Yachtmaster Ocean Theory & Qualifying Passage
This course prepares experienced skippers for the prestigious RYA/MCA Yachtmaster Ocean Certificate of Competence. The programme combines the RYA Yachtmaster Ocean Theory course with an exhilarating Pacific ocean qualifying passage.
The programme begins with the RYA Yachtmaster Ocean Shore-based theory course, where you learn both traditional and twenty-first-century methods of navigation.
The syllabus includes celestial navigation, ocean currents, meteorology and ocean passage planning. We make sure that you can use a sextant and know how to reduce sun sights and star sights to find your position.
The crew then gets together to plan the ocean passage. Subject to weather forecasts we aim to make a short coastal passage, followed by an ocean passage to the world heritage listed Lord Howe Island.
Week 1 - RYA Yachtmaster Ocean Shorebased theory course
Week 2 - Ocean passage planning / Begin ocean passage
Week 3 - Ocean qualifying passage
Week 4 - Ocean qualifying passage
NB - If you join our December course start date, there is a 3-week break in training over the Christmas period (between weeks 1 and 2) and the ocean passage begins in Hobart, Tasmania and finishes at Middle Harbour Yacht Club in Sydney.
If you join any of our other course dates there is no break in the schedule and the Ocean passage starts and finishes at our base at Middle Harbour Yacht Club in Sydney.
Lord Howe Island
Our Lord Howe Island passage is a blue water ocean sailing adventure to a stunning Pacific island destination.
World Heritage-listed as an area of outstanding natural beauty and named in National Geographic’s ‘Best of the World 2021’ travel list Lord Howe is an absolute jewel in the Pacific with beautiful beaches and a magnificent coral lagoon.
The diving and snorkelling here are world-class and with the visitor numbers limited to just 400 at any one time, the island’s incredible ecosystem is protected now and for the future as ‘the world’s last paradise.
To sail to Lord Howe is a privilege very ever few get to enjoy.
Crew members rotate the role of Acting Skipper or Watch Leader, ensuring everyone logs the required 600 nautical miles qualifying passage in a position of responsibility.
You will experience magnificent seascapes, dolphins, whales and, of course, flying fish! This is offshore sailing at its best.
The yacht and the instructors
Our Lord Howe Island adventures are run on our training vessel SV Arctos which was built for a Southern Ocean circumnavigation and is ideal for a passage like this.
This is a training passage and will be run by two qualified and experienced RYA qualified instructors.
Meals on yachts, safety equipment, publications, tuition
If you book our December course we include an economy class flight from Sydney to Hobart to start the ocean passage.
Qualifications and experience
- 1,500 sea miles logged
- RYA YM Ocean Shore-based Theory
- RYA YM Ocean Qualifying passage
Before you start
- You are a confident yachtsman or woman who, as a minimum, has taken part in an RYA Coastal Skipper course or had equivalent offshore sailing experience.
- We prefer if all crew members have completed an ISAF-recognized Sea Survival course
Before your oral exam for the RYA Yachtmaster Ocean Certificate of Competence, you must
- Hold the RYA Yachtmaster Offshore Certificate of Competence
- Have completed the RYA Yachtmaster Ocean shore-based theory course
- Have completed a Yachtmaster Ocean qualifying passage.
- Have prepared a narrative of your qualifying passage including details of your navigational sights for submission to the examiner
If you intend to use your Yachtmaster Ocean qualification commercially, be prepared to go for a straightforward medical.
Consider following this course with a Cruising Instructor week to teach yachting at an RYA school like Flying Fish!