The aim of the Yachtmaster Coastal and Yachtmaster Offshore courses is to prepare already experienced sailors for the MCA/RYA Certificate of Competence exam. The courses are not structured around a fixed syllabus but instead give you the chance to hone your sailing skills in preparation for the exam.
But before you sign up to either course, there are some pre-requisites you should be aware of in terms of how much mileage is required for the Yachtmaster Coastal and Offshore courses… here’s all you need to know.
- Yachtmaster Coastal mileage requirements: 800 nautical miles
- Yachtmaster Offshore mileage requirements: 2,500 nautical miles
Here’s more detail on what else you will need including the logged miles.
What are the qualifying miles for RYA Yachtmaster Coastal?
The minimum pre-exam experience and mileage you need for RYA Yachtmaster Coastal is to have first logged 800 nautical miles within 10 years prior to taking the exam. You will also need to have spent at least thirty days at sea, with two of those days as skipper, and 12 night hours.
However, if you have completed the RYA Practical Coastal Skipper Course, you only need twenty days at sea (still two as skipper), logged 400 nautical miles and completed twelve night hours.
Half the qualifying sea time must have been conducted in tidal waters and on a sailing vessel 24 metres or less.
Many people choose to take the RYA Yachtmaster Coastal Certificate of Competence first, before attempting Offshore. The exam is not quite as hard as you are examined for between six to ten hours as opposed to between eight and twelve hours for Yachtmaster Offshore.
Taking the Yachtmaster Coastal provides you with some good exam experience before attempting the Yachtmaster Offshore in the future.
What mileage is required for Yachtmaster Offshore?
The minimum pre-exam experience and mileage you need for RYA Yachtmaster Offshore is to have first logged 2,500 nautical miles, with at least fifty days spent at sea, five of which should have been spent as skipper. You will also be required to have completed five passages over sixty nautical miles including two overnight, and all within the last ten years.
Again, half the qualifying sea time must have been conducted in tidal waters and on a sailing vessel 24 metres or less.
For both courses you will also need a VHF radio licence, a First Aid certificate and sound knowledge of using a radar. These can each be obtained on a one-day course.
As with Yachtmaster Coastal, to pass the RYA Yachtmaster Offshore certification, you must undergo a practical on-water examination, which can last up to twelve hours. It can be hard and challenging as to earn the Yachtmaster Offshore qualification, you need to possess the ability to manage not just smooth sailing but also high-pressure scenarios.
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