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Disproving the Yachtmaster Ocean

Disproving the Yachtmaster Ocean

Many of our students ask us the same question: Will the Ocean be validated if I have the Yacht Captain?

In this article we want to clarify this and other doubts you may have about this qualification.

First of all, what is the Yachtmaster Ocean? It is the highest certificate of the Royal Yachting Association, ideal for those who are preparing for an ocean passage.


For this course you must have previous experience and knowledge, which are:

    • To be in the position of Yachtmaster Offshore. In the case of not having it you will be able to do the theoretical course, but until you have the Offshore you will not be able to take the oral exam.
    • You must have completed or complete a voyage of up to 500gt1 to take the oral exam. You must comply with the following points: 
          • 600M including at least 200M to more than 50 miles of land or navigable charted objects
          • Duration of at least 96 hours
          • Have been fully involved in the planning and preparation of the voyage, including: navigation plan; checking the material condition of the yacht and its equipment; provisioning with spares, fuel, water and provisions.
          • A lo largo de la travesía, el candidato deberá haber actuado en calidad de responsable, ya sea como único jefe de guardia o como patrón.
          • Throughout the voyage, the candidate shall have acted in a responsible capacity, either as sole watch leader or as skipper.
          • Candidates shall have successfully navigated a yacht at sea using astronomical navigation. As a minimum, this should include planning, reducing and plotting a sun-meridian or sun-sun-sun-sight altitude and a compass check carried out using the heading of the sun, moon, star or planet.
    • The journey must have taken place at least 10 years before the date of the examination.
    • There is no minimum age


The theoretical course will help you to pass the written exam and to obtain the theoretical certificate, which is necessary to take the oral exam.

The duration of the course is 40 hours.


In the theoretical course you will learn a lot from one of the most prestigious systems in the world.

In it you will see:

    • The earth and the celestial sphere
    • Practical guide to the use and care of the sextant at sea
    • Meridian altitudes
    • Sun, stars and other sights
    • Planning ocean voyages


The most dreaded part, the exams! Yes, in plural, as there is a written one and a practical one.

  1. Written exam

Here you will find questions about sights and sight reduction and world meteorology.

Before submitting you should check that:

          • You have completed the required miles and experience as a skipper.
          • You have read and meet the prerequisites.

Exceptions: Candidates holding the RYA/MCA Yachtmaster Ocean Shorebased Course Completion Certificate (final examination must have been invigilated in an RYA RTC), or from an STCW full certificate of competence as a deck officer (unlimited) issued by the MCA will be exempt from taking the written examination.

  1. Oral exam

All work will be presented to an RYA examiner.

The duration is approximately 2 hours.

You will be required to have knowledge of meteorology, navigation, routing, crew command responsibility, maintenance and basic repairs.


With the Ocean you can apply for the Commercial Endorsement, which will accredit you to practice professionally on boats up to 200 GT and without distance limit, this being an international recognition.

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