How do I chose my practical training centre

Just like on line courses, this is a road where thorough investigation is needed before booking.

Navathome students please note that when using "Navathome mylogin" If Gibraltar Sailing or Rock Sailing come up in the search we have no connection with this centre and they are not endorsed by us in any way.
If you would like us to recommend a training centre please contact us directly at

Order of practical courses.

Competent crew

This course is for those who would like to become active crew member experiencing living on board.
The course is very much hands on.
By the end of the course you should be able to tie a vessel up, steer, handle sails, keep a lookout, row a dinghy and assist in all the day to day duties on board.
Minimum age None
Course content Knowledge of sea terms and parts of a boat, her rigging and sails, sail handling, rope work, fire precautions and fighting, personal safety equipment, man overboard, emergency equipment, meteorology, seasickness, helmsmanship, general duties, manners and customs, rules of the road and dinghies.

Day Skipper

Learn to skipper a short passage with the instructor on hand to give advice and encouragement and ensure your safety. Experience being in charge, taking credit when it all goes well and being responsible when it doesn't.

Pre-course experience 5 days, 100 miles, 4 night hours on board a sailing yacht
Assumed knowledge Theory to the level of Day Skipper. It is recommended you attend the Day Skipper shorebased or online theory course beforehand.
Minimum duration 5 days, 3 weekends or 3 days plus 2 days
Minimum age 16
Course content. Preparation for sea, deck work, navigation, pilotage, meteorology, rules of the road, maintenance and repair work, engines, victualing, emergency situations, yacht handling under power.

Coastal Yachtmaster

Advanced skippering techniques for yachtsmen and women with considerable knowledge of sailing and navigation, wanting to undertake coastal passages by day and night.

The course consists of skippered passages in a variety of situations. Each trainee will skipper more challenging passages and learn more about passage planning, pilotage by day and night, boat handling, safety and emergency situations.

It is a satisfying but intensive week, with candidates often working towards a Certificate of Competence.

Most centres will expect you to complete the Coastal Skipper/Yachtmaste Offshore shorebased or online course beforehand as there is insufficient time to teach you theory during the week.

Coastal Skippers should be able to undertake more difficult passages by day and night and handle the yacht in more demanding conditions. By the end of the course you should have the knowledge, if not the experience, to become a Yachtmasterâ„¢.
Pre-course experience 15 days, 2 days as skipper, 300 miles, 8 night hours
Assumed knowledge Boat handling to the standard of Day Skipper and navigation to shorebased Coastal Skipper/Yachtmasterâ„¢ Offshore
Minimum duration 5 days
Minimum age 17
Course content Passage planning, Preparation for sea, Pilotage, Passage making and ability as skipper, Yacht handling under power, Yacht handling under sail, Adverse weather conditions, Emergency situations
Ability after the course Able to skipper a yacht on coastal passages by day and night.


An RYA Yachtmaste Certificate of Competence is often the ultimate aim of aspiring skippers. It is a well known, highly respected qualification worldwide, proving your experience and competence as a skipper.

Unlike other courses in the cruising programme, there is no formal training to complete in order to become a Yachtmaster. Instead, provided that you have sufficient experience and seatime, you can put yourself forward for an exam to test your skills and knowledge.

Many Yachtmaster candidates choose to book themselves into an RYA training centre for some tailor-made tuition to prepare them for the exam, but this is not compulsory. However, chose your center carefully, get independent advice on the age and type of yachts they use and if you are guaranteed a fully qualified instructor for your tuition.

Yachtmaster Ocean

Once you have achieved your Yachtmaster Offshore certificate you can go for your Ocean Yachtmaster certificate.

You will need to do your Celestial navigation in a classroom or online.

Then you need a qualifying passage which should be a minimum of 600 miles with 300 of them over 50 miles offshore.

During this passage you should take your sights but these can be taken separately on a shorter passage if you have already completed a qualifying passage.

Next you will need to book an oral exam with an RYA Ocean Yachtmaster Examiner. During this interview you will be checked for you theory and generally about ocean passage making. You will also be asked to explain your sight reductions.


We are always happy to have a chat about your current level and which course would be the best for you.
The suite of courses is professionally written by fully qualified RYA instructors with a background in e-learning and computer programming.

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