RYA Yachtmaster Offshore Exam Prep.

RYA Yachtmaster Offshore Exam Prep.

It is recommended that the Yachtmaster Offshore Preparation is completed before the exam as this gives the candidate a higher chance of success.

The RYA Yachtmaster Offshore Certificate of Competence Syllabus – Yachtmaster Offshore Exam Syllabi (RYA MCA) – Candidates may be given the opportunity to demonstrate knowledge or competence in the areas listed below

In each section, the examiner will expect to see the candidate take full responsibility for the management of the yacht and crew. In RYA Yachtmaster Offshore exams the candidate will be expected to demonstrate competence based on broad experience.

International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea

Questions will be confirmed to the International Regulations and although Yachtmaster candidates must be aware of the existence of Local Regulations they will not be expected to memorise specific local regulations:

  • General rules (1-3)
  • Steering and sailing rules (4-19)
  • Lights and shapes (20-31)
  • Sound and light signals (32-37)
  • Signals for vessels fishing in close proximity (Annex II)
  • Distress signals (Annex IV)


Yachtmaster Candidates will be expected to know what safety equipment should be carried on board a Motorboat, based either on the recommendations in RYA booklet C8, the Special Regulations of the ORC or the Codes of Practice for the Safety of Small Commercial Vessels. In particular, candidates must know the responsibilities of a skipper in relation to:

  • Safety harnesses
  • Lifejackets
  • Distress flares
  • Fire prevention and fighting
  • Liferafts
  • Knowledge of rescue procedures. Helicopter rescue.

Boat Handling

  • Candidates for Yachtmaster Offshore exam will be expected to answer questions or demonstrate ability in more complex situations and will also be expected to show a higher level of expertise:
  • Coming to and weighing anchor, under power in various conditions of wind and tide
  • All berthing and unberthing situations in various conditions of wind and tide
  • Recovery of man overboard
  • Towing, under open sea conditions and in confined areas
  • Boat handling in confined areas
  • Boat handling in heavy weather Helmsmanship to best advantage Use of warps for securing in an alongside berth and for shifting berth or winding

General Seamanship & Maintenance

  • Properties, use and care of synthetic fibre ropes
  • Knots
  • General deck-work, at sea and in harbour
  • Engine operations and routine checks
  • Improvisation of jury rigs following gear failure Responsibilities of Skipper
  • Can skipper a Motorboat and manage the crew
  • Communication with crew
  • Delegation of responsibility and watch-keeping organisation
  • Preparing Motorboat for sea and for adverse weather
  • Tactics for heavy weather and restricted visibility
  • Emergency and distress situations
  • RYA Yachtmaster Offshore Exam Prep. Victualling for a cruise and feeding at sea
  • Customs procedures
  • Standards of behaviour and courtesy Navigation
  • Charts, navigational publications and sources of navigational information
  • Chartwork, including position fixing and shaping course to allow for tidal stream and leeway
  • Tide and tidal stream calculations
  • Buoyage and visual aids to navigation
  • Instruments, including compasses, logs, echo sounders, radio navaids and chartwork instruments
  • Passage planning and navigational tactics
  • Pilotage techniques
  • Navigational records
  • Limits of navigational accuracy and margins of safety
  • Lee shore dangers
  • Use of Radar and electronic navigation aids for passage planning and passage navigation
  • Use of waypoints and electronic routing Meteorology
  • Definition of terms
  • Sources of weather forecasts
  • Weather systems and local weather effects
  • Interpretation of weather forecasts, barometric trends and visible phenomena
  • Ability to make passage planning decisions based on forecast information Signals

Course programme

  • Exam Type: Practical may have theory assessment.
  • Required Experience: A restricted (VHF only) Radio Operators Certificate or a GMDSS Short Range Certificate or higher grade of marine radio certificate. A valid first aid certificate. 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 a skipper. At least half this mileage and passages must be in tidal waters. All qualifying seatime must be within 10 years prior to the exam.
  • Assumed Knowledge: Navigation, Meteorology, Collision Regulations, Safety and Passage Planning up to Yachtmaster and above standard
  • Exam Content: Navigation, Meteorology, Collision Regulations, Safety and Passage Planning up to Yachtmaster and above standard.
  • Ability After Course: RYA Yachtmaster Offshore Power. Skipper boats up to 200 tonnes or 80 foot.
  • Minimum Duration: 8-12 hours for 1 candidate, 10-18 hours for 2 candidates. No more than two candidates can be examined in 24 hours. day and night.
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