard required for either the RYA Coastal Skipper practical course or any of the Yachtmaster examinations, concentrating on advanced navigation and meteorological skills.

This course covers:
Position fixing and compass work.
How to plot a course to steer taking into acount tidal flow and leeway.
How to use GPS.
Use of almanacs and admiralty publications.
Passage planning
Preparation for sea
Passage making and ability as skipper
Adverse weather conditions
Emergency situations
Taking and interpreting forecasts .
Plotting weather systems .
Weather predictions using a barometer and by observation.
Collision regulations
Customs and excise regulations for cruising abroad
Tidal knowledge, heights and streams,  including detailed secondary port calculations.

The RYA Coastal Yachtmaster theory course is delivered online. It involves about 40 hours of study with support provided by an experienced RYA Sail Boat Project instructor, working on behalf of You will receive a pack of course notes and to help you after the course a post course revision pack will be issued. At the end there are three assessment papers on Collision Regulations (1.5 hours), Meterology (1.5 hours) and Chartwork (2 hours).

£300 including all course materials – 2 x RYA training charts, almanac, theory book.

Note: plotters and dividers are not included, as this is a follow-up to the Day Skipper theory. If you require plotters and dividers, we can add them to your order for £15. Upon purchase of the online course Navathome allow access for six months. This can be extended for further six month periods at a cost of £30.

Book your theory with us and get £50 off your RYA Coastal Skipper practical course

Buy now and enroll

Pre course requirements

Navigation to Day Skipper shorebased ability.
Internet and email access.
Approximately 40 hours of time.
You will receive a pack with a plotter, dividers, training chart and training almanac


Course content

1. Position

  • Dead reckoning and estimated position
  • Satellite derived positions
  • Use of waypoints to fix position
  • Radar fixes
  • Techniques of visual fixing
  • Fixes using a mixture of position lines
  • Relative accuracy of different methods of position fixing
  • Areas of uncertainty

    2. The magnetic compass

  • Allowance for variation
  • Change of variation with time and position
  • Causes of deviation
  • Swing for deviation (but not correction)
  • Allowance for deviation
  • Different types of compass

    3. Tides

  • Causes of tides - Springs and Neaps
  • Tide tables - sources
  • Tidal levels and datum
  • Standard and secondary ports
  • Tidal anomolies (Solent, etc)

    4. Tidal streams

  • Sources of tidal information
  • Tidal stream information in sailing directions and Yachtsmen's Almanacs
  • Allowance for tidal streams in computing a course to steer
  • Tide rips, overfalls and races
  • Tidal observation buoys, beacons etc

    5. Buoyage

  • IALA system buoyage in Region A
  • Limitations of buoys as navigational aids

    6. Lights

  • Characteristics
  • Ranges - visual, luminous and nominal
  • Rising and dipping distances
  • Light lists

    7. Pilotage

  • Harbour regulations and control signals
  • Methods of pre-planning
  • Clearing lines
  • Use of soundings
  • Transits and leading lines

    8. GPS and chart plotters

  • Principles of operation and limitations of use
  • Raster and vector charts
  • Datum
  • Importance of confirmation of position by an independent source and keeping a separate record of position
  • Importance of paper charts

    9. Echo sounders

  • Principles of operation and limitations of use

    10. Logs (speed and distance measuring)

  • Principles of operation and limitations of use

    11. Deck log

  • Importance of log as yacht's official document
  • Layout of log, hourly and occasional entries

    12. Meteorology

  • Basic terms, the beaufort scale
  • Air masses
  • Cloud types
  • Weather patterns associated with pressure and frontal systems
  • Sources of weather forecasts
  • Ability to interpret a shipping forecast, weatherfax and weather satellite information
  • Land and sea breezes
  • Sea fog
  • Use of a barometer as a forecasting aid

    13. Rule of the road

  • A sound knowledge of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, except Annexes 1 and 3

    14. Safety at Sea

  • Personal safety, use of lifejackets, safety harnesses and lifelines
  • Fire prevention and fire fighting
  • Distress signals
  • Coastguard and boat safety scheme
  • Preparation for heavy weather
  • Liferafts and helicopter rescue
  • Understanding of cababilities of vessels and basic knowledge of stability

    15. Navigation in restricted visibility

  • Precautions to be taken in fog
  • Limitations to safe navigation imposed by fog
  • Navigation strategy in poor visibility

    16. Passage planning

  • Preparation of charts and notebook for route planning and making and use at sea
  • Customs regulations as they apply to yachts
  • Routine for navigating in coastal waters
  • Strategy for course laying
  • Use of waypoints and routes
  • Use of weather forecast information for passage planning strategy
  • Sources of local and national regulations

    17. Marine Environment

  • Responsibility to minimise pollution and protect the marine environment

Free demo here

Click on the image to try a free demo of the RYA Coastal Yachtmaster theory course:



How long will the course take to complete?
The course takes approximately 40 hours to complete. There is a 6 month time limit set for the course after which you would need to pay a £ 30 re-login fee.

How much does the course cost?
The course costs £285 (no lower income rate available) and this price includes all course material and email support.

What is included in the course fee?
The price includes all course materials to be able to complete the course and exam fees - Plotters and dividers, training charts and almanac. Email supervision/contact from Navathome.

What qualifications or experience do I need to complete the course?
You need to be able to navigate to Day Skipper Shorebased standard.

How quickly can I start?
Course materials and online instructions will be despatched as soon as payment has been confirmed. On receipt you can begin the course.

Are there any exams?
There are three final assessment papers. The first paper covers the International Regulations for the Prevention of Collisions at Sea (1.5 hours). The second paper is on meteorology (1.5 hours) and the third paper is on chartwork (2 hours). For commercial use the exams must be invigilated by a suitable person such as a teacher, banker, lawyer which we can arrange.

How is the course awarded?
Certificates are awarded on completion of the exams.

Can I do this course if I'm not a UK resident?

What qualification will I get once I have completed the course?
On successful completion of the course you will be issued with the RYA Day Skipper Shorebased Certificate.

Can I cancel once I have booked?
The pack must be complete, unopened and in an ‘as new’ condition. All materials must be returned. Access to the online course material is terminated immediately. You will not be able to claim a refund if the course material has been damaged or if you have no proof of purchase.

A refund will be made less a £30 administration fee. The cost of returning the student pack will be payable by the student.

What will I be sufficient in upon completion?
On successful completion you will have enough knowledge to navigate around familiar waters by day.

What can I do after completing the course?
On completion of the course you will have a good grasp of navigational theory and will be well placed to take your RYA Day Skipper practical course.

What our previous learners said

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I thought the on line theory course was excellent, all the modules worked together and built well on each other. The tests throughout each section also worked very well for me, as did the immediate response to the answers allowing me to see what I had done incorrectly and then work out were the problems were and correct them. Dhara checked in a few times with me to see how I was getting on and If I needed any help, I didn't but good to know it was there.
Overall I would rate the course highly, I now feel much more confident to tackle the practice side of the course and put what I have learnt into practice at sea and in harbour.

Neil 28th February 2019

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Thank you for arranging first aid course, I enjoyed it and found it really worthwhile... take care and best wishes

23rd May 2016

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Although I had been a bit reticent about the fact it might be quite dry and theoretical doing online study, it was actually really quite fun to do, there are lots of colourful images and things you have to click on which make things move or bring a film up. I'm a really visual learner so I found it really good and it really helped solidify lots of the navigational theory ready for the trips I want to do this year.

12th November 2015

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Sail Boat Project is amazing! I learned loads, was challenged and became confident in the skills gained! Thank you for such a safe, positive and inspiring course! On to Day Skipper innit!

12th November 2015 Terms and Conditions

The contract is between and the student. Under and consumer protection (Distance Selling) regulations you have a statuary cooling off period of 14 business days from the day you receive your course. During this period you can cancel your purchase up to 7 days from the day of purchase. At any time during this period you can notify the training centre that you wish to cancel your contract with us and we will give a full refund including any delivery charges. The course materials must be returned in an ‘as new’ condition and the postage paid. If the course materials are being returned because they are faulty then the training centre will refund any postage costs. Access to the online course material is terminated immediately. You will not be able to claim a full refund if the course material has been damaged or if you have no proof of purchase. The training centre reserves the right to deduct for the net cost of any missing or damaged course materials and postage. Terms and Conditions. Payments Payments for course fees are due, in full, at the time of enrolment. Payment can be made by bank transfer or by cheque in GBP, drawn on a UK bank. In the case of payment by cheque we reserve the right to allow the cheque to clear before dispatching your student pack. Once payment has been made and confirmed students will be sent the student pack and be supplied with the log in information to access the online course. The student pack will be sent on the next working day and delivery to Europe is included in the course price. Additional fees may be applied to addresses outside of these areas. Navathome will not be held responsible for any duty or expenses incurred in the country of delivery. Course expiry There is an extendable access period of 6 months set for the course. An admin fee of £30 is charged for each time the course is extended. If the access lapses it can still be extended anytime within a period of 3 years from the date the access period lapsed. If a course remains dormant for more than 3 years, (has lapsed and not been extended within a period of three years) it will be terminated and the log in removed. Once a student has passed the assessment their course is complete and their access terminated. Internet access Students must have access to the internet and email to complete the course. Users The course is not transferable and access is for the applicant only. Compatability Please check that the free trial runs on your device before booking. The courses do not use a platform so work on most devices including Ipad, Iphone, PC, Mac, Android etc. There some issues with the free chart plotter simulator provided by the RYA. It works on PC and Mac but not on mobile devices. It is not essential to the courses so can be worked around if a student does not have access the PC based units. Pre course knowledge Students should be at the correct level for the course being taken. No previous experience is required to take the Day Skipper theory course, Day skipper level theory is required for the Coastal/Yachtmaster theory and Coastal/Yachtmaster theory is required before taking the RYA Ocean theory. What we provide We will provide online back up and land line telephone backup as required by each student and every endeavour will be made to help students achieve their aims. We will not disclose information about students unless we are legally obliged to do so or a student has agreed in writing in advance. By enrolling you confirm that we may hold necessary business information about you including your name, address, course booking, payment and course record. No credit card information is held by Navathome. Any contract between you and us shall be governed by English law and the courts of England and Wales shall have non-exclusive jurisdiction over any dispute. All dealings, correspondence and contact between us and you shall be made or conducted in the English language. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of course information. However, we cannot accept any liability for errors, omissions or inaccuracies in the course content. We continuously improve the course content and we do welcome any feedback from students which improve the quality of the course. All online material has been written and is under copyright to Ltd/ No part of the online documents can be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise) or for any purpose, without the express written permission of Vic and Lyn Punch. Course material should be treated as for any copyrighted material.

To enable access to your online course we need to share some of your personal data with Navathome via This training website and database is held and maintained on a secure server. Navathome is an RYA training centre which specialises in online navigation training and will not use your personal information for any reason other than enabling your course.

Your payment information will be collected by “name of agent” on behalf of Navathome. This information is collected by “name of agent” and is not passed on to any other organisation. Payment information for the purpose of logging you into the Navathome admin will not be retained once the payment is made. Your name and email address will be entered on in order to create your user account. Your postal address will be provided in order to send your student pack. You will have access to the site for six months in order to complete your online course. During this period, your personal information will be held on the website by Navathome and may be available to “name of agent” who may have access to the Navathome database. This period maybe extended should you wish to extend your course access.

On completion of your course, your name and email will be retained by Navathome for the purpose of recording details of the course and any certification you gain as a result of it. This information allows Navathome to record your certification. Your Instructor will not hold any information for the purposes of Navathome student support after this date. Please note that this agent may hold information to enable provision of other training not associated with the Navathome course.

Should you not complete the course in the given time frame, your name and email will be retained by Navathome for the purpose of recording details of the course. This information allows Navathome to retain a record of coursework you have completed. Your Instructor will not hold any information for the purposes of Navathome student support after this date. Please note that this training centre may hold information to enable provision of other training not associated with the Navathome course.

If you would like your personal data removed from prior to the end of your access period or at any time before you have completed your course, you can request it by email. Please contact giving your name and email address and the course you would like to delete. Please note that if you request deletion of your account before you have completed your course, your access to the course and records of your progress will be lost.

If you would like details of your online course removing from the Navathome database when you have completed the course, please email your request to giving your name and email address. Please note that removal of course details from the Navathome database, means that any certification gained as a result of this course will not be verifiable by Navathome, nor would Navathome be able to help with a replacement certificate.

Full details of how Navathome will deal with your personal information will be displayed when you first access your course information.