Yachtmaster Theory – Classroom

Key Course Details

Duration: 6 days inc exams

Time: 9am to 5pm

Group Size: 4 or 6

Min Age: Usually 16

Price: £375 to £395


RYA Yachtmaster Theory - Classroom based

The RYA Yachtmaster Theory course (also referred to as the RYA Coastal Skipper/Yachtmaster Theory Course) is an in-depth course for experienced skippers.The course looks in detail at all aspects of coastal navigation and ensures that you have the necessary navigation skills to be able to undertake complex passages and entries into more challenging ports and harbours.

Course Duration

6 days from 9am to 5pm.

Instructor – student ratio

4 – 6 students per Instructor

Prior experience

This is the top level RYA navigation theory course for either those looking to work commercially or experienced leisure users. The entry requirement is the RYA Dayskipper Theory course. If you do not hold this qualification then we would seek reassurance from speaking to you that you have a commensurate level of experience.

What do I get with the course?

You get a full RYA Yachtmaster Theory Course pack which includes course notes and RYA Training Charts. The workbooks that you complete as the course proceeds are also yours allowing you to practice again after the course if you wish. You also get a course completion certificate upon successfully passing the end of course tests.

Minimum Age

Whilst there is no minimum age for this course realistically we’d suggest 16 is probably the youngest for an individual to attend this course.

Course cost

The course costs £395.

Each price quoted in the ‘Key Course Details’ section above is the price per head for 1 person, for 2 persons the per head cost reduces by 2.5% and for three people by 5%. The price shown is inclusive of VAT.

Is there an end of course assessment?

Yes there is. On the final day of the course you will sit two papers – one focuses on the collision regulations and the other on the navigation aspects of the course.

The course though addresses everything that comes up in the papers and you will have worked through many examples of similar questions leading up to the final day.

What’s best – doing the course online or in the classroom?

In all honesty if you can afford the time to come to us and do the course in the classroom in our opinion this is by far the best way. Whilst the online course is excellent what you really miss out on is the real hands on experience of our instructors who have many years of experience afloat and add to the syllabus to maximise the benefit of the course and your investment in it.

However if you want to do the course away from the classroom, or of course, simply cannot afford the time to be in the classroom for that length of time then the online course is great.

I’m a sailor – is this course valid for me too?

Absolutely. The RYA Yachtmaster Theory course has been written to be completely relevant to both powerboats and those boating under sail. Our instructors use both powerboats and sail (they just love the water!) so are equally at home at both speeds of travel and are totally at ease with the issues specific to sailing boats.

Why choose Powerboat Training UK for your Yachtmaster Theory course?

The simple answer is our instructors. Our instructors have current, real hands on experience of helming fast and slower power driven vessels and vessels on passage under sail all over the world and their experience of using the navigation techniques that this course covers is a key component of what makes this a great course for everyone who gets afloat.

As a professional full time school our classrooms are well equipped and dedicated to the running of these courses so have all of the materials expected so that we can run first rate courses.

The Course

Over the 5 days that this course lasts you will develop your existing understanding of navigation and chartwork onto a higher level giving you the skills to plan more complex coastal passages and enter ports and harbours wherever in the world you find yourself boating.

[column grid="2" span="1"] The course is aimed at those who already have the RYA Dayskipper Theory course (or a comparable level of knowledge) and whilst covering a syllabus very similar to the Dayskipper Theory syllabus does so in far more detail and to a far greater depth. The syllabus covers:
  • Position
  • The magnetic compass
  • Tides
  • Tidal Streams
  • Buoyage
  • Lights
  • Pilotage
  • GPS and chart plotters
[/column] [column grid="2" span="1"]
  • Echo sounders
  • Deck Log
  • Meteorology
  • Rules of the road
  • Safety at Sea
  • Navigation in restricted visibility
  • Passage planning
  • Marine Equipment
At the end of the course there is an exam which covers all of the above areas. Success in the exam leads to the award of your course certificate You must already have RYA Dayskipper Theory or a comparable level of knowledge to attend this course. Those possessing the Dayskipper Theory course already are advised to spend a few hours 'brushing up' ahead of attending in order they can make the most of the course. Those not possessing the qualification are asked to chat through their existing experience with us ahead of booking. [/column]

This course is aimed at

The RYA Yachtmaster Theory course is an essential course for those working commercially and keen to move up the qualification ladder but also for those seeking to enter the commercial world. Leisure users also find that the course is a perfect way to ensure they have the skills to make extended coastal passages and channel crossings.

RYA Yachtmaster Theory - classroom based

Some examples of the sorts of people that have attended this course include:

  • Individuals keen to take the RYA Advanced Powerboat Certificate of Competence Exam (‘the Advanced Exam’)and the RYA Yachtmaster Coastal or Offshore exams – whether sail or power
  • Leisure users intending undertaking coastal passages and channel crossings or simply to benefit from the huge amount of knowledge imparted through attending this course.
  • Those in the Superyacht sector keen to progress to the Master 200 (or above) qualification find that the course is an essential stepping stone and for some yachts a mandatory requirement even for deck crew.
  • Those seeking Boatmaster qualifications likewise find that that Yachtmaster Theory course is an essential way of ensuring that their theory knowledge is at the right level for the career they are progressing.

If you have a large group to train….

For yacht clubs and other organisations requiring group training we are happy to train in large groups and are happy to travel throughout the UK. We have run in-house courses for various government, military and Fire & Rescue services during the last 12 months.

Please contact us to discuss this option and the associated costs – which may be far less per head than our standard rates depending on the numbers being trained.


This is an advanced course in navigation and meteorology for candidates for the Coastal Skipper and Yachtmaster Offshore Certificate. The syllabus makes some provision for the revision of subjects in the Day Skipper course but those who have not acquired the knowledge set out in the Day Skipper course are unlikely to be able to assimilate all the subjects covered in this advanced course in the time available.


Dead reckoning and estimated position; Satellite-derived position; 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

The magnetic compass:

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


Causes of tides – springs and neaps; Tide tables – sources; Tidal levels and datum; Standard and secondary ports; Tidal anomalies (Solent, etc.)

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.


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


Characteristics; Ranges – visual, luminous and nominal; Rising and dipping distances; Light lists


Harbour regulations and control signals; Methods of pre – planning; Clearing lines; Use of soundings; Transits and leading lines

GPS and chart plotters:

Principals 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

Echo sounders:

Principles of operation and limitations of use; Logs (speed and distance measuring); Principals of operation and limitations of use

Deck Log:

Importance of the log as yacht’s official document; Layout of log, hourly and occasional entries


Basic terms, the Beaufort scale; Air masses; Cloud types; Weather patterns associated with pressure and frontal systems; Sources of weather information; 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

Rule of the road:

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

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 capabilities of vessel and boat knowledge of stability

Navigation in restricted visibility:

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

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 navigation 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

Marine environment:

Responsibility to minimise pollution and protect the marine environment


Whatever we may think of our courses what really counts is what others think, below are a selection of comments taken directly from the Feedback Forms that we ask are filled in at the end of each course.

Viv – The course last week was by way of a holiday as I could not go to the Bahamas. I consider the week to be one of the best holidays in recent years. A thank you must out to the excellent Paul Sargent a very knowledgeable and pleasant man. Your organisation always makes me very welcome. Thank you. I will be looking at the Advanced CoC this year. Andy

I wanted to write to thank you for a great (but challenging) theory course last week. The 6 days were really hard work but Nye made it a whole lot easier with his supportive style. Yachtmaster Practical here I come! Graham

Yachtmaster Theory – Classroom - Book Now

Thank you for your interest in this course.

Hopefully any dates that we have scheduled work well with your availability. If the dates don't quite work then we are always keen to be as flexible as possible to help accommodate your availability - just contact us and we’ll see what we can do.

We're always really keen to chat to you when you’re booking a course as whilst we are happy to take bookings through this system for your convenience - nothing beats chatting about boats and courses!

Don't forget too that if you are an individual or company/organisation booking a few people onto courses then we may be able to schedule dates around you. Equally, for bookings some time in the future we can usually juggle our course dates if what we have scheduled doesn’t quite work for you.

When you make a booking on this system please remember that is subject to confirmation and you will receive confirmation from us at the latest the next business day. You will not be charged until we send the confirmation.

DateLocationNumber of places
Mon 9th Apr 2018Lymington
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Mon 9th Apr 2018Poole
Mon 23rd Apr 2018Poole
Mon 24th Sep 2018Lymington
Mon 24th Sep 2018Poole
Mon 26th Nov 2018Lymington
Mon 26th Nov 2018Poole