Yachtmaster Ocean

The RYA Yachtmaster Ocean shorebased theory course takes place over 5 days. This is a course in astro-navigation and world-wide meteorology which also reveals the mysteries of the sextant. It assumes a knowledge of ALL subjects covered in the other shorebased theory courses.

Course Description

The course completion certificate is a PREREQUISITE for booking the RYA/MCA Yachtmaster Ocean oral examination, unless candidates are prepared to take a written examination as well as the oral. Candidates must also have an ocean passage as skipper or mate.
The candidate must provide the examiner with:

  • A narrative account of the planning and execution of the qualifying passage
  • Navigational records, completed on board a yacht on passages, out of sight of land showing that the candidate has navigated the yacht without the use of electronic navigational aids.

The records must include as a minimum: planning, reduction and plotting of a sun run meridian altitude sight and a compass check carried out using the bearing of the sun, moon, a star or planet.

During the oral test the candidate may be required to answer questions on all aspects of ocean passage making in a yacht, including passage planning, astro navigation, worldwide meteorology, crew management and yacht preparation, maintenance and repairs.

If you need a Yachtmaster Ocean Certificate of Competence in order to work on board a commercial craft subject to the MCA’s codes of practice, you will need to get it commercially endorsed.

The Yachtmaster Ocean Certificate of Competence can be used commercially in its own right. It is also a pre-requisite for the MCA’s Chief Mate, Master 500 and Master 3000 qualifications.


Topics covered include:

  • The earth and the celestial sphere
  • Practical guide to use and care of sextant at sea
  • Meridian altitudes
  • Sun, star and other sights
  • Ocean passage planning

General Course Information (All Courses)

  • Students stay on the boat during the multi-day practical courses in order to get a real feel for onboard living. A stipend for essentials (tea, coffee, cereal, milk, etc) is included in the course price. During the theory week and STCW, students have the option of staying at our Academy in the Waterfront.

  • For practical courses we ask that students bring a sleeping bag, towel, toiletries, change of clothes, and suitable wet weather gear. Sunglasses and sunscreenare also a good idea.

    For the theory course students will need a 2B pencils, a pen, a notebook and where possible, their own Portland plotter and dividers (we can also loan to the student). We can also help with the purchase of any of these materials.

    For STCW you will need your Passport or ID book on day one of your course. You will also need to wear old clothes for the fire fighting (MFF) element, for Personal Safety Training (PST) you will need swimwear, a towel and a set of clothes to get in the pool with.

  • PRACTICAL sailing courses start with a briefing at the school, 11 Portswood Road at 8.30am.
    THEORY courses take place at the school and commence at 8.30am
    STCW training takes place in the Cape Town foreshore, training starts promptly at 8.30am
    STEWARDESS training takes place in Gordon’s Bay and starts Mondays at 9.00am



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