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RYA Training Centre MCA PCA

RYA Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster® Theory Syllabus

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.

1. Position

  • 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
  • Area of uncertainty

2. The magnetic compass

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

3. Tides

  • Causes of tide – Springs and Neaps
  • Tide tables – sources
  • Tidal levels and datum
  • Standard and secondary ports
  • Tide anomalies (Solent, etc.)

4. 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.

5. Buoyage

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

6. Lights

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

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