RYA Yachtmaster
~ An RYA Yachtmaster needs a wealth of knowledge, not only to cope with plain sailing but also to be able to cope in demanding situations ~


An RYA Yachtmaster Certificate of Competence is often the ultimate aim of aspiring skippers. It is a well known, highly respected qualification worldwide, proving your experience and competence as a skipper. Our courses and exams are on tidal waters, so contrary to those in the Mediterranean, the certificate is valid for both tidal and non-tidal waters.
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.
The 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.

Certificates are becoming increasingly important in the international world of sailing. Charter companies liabilities become heavier as more people explore exotic and far away waters that are far free from risks. Insurance companies demand more and proven experience from skippers on charter- or rental yachts. This tendency is noticeable as professional and semi-professional charterskippers enhance their position by obtaining internationally recognised certificates. Yachtmaster is such a certificate. Not only does it display your level as a sailor, it is also one of the sailing documents recognized throughout the world.

Required experience yachtmaster offshore

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 in tidal waters. All qualifying seatime must be within 10 years prior to the exam. You need to have a VHF radio operators certificate and a valid First Aid certificate. Minimum age 18.

Required experience yachtmaster coastal

30 days, 2 days as skipper, 800 miles, 12 night hours (if you hold the Coastal Skipper course 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. You need to have a VHF radio operators certificate and a valid First Aid certificate. Minimum age 18.


During the exam both your practical and theoretical knowledge and skills will be examined. It will be conducted by an external RYA examinator and takes two days, so take your sleeping bag and a pillowcase. It 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. Candidates will be set tasks to demonstrate their ability and may also be asked questions on any part of the syllabus of all practical and shorebased courses.

During the prep course, (which is only a final practical prep for the exam, your skills and knowledge of theory should be already on the Yachtmaster level) you will receive some final training in several techniques of boat handling, navigation, pilotage, man overboard recovery and overall yacht management skills and advanced skippering as can be expected to be examined during the RYA Yachtmaster exam. If needed we will also give you some support in the theoretical subjects that could come across during the exam, but your basic theoretical knowledge should be already on the required level. This can be separately attained with the shorebased Yachtmaster course. Expect some excellent training days, even for those that are not yet doing their yachtmaster exam. There's a maximum student to instructor ratio of five, so you're allways ensured of personal guidance during all practical courses.

Please see the RYA website or call us at 070-351 4858 for a complete overview of all theoretical and practical knowledge and skills required for the exam.

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