Yacht / SV Engineer Training Overview

In order to work as an engineer on board a superyacht, you must be approved by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency. The MCA recently changed their engineering qualification structure in order to simplify the number and level of qualifications across the industry. They have pulled together pre-existing qualifications, leading to certificates of competency (CoC) restricted to yachts (and other small vessels) only. This single generic qualification is now referred to as ‘Engineer Officer Small Vessel Certificate of Competency’.

Whether you are new to the yachting industry, have an engineering degree, work on commercial vessels, or even a deckhand planning a switch to the engine room, you will find the most current and common training routes in order to progress as an aspiring yacht engineer.

Find information, training requirements and links to training schools & courses for:

Junior / Assistant Engineer:

  • An STCW: EVERY crew member onboard must hold a valid STCW
  • An ENG1 Medical Certificate: EVERY crew member onboard must hold a valid ENG1
  • AEC 1: The Approved Engine Course 1 is an entry-level qualification for the MCA engineering training schedule and is regarded as the first step on the ladder. It is a 5-day or 30-hour course that aims to provide candidates with practical basic hands-on training and theoretical knowledge of diesel engines. The main intention of this course is to teach the knowledge to serve in an ENTRY LEVEL capacity in the engineering department or for a crew member primarily working in another department to assist with engineering functions, for example, a deck/engineer. Holding an AEC certificate will allow you to be a chief engineer on a yacht over 24m and less than 200 Gross Tons or act as an assistant engineer on vessels over 200 GT up to 60NM from a safe haven.
  • AEC 2:  The Approved Engine Course II follows on from AEC I knowledge. It is comprised of a more practical element than AEC I. This course has been designed so that engineering qualifications are transferable between different industry sectors such as yachts, workboats, tugs, fishing vessels and so on and there will no longer be offshore limits.

The AEC is your gateway ticket into becoming an engineer, it is, therefore, essential to hold this qualification, gain sea time and work on your training record book (TRB) in order to progress in the engine room.

Becoming a 2nd Engineer:

There are three routes to obtaining a ‘2nd Engineer Officer Small Vessel Certificate of Competency’ (Previously known as Y4):

Standard Route:

This standard route benefits those who study through an accepted route of education involving MSQ (Maritime Studies Qualifications) modules. Completion of these will result in a ‘Diploma in Maritime Studies: Small Vessel Engineer’. This route is extremely beneficial to superyacht engineers because of the reduced sea time required and because some of the syllabi can be completed on-board.

In order to follow this route, you must:

Experienced Seafarer Route:

Candidates that choose this route will NOT be required to complete the Diploma in Maritime Studies: Small Vessel Engineer, they, however, will need to complete a preparatory college course and SQA written exams. To be eligible to register you must meet the following requirements:

Requirements in order to enter the study program and SQA written examinations:

Requirements / Notice Eligibility to sit MCA Oral Exam:

Must complete:

Additional 11 months’ seagoing on a vessel of 350 kW (must include a minimum of 6 months’ seagoing service engaged in watchkeeping or UMS duties)

  • 2 weeks MCA-approved initial Workshop Skills Training
  • A further 2 weeks seagoing service on vessels of at least 350 kW or
  • 2 weeks of MCA-approved additional Workshop Skills Training
  • Complete the SV Training Record Book (TRB) during your seagoing service.

Requirements For Certificate of Competency (Coc):

In addition to completing all of the experienced seafarer route requirements above, the candidate must:

  1. Complete the and pass examinations for the following courses:

2. Hold the applicable ancillary and safety course certificates listed in section 5:

- PSCRB
- Advanced Fire Fighting
- Proficiency in Medical First Aid
- Human Element, Leadership and Management (HELM Operational Level)

3. Hold a valid ENG1 Medical Certificate
4. Pass the MCA Oral Examination

Alternative Route: (For Graduate Engineers:)

This route is for those candidates who hold a relevant engineering degree/diploma/apprenticeship. These qualifications should be sent to an MCA-approved training provider who will analyse their relevance and explain what the individual should do in order to obtain a 2nd Engineer Officer Small Vessel CoC.

If you are deemed eligible to enter into this programme you will need to apply directly to an MCA-approved nautical college. In order to gain the Certificate of Competency you must:

  1. Complete 6 months additional seagoing service on 750 kW vessels
  2. Successfully complete the MCA- approved modules and pass the corresponding written examinations for Applied Marine Engineering.
  3. Complete either:
    MCA-approved modules and pass the corresponding written examinations for General Engineering Science I & General Engineering Science II
    OR
    The Diploma in Maritime Studies: Small Vessel and the Diploma in Maritime Studies: Small Vessel Chief Engineer
  4. Hold a Valid ENG 1 Medical Certificate
  5. Pass MCA oral examinations

Chief Engineer SV <3000 GT & <9,000kW

With 2nd Engineer Officer SV <9000kW CoC

 

  1. 6 months of sea service on 350 kW vessels and 6 months seagoing service on vessels 750 kW. (greater or equal to kW provided)
  2. Complete the MCA-approved modules and pass the corresponding exams for:
    - Chief Engineer (SV) Statutory and Operational Requirements
    - Chief Engineer (SV) Auxiliary Equipment Part 2
    - Applied Marine Engineering
  3. Complete either
    a) MCA-approved modules and pass the corresponding written examinations for General Engineering Science I & General Engineering Science II OR

    b) The Diploma in Maritime Studies: Small Vessel and the Diploma in Maritime Studies: Small Vessel Chief Engineer;
  4. Human Element, Leadership and Management (HELM) Management Level
  5. Hold a Valid ENG1 Medical Certificate
  6. Pass the MCA oral Examination

With Chief Engineer SV <500GT

 

  1. Complete 6 months of additional seagoing service on 750 kW vessels
  2. Successfully complete the MCA- approved modules and pass the corresponding written examinations for:
    Applied Marine Engineering;
  3. Complete either:
    a) MCA-approved modules and pass the corresponding written examinations for General Engineering Science I & General Engineering Science II OR

    b) Diploma in Maritime Studies: Small Vessel and the Diploma in Maritime Studies: Small Vessel Chief Engineer;
  4. Hold a Valid ENG 1 Medical Certificate;
  5. Pass MCA oral examination.

FOR MORE INFO GO TO MCA WEBSITE MIN524

Alternative routes to become a yacht engineer:

The above method is the new MCA-approved and advised route to becoming a YACHT engineer, there are however other options available to you:

Experienced Marine Engineers: Marine engineers with qualifications for larger vessels, such as, commercial tankers, container vessels, dredgers etc. or those with merchant navy tickets are usually able to work on yachts with these tickets. It is important to contact the MCA who will review these qualifications and ascertain a plan of action for you.

USCG: It is also possible to qualify as a yacht engineer through the United States Coast Guard route, again different flag states will have different requirements and it is advisable to contact the MCA for any further advice or information.

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