Yachtmaster offshore preparation

A serious challenge to become a Master of Yachts up to 200grt

This level of maritime training has become our speciality and we are the first choice of training provider for Yachtmaster candidates in Barcelona and further afield.

Our Yachtmaster exam success rate is very high due to our personal commitment. The training support we offer to our students is unrivalled.

You really need to work for this, not just turn up and expect success.

RYA/MCA ‘Yachtmaster Offshore’ is the pinnacle of the sail and motor cruising qualifications, and is a much coveted title that is held in high regard worldwide, and most certainly the first step for a professional career in the nautical industry.

You must first fulfil the guidelines set down by the RYA. Pre-course requirements are: 50 days at sea, five days as skipper, 2,500 miles (half of which should be in tidal waters), five passages over 60 miles including two overnight passages and two as skipper. A Marine Radio Operator’s certificate and a First Aid certificate are to be presented at the time of examination. We run the vhfs and First Aid courses as part of our Yachtmaster training programme so we can ensure your application is complete.

You should have navigation theory understanding to the level of the RYA Coastal Skipper/Yachtmaster shorebased course. We run our Yachtmaster theory courses in the class room in the week before every Yachtmaster practical training course.  We also provide extensive resources and tutorials before hand to help prepare for this intensive course.

Our Yachtmaster Instructors will take you through a rigorous Yachtmaster exam preparation training schedule, to ensure you are ready for the assessment.

If you are not ready we will talk to you about pathway options.

The practical examinations are run by independent Yachtmaster examiners. You are expected to demonstrate your practical ability as a skipper of an offshore sailing or motor yacht, including questions on collision avoidance, navigation, pilotage, meteorology and boat handling.

Successful candidates can then work as a Master of commercial vessels of up to 200gt in category 1 to 6 waters – that is up to 150 miles from a safe haven. 

If the examiner is flying in from outside the island, the exam candidates are to share the expenses between them. these will be detailed including the flights/travel expenses and advise in advance. The exam fee is to be paid directly to the RYA on your exam application form.

Course costs

  • RYA yachtmaster ocean course 790e
  • practical trip for celestial sights 450e (2 days)
  • RYA exam fees for ocean oral 250e (£200 direct to RYA)

What is include

  • Course material
  • use of a sextant during the course
  • RYA course completion certificates
  • teas, coffee soft drinks

What is not included

  • flights and travel to course
  • accomodation ashore
  • meals and drinks ashore
  • personal travel insurance
  • any RYA examination fees for certification
Pre-course experience2500 nautical miles sailed 50% in tidal waters
50 days onboard
10 trips as skipper over 60 nm
5 night passages as skipper

VHF licence
Accepted first aid certificate
Assumed knowledgeThe It is recommended you attend the Yachtmaster shorebased theory shorebased course beforehand.
Minimum duration5 days,practical preparation 2 days for the exam
Minimum age17
Course contentPreparation for sea, deck work, navigation, pilotage, meteorology, rules of the road, maintenance and repair work, engines, victualling, emergency situations, yacht handling under power, yacht handling under sail, passage making, night cruising

Yachtmaster eligibility

Does seatime on  either of these vessels count for Yachtmaster experience?
Does seatime on either of these vessels count for Yachtmaster experience?

The eligibility criteria for candidates looking for yachtmaster exams has been changed and reinforced. This is in response to MCA requirements and yachting industry demands.

The big changes affecting superyacht crew is that:

50 % of qualifying sea time must be on vessels between 8 to 24m

All qualifying passages must be on vessel less than 24m.

Seatime on a vessel over 500t does not count.

Vessels for seatime must be relevant to exam,(eliminating many tenders seatime)

There is also the requirement that 50% of seatime must be in tidal waters.

This has just made achieving yachtmaster offshore power a lot more difficult and expensive.

Over 80% of all yachtmaster qualifications are commercial certificates. These  are RYA /MCA certificates of  competence that the holder can skipper an vessel up to 200t  with 12 guests onboard.

There has been concern in the yachting industry that the qualification is also used as a benchmark for deckhands who may have many ocean crossings but minimal commend experience other than driving the fast tender.

There is nothing more concerning in a yachtmaster prep week than to find the candidates have little skippering or boat handling experience. While these skills can be taught it is unreasonable to expect to turn up for 5 das without the skills or relevant experience and walk away with a licence to skipper a 200t vessel. it is now considered much more appropriate to complete the coastal skipper and coastal yachtmaster exams before embarking on the yachtmaster offshore program. they can all be achieved in a season with proper planning and guidance.

We are planning to offer a comprehensive yachtmaster program to ensure superyacht crew gain the experience and sea miles for exam success.

We will be using our bases in Barcelona and the Clyde, Scotland to deliver the required tidal mix.

Eclipse and paddle steamer on the clyde. preparing for tidal yachtmaster?
Eclipse and paddle steamer on the clyde.
preparing for tidal yachtmaster?

The eligibility criteria

Yachtmaster eligibility check list
key issues50% of setime in tidal
50 % of seatime on vessels less than 24m
no seatime on vessel over 500t counts
qualifing passages must be on vessel less than 24m. minimum 60nm
Yachtmaster Coastaltotaltidal8-24mtidal 8-to 24m
seatime800400400200
days on board3015158
skipper  days2121
night hours12663
Yachtmaster Offshoretotaltidal8-24mtidal -to24m
seatime250012501250625
days on board50252513
qualifing passages5353
skipper  days5353
qualifiing passage skipper2121
night hours12663

Contact details