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Yachtmaster Ocean Exam 

A person holding a Yachtmaster Ocean qualification is experienced and competent to skipper a yacht on passages of any length in all parts of the world.

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

The Yachtmaster Ocean exam is an oral and written test of your knowledge of ocean passage making including planning, navigation, worldwide meteorology, crew management, yacht preparation, maintenance and repairs. You will also be questioned on your sights taken at sea during an ocean passage.

For an idea of how the exam will be run, take a look at our Notes for Examiners.

 

Yachtmaster Ocean exam pre-requisites

Minimum seatime Ocean passage as skipper or mate of watch. The candidate was fully involved in the planning of the passage, including selection of the route, the navigational plan, checking the material condition of the yacht and her equipment, storing spare gear, water and victuals and organising the watch-keeping routine; During the passage a minimum non-stop distance of 600 miles must have been run by the log, the yacht must have been at sea continuously for at least 96 hours and the yacht must have been more than 50 miles from land or charted objects while sailing a distance of at least 200 miles. Please see the 'definition of passage'. All qualifying seatime must be within 10 years prior to the exam.

Click here to see the definition of a passage.

Form of exam Oral and written assessment of sights take at sea. If you hold the Yachtmaster Ocean shorebased certificate you are exempt from the written assessment.
Certification required RYA/MCA Yachtmaster Offshore Certificate of Competence. An RYA/MCA Coastal Skipper Certificate does not qualify.
A GMDSS Short Range Certificate (SRC) or higher grade of marine radio certificate. A valid first aid certificate - click here for a list of acceptable first aid certificates.
Minimum exam duration Approximately 1.5 hours

 

Qualifying Passages

Exam Between 7m LWL and 24m LOA
(less than 80gt)
Over 24m LOA up to 500gt
RYA Yachtmaster Coastal Yes No
RYA Yachtmaster Offshore Yes No
RYA Yachtmaster Ocean
Yes

Yes

 

Qualifying Seatime

Exam Between 7m LWL and 24m LOA
(less than 80gt)
Over 24 metres and Less than 200 gross tons 200 to 500 gross tons
RYA Yachtmaster Coastal Yes1 Yes (Up to 50 per cent of the qualifying mileage and days) Yes (Up to 50 per cent of the qualifying mileage and days)
RYA Yachtmaster Coastal Conversion Yes1 Yes (Up to 50 per cent of the qualifying mileage and days) Yes (Up to 50 per cent of the qualifying mileage and days)
RYA Yachtmaster Offshore

Yes1

Yes (Up to 50 per cent of the qualifying mileage and days)
Yes (Up to 50 per cent of the qualifying mileage and days)
RYA Yachtmaster Offshore Conversion

Yes1

Yes (Up to 50 per cent of the qualifying mileage and days)
Yes (Up to 50 per cent of the qualifying mileage and days)

1 At least 50 per cent of qualifying mileage must be completed on this size of vessel
2 With supporting testimonials or a Seaman’s Discharge book

 

Oral

The candidate must provide the examiner with:

  1. A narrative account of the planning and execution of the qualifying passage
  2. Navigational records, completed on board a yacht on passages, out of sight of land showing that the candidate has navigated the yacht without the use of electronic navigational aids.

The records must include as a minimum: planning, reduction and plotting of a sun run meridian altitude sight and a compass check carried out using the bearing of the sun, moon, a star or planet.

During the oral test the candidate may be required to answer questions on all aspects of ocean passage making in a yacht, including passage planning, astro navigation, worldwide meteorology, crew management and yacht preparation, maintenance and repairs.

 

Written

The written exam will include questions on star sight planning and reduction and worldwide meteorology. Candidates who hold the RYA Yachtmaster Ocean Shorebased certificate, Royal Navy Ocean Navigation Certificate or a DoT Certificate of Competence as a Deck Officer will be exempt from the written examination.

Before you book your exam please check that you:

  1. have completed the required mileage and experience as skipper
  2. hold an SRC (Short Range Certificate) or higher level GMDSS radio operators qualification
  3. hold a valid first aid certificate click here for a list of acceptable first aid certificates.
  4. have read the syllabus in RYA publications: G15 (sail) or G18 (power)
  5. have read and comply with the pre-requisites above.

If you need a Yachtmaster Ocean Certificate of Competence in order to work on board a commercial craft subject to the MCA's codes of practice, you will need to get it commercially endorsed - see left. You can then work worldwide as a Master of commercial vessels of up to 200gt.

The commercially endorsed Yachtmaster Ocean Certificate of Competence can be used commercially in its own right. It is also a pre-requisite for the MCA's Chief Mate, Master 500 and Master 3000 qualifications.

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