RYA/MCA Yachtmaster Coastal/ Offshore upgrade: Detailed Syllabus


The syllabus includes the following topics:

  1. Position
    • Dead reckoning andestimated position
    • Satellite-derivedposition
    • Use of waypoints tofix position
    • Radar fixes
    • Techniques of visualfixing
    • Fixes using amixture of position ines
    • Relative accuracy ofdifferent methods of position fixing
    • Areas of undertainty
  2. The magnetic compass
    • Allowance for variation
    • Change of variation with time and position
    • Causes of deviation
    • Swing for deviation (but not correction)
    • Allowance for deviation
    • Different types of compass
  3. Tides
    • Casuses of tides springs and neaps
    • Tide tables sources
    • Tidal levels and datum
    • Standard and secondary ports
    • Tidal anomalies (solent, etc.)
  4. Tidal streams
    • Sources of tidal information
    • Tidal stream information in sailing directions and Yachtsmens Almanacs
    • Allowance for tidal streams in computing a course to steer
    • Tide rips, overfalls and races
    • Tidal observation buoys, beacons etc.
  5. Buyoage
    • IALA system buoyage in Region A
    • Limitations of buoys as navigational aids
  6. Lights
    • Characteristics
    • Ranges visual, luminous and nominal
  7. Pilotage
    • Harbour regulations and control signals
    • Methods of pre-planning
    • Clearing lines
    • Use of soundings
    • Transits and leading lines
  8. GPS and chart plotters
    • Principles of operation and limitations of use
    • Raster and vector charts
    • Datum
    • Importance of confirmation of position by an independent source and keeping a separate record of position
    • Importance of paper charts
  9. Echo sounders
    • Principles of operation and limitations of use
  10. Logs (speed and distance measuring)
    • Principles of operation and limitations of use
  11. Deck log
    • Iimportance of log as yachts official document
    • Layout of log, hourly and occasional entries
  12. Meteorology
    • Basic terms, the Beaufort scale
    • Air masses
    • Cloud types
    • Weather patterns associated with pressure and frontal systems
    • Sources of weather forecasts
    • Ability to interpret a shipping forecast, weatherfax and weather satellite information
    • Land and sea breezes
    • Sea fog
    • Use of a barometer as a forecasting aid
  13. Rules of the road
    • A sound knowledge of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, except Annexes 1 and 3
  14. Safety at sea
    • Personal safety, use of lifejackets, safety harnesss and lifelines
    • Fire prevention and fire fighting
    • Distress signals
    • Coastguard and Boat Safety Scheme
    • Preparation for heavy weather
    • Liferafts and helicopter rescue
    • Understanding of capabilities of vessel and basic knowledge of stability
  15. Navigation in restricted visibility
    • Precautions to be taken in fog
    • Limitations to safe navigation imposed by fog
    • Navigation strategy in poor visibility
  16. Passage planning
    • Preparation of charts and notebook for route planning and making, and use at sea
    • Customs regulations as they apply to yachts
    • Routine for navigating in coastal waters
    • Strategy for course laying
    • Use of waypoints and routes
    • Use of weather forecast information for passage planning strategy
    • Sources of local and national regulations
  17. Marine environment
    • Responsibility to minimise pollution and protect the marine environment

Exams:  1 day passage planning + 2/3 days on the water with an external examiner which is arranged by Atlantic Yachting Sailing School.
Buy RYA Yachtmaster Handbook (eBook) at the RYA Shop

Buy RYA Yachtmaster Handbook (eBook) at the RYA Shop

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