RYA/MCA/SAS Yachtmaster Coastal/Yachtmaster Offshore Exam(Practical)

Previous experience and requirements for examination (within 10 years of examination):
50 days sea time (5 days as skipper)
2 500 nautical miles (on a vessel no larger than 28m/80ft)
5 passages over 60M (2 overnight and 2 as skipper)
50% of the qualifying sea time must have been done in tidal waters
Restricted (VHF only) Radio Operators Certificate
First Aid Certificate
Minimum age : 18 years
Duration of exam : Maximum of 1 day
Number of students : Minimum 3 / Maximum 5

The following aspects will be covered in the exam:

  1. International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea
      The focus will be on International Regulations; candidates must be aware of Local


    Regulations but will not be expected to memorise these.
    • General rules
    • Steering and sailing rules
    • Lights and shapes
    • Sound and light signals
    • Signals for vessels fishing in close proximity
    • Distress signals
  1. Safety
      Candidates will be expected to know what safety equipment should be carried on board a yacht based on different publications.
    • Safety harnesses
    • Lifejackets
    • Distress flares
    • Fire prevention and fire fighting
    • Liferafts
    • Rescue procedures
    • Helicopter rescue
    1. Boat handling

Candidates will be expected to answer questions or demonstrate ability in simple situations only.

    • Coming to and weighing anchor under power or sail in various conditions of wind and tide
    • All berthing and unberthing situations in various conditions of wind and tide
    • Recovery of man overboard
    • Towing under open sea conditions and in confined areas
    • Boat handling in confined areaas under sail
    • Boat handling in heavy weather
    • Helmsmanship and sail trim to sail to best advantage
    • Use of warps for securing in an alongside berth and for shifting berth or winding
  1. General seamanship, including maintenance
    • Properties, use and care of synthetic fibre ropes
    • Knots
    • General deck-work at sea and in harbour
    • Engine operations and routine checks
    • Improvisation of jury rigs following gear failure
  1. Responsibilities of skipper
    • Can skipper a yacht and manage the crew
    • Communication with crew
    • Delegation of responsibility and watch-keeping organisation
    • Preparing yacht for sea and for adverse weather
    • Tactics for heavy weather and restricted visibility
    • Emergency and distress situations
    • Victualling for a cruise and feeding at sea
    • Customs procedures
    • Standards of behaviour and courtesy
  1. Navigation
    • Charts, navigational publications and sources of navigational information
    • Charwork including position fixing and shaping course to allow for tidal stream and leeway
    • Tide and tidal stream calculations
    • Buoyage and visual aids to navigation
    • Instruments including compasses, logs, echo sounders, radio navaids and chartwork instruments
    • Passage planning and navigational tactics
    • Pilotage techniques
    • Navigational records
    • Limits of navigational accuracy and margins of safety
    • Lee shore dangers
    • Use of electronic navigation aids for passage planning and passage navigation
    • Use of waypoints and electronic routeing
  1. Meteorology
    • Definition of terms
    • Sources of weather forecasts
    • Weather systems and local weather effects
    • Interpretation of weather forecasts, barometric trends and visible phenomena
    • Ability to make passage planning decisions based on forecast information
  1. Signals
    • Candidate must hold a Restricted (VHF only) Certificate of Competence or a higher qualification in radiotelephony

(Source: Royal Yachting Association Syllabus and Logbook G15/10)

What to bring


  • Suitable clothing – layers are always a good idea
  • Gloves (optional) – can be purchased from us
  • Socks
  • Sailing or soft light-soled shoes – can be purchased from us
  • Sleeping bags
  • Sun cream, hat, towels, toiletries
  • Weather proof jacket / foul weather gear – we can provide foul weather gear on loan for free
  • Extra money for food & beverages – cooking on board the yacht is encouraged for the experience and to help stretch your budget


  • Light lunches during theory modules
  • Charts & navigation equipment on loan – can be purchased from us
  • Course completion certificates
  • Sheets & pillows
  • Full galley
  • Cleaning products
  • Tea, coffee, sugar, milk
  • Foul weather gear on loan for practical courses


National and some international flights land at Cape Town International Airport. The airport is approximately an hour’s drive from our office in Langebaan.

Car rentals from airport/Cape Town

There are drop-off points for the following rental car companies in Langebaan:


  • Telephone/Fax number: +27 (0)22 772 2807


  • Telephone/Fax number: +27 (0)22 772 1006

Travel Arrangements

If the need be, we can assist you in making arrangements to meet your transport and alternative accommodation needs. We make use of a registered shuttle service between Cape Town and Langebaan.

EVENING BEFORE COURSE STARTS (only by prior arrangement)

We can meet you the day before your course starts between 17:00 and 18:00 at our office. Please make arrangements with our office prior to your arrival.


Please meet us at the Atlantic Yachting Office at the Club Mykonos Marina, Agora Square at 08:00. After the first day theory courses will commence at 08:00am and finish by 17:00.

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