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There is some confusion around the requirements for the RYA Yachtmaster Offshore Coastal or Offshore exam. We hope this guide helps explain these requirements.
In this post, we will answer the following questions:
To sit the RYA Yachtmaster offshore exam, you are required to have, as a minimum, the following experience. All completed within the last ten years:
As shown above to sit the Yachtmaster Offshore exam you MUST have completed at least five passages of over 60 miles. Two of these five pasages would have been overnight passages and two acting as skipper.
A 60 mile qualifying passage is defined as:
A non-stop vouyage from departure port/safe haven A to departure port/safe haven B (Point A and B can not be the same place). You have not stopped off anywhere on the way. The distance, in ths case 60 miles, must be measured as a straight line from port A to port B.
All five qualifying passages must have been completed on a vessel less than 24 meters in length.
For two of thje 60 mile passages you must have been acting as skipper. The skipper is the person nominated and responsible for the planning the passage. The skipper is not necessarily the most experienced or qualified person on board but must be the person with responsibility for the safe execution of the passage. If the skipper’s role is transferred to another person at any time during a passage then neither person can claim to have skippered that passage.
The RYA accepts that 50% (1,250) of the qualifying sea miles gained on a vessel over 24m can be used towards the 2,500 miles required for the Yachtmaster Offshore exam.
You will need to provide a testimonial or Discharge book confirming 1,250 sea miles.
The other 50% of the qualifying sea time must have been completed on vessels between 7 and 24 meters in length. Some Superyachts have large tenders and chase boats. In this case, any miles gained at the helm go some way to 1,250 sea miles.
If you hold the Coastal Skipper course completion certificate then the miles required for Yachtmaster Coastal reduce to 400.
To convert from Yachtmaster offshore sail to Offshore (Power) you must have completed, in the last 10 years:
Your experience would have been built up over some time on various types of yachts. The miles that you have gained on vessels between 7 and 24 meters in length in the past ten years can be recorded in either:
When recording experience at sea, make sure you detail the following:
Flying Fish has created a simple spreadsheet that you can use to record your sea miles.
Yachtmaster power personal log
You must have a valid, in-date first aid qualification to sit the Yachtmaster Coastal or Offshore exam. RYA first aid, STCW, Seafish first aid certificates are all accepted by the RYA.
If you hold the STCW Elementary First Aid certificate that was issued more than 5 years ago, then you will need to refresh your first aid qualification before sitting the Yachtmaster exam.
The RYA offers two practical schemes depending on whether you want to skipper a Power or Sail. boat. Both schemes lead to the RYA/MCA Yachtmaster Offshore Certificate of Competence. The requirements for the Yachtmaster Offshore power or sail qualification are the same, minimum of 2,500 miles, etc.
Many choose to commercially endorse their RYA Yachtmaster Coastal or Offshore exam qualification after completing the RYA Yachtmaster exam. If this is your chosen path, then in addition to holding a valid first aid and VHF certificate listed above, you will need the following:
Complete STCW Basic Safety Training, then the RYA/MCA Yachtmaster Offshore certificate will be endorsed to allow the holder to skipper a commercial or privately owned vessel up to 200 gross tonnes, which may be greater than 24m in length.
In short, yes. To become an RYA Yachtmaster offshore then, you need to be able to navigate as well as handle the boat at sea. Furthermore, holding the RYA Yachtmaster Theory as well as your Yachtmaster Offshore certificate of competence is required if your goal is the Officer of the Watch 3000GT. If you have not sat at the chart table for a while, then consider a combined Yachtmaster Offshore Theory and practical prep course.
If you are considering a Yachtmaster Prep course then Flying Fish will provide some pre-course reading. If you did some background reading before your prep course, it would help if you had a good knowledge of the following: