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Yachtmaster™ Offshore Exam 

The Yachtmaster™ Offshore is competent to skipper a cruising yacht on any passage during which the yacht is no more than 150 miles from harbour.

Full details of the exam syllabus and requirements are shown in the RYA Yachtmaster Scheme Syllabus and Logbook (G158) available from the webshop (see right).

Yachtmaster™ Offshore practical exams can be taken under sail or power and your certificate will be endorsed accordingly. The candidate or a training centre provides the boat and the RYA provides an examiner.

There is no formal training course leading up to the exam, but those who have not previously taken RYA courses often find it useful to book themselves in for some informal training at an RYA centre prior to their exam. This training can be tailor-made to your specific needs and helps to fill any gaps in your knowledge that may become apparent. 

The exam will include an assessment of your skippering skills, boat handling, general seamanship, navigation, safety awareness and knowledge of the IRPCS, meteorology and signals.


Yachtmaster™ Offshore exam pre-requisites

Minimum seatime
  • 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 conducted in tidal waters.
  • All qualifying seatime must be within 10 years prior to the exam.
    See: Information on Qualifying passages 

Form of exam  Practical
Certification required
Minimum exam duration 8-12 hours for 1 candidate, 10-18 hours for 2 candidates. No more than two candidates can be examined in 24 hours and no more than four candidates can be examined in one 2 day session.
Minimum age 18

Boats used for 'own boat' exams

The boat used must be between 7m and 18m waterline length and be in sound, seaworthy condition, equipped to the standard set out in the RYA Boat Safety Handbook 2nd Edition (code G103). The boat must be equipped with a full up to date set of charts and navigational publications along with working instruments and either plotter or GPS. In addition to the candidate there should be two crew on board as the examiner will not take part in the management of the boat during the exam.

There may be vessels that will meet the guidelines outlined above but by virtue of their layout, construction, handling characteristics or other factors may be unsuitable for use for an RYA Yachtmaster™ Practical examination. The RYA reserves the right to refuse an exam on a vessel that, in the view of the RYA Chief Examiner, will not allow the examiner to conduct an examination to the standard required by the RYA/MCA Yachtmaster™ Qualification Panel.

Before you book your exam please check that you:

  1. can provide a boat
  2. have completed the required mileage and experience as skipper
  3. hold a n SRC (Short Range Certificate) or higher level GMDSS radio operators qualification
  4. hold a valid first aid certificate
  5. have read the syllabus in RYA Logbook (G158)
  6. have read and comply with the pre-requisites above.
If you need your Certificate of Competence in order to work on board a commercial craft subject the MCA's codes of practice, you will need to get it commercially endorsed - see 'Related articles'.

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