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There is no requirement to have undertaken previous RYA courses before taking a Yachtmaster Exam.

Rather than running 15 week (Fast Track) courses we will be running Yachtmaster Prep Weeks.

On these courses the amount of time training before your Yachtmaster Exam will depend on your own previous experience.

Besides the RYA prerequisites you will have to be well rehearsed and able to:

THEORY: Passage planning, C.T.S, E.P, pilotage, Tidal hights, COLREGS, Buoyarge, Lights, Meteorology, AIS, RADAR.

PRACTICAL:  Can steer  all points of sail, Tacking, Gybing, Set sails, Winches, Knowledge of sea terms and parts of a boat her rigging and sails, Ropework, Fire Precautions and fighting, personal safety equipment, Man overboard, Emergency equipment, Helmsmanship, General duties, Manners and customs, Rules of the road, Handle sails, Keep a lookout, Row a dinghy and assist in all the day to day routines, Preparation for sea, Deck work, Navigation, Maintenance and repair work, Engines, Victualling, Emergency situations, Yacht handling under power, Yacht handling under sail, Passage making, Night cruising, Passage planning, Preparation for sea, Pilotage, Passage making and ability as skipper, Yacht handling under power, Yacht handling under sail, Adverse weather conditions, Emergency situations.

All the above is covered in the Competent Crew / Day Skipper Theory / Day Skipper Practical / Coastal Skipper Yachmaster theory / Coastal Skipper Practical.


Yachtmaster preparation courses are normally skills and drills from 9.00 - 17.00 and some night sailing in  Gibraltar Bay.

MOB with engine and using only the sails, Navigate from inside the vessel simulating fog using only the charts log and sounder, Berth the vessel in different situations, Windward, Leeward, bows too, Stern too, Short fingers, Hammer heads and Mediterranean berthing whilst maintaining full control, Sail onto and off a berth, Sail onto and off an anchor, Be able to navigate by day and by night finding way points using bearings depth contours and transits.

Depending on your experience it can take  up to five weeks Yachtmaster preparation before an exam.


If you are doing a Yachtmaster preparation week with no exam and someone else is doing  the exam at the end of the course you will be on board as crew during the exam.

We can also offer RYA Instructor training weeks



An RYA Yachtmaster Certificate of Competence is often the ultimate aim of aspiring skippers. It is a well known, highly respected qualification worldwide, proving your experience and competence as a skipper.

Unlike other courses in the cruising programme, there is no formal training to complete in order to become a Yachtmaster™. Instead, provided that you have sufficient experience and seatime, you can put yourself forward for an exam to test your skills and knowledge.



Yacthmaster Coastal Exam

Yachtmaster Coastal exam pre-requisites

Minimum seatime

  • 30 days, 2 days as skipper, 800 miles, 12 night hours. If you hold the Coastal Skipper practical course completion certificate this is reduced to 20 days, 2 days as skipper, 400 miles, 12 night hours.

  • Half the qualifying sea time must be conducted in tidal waters. 

  • All qualifying seatime must be within 10 years prior to the exam.

  • Form of examPractical

Certification required

  • A GMDSS Short Range Certificate (SRC) or higher grade of marine radio certificate.

  • A valid first aid certificate

It will be your responsibility to make sure you have all above in place before the exam day.

Minimum exam duration6-10 hours for one candidate, 8-14 hours for two candidates

Minimum age17

Boats used for 'own boat' exams

Yachtmaster Offshore Exam 

The Yachtmaster Offshore is competent to skipper a cruising yacht on any passage during which the yacht is no more than 150 miles from harbour.

Full details of the exam syllabus and requirements are shown in the RYA Yachtmaster Scheme Syllabus and Logbook (G158).

Yachtmaster Offshore practical exams can be taken under sail or power and your certificate will be endorsed accordingly. The candidate or a training centre provides the boat and the RYA provides an examiner.

There is no formal training course leading up to the exam, but those who have not previously taken RYA courses often find it useful to book themselves in for some informal training at an RYA centre prior to their exam. This training can be tailor-made to your specific needs and helps to fill any gaps in your knowledge that may become apparent.

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


Yachtmaster Offshore exam pre-requisites

Minimum seatime

  • 50 days, 2,500 miles including at least 5 passages over 60 miles measured along the rhumb line from the port of departure to the destination, acting as skipper for at least two of these passages and including two which have involved overnight passages.

  • 5 days experience as skipper.

  • At least half this mileage and passages must be conducted in tidal waters.

  • All qualifying seatime must be within 10 years prior to the exam


Form of exam Practical

Certification required

  • A GMDSS Short Range Certificate (SRC) or higher grade of marine radio certificate.

  • A valid first aid certificate

It will be your responsibility to make sure you have all above in place before the exam day.

Minimum exam duration 8-12 hours for 1 candidate, 10-18 hours for 2 candidates. No more than two candidates can be examined in 24 hours and no more than four candidates can be examined in one 2 day session.

Minimum age18

Recommended Books

Cover of RYA Book Navigation
Cover of RYA Book Handbook
yachtmaster exams


Please note depending on the number of candidates and availability of the examiner the exam will either be over the course of one or two days and will normally take place on a Thursday, Friday and/or Saturday.


If the exam is on Saturday and/or the Sunday there will be a charter fee of 150 euros per person per day.


When on Exam if you are the skipper you will be responsible for yourself, crew and the boat.


Exam Fee of  £189 Yachtmaster Coastal/ £220 Yachtmaster Offshore paid direct to the RYA.


On some occasions the examiner will ask for travel expenses.

Qualifying passages 



Qualifying passages




A passage is a non-stop voyage from a departure port / safe haven to a destination port / safe haven. Where a passage must be of a minimum distance to meet exam pre-requisites, the distance should be taken as the shortest navigable route established when planning a safe and efficient passage.

Passages which artificially lengthen the distance will not be accepted. In the example below where the distance run for each passage A-B, A-C and A-D exceeds 600M, only passage A-B would be accepted as a 600M qualifying passage.


The distance measured by log will almost certainly differ from the planned distance due to streams, currents, weather and other navigational factors. Both the planned distance and distance run should exceed the required distance.

Passages such as recognised races which may not comply exactly with these requirements may be submitted to the RYA for consideration before the voyage.



The skipper is the person nominated and responsible for the planning and execution of a passage including vessel and watch management. The skipper is not necessarily the most experienced or qualified person on board but must be the person with responsibility for the safe execution of the passage. If the skipper's role is transferred to another person at any time during a passage then neither person can claim to have skippered that passage.



For the purpose of qualifying passages, a mate is any person on board who has sole responsibility for managing a navigational watch during a passage. They must be actively engaged in the planning and execution of a passage.



An area is deemed tidal if published stream, current or tidal range data is available, the influence of which is significant enough to require the effects to be taken into account to plan and execute a safe and efficient passage.


Days on board:

A day on board or as skipper is a period of eight consecutive hours living on board, the majority of which the vessel should have been at sea. Periods of less than eight hours cannot be aggregated to make up eight hours. Only one eight-hour period may be counted in any 24 hour period.



  1. During a qualifying passage there should be no change of skipper or mates. Trainee skippers undertaking 60 mile passages are strongly advised to obtain a Coastal Skipper qualification first.

  2. Examiners are responsible for establishing the level of a candidate’s competence during the exam. During RYA exams candidates will be questioned extensively about their qualifying passages, mileage and sea time.

  3. The examiners are appointed by the RYA and independent of our school. It will be their decision whether you qualify for examination.

Course price: €950 per person

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