“The RYA Yachtmaster® Coastal has the knowledge needed to skipper a yacht on coastal cruises but does not necessarily have the experience needed to undertake longer passages.” – RYA
There is no formal training course to become an RYA Yachtmaster. To earn the qualification, you must prove sufficient experience, certification, and seatime, for acceptance to sit the RYA exam that tests your skills and knowledge.
RYA Yachtmaster Coastal practical exams can be taken under sail or power and the certificate will be endorsed accordingly. The exam includes an assessment of your skippering skills, boat handling, general seamanship, navigation, safety awareness and knowledge of collision regulations, meteorology and signals. Demonstration of ability and knowledge is examined on any part of the syllabus for all practical and shorebased courses up to the RYA Yachtmaster Coastal level.
A commercially endorsed RYA Yachtmaster Coastal Certificate of Competence will enable you to skipper vessels up to 24 metres in length, operating in category 3,4,5, and 6 waters – up to 20 miles from a safe haven.
For RYA Yachtmaster Coastal certification the following documented minimum sea time completed on a seagoing sailing or motor vessel (as appropriate) in the last 10 years is required:
- 30 days at sea on a vessel less than 24m LOA, which may be reduced to 20 days at sea on vessels less than 24m LOA or substituted with 30 days at sea on vessels <500GT if an RYA Coastal Skipper Practical course completion certificate is held;
- 2 days as skipper on a vessel less than 24m LOA;
- 800 miles, which may be reduced to 400 miles on vessels less than 24m LOA or substituted with 800 miles at sea on vessels <500GT if an RYA Coastal Skipper Practical course completion certificate is held; and,
- 12 night hours.
Before sitting the exam for the RYA Yachtmaster Coastal, the following certificates are needed:
- a GMDSS compliant Marine Radio Operator’s Certificate such as the RYA Short Range Certificate or higher;
- an RYA First Aid Certificate or another valid first aid certificate, as detailed on the RYA website; and,
- an RYA Coastal Skipper Practical course completion certificate (either Sail or Power, as appropriate) ONLY IF claiming reduced sea time detailed above.
Candidates must be 17 years of age at the time of sitting the exam.
The exam is typically 6-10 hours for one candidate, 8-14 hours for two candidates