MCA/RYA Yachtmaster™ Offshore (Preparation & Exam)
Well-known, worldwide highly regarded qualification, which proves your experience and competence as a skipper
The MCA/RYA Yachtmaster™ Offshore qualification is recognised and respected worldwide with candidates demonstrating a wide breadth of existing knowledge. =>
The preparation part of the course provides enables you to get ready for your exam by covering refresher training in a number of key areas. The course culminates in an exam with an external RYA examiner.
There are two versions of the qualification, depending on the type of sailing you intend to do. A commercially-endorsed Yachtmaster™ Coastal skipper can use their knowledge to undertake commercial coastal passages up to 60 miles from a safe haven. A commercially-endorsed Yachtmaster™ Offshore can skipper a commercial vessel up to 150 miles from a safe haven as well as considering other options such as becoming an instructor or progressing to the MCA merchant scheme. Both qualifications cover commercial work on board vessels up to 300 gross tonnes, carrying up to 12 passengers.
The preparation section of the Yachtmaster™ course is minimal 5 days including the exam (up to 2 days depending on the number of students). The exam usually runs immediately after the preparation days. Passing your Yachtmaster™ exam, Coastal or Offshore alike, is a fantastic achievement; whether you plan to use the qualification for commercial purposes or will continue to sail simply for the fun of it.
50 days, 2,500 miles including at least 5 passages over 60 miles measured along the rhumb line from the port of departure to the destination, acting as skipper for at least two of these passages and including two which have involved overnight passages. 5 days experience as skipper. At least half this mileage and passages must be in tidal waters. All qualifying seatime must be within 10 years prior to the exam.
A sound knowledge of navigation theory. Solid boat handling experience in close quarters, plus an understanding of efficient sail trim and how to make a boat go faster under sail.
Student Instructor Ratio
3:1, in exemption 4:1
minimal 4 days, plus the exam which is up to 2 days (depending on the number of students).
Ability after Course
A Yachtmaster™ Offshore is competent to skipper a yacht on passages up to 150 miles from a safe haven, day or night.
Course & Exam Topics
This course will be the final refresher training in a number of key areas. You will be well prepared for your exam with an external RYA examiner.
See detailed Syllabus below
Syllabus MCA/RYA Yachtmaster™ Offshore: =>
Syllabus MCA/RYA Yachtmaster™ Offshore: =>
Candidates will be given the opportunity to demonstrate knowledge of competence in many of the areas listed below. In each section the examiner will expect to see the candidate take full responsibility for the management of the yacht and crew.
In Yachtmaster Offshore exams the candidate will be expected to demonstrate competence based on broad experience.
- International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea
Questions will be confined to the International Regulations and although candidates must be aware of the existence of Local Regulations, they will not be expected to memorise specific local regulations.
- General rules (1-3)
- Steering and sailing rules (4-19)
- Lights and shapes (20-31)
- Sound and light signals (32-37)
- Signals for vessels fishing in close proximity (Annex II)
- Distress signals (Annex IV)
Candidates will be expected to know what safety equipment should be carried on board a yacht, based either on the recommendations in the RYA Boat Safety Handbook (C8), the ISAF Special Regulations or the Codes of Practice for the safety of Small Commercial Vessels. In particular, candidates must know the responsibilities of a skipper in relation:
- Safety harnesses
- Distress flares
- Fire prevention and fighting
- Knowledge of rescue procedures
- Helicopter rescue
- Boat Handling
Candidates for Coastal Skipper examinations will be expected to answer questions or demonstrate ability in simple situations only. Candidates for Yachtmaster Offshore will be expected to answer questions or demonstrate ability in more complex situations and will also be expected to show a higher level of expertise.
- Coming to and weighing anchor under power or sail in various conditions of wind and tide
- All berthing and unberthing situations in various conditions of wind and tide
- Recovery of man overboard
- Towing under open sea conditions and in confined areas
- Boat handling in confined areas under sail
- Boat handling in heavy weather
- Helmsmanship and sail trim to sail to best advantage
- Use of warps for securing in an alongside berth and for shifting berth or winding
General Seamanship, including maintenance
- Properties, use and care of synthetic fibre ropes
- General deck-work at sea and in harbour
- Engine operations and routine checks
- Improvisation of jury rigs following gear failure
Responsibilities of skipper
- Can skipper a yacht and manage the crew
- Communication with crew
- Delegation of responsibility and watch-keeping organisation
- Preparing yacht for sea and for adverse weather
- Tactics for heavy weather and restricted visibility
- Emergency and distress situations
- Victualling for a cruise and feeding at sea
- Customs procedures
- Standards of behaviour and courtesy
- Charts, navigational publications and sources of navigational information
- Chartwork including position fixing and shaping course to allow for tidal stream and leeway
- Tide and tidal stream calculations
- Buoyage and visual aids to navigation
- Instruments including compasses, logs, echo sounders, radio navaids and chartwork instruments
- Passage planning and navigational tactics
- Pilotage techniques
- Navigational records
- Limits of navigational accuracy and margins if safety
- Lee shore dangers
- Use of electronic navigation aids for passage planning and passage navigation
- Use of waypoints and electronic routeing
- Definition of terms
- Sources of weather forecasts
- Weather systems and local weather effects
- Interpretation of weather forecasts, barometric trends and visible phenomena
- Ability to make passage planning decisions based on forecast information
- Candidates for Yachtmaster Offshore and Coastal Skipper must hold the Restricted (VHF only) Certificate of Competence in radiotelephony (SRC / Short Range Certificate) or a higher grade of certificate in radio telephony
- Candidates for Yachtmaster Offshore and Coastal Skipper must hold a valid First Aid Certificate