Passage Making and YM Preparation Course

Passage Making and YM Preparation Course

Many keen sailors aiming toward the pinnacle of RYA training - the Yachtmaster Offshore qualification, often find themselves falling short of tidal miles and in particular 60 mile passages, both skippered and as crew. 

This 14 day course (11 full days training, plus 2 days exam) is designed to bridge the holes in the official training programs.  With the first 6 days of the trip covering around 350-400 nautical miles, including several 60+ mile passages.  The yacht will be running by day and by night in the tidal waters of the Atlantic, Portugese and Spanish coasts so you will get the opportunity to really experience offshore sailing.  The trip will run from our base in Gibraltar, westwards through the Straits of Gibraltar, past Tarifa and the infamous Cape Trafalgar and the notorious Trafalgar Banks where Nelson met his end and along the coast past Cadiz towards the Algarve.  The passage will take you up to 50 miles offshore, so you will really get a feeling for open water.  On the way back towards Gibraltar you will get even more experience of pilotage and passage making in many of the tricky ports along the Algarve and Atlantic to Spain. 

All crew will be taking part in the running of the yacht, from victualing through to skippering and navigating - this really is a 'hands on' trip! 

The following 5 days will be spent consolidating and enhancing your close quarters boat handling, advanced sail trim and emergency procedures.  Most of this period will be spent in Gibraltar Bay where night navigation is tricky and shipping traffic is plentiful.  With an experienced Yachtmaster Instructor on board, the learning will be fun and intense.

The RYA/MCA Yachtmaster Offshore and possibly Yachtmaster Coastal examinations will take place on day 12 and 13, depending on number of candidates (maximum 4). 

What experience do I need? 

  • If you're looking to take YM Coastal you need to have a minimum of 800 logged miles within the last 10 years, including 30 days on board, 2 as skipper and 12 night hours.
  • If you're looking to take YM Offshore, you need to have at least 2500 logged nautical miles - half of which need to be conducted in tidal waters, including at least 5 passages over 60 miles with two overnight and two as skipper.
  • Knowledge to the level of YM Theory (check here)
  • VHF Licence
  • First Aid Certificate 

What to expect: 

  • An intense, concentrated course
  • Really get to know how to manage a crew and yacht on extended passages
  • Sail to a new place every day
  • Have great fun and get to know other like minded people
  • Experience real offshore sailing
  • Night hours
  • 350-400 nautical miles
  • 60 mile passages
  • Fun! 

What's included?

  • Accommodation onboard throughout the course
  • Breakfast, lunch, refreshments and two evening meals 
  • Waterproof clothing
  • Bedding and towels
  • Safety equipment
  • Mooring fees
  • All charts and publications

What's not included: 

Course schedule:

Starts: 18:00 onwards 

Ends: 16:30  (dependent on number of examinees - max 4)

Course cost from: £1999

Own cabin option from: £2499

To guarantee your own cabin for the duration of your course, please select available dates below.  

Please note: If you choose not to guarantee your own cabin, you may be allocated a saloon berth.  

If you are making a booking for two people and are happy to share a cabin with each other, you do not need to select the own cabin option. 

How to book:

It's easy!  Just select the training course date you want below.  Click on book, confirm that this is the course and date that you want and then complete your details on our secure online booking system. A 25% deposit is all that's needed, with the balance payable 30 days before your course starts.

Have a Question?

If you have any questions please email us or call on +44 7925 784407 or see our Frequently Asked Questions.