The way to the Yachtmaster Offshore

RYA stands for Royal Yachting Association – this is the royal sailing association in England. This organisation is responsible for the skipper training, the inspection of training centres and the organisation of the sport of sailing. 

The RYA has a fabulous reputation worldwide for quality and standards. Training courses certified by the RYA are subject to strict controls and are considered being of the best quality possible everywhere.


To the RYA homepage

The MCO-SailingAcademy GmbH is an officially recognized RYA-training centre! “Offshore” as a practical centre as well as “shorebased” as RYA-theory centre.

Our base for the practical-courses is in the Port Hamble Marina on the shores of the Solent / England. Hamble River is THE address for English and international sailors and regatta freaks. A visit there is highly recommendable … if you are lucky, you will sit next to Alex Thomas or Ben Ainsely at the bar in the evening

The theory courses are held in a conference room in Stams/Tyrol, where we have perfect conditions in a college environment and have access not only to state-of-the-art presentation technology, but also a park-like garden landscape with an excellent restaurant. 

Why train as a RYA-Yachtmaster?

Not without reason, the English Yachtmaster Offshore (RYA/MCA) is the entrance requirement for the global professional yachting league. Wherever you want to charter a boat, you will get it if you can refer to a license from the RYA (Royal Yachting Association). That is not without reason. This training is extremely diverse, intensive and practice-oriented.

RYA training centres are committed to very high standards and subject to constant inspections. The base, the instructors and the entire environment are subjected to intensive checks at least once  a year. This ensures the high demands of the seafaring nation no. 1.

Everything you need to know to successfully sail in the tidal area under all conditions you can think of is trained here until you master it.

Why in the Solent / UK?

The waterway between the main island of England and the “Isle of Wight” is probably the best training area in the world. If you master sailing there, you will be fit for all other areas.

Where else can skippers find such an abundance of challenges in such a confined area? Where else can you find busy boat traffic, all possible sea signs, shoals, currents and a tidal range of more than 5 metres?

Nowhere else can you demonstrate your knowledge of the COLREG as impressively as in the Solent! And the highlight: manoeuvre training in Cowes – the hub of the world of sailing. Here is the starting point for the great regattas of the world and sailing history has been written umpteen times.  x-times. 

Enough reasons? ;-)

What do I need before or for taking the exam?

 1.) Nautical mile verification

It is interesting that the proof for the nautical miles covered must not – as is customary in Germany or Austria – be stamped and signed by the skipper, but a simple table provided by the examinee is sufficient. This table should have the following columns: time, area, miles, tidal miles, role on board, number of overnights. Sailed miles must date back no longer than 10 years.

2.) Analogue passport photograph

3.) First aid certificate

Dating back no longer than 3 years, at least 8 hours, Red Cross Germany, Austria, Switzerland or similar.

4.) Filled in application form (download from the RYA-Homepage)

5.) Examination fee (status: February 2019, subject to slight increase in 2020)

£220 (pound sterling) for the Yachtmaster Offhore, either in cash or by credit card 
£189 (pound sterling) for the Yachtmaster Coastal, either in cash or by credit card

The RYA-Licenses

Your way to the Yachtmaster Offshore

Here you will find a detailed description of the validity of the respective license and the proof you have to provide when taking the exam.

Pre-exam requisites for a Day Skipper

Pre-course experience 5 days, 100 miles, 4 night hours on board a sailing yacht
Course experience preparation for sea, deck work, navigation, pilotage, meteorology, rules of the road, maintenance and repair work, engines, victualling, emergency situations, yacht handling under power, yacht handling under sail, passage making, night cruising

RYA/MCA Yachtmaster™ Coastal

The English Coastal License – the RYA - YM Basic Level

"The Yachtmaster™ Coastal has the knowledge needed to skipper a yacht on coastal cruises but does not necessarily have the experience needed to undertake longer passages."

Pre-exam requisites for a YM Coastal

Minimum seatime 30 days, 2 days as skipper, 800 miles, 12 night hours (if you hold the Coastal Skipper course certificate this is reduced to 20 days, 2 days as skipper, 400 miles, 12 night hours). Half the qualifying sea time must be conducted in tidal waters.
Certification required A GMDSS Short Range Certificate (SRC) or higher grade of marine radio certificate. A valid first aid certificate.

RYA/MCA Yachtmaster™ Offshore

This license is valid worldwide as entry into professional sailing. It is considered a real proof of quality of your sailing skills.

"The Yachtmaster™ Offshore is competent to skipper a cruising yacht on any passage during which the yacht is no more than 150 miles from harbour.“

Pre-exam requisites for a YM Offshore

Minimum seatime 50 days, 2,500 miles including at least 5 passages over 60 miles 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.
Certification required A GMDSS Short Range Certificate (SRC) or higher grade of marine radio certificate. A valid first aid certificate.

RYA/MCA Yachtmaster™ Ocean

The crowning conclusion and highlight of a skipper training in the RYA-System.

"A person holding a Yachtmaster Ocean qualification is experienced and competent to skipper a yacht on passages of any length in all parts of the world."

Minimum seatime Ocean passage as skipper or mate of watch. During the passage a minimum non-stop distance of 600 miles must have been run by the log, the yacht must have been at sea continuously for at least 96 hours and the yacht must have been more than 50 miles from land or charted objects while sailing a distance of at least 200 miles.
Certification required RYA/MCA Yachtmaster Offshore Certificate of Competence. A GMDSS SRC or higher grade of marine radio certificate. A valid first aid certificate.