RYA Yachtmaster Ocean requirements

RYA Yachtmaster Ocean exam pre-requisites

If you are looking to complete your RYA Yachtmaster Ocean, you will need to have acted as a watch leader on a qualifying passage. Many of our ocean and offshore passages are qualifying passages. They are clearly marked as such, but if you are not sure just ask. They do not count if you are not a watch leader. The following information is provided by the RYA.


What you need to have achieved before you can gain the qualification

Minimum sea time: all candidates must have completed a qualifying passage within the past 10 years as skipper or mate in sole charge of a watch on a suitable vessel, which meets the following criteria:

  • The candidate was fully involved in the planning of the passage, including selection of the route, the navigational plan, checking the material condition of the vessel and her equipment, storing with spare gear, water and victuals and organising the watch-keeping routine.
  • 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 capable of being used for navigation/position fixing while sailing a distance of at least 200 miles.
  • To be eligible as an ocean qualifying passage the distance between departure and arrival points by the shortest navigable route must be more than 600 mile.


Form of exam

  • Oral and written assessment of sights take at sea.


Certification required before taking the exam

  • RYA/MCA Yachtmaster Offshore Certificate of Competence.


Minimum exam duration

  • Approximately 1.5 hours
  • The exam consists of an oral and written test.



The candidate must provide the examiner with the following information 48 hours prior to the exam:

  •  A narrative account of the planning and execution of the qualifying passage providing all relevant details.
  • Navigational records, completed on board a yacht on passage, out of sight of land showing that the candidate has navigated the yacht without the use of electronic navigational aids. The records must include as a minimum, planning, reduction and plotting of a sun run meridian altitude sight and a compass check carried out using the bearing of the sun, moon, a star or planet.
  • During the oral test the candidate will be required to answer questions on all aspects of ocean passage making in a yacht, including passage planning, navigation, worldwide meteorology, crew management and yacht preparation, maintenance and repairs.


  • The written exam will include questions on sights and sight reduction and worldwide meteorology.
  • Candidates who hold the RYA/MCA Yachtmaster Ocean Shorebased Course Completion Certificate (final exam must have been invigilated at an RYA RTC), or a MCA issued full STCW Certificate of Competence as a Deck Officer (Unlimited) will be exempt from the written examination.


Before you book your exam please check that you:

  • have completed the required mileage and experience as skipper
  • have read the syllabus in RYA Logbook (G158)
  • have read and comply with the pre-requisites above.


If you need your Certificate of Competence in order to work on board a commercial craft subject the MCA's codes of practice, you will need to get it commercially endorsed.


Extra notes for Rubicon 3 candidates

  • You need to have printed out the exam application form and bring it with you when you turn up to the yacht for your qualifying passage as the skipper will be required to sign various details relating to the passage and your role on it.
  • You need to bring a hard backed note book in which to record the details of the voyage, from preparation through to its execution.
  • We strongly recommend you record the weather picture in the build up to your voyage, and include this in your exam pack. You should use the official forecasts available at GMDSS and NOAA and you could also use a site such as Passage Weather for GRIB files.

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We operate a strict no smoking policy

The smoking of any form of tobacco is forbidden on board or on the dock next to the boat. We also very strongly discourage the smoking of any tobacco at any time between the start and end date as the smell comes on-board into confined living space. The use of e-cigarettes is fine.

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The Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust Limited (ABTOT) provides financial protection under The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018 for WZ Lmited t/a Rubicon 3, and in the event of their insolvency, protection is provided for the following: 1. non-flight packages and 2. flight inclusive packages that commence outside of the EU, which are sold to customers outside of the EU. ABTOT cover provides for a refund in the event you have not yet travelled or repatriation if you are abroad.  Please note that bookings made outside the EU are only protected by ABTOT when purchased directly with Rubicon 3. In the unlikely event that you require assistance whilst abroad due to our financial failure, please call our 24/7 helpline on 01702 811397 and advise you are a customer of an ABTOT protected travel company. You can access The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018 here.


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RYA Yachtmaster Ocean requirements
No smoking sign
ABTOT logo RYA traiinng centre logo
RYA Yachtmaster Ocean requirements
No smoking sign
ABTOT logo RYA traiinng centre logo
RYA Yachtmaster Ocean requirements
No smoking sign
ABTOT logo RYA traiinng centre logo
No smoking sign
ABTOT logo RYA traiinng centre logo