Coastal/Yachtmaster Certificate of Competence
RYA Certificates of Competence are well known qualifications that are highly respected worldwide.
Unlike other RYA qualifications, Certificates of Competence are not issued following a formal training course but are achieved by successfully completing an exam testing your skill, knowledge and experience.
So whether you’re a recreational boater looking to put your skills to the test, or need a professional qualification and commercial endorsement to work on the water, find out everything you need to know below.
Your exam preparation week with one of our experienced instructors is spent working together on the tasks you will be set to demonstrate your ability and the questions you will be asked on any part of the syllabus upto Coastal Skipper level during your exam. We typically have 4 candidates for the exam and you will be in the company of others during your time with the examiner, this makes the experience more relaxed and enjoyable. The duration of the exam is over 2 days for 4 candidates.
The RYA Yachtmaster® Coastal has the knowledge needed to skipper a yacht on coastal cruises but does not necessarily have the experience needed to undertake longer passages.
You will need to be aged 17 or over and require the following on a vessel less than 24 metres (78 feet):
● 800 miles sea time. At least half of these qualifying miles must be gained in tidal waters.
● 30 days at sea living on board which may be reduced to 20 days if a RYA Coastal Skipper Practical course completion certificate is held.
● 2 days as skipper.
● 800 miles, which may be reduced to 400 miles if a RYA Coastal Skipper
Practical course completion certificate is held.
● 12 night hours
The RYA Yachtmaster® Offshore is competent to skipper a cruising yacht on any passage during which the yacht is no more than 150 miles from harbour
The tasks in the exam you will be set to demonstrate your ability and the questions you will be asked are on any part of the syllabus for all courses except the RYA Yachtmaster Ocean.
You will need to be aged 18 or over and require the following on a vessel less than 24 metres (78 feet):
● 2500 miles sea time. At least half of these qualifying miles must be gained in tidal waters.
● 50 days at sea living on board.
● 5 passages over 60 miles acting as skipper for at least 2 of these passages
including two which have involved overnight passages.
During RYA exams candidates will be questioned extensively about their qualifying passages, mileage and sea time.
Pre-exam requirements for both Yachtmaster Coastal and Yachtmaster Offshore certificates of competence:
● A Radio Operator’s Qualification – a GMDSS Short Range Certificate (SRC)
● A valid First Aid Certificate
These are some helpful definitions to qualify the requirements necessary to take the
● Passage: A passage is a non-stop voyage from a departure port/safe haven to a destination port/safe haven. Where a passage must be of a minimum distance to meet exam prerequisites, the distance should be taken as the shortest navigable route established when planning a safe and efficient passage.Passages which artificially lengthen the distance will not be accepted. The distance measured by log will almost certainly differ from the planned distance due to streams, currents, weather and other navigational factors. Both the planned distance and distance run should exceed the required distance. Passages such as recognised races which may not comply exactly with these requirements may be submitted to the RYA for consideration before the voyage.
● Skipper: The skipper is the person nominated and responsible for the planning and execution of a passage including vessel and watch management. If the skipper’s role is transferred to another person at any time during a passage then neither person can claim to have skippered that passage.
● Mate: For the purpose of qualifying passages, a mate is any person on board who has sole responsibility for managing a navigational watch during a passage. They must be actively engaged in the planning and execution of a passage.
● Tidal: An area is deemed tidal if published stream, current or tidal range data is available, the influence of which is significant enough to require the effects to be taken into account to plan and execute a safe and efficient passage.
● Days on board: A day on board or as skipper is a period of eight consecutive hours living on board, the majority of which the vessel should have been at sea. Periods of less than eight hours cannot be aggregated to make up eight hours. Only one eight-hour period may be counted in any 24 hour period.
Prep: Saturday 4th November – Wednesday 8th November | Exam: Thursday 9th & Friday 10th November
Prep: Monday 15th January – Friday 19th January | Exam: Saturday 20th & Sunday 21st January
Prep: Saturday 23rd March – Wednesday 27th March | Exam: Thursday 28th & Friday 29th March
The price for a YM preparatory course is €1575 per person for a cabin to yourself, including all yacht expenses such as fuel, electricity, water and mooring fees, as well as bedding and towels, RYA tuition and food for breakfast and lunches.
The examination fee of 240 GBP is payable directly to the RYA, separately.
The preparatory course consists of a briefing about the 5 – day practical course when you arrive, practical preparation for 5 days, where you will also be expected to put your theoretical skills in practice, and a 2-day examination , depending on the number of candidates. It normally takes 10 – 12 hours per candidate.
In addition to an assessment of your practical skills, you will also be assessed for seamanship, advanced navigation, meteorology, signals and theory to the RYA Yachtmaster / Coastal Skipper Shorebased course.
If you need to study theory, we will be running 5-day classroom courses. The price is €850 per person including book and certificate.
Alternatively, you can book the online option with the Urban Truant school by clicking on this link here Yachtmaster/Coastal Skipper Theory or Navathome on this link here Yachtmaster/Coastal Skipper Shorebased
Read what some of our sailing students have to say, explore our course catalogue, and contact us for more information about each course and our availabilities to come and sail in Greece!