What's covered in this course?

    1. General considerations & preparation

    2. Safety equipment

    3. The importance of the grab bag and its contents

    4. Pre-departure Checks

    5. Copy of Engine & Pre-Departure Safety Checks | PDF Guide Pro Forma

    1. Crew roles when at sea and in port

    2. Crew selection for the passage

    3. Crew health & dietary requirements

    4. Choosing a watch system

    5. Pre-voyage crew & safety briefings

    6. Ideas for crew kit & personal equipment

    7. Crew care & management on passage

    1. Basic spares & tools inventory

    2. Menu plans & stowage

    3. Water, gas and electricity

    1. Chart inventory & instruments

    2. How to source useful information & data in the UK

    3. Sources of weather forecasts

    4. Sources of current & tidal information

    5. Understanding the shipping forecast

    6. How and why to maintain a vessels's log

    7. Crew & Yacht paperwork

    8. Port & radio information

    1. Where to start & why

    2. The importance of tides & currents

    3. What causes different sea states

    4. Identifying hazards & tidal gates

    5. The use of waypoints

    6. Checks & measures whilst underway

    7. Ports of refuge & 'plan B'

    8. Passage plan construction | A step-by-step guide

    9. Passage Plan | PDF Guide Pro Forma

    10. Engine & Pre-Departure Safety Checks | PDF Guide Pro Forma

About this course

  • £34.95
  • Step-by-step, high definition video tutorials
  • Smartphone & desktop friendly
  • 30-day money back guarantee


About your instructor

Mark Burkes

Yachtmaster Instructor

Hi. My name's Mark Burkes. I work as an RYA Yachtmaster Instructor for sailing schools based in the Solent & South of England. I've 35 years sailing experience & have circumnavigated as well as skippering Team Garmin and WTC Logistics in the 2013 and 2019 Clipper RTW Yacht Races.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do I need prior experience in sailing & navigation?

    The course assumes you have some sailing experience and a basic competence in marine navigation. This course is aimed at the novice or intermediate skipper looking to improve their skills and safety. You might be self-taught, already have a sailing qualification or currently be studying for one. This course will help reinforce any existing knowledge & enable you to confidently plan and execute a rock solid passage & pilotage plan on your own yacht.

  • What sailing qualifications does the instructor hold?

    I'm a qualified RYA Yachtmaster Ocean and have worked for several RYA training centres in the UK and Mediterranean for over two decades. I'm also an RYA Yachtmaster Instructor and have over 250,000 nautical miles logged. I've skippered two Clipper Round the World Yacht Races, in 2013 and 2019 respectively and circumnavigated for the first time on the same race in 2011, as first mate.

  • Does successful course completion bring certification?

    This is NOT an RYA course. As such, no certification is provided. This course is aimed at improving the skill set of sailors with existing competence in marine navigation and chart work although it also stands alone on its own merits.

  • What if I have questions about the course content?

    Our students have access to their very own study group where they can ask questions and share information. You can also purchase one-to-one online tutorials with me from £24.95 per hour. https://www.freesailingtutorials.com/book-online

  • How long do I have access to the course?

    How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling & purchase, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.

  • What if I am unhappy with the course?

    If you're not happy with the course content, we offer a 30-day money back guarantee.

  • When does the course start and finish?

    The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish. And you can revisit whenever you like, via mobile or desktop.

Discover your potential, starting today