RYA Shorebased Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster Offshore

An advanced course in navigation and meteorology.

Subjects covered:

  1. Position
    1. Dead reckoning and estimated position.
    2. Satellite derived position.
    3. Use of waypoints to fix position.
    4. Radar fixes.
    5. Techniques of visual fixing.
    6. Fixes using a mixture of position lines.
    7. Relative accuracy of different methods of position fixing.
    8. Areas of uncertainty
  2. The Magnetic Compass
    1. Allowance for variation.
    2. Change of variation with time and position.
    3. Causes of deviation.
    4. Compas checks for deviation but not correction.
    5. Allowance for deviation.
    6. Different types of compass.
  3. Tides
    1. Causes of tides – springs and neaps.
    2. Tide tables – sources.
    3. Tidal levels and datum.
    4. Standard and secondary ports.
    5. Tidal anomalies.
  4. Tidal Streams
    1. Sources of tidal information.
    2. Tidal stream information in sailing directions and yachtsmen’s almanacs.
    3. Allowance for tidal streams in computing a course to steer.
    4. Tide rips, overfalls and races.
    5. Tidal observation buoys, beacons etc.<
  5. Buoyage
    1. IALA system buoyage in Region A and B.
    2. Limitations of buoys as navigational aids.
  6. Light
    1. Characteristics.
    2. Ranges – visual, luminous and nominal.
    3. Rising and dipping distances.
    4. Light Lists.
  7. Pilotage
    1. Harbour regulations and control signals.
    2. Methods of pre-planning.
    3. Clearing lines.
    4. Use of Soundings.
    5. Transits and leading lines.
  8. GNSS and Chart Plotters
    1. Principles of operation and limitations of use.
    2. Raster and vector charts.
    3. Datum.
    4. The importance of secondary means of position fixing via an independent source and keeping a separate record of position.
    5. The importance of paper charts.
  9. Echo Sounder
    1. Principle of operation and limitations of use.
    2. Rotating neon, dial and pointer, recording.
    3. Reduction of soundings.
    4. “Second trace” echoes.
  10. Logs (Speed and Distance Measuring)
    1. Types and principles of operation, comparison of towed, pressure, impeller and sonic.
  11. Deck Log
    1. The importance of log as vessel’s official document.
    2. Layout of log, hourly and occasional entries.
  12. Meteorology
    1. Basic terms, the Beaufort Scale.
    2. Air masses.
    3. Cloud types.
    4. Weather patterns associated with pressure and frontal systems.
    5. Sources of weather forecasts.
    6. Ability to interpret a shipping forecast. weatherfax and weather satellite information.
    7. Land and sea breezes.
    8. Sea fog.
    9. Use of a barometer as a forecasting aid.
  13. Rules of the Road
    1. A sound knowledge of the International Regulations for the preventing Collisions at sea except Annexes 1 and 3.
  14. Safety at Sea
    1. Personal safety, use of life jackets, harnesses and lifelines.
    2. Fire prevention and fire fighting.
    3. Distress signals.
    4. Coast guard and Boat Safety Scheme.
    5. Preparation for heavy weather.
    6. Life raft and helicopter rescue.
    7. Understanding the capabilities of vessel and basic knowledge of stability.
  15. Navigating in restricted Visibility
    1. Precautions to be taken in fog.
    2. Limitations to safe navigation imposed by fog.
    3. Navigation strategy in poor visibility.
  16. Passage Planning
    1. Preparation of charts and notebook for route planning and for use on passage at sea.
    2. Customs regulations as they apply to yachts.
    3. Routine for navigation in coastal waters.
    4. Strategy for course laying.
    5. Use of visual confirmation of waypoints and routes.
    6. Use of weather forecast information for passage planning strategy.
    7. Sources of local and national regulations.
  17. Marine Environment
    1. The responsibility to minimise pollution and protect the marine environment.