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METEOROLOGY Listen to the forecast before your exam and be prepared for questions about the current weather and how this might affect a passage plan. Understand how weather systems influence sea conditions and how to plan based on this knowledge. The type of boat and strengths of your crew can have a bearing on decisions based on the weather, so your examiner may ask you to consider various possibilities. There is rarely a definitive answer, so it is your informed opinions that are required.

SKIPPERING ABILITY This is where your experience and knowledge will really show. Whether you are fully in command of the yacht is the most important assessment that your examiner will make. A good skipper leads the crew and communicates with them,

making sure they understand what is going on and listening to them when they have something to say. They do not shout a stream of commands, leaving their crew in a quivering mess. Quiet competence instils confidence, helping your crew feel safe in the knowledge that the right decisions are being made.

SO, ARE YOU READY FOR YOUR EXAM? There are two ways to book an exam. If you are doing any pre-exam training or are taking the exam outside the UK, your RYA training centre can arrange the exam for you. You can take the exam in your own boat, or charter a boat from the centre. If you have your own boat, or access to one, and want to take the

exam in the UK, you can also book an exam online at go/exams.

SAFETY Make sure you understand and follow safety procedures, and give a safety brief. If you decide that harnesses should be worn at night, take your own advice.


RYA/MCA Yachtmaster®

RYA/MCA Yachtmaster®

RYA/MCA Yachtmaster®

Coastal* Offshore Ocean


30 days, 2 days as skipper, 800 miles, 12 night hours

50 days, 5 days as skipper, 2,500 miles, 5 passages over 60 miles, including 2 overnight and 2 as skipper

Ocean passage as skipper or mate of watch

EXAM FEES FOR 2011 Yachtmaster® Coastal: £160 (South Africa and Asia £190, Australia$405, New Zealand$425) Yachtmaster® Offshore: £185 (South Africa and Asia £220, Australia$465, New Zealand$485) Yachtmaster® Ocean: £140 (South Africa and Asia £165, Australia$350, New Zealand$365)


Practical: 6-10 hours for 1 person, 8-14 hours for 2 people

Practical: 8-12 hours for 1 person; 10-18 hours for 2 people

Oral and assessment of sights taken at sea (written exam in lieu of shorebased course completion certificate)


VHF or SRC Radio Operator’s Certificate, First Aid Certificate

VHF or SRC Radio Operator’s Certificate, First Aid Certificate

RYA/MCA Yachtmaster® and Yachtmaster®

Offshore Ocean Shorebased course completion certificates

*Sea time reduced for holders of RYA Coastal Skipper Practical course completion certificate. Full details of the RYA/MCA practical examinations are contained in the RYA publications Sail Cruising, G15, and Motor Cruising, G18. These are available from training centres and the RYA.

Sail & Motor Cruising Courses 2011 9

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