Yachtmaster Ocean Fast Track

The Yachtmaster Ocean Fast Track in Sydney first trains you for your RYA Yachtmaster Offshore Certificate. Then, you go on to learn celestial navigation and complete an ocean-qualifying passage in preparation for the RYA Yachtmaster Ocean oral exam.

16 September
Mon 16 Sep 2024 - Fri 31 Jan 2025
20 weeks, 09:30 AM - 05:00 PM
  • $24,990.00 incl.
Register1 place remaining
3 February
Mon 03 Feb 2025 - Fri 23 May 2025
16 weeks, 09:30 AM - 05:00 PM
  • $24,990.00 incl.
Register2 places remaining
15 September
Mon 15 Sep 2025 - Fri 30 Jan 2026
20 weeks, 09:30 AM - 05:00 PM
  • $24,990.00 incl.
Register4 places remaining
2 February
Mon 02 Feb 2026 - Fri 22 May 2026
16 weeks, 09:30 AM - 05:00 PM
  • $24,990.00 incl.
Register4 places remaining


Yachtmaster Ocean Bass StraitOn passing your RYA/ MCA Yachtmaster Ocean examination, you will be qualified to take command of a commercial sailing vessel of up to 200 gross tonnes on passages unrestricted by distance. 

Our innovative course programme provides an exhilarating mix of training and a reliable route to certification.

We promise expert tuition, a stimulating learning environment and a great Australian sailing adventure.

Course Schedule

The programme comprises a package of individual training courses built into a balanced and progressive training schedule. 

Training time is divided between live-aboard periods, daysailing courses and shore-based theory classes. 

Weekends are usually free, but we encourage you to join our dinghy sailing and windsurfing classes (at no cost) to develop core sailing skills or join a Flying Fish weekend course as a mate to one of our qualified yacht instructors.

Sydney Harbour Racing

Racing enthusiasts can often go yacht racing with Middle Harbour Yacht Club owners.

See the Faq section below for a full breakdown of the week-by-week training schedule. 

If you join our September course, there is a 3-week break in training over the Christmas period, and the ocean passage to Lord Howe Island begins in Hobart, Tasmania and finishes in Sydney. If you choose the February course, there is no break in the schedule, and the Ocean Passage starts and finishes in Sydney.  

Fantastic sailing areas

The course is based in a spectacular setting at Flying Fish Sail Academy, Middle Harbour Yacht Club, Sydney.

You sail in Sydney Harbour, Australia's favourite yachting playground, cruising past the Opera House and under the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Offshore, you explore the New South Wales coast, heading south to Jervis Bay or north to Pittwater, Seal Rocks and Coffs Harbour.

Ocean passage

The Ocean passage goes to Lord Howe Island, an absolute jewel in the Pacific with beautiful beaches and a magnificent coral lagoon. 

The diving and snorkelling are world-class, and weather permitting, the crew will spend a couple of days relaxing and exploring this beautiful island before we set sail for the passage back to Sydney.

Weather conditions vary from warm sea breezes to cool southerly busters.

You will experience magnificent seascapes, dolphins, whales and, of course, flying fish! This is offshore sailing at its best. 

Equipment and instructors 

We operate a fleet of excellent training vessels, including Beneteau 40.7 cruiser racers, SV Arctos (a Radford 55 built for a southern ocean circumnavigation) and our luxury yacht Calypso, a state-of-the-art Moody 54 Deck Saloon.

We also have a fleet of Laser Bahia and RS Zest training dinghies and Highfield rigid inflatable boats, which we use in the early part of the programme. 

For shore-based training, we have a comfortable waterside classroom equipped with various modern teaching aids and equipment. 

Our team of experienced instructors will guide you through your programme in the friendly and professional style that is the hallmark of Flying Fish.  

Where to stay ashore

If you don't live in Sydney, you will need a place to stay for the duration of your course.

We have limited availability in Flying Fish serviced crew apartments in Manly, staying with other Flying Fish customers on one of Australia's most beautiful beaches. Or you can book your own place. 

For more information, see the FAQ section below. 

What's included

  • Tuition, logbook, pre-course reading, training resources, and certification. 
  • Life jackets and safety harnesses are provided, and we can loan you wet weather clothing if required.
  • Shared cabin accommodation and meals onboard on live-aboard passages 
  • All vessels have an enclosed bathroom on board.
  • Fast-track customers can join our weekend dinghy and windsurf classes free of charge.
  • RYA Yachtmaster Offshore exam fees (approximately $465) are not included and are payable directly to the RYA on the exam day.
  • Having attained YM Offshore, the RYA YM Ocean oral exam is arranged by the candidate directly with the examiner for a time after completion of the course; the candidate pays exam fees. 
  • If you book our September course, we include an economy-class flight from Sydney to Hobart to start the ocean passage.

Qualifications and experience

See the FAQ section below for a complete list of the qualifications and experience acquired on the programme.

Before you start

  • The course is often described as a 'Zero to Hero' programme. As such, it is suitable for newcomers to sailing and boating. Having said this, any prior experience in sailing and boating (eg dinghy sailing or windsurfing) will be very helpful.
  • If you start the course as a beginner, you will log all the miles and passages needed for the practical and oral exams.
  • If you join us, having logged some miles and time on yachts, you can expect to leave as a confident, qualified Yachtmaster Offshore, ready to enter the RYA oral exam as Yachtmaster Ocean.
  • All seafarers applying for certification as Yachtmasters and Deck Officers need full-colour vision.
  • To plan your own pathway to Yachtmaster Ocean with a custom package of short courses, see here

What next?

  • If you leave the course as a qualified, commercially endorsed Yachtmaster, you will be ready to start work as a skipper.
  • As a Yachtmaster Offshore, you are approved by the MCA to take charge of a sailing vessel of up to 200 gross tonnes on passages up to 150 miles from a safe haven. A Yachtmaster Ocean is unrestricted by distance. 
  • If you want to work as an instructor at an RYA school, you will need to complete a Yacht Cruising Instructor course.


  • Cameron Pimentel
    • Yachtmaster Ocean Fast Track
    • “ I've been lucky enough to be hired by an incredible carbon ketch based out of New Zealand. So many thanks again to George and everyone else at Flying Fish! ”
  • Willem Rootselaar
    • Yachtmaster Offshore Fast Track
    • “ This has been the greatest life experience I ever had!! and with the result: Yachtmaster! Now I'm a REAL Sailor! ”
  • Lyndsay Barnes 
    • Dayskipper to Yachtmaster Fast Track 
    • “ Joining the Flying Fish Yachtmaster programme was one of the best decisions I ever made, My new office is floating on Sydney Harbour. If you’re considering doing the course, sign up now and don’t give it a second thought. But be warned, it could change your life. ”


  • Course programme 
    • Week 1 -  RYA Powerboat Level 2 (2 days) / Dinghy Sailing Level 1/2 (2 days) /Marine First Aid (1 day) / ACMA  Marine Radio Operator (1 day)
    • Week 2 -  RYA Competent Crew (5 days)
    • Week 3 -  RYA Day Skipper Shorebased Theory 
    • Week 4 -  RYA Day Skipper Practical  (5 days)
    • Week 5 -  Racing and Spinnakers (2 days) / Basic Yacht Maintenance (3 days)
    • Week 6, 7, 8  - Yachtmaster Milebuilder and Qualifying Passages (16 days live-aboard)
    • Week 9 -  RYA Yachtmaster Shorebased Theory (6 days)
    • Week 10 - RYA Coastal Skipper Practical (5 days live-aboard)
    • Week 11 - Yachtmaster Practical Skills (5 days)
    • Week 12 - RYA Yachtmaster Ocean Shorebased Theory (5 days)
    • Week 13 - Ocean passage planning / Yachtmaster Ocean Qualifying Passage (16 days live-aboard)
    • Week 14, 15 - YM Ocean Qualifying Passage (continued) 
    • Week 16 - Yachtmaster Prep and Exam Week - Offshore (5 days live-aboard)
  • Qualifications and experience 
    • Approx 3,700 sea miles logged
    • RYA Competent Crew
    • RYA Day Skipper Shorebased
    • RYA Day Skipper Practical
    • RYA Powerboat Level 2
    • TCP Marine First Aid
    • RYA Diesel Engine certificate
    • Basic Yacht Maintenance
    • RYA Yachtmaster qualifying passages / Watchkeeping experience
    • RYA Dinghy Level 1 Start Sailing
    • RYA Dinghy Level 2 Basic Skills
    • Racing and Spinnakers
    • ACMA VHF/HF GMDSS Radio Licence
    • RYA Yachtmaster Shorebased
    • RYA Coastal Skipper
    • RYA Yachtmaster Offshore (Sail)
    • RYA YM Ocean Shorebased
    • RYA YM Ocean passage
    • RYA Yachtmaster Ocean (Sail)
  • Where to stay ashore
    • Flying Fish crew apartments - stay with other Flying Fish customers on one of Australia’s most beautiful beaches. Our crew apartments in Manly are comfortably furnished for shared living and only a short bus ride or Uber ride to our Middle Harbour Yacht Club training centre. Room share (twin or triple with ensuite) $790 per week / single room $1190 per week. Book your accommodation package when you book your course. We only offer accommodation packages for the whole duration of the programme. 
    • Book your own Backpackers In Manly – basic accommodation for those on a budget (approx $50 / night for 4-6 berth mixed dormitory)
    • Book your own Air BNB at various prices and standards. 
  • Visas for international students
    • Apart from Aussies and Kiwis, everybody travelling to Australia must apply for a visa in advance. Don't apply for a student visa. These are only available for government-sanctioned higher education courses at universities and other tertiary establishments.  Tourist visas or working holiday visas (for those who want to work) are acceptable. 
  • What happens if I fail the Yachtmaster exams?
    • We do our best to make sure that you don't. But if the worst comes to the worst, you'll go away with an action plan to complete.  Usually, this involves revising some missing skills or knowledge and then resitting the exam.
    • Over 90% of our Yachtmaster candidates pass the first time.