The RYA Yachtmaster Offshore / IYT Master of Yachts Unlimited will ensure competence to skipper a cruising vessel on any passage during which the vessel is no more than 150 miles from the harbour.
The programmes consist of both theory and liveaboard practical components. The theory is a comprehensive shore-based course with assessment papers and written examinations. It should be noted that a considerable amount of private study and varied cruising experience is required in addition to the formal instruction provided.
The liveaboard (power or sail) practical covers seamanship skills, including the ability to command and have situational awareness. The liveaboard aspect of the course is critical to ensuring candidates are indeed prepared to command.
The courses cover the following topics, though further topics may be covered:
- charts, chart work, latitude and longitude, and publications;
- tides and currents;
- compasses, variation and deviation;
- distance, speed, time and direction;
- positions, position lines and position fixes;
- dead reckoning and estimated positions;
- course to steer to counteract a current;
- passage planning;
- electronic navigation aids;
- International regulations for preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGS);
- vessel construction, stability and drydocking;
- ropework, towing, and anchoring;
- emergency procedures; and,
- general maritime law.
A commercially endorsed RYA Yachtmaster Offshore Certificate of Competence will enable you to work as a Master of commercial vessels of <200GT in category 1 to 6 waters – that is up to 150 miles from a safe haven. This Certificate of Competence can be used commercially in its own right or as a prerequisite for the MCA’s Officer of the Watch qualification, enabling you to work worldwide on vessels of <3000GT.
If you hold the IYT Master of Yachts Unlimited certificate, you are qualified to work as:
- Master of a vessel <200GT up to 150 nautical miles offshore.
- Chief Mate of a vessel <500GT up to 150 nautical miles offshore.
- Chief Mate of a vessel <200GT all oceans.
- OOW (Officer of the Watch) of a vessel <500GT all oceans.
For RYA Yachtmaster Offshore certification, the following documented minimum sea time completed on a seagoing sailing or motor vessel (as appropriate) in the last 10 years is required:
- 50 days at sea on vessels <500GT;
- 5 days as skipper on vessels less than 24m;
- 2500 miles on vessels <500GT, half of which must be on vessels less than 24m;
- 5 passages over 60 miles long, which must include two overnight passages and two as skipper;
- GMDSS short-range radio certificate; and,
- a valid first-aid certificate.
For the IYT Master of Yachts Unlimited, the following requirements must be met:
- hold or obtain a Marine Communications VHF-SRC Radio Operators certificate;
- hold or obtain all STCW’95 certificates – STCW certificates must be valid (not expired) (if STCW Safety Training is taken after January 1, 2014, the new Proficiency in Maritime Security Awareness is also required);
- provide documented evidence of boating experience as stated below:
- logged 50 days onboard a vessel at sea as an active crew member on watch (for the purpose of this requirement, a day is defined as a period of 24 consecutive hours, and the term “at sea” is defined as being on a vessel outside of any harbour – natural or artificial – in which a cruising vessel could secure or anchor for a prolonged period of time);
- logged 3,000 miles in a vessel while cruising at sea (power or sail) – this must be on genuine cruises or passages, not short day trips, and the candidate must have a considerable time of actual vessel handling;
- 30 hours on watch at night underway as an active member of a vessel’s crew;
- sea time must be obtained on a vessel at least 10m in length; and,
- hold a current Medical Fitness Certificate.
This is normally a 12-day course, with 6 days theory, 5 days practical and 1 examination day.