RYA Coastal and Offshore Yachtmaster Exam

If you’ve completed the practical and shorebased Coastal and Offshore Yachtmaster courses, solidify your learning and get an officially recognised commercial qualification by taking an RYA Yachtmaster exam.

The RYA Yachtmaster Certificate is recognised as a high level certificate and allows you to work commercially as a skipper in many countries, including Australia.

There are 3 levels of Yachtmaster exam: Coastal Yachtmaster, Offshore Yachtmaster and Offshore Yachtmaster.

Yachtmaster Exam FAQ's

Should I take pre-exam training?

Before attempting the Yachtmaster exam, even if you have worked through the RYA courses, it is often worth receiving tuition to find your strengths and weaknesses. It is recommended that you have completed the Coastal and Offshore Yachtmaster shorebased course. This will give you time to put the theory into practice with passage planning and chartwork. We would be happy to discuss your experience and recommend relevant training. We are running a 4 day training course with the exam on the 5th day 16-20th October $1495 + exam fee.

What happens during the Yachtmaster exam?

All exams are nerve-racking, even for highly experienced or professional skippers. The Yachtmaster syllabus is in the RYA log book and talk can to the examiner prior to the assessment to make sure that you understand what is required. You will be asked to undertake a short passage, although you may have to plan a longer one. You will be put under pressure with decisions about sail changes, blind navigation, man overboard etc.

Do I need a yacht for the Yachtmaster exam?

The exam can be completed on your own yacht or you can charter one of our Beneteau 40 yachts. The duration of the exam depends on the number and the assessment level of the candidates, but will be at least 10 hours and will include some time sailing at night.

Yachtmaster Certification Details and Requirements

There are 3 levels of RYA Yachtmaster Certification, they are Coastal, Offshore or Ocean Yachtmaster. To receive an Ocean Yachtmaster certificate you must first pass the Offshore assessment and then submit celestial charts of an ocean voyage. All of these certificates allow you to work commercially as a yacht captain, but those with a Coastal YM have vessel size and distance from a safe haven restrictions. To work as an RYA sailing instructor you must have the Offshore YM and complete an instructor training course.

Pre-requisites for Offshore Yachtmaster Certificate:

  • Minimum 2500 miles logged at sea including 50 days sailing with 5 days as skipper, at least 5 passages over 60 miles where you were skipper for at least 2 passages, and at least 2 passages involved overnight sailing.
  • First Aid Certificate
  • Restricted Radio Operators License (VHF only)

Pre-requisites for Coastal Yachtmaster Certificate:

  • Minimum 800 miles logged at sea within the last 10 years including 30 days living aboard, 2 days as skipper and 12 night hours
  • For holders of the Coastal Skipper Practical Course Completion Certificate the seatime is reduced to 400 miles, 20 days living aboard, 2 days as skipper and 12 night hours.
  • First Aid Certificate
  • Restricted Radio Operators License (VHF only)

Recommended courses/certificates:

  • RYA Diesel Engine Certificate
  • RYA Coastal / Offshore Yachtmaster Shorebased 5 day Course
  • RYA Coastal / Offshore Yachtmaster Practical 5 day course

Requirements to work commercially in Australia:

  • Safety & Sea Survival certificate
  • Self declaration AMSA medical form

Requirements for international commercial endorsement:

  • Safety & Sea Survival certificate
  • Completed medical form ENG1 or ML5
  • PPR course
  • RYA Diesel Engine Certificate
  • RYA Radar Certificate
  • RYA Coastal Skipper Shorebased Course – classroom or online
  • RYA Coastal Skipper Practical 5 day course

Documentation for the exam:

  • Completed application form
  • Log book with qualifying passages signed off
  • Copy of first aid & radio certificates
  • A recent passport photograph
  • Identification and exam fee

Booking Your Yachtmaster Exam

To organise your exam contact us and we can give you a list of examiners and help put you in touch. For information on details of exams and fees in Australia, contact Martin Silk from Australian Sailing (training@sailing.org.au). You will need to supply a yacht, or charter an EastSail Beneteau 40 for your exam. Depending on the number of candidates being examined you may also need to supply a crew member or two. A discount is given to EastSail graduates. The yacht will need to have full safety equipment and food and beverages for all aboard, including the examiner.

After scheduling an examination date the examiner will ask for your sailing CV and send you details of a passage and pilotage plan to be prepared and presented on the day. See RYA log book for full syllabus.

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