Yachtmasters Syllabus

This is the course elements for the Coastal Skipper and Yachtmaster Offshore Syllabus along with the time required to cover the elements and the depth of knowledge required (A) Full Knowledge (B) Working Knowledge (C) Outline knowledge. We have also included our links to vlogs and other materials that cover these topics

1. Position - 6 hours

  1. Dead reckoning and estimated position (B)
  2. Satellite-derived position (A)
  3. Use of waypoints to fix position (A)
  4. Radar fixes (B)
  5. Techniques of visual fixing (B)
  6. Fixes using a mixture of position lines (B)
  7. Relative accuracy of different methods of position fixing (A)
  8. Areas of uncertainty (C)

2. The magnetic compass - 2 hours

  1. Allowance for variation (B)
  2. Change of variation with time and position (B)
  3. Causes of deviation (B)
  4. Swing for deviation (but not correction) (C)
  5. Allowance for deviation (C)
  6. Different types of compass (C)

3. Tides - 4 hours

  1. Causes of tides – springs and neaps (C)
  2. Tide tables – sources (C)
  3. Tidal levels and datum (B)
  4. Standard and secondary ports (B)
  5. Tidal anomalies (Solent, etc.) (C)

4. Tidal Streams - 3 hours

  1. Sources of tidal information (B)
  2. Tidal stream information in sailing directions and yachtsmen’s almanacs (B)
  3. Allowance for tidal streams in computing a course to steer (A)
  4. Tide rips, overfalls and races (B)
  5. Tidal observation buoys, beacons etc. (B)

5. Buoyage - 1 hour

  1. AILA Bouyage in Region A (B)
  2. Limitations as buoys as navigational aids. (C)

6. Lights - 1 hour

  1. Characteristics (B)
  2. Ranges – visual, luminous and nominal (C)
  3. Rising and dipping distances (C)
  4. Light lists (C)

7. Pilotage - 3 hours

  1. Harbour regulations and control signals (A)
  2. Methods of pre – planning (B)
  3. Clearing lines (A)
  4. Use of soundings (B)
  5. Transits and leading lines (B)

8. GPS and chart plotters - 3 hours

  1. Principals of operation and limitations of use (A)
  2. Raster and vector charts (C)
  3. Datum (C)
  4. Importance of confirmation of position by an independent source and keeping a separate record of position (A)
  5. Importance of paper charts (B)

9. Echo sounders - 1/2 hour

  1. Principles of operation and limitations of use (C)

10. Logs (speed and distance measuring) - 1/2 hour

  1. Principals of operation and limitations of use (C)

11. Deck Log - 1/2 hour

  1. Importance of the log as yacht’s official document (B)
  2. Layout of log, hourly and occasional entries (B)

12. Meteorology - 6 hours

  1. Basic terms, the Beaufort scale (B)
  2. Air masses (B)
  3. Cloud types (B)
  4. Weather patterns associated with pressure and frontal systems (B)
  5. Sources of weather information (B)
  6. Ability to interpret a shipping forecast, weather fax and weather satellite information (B)
  7. Land and sea breezes (B)
  8. Sea fog (C)
  9. Use of a barometer as a forecasting aid (B)

13. Rule of the road - 1 hour

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

14. Safety at Sea - 2 hours

  1. Personal safety, use of lifejackets, safety harnesses and lifelines (B)
  2. Fire prevention and fire fighting (B)
  3. Distress signals (B)
  4. Coastguard and Boat Safety Scheme (C)
  5. Preparation for heavy weather (B)
  6. Liferafts and helicopter rescue (B)
  7. Understanding of capabilities of vessel and boat knowledge of stability (C)

15. Navigation in restricted visibility - 1 hour

  1. Precautions to be taken in fog (B)
  2. Limitations to safe navigation imposed by fog (B)
  3. Navigation strategy in poor visibility (B)

16. Passage planning - 5 hours

  1. Preparation of charts and notebook for route planning and making, and use at sea (B)
  2. Customs regulations as they apply to yachts (C)
  3. Routine for navigation in coastal waters (B)
  4. Strategy for course laying (B)
  5. Use of waypoints and routes (A)
  6. Use of weather forecast information for passage planning strategy (B)
  7. Sources of local and national regulations (B)

17. Marine Environment - 1/2 hour

  1. Responsibility to minimise pollution and protect the marine environment (B)
Raising money for the RNLI

The RNLI turned 200 years old on 4th March 2024. So as sailors and people who promote the joy of sailing, we thought that we would like to raise just £200. What we hope is that other people take up the shout and raise their own £200. In the last 200 years the RNLI have saved over 144,000 lives and yet they are funded entirely by people like you. They are not government funded.

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