News / Amuse / Views





We would not want to be too far from a good cafe, so we are moving to the new built training facility next door to the 'GuardRoom Cafe' .

Vicky and Simon Jinks will take over running the school. Their Searegs business dealing with MCA and large boat career training alongside Plymouth Sailing School providing RYA sail and power training as before.

All the courses we have offered continue to be available and the phone number/e-mail address will remain the same.

We will have the benefit of lovely bright classrooms and workshop etc and plenty of room. The site is the former Royal Marines base at Turnchapel and is owned by Yacht Havens Group.

It is very conveniently half way between the Royal Oak and the Boringdon Arms and an easy walk from the Yacht Haven Marina.



A few days afloat with Plymouth Sailing School.

A friendly sea:


Eligibility for Yachtmaster Coastal and Offshore exams.

There is often a degree of embarassment/awkwardness/misunderstanding associated with eligibility for exams.  The new RYA logbook includes some significant changes to the way the eligibility is described, an attempt to achieve clear communication. We have extracted some of it here but the complete text should be consulted.  RYA Yachtmaster scheme logbook G158.  Link to RYA shop Logbook.

Examiners are not allowed to negotiate eligibility and are under orders to refuse to examine anyone who is not eligible.



At least half of the qualifying mileage for Yachtmaster Coastal and Offshore exams must have been done on vessels between 7 and 24 metres long, which must also be less than 80gt.  

Mileage on vessels over 24 metres and up to 500 gt may be used to qualify (UP TO 50% ONLY) if supported by testimonials or a Seamanís Discharge Book.

RYA Yachtmaster Offshore : 2,500 miles, half of which must be in tidal waters. (Mediterranean and Baltic are excluded); 50 days seatime; 5 days as skipper; 5 passages over 60 miles. 2 of these qualifying 60 mile passages must be overnight and 2 must be as skipper. 

RYA Yachtmaster Coastal : 800 miles, half of which must be in tidal waters. (Mediterranean and Baltic are excluded) 30 days seatime.  2 days as skipper. 12 night hours(If you have an RYA Coastal course certificate this is reduced to: 20 days, 2 days as skipper, 400 miles and 12 night hours.)

RYA Yachtmaster Offshore CONVERSION : 1,250 miles, half of which must be in tidal waters. (Mediterranean and Baltic are excluded); 25 days seatime.  3 days as skipper. 3 passages over 60 miles; 1 of the qualifying 60 mile passages must be overnight and 1 must be as skipper.



We run a lot of courses covering quite a wide range of topics, and we try very hard to make sure they are good.

But you have to admit that there is very little sense in paying good money to sit at a desk while a qualified instructor waits for you to memorise facts and figures and rules that you could easily learn by yourself!

So do it in your own time on your tablet or phone.   CLICK OR TAP ON THIS AND SEE WHAT SAFE SKIPPER HAVE TO OFFER.

For APPLE users ITUNES link.

For AMAZON users APPSTORE link.

For GOOGLE PLAY people Download link.




The beginning of April saw the opening of the purpose built 'Mess Room Cafe' here in the boatyard.

With plenty of seating at tables and even a comfortable settee it is nice and snug with the big wood burning stove in winter and has decking in the sunshine for the summer.

The menu includes the good old English breakfast served all day and lots of healthy options, snacks and cream teas.

Open from 0830 to 1700 7 days a week, it is a nice friendly place to drop in if you are in the area and hungry.


Crosswords for navigators:

 No.1     Lighthouses in the Western English Channel.

If you think you know your way around the Channel, see if you can do Crossword Puzzle No.1 without referring to a chart!

No.2 should be a doddle for Dayskippers and above.

 No. 2   Basic navigation terms and rules.



If you can't make it on to one of our regular monthly courses then you could do it on line.  When you have studied and practiced enough you come in to the school almost anytime (by appointment) and do the final exam. The total cost including exam fees is approximately the same. You just need to e mail or talk to us to have your online account set up.       It works on PC as long as your operating system is newer than XP, on MAC and on I PAD and you can download a taster here to see if it suits you and your computer. Follow this link and log in as a GUEST to see the taster of the course.

Or else have a look at it on You Tube:


Exam Candidates take time out for a quick rescue.

Cutting from the Plymouth Evening Herald with their kind permission and a delightful letter from the rescued gentleman:


The SRC Radio course has changed:

From January 2014 we have had a new examination routine where an examiner employed by the RYA comes in at the end of the course to conduct the 30 minute written test and a practical assessment of your ability to send and receive Distress, Urgency, Safety and Routine calls.

We provide pre course learning amounting to at least 3 hours work, followed by about 7 hours of classroom time followed by exams,  conducted in groups of 3 or 4 people. This inevitably means a very long day.  The best way to do it would be a 2 day course but we suspect that would be unpopular, although that was how we did it years ago.

The RYA fees increased from £30 to £70 so our all inclusive fee had to go up, it has been kept the same for many years but will now be £170.  This includes the course book posted to UK address, application fee, exam fee and issue of the certificate from RYA headquarters. An E-book version of the radio notes can be sent as a download voucher.

Commercial Endorsement rules changed in April 2012.

Professional Practices and Responsibilities (PPR) - a compulsory online course for all new and revalidating RYA Commercial Endorsement holders, from April 2012 onwards.

To do the course on line; contact the school office by phone or e mail so that we can CREATE A NEW ACCOUNT  for you. We will give you your log in details and a password and take your payment of £39 inc VAT which is the RYA fee for the course.  Then you follow the link to the interactive website and start your course there. Before you start work you will have to give them some details for certificate record keeping.

It will take you several hours to do the background reading and then there are a couple of tests against the clock. You can practice and prepare for as long as you like before taking the test. You can log on to the site, do a couple of hours and log off, so it does not all have to be completed in one hit.

You need a good broadband connection and plenty of time....

The key to success is to learn how to find answers quickly in the provided reference documents, it is not about memorizing facts!

It's a good idea to buy a copy of the RYA book by Simon Jinks  "Commercial Regulations for small vessels".  Easier to look things up in that as you study. 

The book is available from the RYA on line shop order code G 105.

You should download a copy of MGN280 (Code of Practice) from the Interactive site and get to know your way around it.


Link to RYA PPR Course page CLICK HERE

Link to RYA Commercial Endorsement information page CLICK HERE


WHO'S A LUCKY BOY THEN!  Man overboard story worth a read.


The correct name for the Coastal exam has changed.

RYA exam fees went up on the 1st January.

What was a Coastal Skipper exam is now a Yachtmaster Coastal. The examined qualifications are therefore, Yachtmaster Coastal, Yachtmaster Offshore and Yachtmaster Ocean.

What could be nicer than an unsolicited testimonial?

Sam Deeks, the man who knows all about sales, went to sea with us and learnt quite a lot about sails. It is obvious when you read the link that the time has come for the dinosaur in charge of our www clicking to get his skates on and impress the generation of computer literates....

You just have to read this........ this is a hyperlink by the way! There's nothing to it really!

Well!..,..  the stop press is that:  somebody who knows all about it (IT) (Paul Clapp), deserves a round of applause for making the site Firefox, Chrome and smart phone friendly and tidying it all up.

Some people will do anything to be near a MacDonalds...

We have moved to a new site at Yacht Haven Quay where the superb Dry Stack Storage Facility has been built.

We hope the new facility will be more efficient, easier to man and to operate and a lot more cost effective. We have 2 permanent classrooms and improved facilities (like a tap!)

You will now find us at our new office within the boat yard at Yacht Haven Quay. It is much closer to the city and handy for Morrison's supermarket, MacDonalds and the A38 road is only a mile away.

Our new address is:

Yacht Haven Quay, Breakwater Road, Plymstock, Plymouth, Devon, PL9 7HJ.

For directions on how to find us check out the map on our contact page.

Cars must park in the yard near the excellent Cafe and from there it is a few yards walk to the waterfont to find the school.


We hope that you can find the information you require on these pages, if you have any further questions, or require advice, please call us.

Richard Brown (Principal) RYA Yachtmaster Instructor.