Shore-based Coastal Theory Course

6 days pleasant learning in Malta. Next course: 3- 8 January 2025 

  • 6 days of intense, yet friendly and relaxed learning 

    (checking in on 2 Jan, checking out on 9 Jan after the course, prolonging stay possible)
  • Complex issues explained with an holistic approach in an easy to understand way

  • All necessary preparation to easily pass your theoretical knowledge for the RYA Yachtmaster Exam 

  • Hands-on tips what you really use during every-day skippering
    – learn where you need to be exact and where approximations are accepted and still keep you safe

  • Combination of electronic and traditional navigation

  • Discounted hotel prices which can be extended for some relaxing holidays in sunny Malta if booked early 

  • Pleasant lunches and evening dinners with heartily sailing discussions   

  • Feel the comradeship of the Reginasailing Family – learning and sharing experiences together 

  • You may take the RYA Yachtmaster Offshore Theory assessments (at no extra cost) on your last day

  • After the assessment, we all go and celebrate the end of the course in the legendary Royal Malta Yacht Club in the evening (check-out of the hotel on 9 January in the morning)

  • Get prepared for your Yachtmaster Offshore exam

  • Course is held in easy to understand English with explanations in German or Swedish possible

  • Bei genügend Nachfrage,  Theoriekurse auch mit 100% deutschsprachigen Teilnehmern möglich (bitte bei Wunsch kontaktieren



The Syllabus

The subjects are as wide as they are important and interesting. Some examples of the hands-on subjects: Tidal Navigation, Radar, Weather, Navigation in Fog, Electronic Navigation, Buoyage, Lights, Rules of the Road, Ship’s Safety, Distress Signals, Helicopter Rescue, Passage Planning, Stability and so much more!

The curriculum of the RYA Yachtmaster Offshore Shore-Based course in Malta consists of: 



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
– Areas of uncertainty

2. The magnetic compass
– Allowance for variation
– Change of variation with time and position
– Causes of deviation
– Swing for deviation
– Allowance for deviation
– Different types of compass

3. Tides
– Causes of tides – Springs and Neaps
– Tide tables – sources
– Tidal levels and datum
– Standard and secondary ports
– Tidal anomalies (e.g. Solent)

4. Tidal streams
– Sources of tidal information
– Tidal stream information in sailing directions and 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 buoyange in Region A
– Limitations of buoys as navigational aids

6. Lights
– Characteristics
– Ranges – visual, luminous and nominal
– Rising and diping distances
– Light lists

7. Pilotage
– Harbour regulations and control signals
– Methods of pre-planning
– Clearing lines
– Use of soundings
– Transits and leading lines

8. Electronic Navigation
– Principles of operation and limitations of use
– Raster and vector charts, Datum
– Confirmation of accuracy while underway
– Knowledge of independent source and keeping a separate record of position
– Importance of paper charts


9. Echo sounders
– Principles of operation and limitations of use

10. Logs
– Principles of operation and limitations of use

11. Deck log
– Importance of log as yacht’s official document
– Layout of log, hourly and occasional entries

12. Meteorology
– Basic terms, the Beaufort scale
– Air masses
– Cloud types
– Weather patterns associated with pressure and frontal systems
– Sources of weather forecasts
– Ability to interpret a shipping forecast, weatherfax and weather satellite information
– Land and sea breeze
– Sea fog
– Use of a barometer as a forecasting aid

13. Rule of the Road
– A sound knowledge of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, except Annexes 1 and 3

14. Safety at Sea
– Personal safety, use of lifejackets, safety harnesses and lifelines
– Fire prevention and fire fighting
– Distress signals
– Coastguard and Boat Safety Scheme
– Preparation for heavy weather
– Liferafts and helicopter rescue
– Understanding of capabilities of vessel and basic knowledge of stability

15. Radars
– One of the main topics in Malta!
– Navigation in restricted visibility
– Precautions & Limitations in fog
– Get to know your Radar system maximising its use
– Modern Solid State Broadband Radars, who they work, benefits and limitatations

16. Passage planning
– Preparation of charts and notebook for route planning and making, and use at sea
– Customs regulations as they apply to yachts
– Routine for navigating in coastal waters
– Strategy for course laying
– Use of waypoints and routes
– Use of weather forecast information for passage planning strategy
– Sources of local and national regulations

17. Marine Environment
– Responsibility to minimise pollution and protect the marine environment


These subjects are further deepened during the Practical Coastal Sailing and the Practical Offshore Sailing, respectively. 


The Preparation and Pre-Course knowledge

The taught subjects are wide-spanning and the course is very intense. It has therefore lately been expanded from 5 days to 6 days, since the days simply got too long and tiresome. 

Therefore it is very important to get prepared before you come.

What you need to have is a good working level of the theory knowledge of an RYA Day Skipper, Swedish “Skärgårdsskeppare”, German SKS or equivalent. You don’t need to hold these certificates in order to join, but it’s so much more fun if you brush up your basics before you arrive in Malta.

It is assumed that you have some sailing experience and working experience using the chart, but you don’t need to be a navigational expert before you come.

Having said that, you should feel very confident in the following tasks. Practice or repeat them before you come so you don’t feel hesitant when doing the following tasks: 
– Plotting of a position on the chart (LAT/LONG)
– Reading a position from the chart, noting it’s LAT/LONG 
– Drawing a course or bearing using a Navigation Triangular, Portland Plotter or equivalent on the chart
– Reading a bearing or course from the chart using a Navigation Triangular, Portland Plotter or equivalent
– Reading a distance from the chart using a divider and then using the scale on the Longitude (!)
– Remember the basics how to treat deviation and variation (compass course to true and vice versa)
– Learn all the Col-Regs (lights, shapes and sound signals)


Especially the Col-Regs need to be learnt by heart, since it’s not fun to spend your valuable time in Malta by learning shapes, lights and sound signals in your room! You don’t need to know which Paragraph says what, nor do you need to know how far the lights need to be visible, but you need to understand what you see or hear “out there”. And by this I actually mean all shapes, lights and sound signals there are, unfortunately. 

I have compiled a variety of books, flip-cards and Apps you can buy and to prepare yourself for the course. Don’t overdo it, since there needs to be some left to learn in class, but I can’t stress enough: please learn the Col-Regs and please know how to plot a distance and course and read and plot a position really well.

Most books are in English, since this course is held in English and the RYA stipulates that it needs to be taught in the international language of the seas. Having said that, I have recently written a book that covers the necessary subjects in German. So for all German-speaking participants, reading “Praxisguide Fahrtensegeln” is a great preparation for the course in your own mother tongue. 

Please don’t forget to use your 10% discount code rs-BHAPGG10 when ordering from

Praxisguide Fahrtensegeln, you can buy directly from the publishers Delius-Klasing-Verlag. 



Course Info

What’s so special?

The Reginasailing theory courses are unique in many aspects. The main benefits are:

  • Concentrated learning during an intense course covering everything you need to know for safe sailing and good seamanship
  • Combining holiday with fun learning
  • Beautiful venue at the famous Corinthia St George Hotel
  • Dinner at the renown Royal Malta Yacht Club (Members only and their guests) 
  • The Reginasailing atmosphere: make friends, meet again at reunions, at sea or at other courses. Become part of the Reginasailing family! 
  • Discuss your dreams, plans and boat equipment during evenings and lunches
  • Learn from an instructor with well above 75,000 miles of sailing experience 
  • Use your instructor’s own book in Navigation and Seamanship as your course material (currently in German only)
  • Enjoy Reginasailing animated slides and presentations, renown and sought after for talks at boat-shows, webinars and talks at yacht clubs 
  • Use of Reginasailing templates, turning secondary port calculations and Time-Zone calculations into an easy to understand and logical work-flow 

Exclusive dinner for Reginasailing at the Royal Malta Yacht club serving fresh local salt-baked fish (Seabass, Red Snapper and the local delicacy Gurbel)


Come and get to know Malta and the great Reginasailing Family.


The venue: The 5-star Corinthia St George Hotel:

Reginasailing has been offering Yachtmaster Theory courses in Malta since 2017. Thanks to excellent connections and loyalty Reginasailing has been upgrade to the 5-star Corinthia St George Bay Hotel in St Julians with extraordinary discounted price due to our loyalty! Prices have been kept the same for years, we may enjoy their best conference rooms and it is encouraged to bring your spouse for a relaxed holiday even if they don’t participate at the course. A spouse stays for free and only pays for the breakfast! 

Prolong your stay over the week-ends to enjoy some own sight-seeing and exploration of this historically interesting island! Especially Valletta is definitely worth a visit! Prolonging at the same discounted price is subject to availability and can only be guaranteed for early bookings. 

The Corinthia St George is one of the absolute top hotels in Malta, offering us a first-class conference room with a direct exit to the pool area with sea view. The Hotel is situated directly by the sea and offers great opportunities for combining your RYA theoretical course with holiday. It can’t get any better! 


Waiting for the new course participants!



Hotel prices for 2025 can still be held:

Superior room with sea view (single occupancy): EUR 115 per night including breakfast

Your spouse just pays EUR 20 extra for the very extensive breakfast. 


Example of sea view and view out of one of the conference rooms we have been using.



Coures date:

  • Yachtmaster Offshore Theory course:  3- 8 January 2025


An evening at the Royal Malta Yacht Club. The sail training week is just as well a social event where we gain from each others’ experiences and enjoy the company.


Number of participants:

In order to grant the exclusive character and an individual and efficient learning experience, the number of participants have been limited to around 10 students.  


Price for the course:

  • Course Fee: Yachtmaster Ocean Theory course (6 days): EUR 1045 plus travel, food and hotel
  • Assessment Fee: Yachtmaster Offshore Theory assessment (3 in total) during the course: NIL, included in the above

Additional costs:

  • Hotel: The cost for the hotel nights are paid on site directly to the Corinthia hotel and booked via Reginasailing
  • Coffee breaks, water, lunches and dinner (see below)
  • Obviously your individual travel cost to Malta


Outside our conference room overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.

Course price includes course notes, training and exercise booklet, training charts, assessment test,  RYA certificate for the RYA Yachtmaster Offshore Shorebased course.


What to bring:

Please bring: pencil, eraser, colour pencils, notebook, divider, course plotter (navigation triangle or Portland Plotter).

If you wish to purchase a Portland Plotter and divider (approx EUR 40 together) please order them from me in good time before the course. 


Understanding the rhythm of the tide, seeing the “big picture” for easy planning and cross-checking.


Coffee breaks are at 10:30 and 15:30.

Previous participants have requested to take these breaks in the hotel lobby at our own expense so everyone can choose their favourite coffee or tea, whether it is a freshly made cappuccino, an espresso or a fruit tea, rather than getting the usual pre-brewed coffee from a thermos in the conference room. 

Coffee break in the foyer of the venue (Corinthia St George).

Coffee breaks in the sun.

Coffee break in the sunshine

Water bottles are supplied on our conference table and cost 3 EUR per large bottle. The total number of water consumed is divided through the number or participants (including me, of course). 

Lunches are planned, but not necessarily, to be enjoyed jointly. Some wish to have a lunch break on their own or having a short nap after an intense morning! Often lunches are great fun, I must admit,  joining in for more talks about our joint sailing dreams…

To enjoy an efficient lunch, we choose from the menu and order during morning coffee breaks. At around 12:30 we walk over to the lunch terrace of the hotel at “Henry J Beans” or to the beautiful terrace overlooking the St George Bay in the Corinthia Marina Hotel. We are then promptly served thanks to the fact that we ordered it during the morning break. Alternatively, we stay in the hotel lobby for some club sandwich or sallad or we go for a short walk to the near by beach for a simple sallad in the sunshine. 

Waiting for lunch in the near-by Corinthia Marina Hotel



If your spouse or partner is making you company for a holiday on Malta but does not join the course, they are obviously very warmly welcome to join for lunches and dinners! 


A salad or wrap for lunch at Henry J Beans just outside our conference room.


Dinners can be enjoyed on your own or jointly with the group. Typically I join you for most (but maybe not all) of the evenings. We enjoy dinners in my favourite restaurants in vicinity. 

Dinner at Fresco’s

Dreaming, planning and talking about sailing continues deep into the night in one of the cozy restaurants nearby.

The 2024 group at the MEZ restaurant, tasting the spices of the Indian Ocean.

Frescos as seen on their own homepage


Possibly the top of evenings is when we jointly meet at the renown Royal Malta Yacht Club, (also famous for hosting the annual Rolex Middle Sea Race). As a member of the RMYC, I may invite my participants as guests at this exclusive club. 



Pre-dinner drink on the terrace of the Royal Malta Yacht Club.

Reginasailing dinner at the Yacht Club.

Flights and getting to and from the airport:

Malta is one of the easiest places to fly to from all over Europe. Air Malta, Lufthansa, Ryanair are just a few of the many airlines that fly into Malta several times per day.

The the easiest way around on Malta is to download the BOLT-App to your smartphone and let one of the over 1,000 BOLT-drivers pick you up anywhere and drive you exactly where you need to go. 

Fly to the sunshine in winter to this thrilling and very different island in the Mediterranean!


If you intend to take the RYA Yachtmaster Assessments, it is strongly recommended that you come well prepared and have a good understanding of the basics of navigation. You are, however, also welcome if you wish to learn as much as you please without doing the assessments in which case you, obviously, may come as prepared or unprepared as you like.

It is very helpful, if not necessary, to be on the working level of an RYA Day Skipper or have taking your “SKS” in Germany. Alternatively, reading the Complete Day Skipper by Tom Cunliffe or Praxisguide Fahrtensegeln by myself makes the course so much more relaxed to attend!

Please check here for some examples of books to read. 

Please don’t forget to use your 10% discount code rs-BHAPGG10 when ordering anything from




Book early:

Please contact me, preferably including some short information about yourself, if you are interested to participate in one of the upcoming theory courses.

What previous participants say: 

“ Having sailed and co-skippered for more than ten years for the Swiss Cruising Club (CCS), I felt I needed a change from this rather stiff, hierarchical Swiss and German training system and boat spirit. No wonder I was very curious to learn more about Leon, the other participants and the rather ambitious curriculum of the RYA Yachtmaster Offshore theory: 6 days including 3 tests of 2-3 hours).
Leon has a way to instruct that makes it fun to learn and to move through the challenging, yet praxis-oriented theory. Further, the amazing, international, open minded people I met on the course made these intense 6 days of theory almost feel like a vacation.
It definitely gave me a first taste and “flavour” of the often cited "Reginasailing Family“ groove." Click here to read more.

Bettina Heydrich, Switzerland, RYA Yachtmaster Offshore shore-based course 2024 

“This theory course felt like sailing together with friends! After six intense days I can confirm that the group worked together in an excellent way. All knew what we were about to achieve and how we could get there as a team in the best of ways. The days in classroom were intense - to say the least. But, at the same time, highly interesting! During the evenings we enjoyed great food in different excellent restaurants continuing our fun discussions and dreams about boats and sailing. What a treat!! That’s how it is when sailing. Leon was impressive how he was organising it all, how he was able to support each individual person, allowing each participant to feel that they had great capabilities to pass even the most challenging seamanship and navigational exercises. " Click here to read more.

Martin und Brigitte Winkel, Austria, RYA Yachtmaster Offshore shore-based course 2024 

“Leon has a philosophical approach to sailing, mixing the ying of mastery of the elements with the yang of mastery of technology. The group soon began to gel and after the days in the conference room, we sat for long meals at long tables at great restaurants and learned about each other’s lives in Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, Germany and Austria. It’s an excellent, friendly learning week. Its pace is quite high - there is a lot to get through, but the coffee is excellent, the setting lovely, the sunshine welcome and the instructor quite excellent. It’s a great way to expand your sailing network by making new friends with a shared experience." Click here to read more.

David Kinnaird, UK, RYA Yachtmaster Offshore shore-based course 2024 

“The RYA method is much more hands-on than the German SKS, constantly emphasising on good seamanship. Once I had taken the hurdle with the English sailing terminology, it was all really relaxed. There was a wide selection of RYA-books to help getting to know the terminology - not to forget Leon’s own new book "Praxisguide Fahrtensegeln” in German. Leon is not only an enthusiastic teacher, who has worked hard to keep complex things simple. He is also such a gifted presenter. In addition, Leon is also a good psychologist. And not to forget: the Yachtmaster theory course in Malta is much more than simply expanding knowledge. Taking part also means to become a member of the Regina Laska family! Getting together with lots of highly experienced sailors is one of the main highlights - and everything in a most relaxing and stress-free atmosphere." Click here to read more.

Christian Rudolf, Germany, RYA Yachtmaster Offshore shore-based course 2023

"Compared to the German system, the SSS or the SKS, the Yachtmaster is more focused on the practical side. Having said that, it’s certainly not a beginners’ course. Leon tried to encourage us to be proper seamen (and women): instead of insisting on “overly correct” interpolation. He wanted us to be able to decide when it is important to be precise and when one degree or two don’t matter so much. Leon certainly has an eye for putting together a group and making everyone feel welcome and appreciated. Teaching is thorough and entertaining, and very generous. I really liked “Leon’s templates”, e.g. for secondary port calculations and passage planning. " Click here to read how the course felt.

Daniela Baumgaertl, Germany, RYA Yachtmaster Offshore shore-based course 2023

"The real benefit of the course was the team chemistry created by Leon. The Yachtmaster theory course in Malta brought together very different characters of sailors at all levels to produce a fun, motivated, always open and helpful crew that guided itself through long working hours of navigational calculations, rather monotonous ColRegs and different aspects of passage planning – never leaving behind the slower ones and always with a good joke at hand. As a consequence, I signed up for the first possible opening as crew on Regina Laska. I look forward to the next steps." Click here to read more

Christoph Lussi, Germany, taking the RYA Yachtmaster-Theory-Course in Malta 2019

"It was a very intensive week in Malta. Adding essential knowledge and skills to my, until then, basic and rudimentary sailing education was really a challenge to me. It was interesting to see how everybody was ambitious to pass the test and it was Leon´s personal merit to form a group of people, who didn't know each other before, to become study-teams where all were interested in heightening their own skills." Click here to read more

Achim Helmenstein, Cologne/Germany, Cranchi Endurance33 Motorboat owner on Mallorca, taking the RYA Yachtmaster-Theory-Course in Malta 2018

"Leon is a great teacher. He always started with the concepts. Understanding the concepts helped me when I did not get a detail- I just went back up to the concept and worked it through. His personal observations on my learning style greatly supported the learning process. Light touch yet remarkable. I was very impressed and surprised with how much I learnt and how my confidence and interest grew. I worked hard all week and enjoyed every minute."

Sandra Morson, Scotland, HR40 owner, taking the Yachtmaster Theory course in Malta 2018

"Leon is simply wonderful. I have passed the Yachtmaster theory assessment already when I arrived in Malta, but felt that my understanding of the subject was academic rather than working knowledge that can be applied actively at sea. Leon’s fun, interactive teaching style changed that. On his courses, the learning stays with you after you have left the classroom. Plus, he has the patience of a saint. Every question from each student was answered thoughtfully, in comfort and style, of course. Thank you, Leon!" Click here to see some photos

Carol Wu, Hongkong, taking the Yachtmaster Theory course in Malta 2018

"Despite Leon’s colourful examples and very patient attempts to clarify things, I felt frustrated and limited in my basic knowledge. I was very grateful for the patience shown by Leon and other members in the class when I needed to go back over something simple. While Leon clearly provides you with the academic “tools” to use, his real gift in presenting this course is in his manner of leading the many discussions, providing relevant personal examples with his trademark enthusiasm and drawing out personal experiences from his students so that your learning is reinforced. So, in hindsight, I learnt far more than I initially thought." Click here to read full story

Cyndy Moncrieff, Australia, taking the RYA Yachtmaster Theory Course in Malta.

"Leon passed on the huge amount of intense matter with great enthusiasm, giving us students so much fun and we laughed a lot! Leon’s vast experience and his stories constantly kept us attentive. The session on meteorology was phenomenal. Both the pro's (there were two Lufthansa airline pilots amongst us) and the amateurs were impressed by how clearly and vividly Leon brings meteorology to life. I would like to highly recommend this course to anyone interested in learning about sailing, navigation and seamanship in a highly pleasant atmosphere.
" Click here to read full story

Ralf Gude, Germany, taking the RYA Yachtmaster Theory Course in Malta

"II participated in an intensive learning week, doing the RYA yacht master prep-course in Malta. Leon teaches in a relaxed and easy to follow way. It was fun, also because our group was working together very well. We were laughing a lot during this week and that 
is the most important thing. 
For me, I can say, that my first step for navigating in tidal waters is now done! I`m looking forward to do the second step in summer by sailing in Scotland with Leon onboard Regina Laska.
" Click here to read full story

Ludwig Obermeier, Germany, taking the RYA Yachtmaster Theory Course in Malta

"This is a real "crash course" and the "fast lane" in sailing theory. A really realistic and hands-on way of learning! I had lots of fun doing it, and sticking to Leon, who repeated over and over again: It's all about understanding! I do not quite understand how Leon is doing this, but he probably chooses his students carefully, since I was only surrounded by very smart, open-minded, international and very warm-hearted people, which made me feel so comfortable right away!" Click here to read full story

Julia Pukelsheim, Germany

"If you wish to learn navigation and laugh at the same time, take a course with Leon!"

Kajsa Lemby, Sweden, owning HR31 "Bikkuri"

"During this RYA theory course in Malta, we could get a glance of the friendly way of learning! A course, where learning was made so easy and gave so much joy! All participants were wonderful people and I think this has lead up to friendship for life! A crash course for some and a good repetition for others. And all this embedded in a great holiday-feeling in the sunshine!" Click here to read full story

Stefan Graf zu Dohna, Germany

"I must confess: Maths is not one of my favourite subjects so I was afraid this theory course would be tough on me. However, Leon’s sensitivity against my very modest love for Maths was encouraging and I never got that ugly feeling of ‘not being smart enough’. It was so nice to solve all Maths problems in such a ‘relaxed’ way!" Click here to read full story

Esther Leuenberger, Switzerland

"The RYA shore-based training course in Malta was a fantastic week. Leon is a great teacher with profound knowledge as well as the best inspirer on sailing I have ever met so far! You could virtually feel the daily increasing desire by all participants to sail more!" Click here to read full story

Achim Schindler, Germany, HR43 owner

"Leon’s way of delivering this RYA course by taking just a small group of no more than 8 students and to gather these on Malta was so spot on! I really enjoyed the fact the course was so full of great true stories taken from the real world packed with Leon’s vast sailing experience. Therefore, the theory felt so hands-on and practical and 'un-theoretical'" Click here to read full story

Christian Pukelsheim, Germany

"It was so exciting to learn with Leon that I felt uplifted into a new dimension. We all become so energized and motivated to learn more and more about sailing and Leon’s easy to understand way of explaining and his unbeatable entertaining “story telling hours” helped us to come so close to our dreams that we could almost touch them! Anything suddenly seemed possible and nothing undoable, you just have to follow your heart and live your dreams!" Click here to read full story

Marianne Karlsen, Switzerland, owning a J/88
For more information on the syllabus and suggested books, see here.