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It is important to understand that within the RYA Yachtmaster Scheme there is no Yachtmaster Course. This is because we cannot train you to be a Yachtmaster, you achieve that level through experience combined with your skills and theory knowledge.

What we can do, during our Yachtmaster Preparation Week, is assess your strengths and weaknesses, and concentrate on improving the latter. We also advise on the form of the examination in terms of what you can expect from the independent examiner, as well as advise on which grade of Yachtmaster you should apply for. A failed Yachtmaster Offshore will not be awarded a Yachtmaster Coastal qualification as a “consolation prize”.

See below for Examination Criteria for all grades of RYA/MCA Yachtmaster.

What is the top level certification for Sailing?

Yachtmaster Preparation

You will always be prepared by one of our RYA Yachtmaster Instructors. This is an important question to ask when considering your preparation with other schools.

Yachtmaster Coastal / Offshore Preparation with Exam

We also offer our strongly recommended Yachtmaster Theory & Preparation with Examination Package for those candidates who may have forgotten some of the all important theory knowledge that forms a significant part of the examination.
Yachtmaster Ocean

Yachtmaster “Xpress”
Comprising 16 weeks of RYA Training Courses from novice to Yachtmaster Coastal, or Offshore, with a further 2 weeks training for Yachtmaster Ocean.
Our fast track Yachtmaster “Xpress” modular course package is designed to bring the novice sailor up to either RYA/MCA Yachtmaster Coastal or Yachtmaster Offshore grade in 16 weeks. It includes many of the supplementary short courses that are valuable training for a Yachtmaster. With a further 2 weeks of training candidates are prepared for their first Yachtmaster Ocean passage with the Yachtmaster Ocean Theory course followed by our own Yachtmaster Ocean Passage Preparation Week
It is aimed at those seeking a future in the sailing industry as a first career, or life style change. It is also a very worthwhile project for those students in gap years.

Syllabus Details

Within the RYA Sail Cruising & Yachtmaster Scheme, all qualifications up to and including RYA Coastal Skipper are RYA administered and overseen by the RYA.

These qualifications are Course Completion Certificates, and are not examined.

Beyond this, the MCA (Maritime Coastguard Agency) of Great Britain influence standards of training for independent examination for RYA/MCA Yachtmaster qualifications.
These qualifications are Certificates of Competence, and are examined.

There is “suggested minimum pre-course experience” recommended by the RYA for each level of Course Completion Certificate. At the Coastal Skipper level this is.

  • 15 days sea time (2 days as skipper)
  • 300nm
  • 8 night hours

Examination Qualifying Criteria

At the Yachtmaster level, pre exam experience is obligatory. This experience must be within 10 years of examination:

RYA/MCA Yachtmaster Coastal

  • 30 days sea time (2 days as skipper)
  • 800nm (of which at least 50% must be in tidal waters)
  • 12 night hours

For holders of the RYA Coastal Skipper Practical Course Completion Certificate, the above is reduced to:

  • 20 days sea time (2 days as skipper)
  • 400nm (of which 50% must be in tidal waters)
  • 12 night hours

RYA/MCA Yachtmaster Offshore

  • 50 days sea time (5 days as skipper)
  • 2,500 miles (of which at least 50% must be in tidal waters)
  • 5 passages over 60 miles, including 2 overnight and 2 as skipper

If you are sure you possess the necessary skills and knowledge to take the Yachtmaster Coastal Examination or the Yachtmaster Offshore Examination then it is time to consider applying for the exam.

For all Yachtmaster Examination candidates we offer a Yachtmaster Preparation Week and Exam. The purpose of the Preparation Week is not to teach you how to be a Yachtmaster, it is to assess your strengths and weaknesses, then hone your weaknesses before preparing you for what to expect in the Examination.
Additional certification required pre examination for either of the above Yachtmaster examinations is:

There are some First Aid qualifications that are Unacceptable to the RYA/MCA.

RYA/MCA Yachtmaster Ocean

Experience & Certification required pre examination for Yachtmaster Ocean is:

Read the complete qualifying criteria here

As an RYA Recognised Sail Training School, we can teach you the practical techniques and theoretical knowledge, but we cannot teach experience. Experience is what you need to become a Yachtmaster.
See also Caribbean SCV Boatmaster but please bear in mind Boatmaster is limited to Caribbean countries whereas RYA Qualifications are generally accepted globally.