The RYA Yachtmaster ocean course is for individuals who would like to be able to skipper a 200-ton yacht across oceans in different parts of the world. The Yachtmaster Ocean certificate is also a prerequisite for a crew member who is qualifying for their 3000GT Chief Mate Certificate of Competency.

Find an RYA Yachtmaster Ocean Training Centre

Prerequisites for the RYA Yachtmaster Ocean examination:

Sea time:

A qualifying passage as skipper or mate in sole charge of a watch on a suitable vessel, which meets the following criteria: (within the past ten years)

  • The candidate must have been fully involved in the planning and execution of the route.
  • A non-stop distance of 600 miles must have been logged during the passage, during which at least 96 hours must have been run while being at least 50 miles from land or a charted object (objects capable of being used for navigational aid) while sailing a distance of at least 200 miles.
  • The shortest navigable route between departure and arrival points must exceed 600 miles.
    View more Information on Qualifying passages on the RYA website


  • A candidate must hold an RYA Yachtmaster Offshore Certificate of Competence

Exam Breakdown

Records provided prior to oral and written examination:

  • 48 prior to the exam, the candidate must provide the examiner with a narrative account of the planning and execution of the qualifying passage. All relevant details must be provided.
  • Onboard navigational records completed during the qualifying passage while being out of sight of land. The records must show that the yacht was navigated without the assistance of electronic navigational aids.

During Oral Exam

Candidates are required to answer questions on all aspects of ocean passage making in a yacht, including passage planning, navigation, worldwide meteorology, crew management and yacht preparation, maintenance and repairs.

Written Exam

The written exam will include questions on sights and sight reduction and worldwide meteorology.

If candidates already hold the RYA/MCA Yachtmaster Ocean Shorebased Course Completion Certificate they will be exempt from the written examination. The same applies to candidates who have been issued an MCA full STCW Certificate of Competence as a Deck Officer (Unlimited).

For candidates who are gaining their certification in order to work on MCA compliant commercial vessels, their ticket will have to be commercially endorsed as previously mentioned on the Yachtmaster overview page.

Find more information about commercial endorsements for RYA certificates.

RYA Yachtmaster Ocean Training School Locations: