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Old 22-04-2015, 20:37   #1
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Yachtmaster Certification

Hope someone can shed some light on this...

I've been looking into getting my RYA Yachtmaster cert but have some questions regarding mileage. What it comes down to is that I want to do the offshore cert, but might have a hard time tracking down old miles, so I may just have to opt for the coastal. But anyway, my questions are:

1. What sort of documentation do I need of the miles I've sailed? Signed log books, certified paperwork, ...?

2. What sort of mileage can I expect to get under my belt during the course?

I'm looking at the Bluewater Sailing School or the Maritime Institute in the SoCal area, but figured I would see what you guys could offer before I get in touch with one of the schools.
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Old 22-04-2015, 21:05   #2
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Re: Yachtmaster Certification

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Originally Posted by jtulls View Post
Hope someone can shed some light on this...

I've been looking into getting my RYA Yachtmaster cert but have some questions regarding mileage. What it comes down to is that I want to do the offshore cert, but might have a hard time tracking down old miles, so I may just have to opt for the coastal. But anyway, my questions are:

1. What sort of documentation do I need of the miles I've sailed? Signed log books, certified paperwork, ...?

2. What sort of mileage can I expect to get under my belt during the course?

I'm looking at the Bluewater Sailing School or the Maritime Institute in the SoCal area, but figured I would see what you guys could offer before I get in touch with one of the schools.
I do believe that Bluewatersailing is ASA
Maritime is for USCG 6pack and beyond
I'm headed off to the UK to get at least Day Skipper
Maybe Coastal. Experience and self study theory, 8 day cruise practical
As I understand it the Practical trumps all
8 days, two English Channel crossings, UK-France-Belguim-UK
Will tell the story to the instructor.
Yachtmaster requires a written exam
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Old 22-04-2015, 22:08   #3
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Re: Yachtmaster Certification

I think you would be best asking the school as YM isn't really a course, its a certification that can be aquired by anyone after passing the exam. Generally sailing schools will run some courses such as YM practical preperation week or YM theory week as a prelude to the exam, which might be run over two days depending on the school and examiner. You can also skip the school altogether and simply sit the exam. I think you will need current first aid and VHF certificates, as well as documented sea miles ...
Wait heres a quick google...

YACHTMASTER™ OFFSHORE EXAM PRE-REQUISITES
Minimum seatime 50 days, 2,500 miles including at least 5 passages over 60 miles measured along the rhumb line from the port of departure to the destination, acting as skipper for at least two of these passages and including two which have involved overnight passages. 5 days experience as skipper. At least half this mileage and passages must be in tidal waters. All qualifying seatime must be within 10 years prior to the exam.
Form of exam Practical
Certification required A GMDSS Short Range Certificate (SRC) or higher grade of marine radio certificate. A valid first aid certificate - click here for a list of acceptable first aid certificates.
Minimum exam duration 8-12 hours for 1 candidate, 10-18 hours for 2 candidates. No more than two candidates can be examined in 24 hours and no more than four candidates can be examined in one 2 day session.
Minimum age 18

I think if you fill in a log book, back dated as far as you can recall (within the 10 year period) and have the ability to confirm those miles if need be you should be fine as far as sea time. Maybe use different pens when filling it in :P

Options range from

just sitting the exam - self study all practical and theory - cost around $500

Do 1 week practical plus 1 week theory before exam - cost around $2000

Do zero to hero 3 month intensive covering all seatime required and intensive study - cost around $7000


Good luck with the study/course/exam!

PS, I havent done the YM but am considering doing it also and my thoughts may or may not be correct or suitable for your circumstances which is why I suggest contacting the school.
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Old 23-04-2015, 18:32   #4
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Re: Yachtmaster Certification

Thanks for the replies - I'll probably check with the schools to see what their specifics are for paperwork. Just wanted to source any info out there so I don't impulse sign up and not have the proper paperwork in order!

Also, I don't know if anyone out there has gone through coastal and offshore, but my thoughts were that if I was going to commit the money and time to studying, I should just jump to the offshore one...but is it better to increment and start with coastal first?
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Old 27-04-2015, 12:07   #5
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Re: Yachtmaster Certification

There is an RYA school here in Grenada ran by some friends of ours. Also called Bluewater Sailing (Grenada Bluewater Sailing | Caribbean RYA Training Centre). If I was looking for my Yachtmaster certification I know I would rather sail in the Caribbean than England...
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Old 27-04-2015, 20:47   #6
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Re: Yachtmaster Certification

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Originally Posted by LTDsailing View Post
If I was looking for my Yachtmaster certification I know I would rather sail in the Caribbean than England...
So would I

But if doing a course to learn more the English channel is as good a place as any, lots of traffic, big tides, unpredictable weather, challenging navigation. Not as nice as perfect trade wind blue sea but you'll learn so much more.
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Old 01-06-2015, 11:37   #7
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Re: Yachtmaster Certification

Try this link....http://www.trysail.net
They are a sailing school based in Falmouth, UK.
I recently did my coastal with them...crossed the channel in a F8 with a very experienced instructor.
My daughter is now doing the yacht master course with them, starting as a novice. Depending on your experience, the steps are day skipper, coastal skipper, yachtmaster. Each step is taken to build up confidence and experience and sea miles so that you can safely handle a boat in all conditions and deal with any eventualities.
If you learn in the waters of UK and northern France, you can sail anywhere.
Good luck



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Old 03-06-2015, 11:41   #8
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Re: Yachtmaster Certification

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Originally Posted by Time2Go View Post
Yachtmaster requires a written exam
No, it doesn't. Successful completion of the shore-based theory course requires passing a written exam; but while that course is well worth doing, it is not required for the YM CoC.

As Monte correctly noted, YM is a (practical exam-based) qualification not a course. The sort of instruction that sirfer's daughter is taking is a so-called 'fast-track' (or, less charitably, 'zero to hero') program that takes ab initio students through the entire RYA cruising syllabus, culminating with the practical examination for the YM Offshore CoC. Some people grumble about this approach; personally, I agree with the RYA that the examination standards are the same and there are certain advantages to a more structured intensive training program.

To try to answer the op's questions:
  1. signed logbook entries will be fine for documenting your past experience. There is no point in cooking these up with different pens, false signatures, etc. If you have lots of undocumented experience, you should prepare a detailed sailing resume to give to the examiner. In any case, at the commencement of the exam the examiner will verbally question you about your sailing background;
  2. on a one-week prep course for the practical examination, you can expect to log approximately 100 miles. On a three-month fast-track program, you can expect to log 2,500 miles (and accumulate the other prerequisites for YM Offshore);
  3. the practical examinations for YM Coastal and YM Offshore are essentially identical, and exam sessions often have candidates on board for both. The exercises are the same, but a higher standard is required of a candidate for the Offshore ticket: see generally here.
YM Coastal is a valid credential in its own right, but this CoC does not have to be acquired en route to YM Offshore certification and there is no need to do unless you fall short of the required mileage and/or skill level.

If you meet the prerequisites for Offshore, take a prep course and at the end of it discuss with your instructor which exam you should challenge. By then he or she will have a good idea of whether you are fully up to scratch, and if in doubt will suggest that you go for the Coastal: 'a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush', and you can always come back to challenge the Offshore exam when you have more experience … a second prep course is not required (indeed, neither is an original prep week), although you may choose to take it as a refresher.
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Old 03-06-2015, 12:03   #9
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Re: Yachtmaster Certification

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Originally Posted by Time2Go View Post
Yachtmaster requires a written exam
If you are referring to the RYA Yachtmaster Offshore exac (usually referred to as "Yachtmaster") this is incorrect. The exam is 100% practical (but difficult to pass if you do not know theory!).
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Old 03-06-2015, 12:22   #10
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Re: Yachtmaster Certification

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Originally Posted by jtulls View Post
Hope someone can shed some light on this...

I've been looking into getting my RYA Yachtmaster(snip)
I'm looking at the Bluewater Sailing School or the Maritime Institute in the SoCal area, but figured I would see what you guys could offer before I get in touch with one of the schools.
You are looking at the wrong schools then. AFAIK those two schools are not affiliated with they RYA, which is a very highly respected nonprofit organization (or organisation if you ask them) based in the UK. Last time I checked those two schools were affiliated with IYT, a for-profit business based in Fort Lauderdale.

I have "master" tickets from both and given a choice I recommend RYA. It is difficult but it is worth it. I suspect I will get the usual barrage of flak from people who make money from IYT courses but so be it.

Just to give an example on a point of detail , the examiner who will test you for the RYA YM Offshore ticket is independent from the schools you may have used. The exam includes things such as sailing at night without electronics or engine from one port to another. I will never forget the experience of finding Portsmouth Harbour based on just the lights an going though the narrow entrance with a tidal current of 5 knots or so. The only thing you pick is the starting point; you have to be prepared to sail into any harbour within 6 hours or so. IYT is completely different, more of a diploma mill in my opinion.

For those who have the time and money I highly recommend following the RYA route and taking the courses and exams in the Solent (UK South Coast). Some of the best schools are Hamble School of Yachting and British Offshore Sailing School. I took courses form both. Most of the courses are not required (particularly the official YM shorebased theory course and the unofficial YM Offshore practical prep course) but I took them all and was glad about that.
The instructors are among the best in the world and the sailing conditions are challenging on many fronts. Once you pass the RYA YM Offshore practical exam in the Solent you will find it easy to sail any boat anywhere else.

If you just need a ticket quickly to meet insurance requirements do as I did initially and get one from IYT.
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Old 03-06-2015, 13:04   #11
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Re: Yachtmaster Certification

Thanks for the clarifications and information.
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Old 05-06-2015, 20:49   #12
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Re: Yachtmaster Certification

Thats strange I got my RYA dayskipper at Blue water in Grenada last year and an going for my Coastal Yacht master this year .Unless there are semantics involved that I am not aware of, they fully accredited as Rya
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Old 05-06-2015, 21:18   #13
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Re: Yachtmaster Certification

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Thats strange I got my RYA dayskipper at Blue water in Grenada last year and an going for my Coastal Yacht master this year .Unless there are semantics involved that I am not aware of, they fully accredited as Rya
OP and I are talking about water sailing">Blue Water Sailing of Southern California, which is thousands of miles away from Grenada.


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Old 06-06-2015, 19:12   #14
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Re: Yachtmaster Certification

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Originally Posted by admiralslater View Post
Thats strange I got my RYA dayskipper at Blue water in Grenada last year and an going for my Coastal Yacht master this year .Unless there are semantics involved that I am not aware of, they fully accredited as Rya

I might join you there.
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Old 07-06-2015, 10:31   #15
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Re: Yachtmaster Certification

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Originally Posted by svlamorocha View Post
OP and I are talking about Blue Water Sailing of Southern California, which is thousands of miles away from Grenada.


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Thanks for the clarification, IMO the r ya ticket is the most useful and recognized.I did my theory online and then to Grenada for the practical.to get a yachtmaster coastal or Ocean you need to joint The Rya for at least a season
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