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Preparing for your Yachtmaster exam

Many RYA centres offering the RYA Yachtmaster Scheme also offer some form of exam preparation leading up to a Yachtmaster Coastal or Offshore exam. This is not a course with a fixed syllabus or duration but it generally lasts five days followed by the exam. It is often called an ‘RYA Yachtmaster Prep Course’.

Yachtmaster prep is often run as a standalone five day course but there may also be students from other courses up to Day Skipper level on board. As the prep course is relatively intense and a good amount of contact time is needed for each student, there will not generally be more than four Yachtmaster candidates on board.

The content of the prep course will depend on the needs of the candidates but you should expect to spend a lot of time cruising at night and carrying out various challenging boat handling exercises. The course will based around the exam syllabus shown in the RYA Yachtmaster Scheme Syllabus and Logbook (G158) and is intended for fine tuning existing skills rather than teaching new ones.

Prior the prep course, read the exam syllabus and give yourself an honest appraisal of your strengths and weaknesses. Try to address any shortfalls beforehand and then be open with your instructor about your abilities and what you need to work on so the correct training package can be created.

During the prep course your instructor should frequently update you on your progress and ability and recommend which exam you should aim for – whether Coastal or Offshore. If they feel you need further training prior to the exam they will say so and it is wise to take their advice! They have experience of the exam itself and have undertaken additional training and assessment to reach the level of Yachtmaster Instructor.

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