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Yachtmaster™ Coastal Exam 

The RYA Yachtmaster™ Coastal has the knowledge needed to skipper a yacht on coastal cruises but does not necessarily have the experience needed to undertake longer passages.

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

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

The exam will include an assessment of your skippering skills, boat handling, general seamanship, navigation, safety awareness and knowledge of the IRPCS (collision regulations), meteorology and signals. You will be set tasks to demonstrate your ability and may also be asked questions on any part of the syllabus for all practical and shorebased courses up to Yachtmaster™ Coastal level.


Yachtmaster™ Coastal exam pre-requisites

Minimum seatime
  • 30 days, 2 days as skipper, 800 miles, 12 night hours. If you hold the Coastal Skipper practical course completion certificate this is reduced to 20 days, 2 days as skipper, 400 miles, 12 night hours.
  • Half the qualifying sea time 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 6-10 hours for one candidate, 8-14 hours for two candidates
Minimum age 17

Boats used for 'own boat' exams

The boat used must be between 7m and 18m LOA and be in sound, seaworthy condition, equipped to the standard set out in the RYA book Cruising Yacht Safety (code C8). The boat must be equipped with a full up to date set of charts and navigational publications and be efficiently crewed, as the examiner will not take part in the management of the boat during the exam.

Before you book your exam please check that you:

  1. can provide a boat (either your own or a training centre's boat)
  2. have completed the required mileage and experience as skipper
  3. hold an SRC (Short Range Certificate) or higher level GMDSS radio operators qualification
  4. hold a valid first aid certificate
  5. have read the syllabus in the RYA Logbook (code 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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