RYA Coastal Skipper Practical Course

An advanced teaching/coaching course for yachtsmen and women who have considerable knowledge of sailing and navigation. During this advanced sailing course, we start to “hand over the reigns” and the decision making to you as skipper. Coastal Skippers should be able to undertake more difficult passages by day and by night and handle the yacht and crew under more difficult situations. RYA Day Skipper Practical Certificate holders in any doubt regarding ability, may consider our Day Skipper “PLUS” skills course as a progressive step to Coastal Skipper level.

  • full 6 days with 4:1 or (larger yacht) 5:1 client to instructor ratio
  • You get your own cabin! No-one shares unless by choice when booking
  • You learn to sail and berth a clean, modern yacht of between 36ft to 40ft

1 week (6 full days sailing)

Pre Course Experience
Pre Course Experience

Navigation to Coastal/Yachtmaster theory & sailing to a good Day Skipper standard

Assumed Knowledge
Assumed Knowledge

15 days seatime, 2 days as skipper, 300 miles and 8 hours of night sailing

Course Content
Course Content

Preparing the yacht and crew for longer, more challenging passages

Expected Learning Outcome
Expected Learning Outcome

Skipper a yacht on coastal and offshore passages by day and by night


From €1095/pp (shared cabin for 2)


From €1190 (own cabin)


52 Weeks of the year, subject to availability 

Book Links
Book Links

RYA Yachtmaster Shorebased notes
Yachtmaster for Sail & Power (Only availably through Amazon)
Yachtmster Exercises for Sail & Power (Only available through Amazon)
RYA Sail Cruising & Yachtmaster Scheme-Syllabus & Logbook

For those clients wishing to study the book before you arrive, books can be purchased online prior to your arrival. Alternatively they can be purchased at our school when you arrive. Please note, we do not supply any books that are purchased through Amazon .


Click here for local weather links 


Coastal Skipper Practical course content

Consider practising these skills towards your Coastal Yachtmaster Exam later. Note: this certificate reduces the mileage requirement from 800NM to 400NM when applying for the Coastal Yachtmaster Exam! On successful completion of your RYA Coastal Skipper Practical Completion Certificate – Tidal, you will also receive an RYA certificate signed by the school Principal. Below is a list of the course content you will practice and “hone” by the end of your 6 day RYA Coastal Skipper Practical Course with Canary Sail

Planning the passages
  • Your skills of navigation and planning the yacht for sea will be tested/ corrected
  • Customs procedures
  • Safety Equipment and briefing your crew
  • Prepare yacht and crew for more challenging passages
Pilotage planning
  • Prepare and execute a pilotage plan giving consideration to safety of boat and crew, both during the day and at night
Making passages and skipper ability
  • Skipper yacht and directing your crew
  • Consider weather trends
  • Crew welfare
  • Use of electronics to assist passage
Handle a yacht under power in wind and tide
Handle a yacht under sail in wind and tide
Tough weather
  • Heavy weather preparation and sailing
  • Navigation in fog or restricted visibility – without electronics!
Emergency procedures simulated
  • You will be required to deliver and demonstrate your understanding of elements of the Yacht Safety Brief to your crew and instructor.
  • MOB, lifeboat and helicopter rescue

Typical Itinerary for Week

Day 1 (Saturday – 17.00)

We will meet and welcome you and settle you onto your yacht. You are then invited to join us all for drinks to meet the team, your instructors and fellow students or crew. You will be made very welcome by the Canary Sail team and we can advise the best restaurants for you to sample!

Day 2

After the initial safety briefing, you will learn the ropes, be shown how to prepare the boat for departure and almost always be taken out for an introductory sail in the wind acceleration zone (WAZ) just off the harbour wall. This is to help you feel comfortable and (for some of you) familiar with your new surroundings on board.

Day 3

Instruction on boat handling in and around the marina before making the first passage normally through the Wind acceleration zone (WAZ) to Marina Los Gigantes situated on the northwest of Tenerife. Here you will moor the boat in ideal conditions and be ready to relax before heading off for dinner in one of the many restaurants or bars available. Los Gigantes is a perfect set off point for your next destination

Day 4/5/6

The schedule for these days will depend on what you hope to achieve during the course, the level you are working towards and the winds. We aim to sail around the north of La Gomera to Vueltas or Valle Gran Rey on the west of the island. This route takes us through no less than 2 more of our WAZ zones thus almost ensuring you of great sailing in superb conditions on all points of sail! This fishing harbour is a more rustic location offering a wide variety of foods from local fish to Moroccan cuisine, experiencing the sunset from this charming habour. The WAZ zone situated just north of Vueltas serves us with ideal training conditions for sailing exercises during the following day. You may then depart Vueltas and complete your circumnavigation of La Gomera calling into Santiago, a beautiful fishing village, either for the evening or as a set-off point for the highlight of your week – The Night Sail to San Sebastian La Gomera!

Day 7

Further sailing, anchoring and general boat handling we finish back at your base in the afternoon where we begin the de-briefing, clean-up and issuing of your certificates. The course ends at around 4pm. Remember – your accommodation on the last evening is also included!

Day 8

Leave the yacht at 09.00 latest please for your return home or to continue your holiday on La Gomera or Tenerife. Please see our stay page for accommodation.

Exclusive Course Yacht option are available for couples, families or groups on 36 to 50ft cruise yachts – now also including our Lagoon 38 C2 Catamaran option!


With this certificate, one can charter yachts in most places/Countries worldwide.
Some charter companies will even reduce the security deposit you pay, the higher the qualification

At the Day Skipper level, we teach sailing and berthing a yacht and general good management techniques of the yacht and crew. In preparation for this more advanced level of Coastal Skipper, one is expected to have sailed again, usually having taken the Day Skipper “Plus” course to practice learned skills. At Coastal level, we teach less and coach more. One is expected to start planning, take initiative and take decisions without prompting (but with coaching support) from the Instructor. Your RYA Instructor is also a higher qualified RYA Yachtmaster Instructor to coach sailing at this level.

No, the RYA VHF/SRC Radio Operators Online Course with Assessment and final exam is offered separately. However, this course is taken online at home. The assessment and final exam is conducted by Canary Sail over a short period during a sailing week with us.

16 years

In the main, 4:1. Sometimes should 2 couples’ book, the ratio can be 5:1 but on the larger yachts only

One should ideally have navigational knowledge to Coastal/Yachtmaster level before embarking on this course. Theory subjects are used and revised on board, but we cannot teach theory during a practical course. Please also refer to our general FAQ´s under “What should I pack?”

Course duration is 6 days, Sunday to Friday with Saturdays being the travel days – 7 nights on board

Please see here and scroll down page for course content
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A wide range of practical and theory courses offered all year round

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Choose from a variety of sail cruises around the Canary Islands and beyond

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From Bareboat to skippered charter, we have an option to suit your needs

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Recommended accommodation options in La Gomera and Tenerife

Get in Touch

Phone any time on our UK Divert No. (UK call cost): 0044 1252 837648
Phone (USA): 001 855 866-5566
Phone (Spain): 0034 922 141 967

Postal Address:
Apartado 211,
Calle Del Medio, 38800,
San Sebastian de La Gomera,
Islas Canarias, Spain

Office opening hours:
Tuesday-Friday 08.30-15.30

Calls diverted outside of office hours, excluding Mondays. Please send us an email and your enquiry will be dealt with promptly.

Quick Contact

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