Originally Posted by Tingum
Seems to me the biggest difference between an MCA vs USCG license is that the MCA license can simply be bought by paying the school and taking the test, while the USCG requires actual experience. I had to document over 700 days at sea before I sat for my masters license. In my opinion a license without experience is a joke!
Lets just clear up some stuff.
The RYA Yachmaster Offshore ticket, is the top of three independant tickets
, Coastal Skipper
( now YM |oastal) & YM Offshore
Each course produces a ticket not dependant on the other, Both YM Coastal and Offshore have practical prerequisites. You cannot pay and take the test, if you dont have the sea mile experience..
In all cases for these tickets, there is a practical exam. carried out on a leisure boat ( these are primarily leisure tickets). In the case of YM Offshore , the standard is high and the examiner is separate to the school ( in fact there no requirement to attend any classes
or schools) There is a separate sail and power Yachtmaster offshore
Because of the high standards associated with the RYA YM, it is accepted in some countries, primarily the UK, in respect of commercial
small boat operation and since the MCA in the UK is almost single
handily responsible for organising the super yacht industry, training wise, the Yachtmaster Offshore is accepted as the entry ticket to the industry. Usually the YM cert is commercial endorsed by the MCA for such use ( basically a medical
). In some countries where it is accepted for small commercial boats, it is a subject of some annoyance to professional mariners. However in no way is it a method of gaining certification
in the "merchant marine".
If the OP wants to progress in the "industry", I would advice him to ignore lower tickets and focus on acquiring his YM Offshore. The theoretical backgrounds to Day Skipper, YM Coastal and YM Offshore are quite similar and anyone with reasonable application can master it. The practical exam is obviously graduated but again a determined individual can handle it. Obviously the sea miles have to be built and thats takes the time.
The YM Ocean, is a "add-on" ticket, it requires the holder has alrady got a YM Offshore. It primarily shows competence in celestial navigation
and simple competence at that, as it now only requires sun sights ( which must be gathered on a single
600 mile offshore trip). Its not "above" the YM offshore ticket ans its not a standalone ticket at all. ( in fact the exam is easy)
So the RYA tickets do require experience, but its not in any way comparable with commercial licenses such as master tickets or STCW95. Its the pinnacle of a leisure sailors competency training, but its not so for professionals.
apples and oranges