Do you have what it takes to be a Yachtmaster?

1,199 views  |   February 9th, 2018 

Yachtmaster Offshore

The RYA/MCA Yachtmaster Offshore Certificate of Competence is largely regarded as the pinnacle of sailing qualifications.

Yachtmaster

The Exam

To achieve the qualification you need to pass a practical on the water exam that can last for up to 12 hours.  That is correct – a 12 hour exam!
The exam can be tough and stressful.  To be successful a Yachtmaster Offshore candidate you must be able to not only cope with plain sailing but also with demanding situations.

What level do you need to be at before attempting the exam?

  • You need to have at least 2500nm under your belt within the last 10 years and at least 1250nm of those 2500nm need to have been in tidal waters.
  • You need to have had at least 50 days seatime and 5 days as skipper.
  • You need 5 passages over 60nm including 2 overnight and 2 as skipper.
  • You need a VHF Radio License and a First Aid Certificate.
You should be able to enter any well-charted harbour for the first time, with sufficient depth, by day or night.
You would be advised to take a prep course in advance of the exam.  This is an opportunity for you to check you are doing things correctly and to get yourself into exam mode.

Yachtmaster Coastal

Many people choose to go for the RYA/MCA Yachtmaster Coastal Certificate of Competence first.  The exam is not quite as tough, for example you are examined for up to only 10 hours as opposed to the 12 hours for Yachtmaster Offshore.  That is still 10 hours though so you need to know your stuff.

Taking the Yachtmaster Coastal provides you with some good exam experience before attempting the Yachtmaster Offshore in the future.

Pilotage plan

What level do you need to be at before attempting the Yachtmaster Coastal exam?

  • You need to have at least 800nm within the last 10 years of which 400nm need to have been in tidal waters.
  • You need to have at least 30 days seatime and 2 days as skipper.
  • You need 12 night hours
  • You need a VHF Radio License and a First Aid Certificate.

Like with the Yachtmaster Offshore you would be advised to take a prep course in advance of the exam.

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Yachtmaster Coastal and Offshore Prep weeks and the exam

Prep weeks and the exam are run over 5 consecutive days usually a Monday to Friday, occassionally a Wednesday to Sunday.

You would join the yacht on the evening before the 5 days commence and meet your fellow crew mates and instructor.

The instructor will then coach you and work on any areas you are weak on.  It is an intensive few days.
The examiner will step aboard on the 4th day and the instructor will get off. You will then be examined through to the 5th day.

We already have a number of candidates booked for the exam this year.
If you are thinking of it or would like to discuss anything about the process or your experience to date then do call or email 0203 006 3717 / [email protected] 

There is a lot more information on the process and what is expected of you here: https://www.firstclasssailing.com/Rya-Courses/Yachtmaster.html 

We have availability for anyone wishing to do the prep course and exam on a number of dates through the year.  They can be found here: Yachtmaster Prep dates

If you are unsure of your level click here and answer a few short questions to determine what you should do next.

Posted by: First Class Sailing

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