How much experience do I need to become a RYA/MCA Yachtmaster Offshore?

To become a Yachtmaster Offshore requires a level of knowledge and skill that will qualify you to take a vessel up to 150 miles offshore in any part of the World, day or night. Just as important as the qualification is the level of experience and confidence you possess.

The RYA Yachtmaster Examination is invigilated on board a yacht with up to three other candidates and an examiner. The exam is run over 8 - 12 hours per candidate and candidates will be expected to demonstrate the necessary knowledge, skills and confidence to pass the examination according to RYA criteria. Any part of the RYA Yachtmaster Offshore syllabus may be examined.

Before a candidate can take the practical examination she must first be able to fulfill these minimum criteria:

  • Have personally logged a minimum of 2,500 nautical miles (on a sailing vessel of between 7 metres and 24 metres LOA) of which at least half must have been in tidal waters
  • Have logged a minimum of 50 days sea time
  • Have undertaken at least five passages over 60 Nautical miles (measured along the rhumb line) of which at least two must have been undertaken as skipper. Two must include night passages.
  • Hold a GMDSS Short Range Radio Certificate (or better)
  • Hold a valid First Aid Certificate

The examination will include an assessment of your skippering skills, boat handling, general seamanship, navigation, safety awareness and knowledge of the IRPCS, meteorology and signals.

It is likely that a successful candidate will have several years sailing experience and have undertaken at least the RYA Yachtmaster Theory Course prior to the practical examination. Your examiner will advise you on whether you have passed or failed at the end of the examination and debrief you as appropriate. The RYA will issue your Yachtmaster Offshore certificate after all paperwork and accompanying fees have been received.