RYA Yachtmaster Offshore Practical

Get ready to master any conditions with the premier sailing qualification – Offshore Yachtmaster
This is advanced skippering preparation for yachtsmen and women who have considerable knowledge of sailing and navigation. An Offshore Yachtmaster needs a wealth of knowledge and skills - not only to cope with plain sailing but also to be able to cope when things go wrong.
Most skippers will tell you that this experience is gained not by sailing thousands of miles on passage, but by skippering yachts close to land, by day and night and in poor visibility; dealing with complex situations such as boat handling at close quarters, navigation in shoal waters in and out of harbour - and the negotiation of busy shipping channels.
By the end of the week you should have the knowledge, if not the experience, to successful complete the Yachtmaster exam with an independent examiner. The week, like the Day Skipper, consists of skippered passages by each of the trainees in a whole variety of situations. It is a challenging but very rewarding week.

The location: You’ll be learning in the UK’s ultimate sailing destination, the Solent, home of the renowned Cowes Week, Round the Island and Fastnet regattas and fringed by the spectacular Jurassic Coast. Regular overnight anchorages include Gosport, Hythe, Lymington, Portsmouth and Poole on the mainland and Cowes and Yarmouth on the scenic Isle of Wight.

Course outcomes: The aim of this course is to teach the skills and techniques required to skipper a cruising yacht safely on coastal passages by day and night.

Passage planning

  • Can plan a coastal passage including a consideration of the capability of the yacht, navigation, victualling, weather, ports of refuge, tidal heights, and tidal streams, publications required and strategy
  • Know Customs procedures

Preparation for sea

  • Is aware of safety equipment required for offshore passages
  • Can prepare a yacht for sea including stowage, safety briefing, watch keeping, delegating responsibilities and equipment and engine checks


  • Can prepare a pilotage plan, with consideration of surroundings, transits, clearing bearings, buoyage, port or harbour regulations and tidal considerationsb. Can pilot a yacht by day and night

Passage making and ability as skipper

  • Can take charge of a yacht and direct the crew
  • Can organise the navigation, deckwork, and domestic duties of a yacht on passage
  • Is aware of the significance of meteorological trends
  • Is aware of crew welfare on passage
  • Can use electronic navigational equipment for planning and undertaking a passage, including the use of waypoints and routes

Yacht handling under power

  • Can control the yacht effectively in a confined space under power
  • All berthing and unberthing situations in various conditions of wind and tide

Yacht handling under sail

  • Characteristics
  • Can use the sails to control the yacht in a confined space
  • Anchoring and mooring in various conditions of wind and tide
  • Can sail efficiently on all points of sailing

Adverse weather conditions

  • Preparation for heavy weather and yacht handling in strong winds
  • Navigation and general conduct in restricted visibility

Emergency situations

  • Recovery of man overboard under power and sail
  • Understands action to be taken when abandoning to the life raft and during helicopter and lifeboat rescues

Prior experience and training: Completion of the RYA Coastal Skipper course and the Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster Offshore Shorebased Course is required. Also sea time of 50 days with at least 5days as skipper, 2500 nautical miles, 5 passages over 60 nautical miles including 2 overnight and 2 as skipper.

Duration: This course is offered as a 5 day live aboard course. 9am Monday till 5pm Friday.

Price: £700 plus exam fee payable to the independent examiner

Upcoming dates:  All weeks available

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