Previous experience required: A minium of 50 days in total spent aboard a yacht at sea; 2500 miles logged offshore including 5 passages of over 60 nautical miles. Two of these passages must be as skipper and 2 on overnight trips.
Any one contemplating this course should have a knowledge of navigation to the level of RYA Coastal Skipper. The school offers this shorebased theory as a separate course. Persons unsure of their level should undergo an assessment prior to the commencement of the practical course. Please contact the Principal to arrange this.
Exam candidates must be 18 years or older, hold a recognised First Aid certificate and a Restricted Radio Operators Certificate. For an MCA (UK’s Marine and Coastal Agency) Commercial endorsement on the Yachtmasters certificate you also require a Sea Survival certificate (RYA/MCA Basic Sea Survival for Small Craft or AYF Safety and Sea Survival are both acceptable) and completion of a Medical examination form .This form is available on request from Southern Cross Yachting.
The RYA exam fee is paid direct to the RYA and is 164 pounds plus 22 pounds for the MCA commercial qualification. There will be an additional charter fee of for the yacht unless the exam is on your own yacht. All students should have an RYA logbook with their qualifying passages and personal log of experience entered.
Course content: It is recognition of the holder’s knowledge and experience and can lead to a commercial qualification. A Yachtmaster Offshore is an experienced yachtsman or woman, capable of skippering a yacht on any offshore or coastal passage anywhere in the world, up to the point where celestial navigation is required. They must have the ability to do this without recourse to electronic navigation equipment such as GPS and must be capable of entering any port anywhere in the world, given sufficient navigational information and depth of water, for the first time at night.
This Yachtmaster preparation is designed as a practical refresher course for experienced sailors and will cover all skills likely to be examined. Typically, students join the course on Monday morning, meet the crew and are briefed on all aspects of the yacht and its equipment. After some intensive boat handling under power exercises the yacht will leave Manly Yacht Harbour and will not return until the following Friday. During the course each student will, in turn, take command of the vessel on short passages by day and night as the instructor coaches each on the various disciplines required to skipper the boat successfully (and pass the exam).
Specific intensive exercises are undertaken giving students the opportunity to practice for the exam. These include pilotage exercises by day and night, "blind" navigation to assimilate restricted visibility, finding an un-lit buoy in the dark, boat handling both under power and sail and man overboard procedures. Early in the week each student is given an honest appraisal of their chances of success in the exam and any weaknesses that may have been highlighted will be addressed.
The course is an extremely intensive one with much of the training taking place after dark. Students take the yacht to a different harbour or anchorage each night and whilst this is not designed as a theory course, there is time to recap on subjects such as weather, tides and collision regulations. Students should however have a sound knowledge of these before the course particularly the regulations for lights, shapes and sounds. Please note these will be examined!
We offer the best possible preparation for a Yachtmaster exam as you have been on board the yacht, with the same crew, for 5 days and should be feeling relaxed and confident. Our tuition is second to none as these courses are conducted by Australia's most qualified and experienced Yachtmaster Instructors who can still clearly remember the stress involved during their Yachtmaster exams.
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