Yachtmaster Ocean including Celestial Navigation

6 days pleasant learning in Malta. Next course 24 Feb -1 march 2024 

  • Learn Celestial Navigation and Ocean Sailing the practical hands-on way

  • 6 days of intense, yet friendly and relaxed learning

    (checking in on 23 Feb, checking out on 1 Mar in the late afternoon or 2 March, prolonging stay possible) 
  • Complex issues explained with an holistic approach in an easy to understand way

  • Sophisticated, yet easy to use templates that guide you through the sight reduction calculations

  • Learn from your instructor with 80,000+ miles of experience

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

  • 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 

  • The optional last half a day consists of the RYA Yachtmaster Ocean Theory assessment (at no extra cost)

  • After the assessment, we all go and celebrate the end of the course in the legendary Royal Malta Yacht Club in the evening

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

The syllabus

Obviously, there is more to ocean sailing than celestial navigation. The majority of the time during this shore-based theory course is, however, concentrated on thoroughly understanding celestial navigation. All celestial bodies – the sun, the planets, the 58 navigable stars, the Polaris and the moon – are individually approached and understood.

Other subjects of ocean sailing are covered as well. During evenings these can be expanded into long intense discussions as well! 

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

  1. Checking the sextant and correcting it for any perpendicularity faults, side error and index errors. 
  2. Some sextant shots from the shores of the seaside hotel.
  3. The theory behind celestial navigation, including understanding how the Sight Reduction Tables have been compiled. This also covers the so called “PZX-Triangle”, many sailors find difficult to understand or even “spooky”. 
  4. Understanding the necessary corrections in order to get from your accurate reading from the sextant to the true observed altitude of the celestial body.
  5. Understanding time and the importance of UTC
  6. Calculating how long after Greenwich, for which the tables are made up, the same thing happens at our longitude
  7. Understanding why Planets are called “The Wanderers” and how to easily find them on in the sky
  8. Performing a noon-sight by forecasting the Meridian Passage at my position and doing the most simple sight reduction at ship’s noon. 
  9. Sight Reduction in order to get the Azimuth, Intercept and Position Line and drawing these in a chart
  10. Transfer a Position Line if you have moved between the observations
  11. Learning to draw your own chart by means of a Plotting Sheet
  12. How to check the deviation of your compass (e.g. after a lightning strike)  
  13. Ocean passage planning (useful sources, routing charts, prevailing winds, ocean currents, great circle routes etc)
  14. Ocean meteorology, global weather, currents and trade winds
  15. Understanding Tropical Revolving Storms (Hurricanes etc), how to avoid them and possible escape routes
  16. Satellite and Terrestrial Communications (SSB, HAM, SatPhones, Internet) 

Further subjects will be taught during the Ocean Qualifying Leg



A great book, by the way, which covering all the subjects is “The Complete Ocean Skipper” by Tom Cunliffe. Another great book is the World Voyage Planner by Jimmy Cornell.
Please don’t forget to use your 10% discount code rs-BHAPGG10 when ordering from bookharbour.com

Spooky graphs like this Planet Guide will turn into an easy to understand great help to identify planets during the course!

Complex trigonometric subjects, such as the PZX-triangle, explained in an easy to understand way.

The five steps of celestial sight reduction: Our To-Do-List, also reflected in the helpful templates.

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 on the oceans
  • 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 80,000+ miles of sailing experience 
  • 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 celestial 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 in the “Bastion” conference room

Alternatively, we may use the executive board room as our conference room on the VIP level 4

Setting up the conference room for the 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 Ocean Theory course: 24 February – 1 March 2025
  • Yachtmaster Ocean Theory assessment (recommended to all participants. Included in the price): 1 March 2025 

Shooting the early sun in the morning before the course begins.


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: EUR 995 plus travel, food and hotel
  • Assessment Fee: Yachtmaster Ocean Theory assessment: 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 Ocean Shorebased course and the special Reginasailing celestial templates, which will facilitate learning a great deal and never let you down, even years after the course.

What to bring:

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

If you have, bring your sextant and your tables, guide books and pilot charts you would like to dream over! It’s not necessary to bring these, but of course fun to share things from the “real world”! 

During the course, we will use the exercises made for the RYA sample almanac and RYA sight reduction table.

The unique Reginasailing templates developed during years of practical use and teaching will guide you through the steps and never let you down.

Using the practical templates to quickly draw an own chart from a plotting sheet and getting a position fix.




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. 


Our conference room to the right and the sea in front of us during coffee breaks in the sun.

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, trying out local Maltese food (e.g. at Gululu) or choose cozy Bianco’s on the exceptional rainy day. Fresco’s is also a favourite service excellent food with direct view over the sea. 

Dinner at Fresco’s

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.

Practicing the Sextant at night from the terrace of the Royal Malta Yachtclub.


Pre-dinner drink on the terrace of the Royal Malta 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!


Preparation and Pre-Course knowledge:

It is assumed that you have a working knowledge of the RYA Yachtmaster Offshore, but there will be no questions asked from the Offshore syllabus. This is all additional material and you do not need to prepare yourself for anything special.

What will be expected is that you are able to draw some lines on a chart in great confidence. It’s nothing special and no more than you would expect from a Day-Skipper level. But, you need to feel confident dong the following chartwork. Using electronic navigation as a prime tool, maybe it’s an idea that you repeat these navigation skills which are so vital for classic paper-chart navigation: 

– 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 (!)
– Move a line in parallel by means of a Navigation Triangular (so called “translation”, which means you are sliding the line around on the chart)



Most celestial things you learn in the course will be new to you, so you don’t have to bother about any rehearsal of subjects you might think you have forgotten (other than the above)…  

Reading Tom Cunliff’s book “The Complete Ocean Skipper” (see above) makes, obviously a great start and if you wish to prepare for anything, this book is awesome. Please don’t forget to use your 10% discount code rs-BHAPGG10 when ordering anything from bookharbour.com.




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: 

“ In times of uncertainty, such as the current war situation ..., the significance of a Celestial Navigation becomes paramount.
Leon's proficiency in the subject matter, especially celestial navigation, was truly remarkable. Leon's dedication to imparting his knowledge was evident from the outset, and his passion for sailing and navigation created an engaging learning environment. Leon's hands-on approach, combined with interactive learning sessions, made the daunting subject of celestial navigation surprisingly accessible. The course, under Leon's tutelage, not only provided valuable skills but also ignited a newfound passion for navigating the open seas.
Leon's commitment to creating a holistic and enjoyable educational experience extended beyond the classroom. I was also about building lasting friendships and savoring the vibrant local culture."
Click here to read more.

Udi Lehrman, Israel, RYA Yachtmaster Ocean shore-based course 2024 

“ I must thank you for your theoretical course on the Yachtmaster Ocean in Malta in early February 2024, which was conducted in an understandable manner yet with great enthusiasm. All participants grasped the concept, and in the meantime, we got to explore Malta and enjoy beautiful restaurants along the bays. What remains now is actively practice astronavigation with sextants and tables, even though we hopefully never have to use this method in an emergency due to failure of all other systems. But at least we could! "
Click here to read more.

Rudolf Paulik, Germany, RYA Yachtmaster Ocean shore-based course 2024 

Leon you’re beyond amazing 🤩 A super star 🌟 who teaches by example and sets aspirational standards. And a skipper who draws the best out of your crew, no matter where they started from. Our call today was so helpful! 👍 I really appreciate it. Thank you so much!!! 🙏🙏🙏.

Carol Wo, Hongkong, RYA Yachtmaster Ocean Theory course 2023 and after a mock exam via Zoom from Hongkong in preparation for her Yachtmaster Ocean exam in April 2024 on Regina Laska.

"The Shorebased Course RYA/MCA Yachtmaster Ocean was exciting and very educational at the same time. Leon is able to explain and teach complex topics of astronomy and mathematics in a simple and understandable way - also thanks to specially created templates. In addition, I enjoyed the great atmosphere at the location on Malta and amongst all participants."

Christoph Gütersloh, Cassens & Plath GmbH, Germany, RYA Yachtmaster Ocean shore-based course 2023

"Where are we? Actually you’ve got to know where you are to know where you are! This course dispels all those historic and maybe romantic “Master and Commander” moments with a journey into astronomy and a return to senior school trigonometry. Leon has an assistant to help with all this complexity, his custom templates - these at first are daunting but quickly become your best friend, guiding you through the challenges of azimuth, zenith and declination to name but a few. The course ties you to the mariners of yesteryear, but if you want to pick up a sextant and do a sun-run-sun position Leon’s approach and templates will get you your position to within a few miles. " Click here to read more.

Nick Coleman, UK, RYA Yachtmaster Ocean shore-based course 2023

"Die Tage mir dir waren echt der Hammer! Dir ist es gelungen, ein komplexes Thema spielerisch, mit Humor und mit sehr viel Sachverstand zu vermitteln. Hut ab vor deiner fachlichen, inhaltlichen Expertise und auch deiner Begabung, diesen Inhalt zu vermitteln! Eine tolle Zeit wünsche ich dir und viel Spass mit dem bald beginnenden Kurs - die teilnehmenden Personen können sich auf dich freuen!" Click here to read more.

Michel Leuenberger, Schweiz, RYA Yachtmaster Ocean shore-based course 2023

"I recently attended the Reginasailing Ocean Theory course and I am glad I did. I did have some prior knowledge of celestial navigation which I learnt from books but I never had a clear understanding of this very complex study. Leon demystified every aspect of it through his comfortable and entertaining approach to teaching. He obviously spent much time meticulously developing techniques and tools assuring a thorough understanding for his students. Leon did limit the class to ten which afforded proper attention to each participant. Besides everything I learned it was a very fun and enjoyable week. I highly recommend Leon's course to any one interested in upgrading to RYA Ocean Yachtmaster or just seeking a higher level of sailing knowledge."

Steve Vella, California/USA, RYA Yachtmaster Ocean shore-based course 2023

"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 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

"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

"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

"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