RYA Yachtmaster practical course

The course

To many this is the pinnacle of yachting qualifications and is a prerequisite for obtaining a commercial endorsement.  The exam will test the skipper’s ability and can therefore appear daunting to potential candidates. However, well-prepared skippers with the right experience needn’t worry. With Premier’s practice and preparation course, you should be able to relax sufficiently to let your skills shine through any exam nerves.

There are two types of Yachtmaster qualification: Yachtmaster Coastal and Yachtmaster Offshore.

To obtain a Yachtmaster Coastal qualification you need the knowledge required to skipper a yacht on coastal cruises but not necessarily the experience needed to undertake longer passages required for Yachtmaster Offshore.  The theory is the same for both, however this course is suited to those with fewer hours of sea time.

To obtain a Yachtmaster Offshore qualification you will need to be ‘a yachtsman or woman competent to skipper a cruising yacht on any passage that can be completed without the use of astronavigation’.  A Yachtmaster Offshore should be able to enter any well-charted harbour for the first time, with sufficient depth, by day or night.

As with any exam, the more practice you have beforehand, the more confident you will feel. Before your exam, be more adventurous than the usual weekend trip to your favourite anchorage.  Enter some new harbours to refine your pilotage.  Attempt the occasional night entry and be aware of the problems.  This course will ensure that you receive specific tuition and preparation for your Yachtmaster exam.

Here are some of the things you could be tested on:

  • MOB under sail
  • MOB under engine
  • pick up buoy under engine
  • pick up buoy under sail wins and tide plus wind against tide
  • choose a buoy and pick it up
  • anchor under sail
  • sail off a buoy
  • find unlit mark
  • berth forwards
  • berth backwards
  • tight turn using wind
  • tight turn using prop wash
  • lights…safe water mark… long flash 10s, iso 10s, etc.
  • The well
  • CTS
  • EP
  • Follow a contour line
  • Spring on and off berth
  • pilotage
  • tidal heights
  • fog
  • synoptic chart
  • Pilotage plans and passage plan
  • briefing

We endeavor to supply as much of what you need as possible. We supply pillows – but not pillow cases. We supply wet weather gear – but not footwear.

So here is a guide as to what you might bring:

  • A sleeping bag
  • A pillowcase
  • A personal torch
  • A towel
  • Any essential medication
  • Please ensure you have plenty of warm clothing bearing in mind that it is colder out on the water, and you may get wet
  • A pair of non-marking deck shoes or trainers
  • Non-slip/non-marking waterproof sailing boots. These can be bought in most chandlers for about £42 [optional] (available here)
  • Sailing gloves [optional] (available here)
  • Waterproof clothing (unless you have asked us to provide it)
  • Notebook, pen and pencil
  • Sunscreen, sunhat and sunglasses / warm hat, gloves
  • RYA Logbook (highly recommended). We can provide one for you at £6.99.
  • Passport if doing a Coastal Skipper Course or a Channel Hop
  • European Health Insurance Card if doing a Coastal Skipper course or a Channel Hop
  • PASSPORT PHOTO for Day Skipper / Coastal Skipper candidates with name and date of birth on reverse

Pack your gear in a soft bag or holdall, i.e. not a hard suitcase, as stowage on board is limited.  We provide all safety equipment such as lifejackets and harnesses etc.

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