Unlike other RYA qualifications, you will find the Yachtmaster practical exam to be different in format. Unlike the RYA Day Skipper qualification, which is both taught and appraised during 5 days on the water, the Yachtmaster exam is normally undertaken over a two day weekend with up to three other candidates.
The examiner is a third party, appointed by the RYA, not your instructor. The exam can include questions or drills based on any part of the syllabus covered by the RYA theory and practical syllabi. That's a lot of stuff! Therefore, a candidate for Yachtmaster Offshore is required to have a minimum of 2,500 miles logged including five passages over 60 miles, of which two must have been skippered by you. You also need at least 16 night hours logged and an RYA Digital Short Range Radio VHF certificate.
As you can see from the pre-examination qualifying requirements, it's expected that a Yachtmaster Offshore candidate will be an accomplished sailor. In fact, most examiners can probably gauge the competence of a strong candidate within minutes of slipping lines and hoisting sails!
To prepare for the Yachtmaster exam, it's worthwhile booking what is usually referred to as a “Yachtmaster Prep Week”. Whilst there is no fixed syllabus, the instructor will be a Yachtmaster Instructor and as such will be qualified to teach Yachtmaster Candidates. The week will usually start by the instructor establishing any weaknesses the candidates may have, as well as any areas where confidence is lacking. It's imperative that you are ‘up to speed’ on collision regulations and that you are fully conversant with the implementation of all parts of the Yachtmaster Theory syllabus and its Implementation at sea.
Remember, to pass the Yachtmaster Offshore examination you need to illustrate to the examiner that you are safe and competent. You don’t need to be the fastest sailor in the World, or, indeed, the best, but you must be able to safely skipper a yacht up to 150 miles offshore in waters that are unknown to you.
If you would like to book a Yachtmaster prep week or talk to us about the best way to pass your Yachtmaster Offshore exam, please contact us on 02380 970824 for a chat.
- What is a Yachtmaster ‘Prep Week’?
- What's the difference between RYA Yachtmaster Offshore and RYA Yachtmaster Coastal?
- Why you should take your RYA Yachtmaster Exam in the Mediterranean