The RYA Yachtmaster Offshore is one of the most highly respected and prestigious sailing qualifications in the world and we pride ourselves on training many high calibre Yachtmaster Candidates.
Exam Preparation Courses are delivered by one of our fully qualified and extremely experienced RYA Yachtmaster Instructors.
The week starts with an assessment day, when the instructor will gauge your strengths and weaknesses. The rest of the time will be spent improving weak areas in order to prepare you for the exam.
You will take command of the yacht on short passages, by day and night. You will be required to navigate in a seamanlike manner, with both efficiency and safety. Your instructor will give you guidance and coaching on boat handling techniques both at sea and in a confined space.
Examiners expect a high level of expertise, particularly in safety critical exercises such as man overboard, or sailing down wind. Your instructor will also ensure that the theory subjects, in particular meteorology, IRPCS, buoyage and passage planning are not new to you. At the end of the week, you will be given an honest debrief, leaving you confident in your own ability, taking the exam if you feel ready to do so.
At the end of the preparation course, the instructor will leave the process and an Independent RYA Examiner will come aboard to conduct the exam. Every student will be examined on how they skipper the yacht on short passages, and complete various other tasks.
Although this is a sailing exam you will be expected to be familiar with all the vessels systems which includes knowledge of engines to at least the level of the one-day RYA diesel engine maintenance course.
A knowledge of the operation of radar and GPS is also expected.
The examiner will want to see you dock the boat under engine in a variety of circumstances possibly alongside and stern-to. He/she may set you a challenge to dock in a particular place or ask you to choose. He/she will also expect you to be able to handle and turn the vessel in a confined space with awareness of the effects of the prevailing conditions. You will also be expected to be able to handle the vessel under sail in a confined space and this may include sailing on and/or off a mooring, your anchor or a dock. The examiner is looking for good boat control, use of crew, wind awareness and a good lookout for other vessels in the area. Once at sea it is a legal requirement to keep a log. This doesn’t have to be detailed but the examiner will want to see that you know where you are at all times. Don’t be afraid to reef, we are cruising not racing, but at the same time make sure you have enough sail up to keep the vessel going. Also make sure you have practiced your classic navigation as fixing your position, CTS and EP may all come into the exam. Also be comfortable with tidal problems and operation of the GPS, specifically the one on the exam vessel.