RYA/MCA Yachtmaster Offshore Preparation & Exam (Motor)

Candidates may be given the opportunity to demonstrate knowledge or competence in the aresa listed below. In each section the examiner will expect to see the candidate take full responsibility for the management of the vessel and crew.

In Yachtmaster Offshore exams the candidate will be expected to demonstrate competence based on broad experience.

  1. International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea
    Questions will be confined to the International Regualtions and although candidates must be aware  of the existence of Local Regulations, they will not be expected to memorise specific local regulations.
    General rules (1-3)
    Steering and sailing rule (4-19)
    Lights and shapes (20-31)
    Sound and light signals (32-37)
    Signals for vessels fishing in close proximity (Annex II)
    Distress signals (Annex IV)
  2. Safety
    Candidates will be expected to know what safety equipment should be carried on board a vessel, based either on the recommendations in the RYA Boat Safety Handbook C8, the Special Regulations of the ORC or the Codes of Practise  for the Safety of Small Commercial Vessels. In particular, candidates must know the responsibilities of a skipper in relation to:
    Safety harnesses
    Distress flare
    Fire prevention and fighting
    Knowledge of rescue procedures. Helicopter rescue
  3. Boat Handling
    Candidates for Coastal Skipper examinations will be expected to answer questions or demonstrate ability in simple situations only. Candidates for Yachtmaster Offshore will be expceted to answer questions or deomstrate ability in more complex situations and will also be expected to show a higher level of expertise:
    Coming to and weighing anchor 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 areas
    Boat handling in heavy weather
    Use of warps for securing in an alongside berth and for shifting berth or winding
  4. General seamanship, including maintenance
    Properties, use and care of synthetic fibre ropes
    General deck-work at sea and in harbour
    Engine operations and routine checks
  5. Responsibilities of skipper
    Can skipper a motor cruiser and manage the crew
    Communication with crew
    Delegation of responsibility and watch-keeping organisation
    Preparing vessel 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
  6. Navigation
    Charts, navigational publications and sources of navigational information
    Chartwork 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 naviagtion 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
    Use of Radar as an aid to navigation, pilotage, collision earning and collision avoidance
    An awareness of the capability of the vessel including an understanding of the tactics affecting stability
  7. Meteorology
    Definition of terms
    Sources of weather forecasts
    Weather systems and local weather effects
    Interpretation of weather forecasts, barometric trends and visible phenomena
    Ability ro make passage planning decisions based on forecast information
  8. Signals
    Candidates for Yachtmaster Offshore and Coastal Skipper must hold the Restricted (VHF only) Certificate of Competence  in radiotelephony or a higher grade of certificate in radiotelephony.
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