Yachtmaster Shorebased Theory

Upon completing this course, you will have a thorough knowledge of all the theory required for the RYA Yachtmaster Offshore Certificate of Competence.

3 June
Mon 03 Jun 2024 - Sat 08 Jun 2024
6 days, 09:00 AM - 05:00 PM
  • $1,595.00 incl. GST
Event is fullJoin waiting list
21 October
Mon 21 Oct 2024 - Sat 26 Oct 2024
6 days, 09:00 AM - 05:00 PM
  • $1,595.00 incl. GST
11 November
Mon 11 Nov 2024 - Sat 16 Nov 2024
6 days, 09:00 AM - 05:00 PM
  • $1,595.00 incl. GST
18 November
Mon 18 Nov 2024 - Sat 23 Nov 2024
6 days, 09:00 AM - 05:00 PM
  • $1,595.00 incl. GST
    10 March
    Mon 10 Mar 2025 - Sat 15 Mar 2025
    6 days, 09:00 AM - 05:00 PM
    • $1,595.00 incl. GST
    31 March
    Mon 31 Mar 2025 - Sat 05 Apr 2025
    6 days, 09:00 AM - 05:00 PM
    • $1,595.00 incl. GST
    7 April
    Mon 07 Apr 2025 - Sat 12 Apr 2025
    6 days, 09:00 AM - 05:00 PM
    • $1,595.00 incl. GST
    9 June
    Mon 09 Jun 2025 - Sat 14 Jun 2025
    6 days, 09:00 AM - 05:00 PM
    • $1,595.00 incl. GST


This comprehensive shore-based course is essential preparation for those working towards a Yachtmaster Certificate of Competence and is a requirement under the MCA Large Yacht Code (Superyachts) for masters and deck officers operating on vessels from 24 m to 3000 tonnes. 

It is also extremely valuable for recreational sailors and motorboat captains who are undertaking coastal and offshore passages.

Strongly recommended for all who are going to sea 

Course content 

Marine Charts and Position 

  • Projections, depths, heights and datums, distance and symbols. 
  • Latitude and longitude, position fixing, position lines

Tools of the Navigator

  • Ships compass, plotter, depth sounder, speed log, deck log.
  • Direction, compass variation, deviation and error.


  • Tide causes, tide terms, range, springs and neaps, tide tables
  • Tidal heights, standard & secondary ports, high and low water curves

Navigation and Tidal Streams 

  • Tidal streams, set and drift, diamonds, tidal stream atlas, computation of rates.
  • Dead reckoning, estimated position, course to steer, leeway, overfalls and races.

Buoyage and Lights

  • IALA buoyage (A and B),
  • Lights, characteristics, sectored lights, ranges (visual, luminous and nominal), rising and dipping distances


  • Pilotage planning, transits, clearing lines, leading lines, use of soundings.
  • Harbour regulations and signals.


  • Basic terms: global weather pattern, highs and lows, air masses and fronts, frontal depression, and synoptic charts.
  • Local effects: fog, sea and land breeze, thunderstorms, katabatic winds.
  • Weather forecasts and the barometer.

Safety at Sea

  • Personal safety (lifejackets, harnesses and lifelines), distress signals, liferafts, and safety management system.
  • Stability, heavy weather, restricted visibility, high traffic.
  • Radar for collision avoidance and restricted visibility

Passage planning 

  • Working up a plan, victualling, before take-off checklists, log set up.
  • Route planning, course shaping, charts prepared, GPS route set up, communication schedule, watch system organised.


  • Steering and sailing rules, lights and shapes.
  • Detailed knowledge of the collision regulations

Course details 

The programme runs over six days and includes 40 hours of teaching and 7 hours of invigilated examinations. 

You will sit three invigilated exams during the course and be awarded the RYA Yachtmaster Shorebased certificate on completing all three.

Although this course is necessarily intensive, it is also very satisfying and contains valuable content that will make you a safer and more competent sailor.  

Location and instruction 

The week is run in our comfortable waterside classroom at Middle Harbour Yacht Club by an experienced and certified RYA Yachtmaster Shore-based course instructor. 

There are a couple of good cafes nearby serving good food and refreshments.

We are in a beautiful spot with many nice beaches to walk to at lunchtime.


What's included

  • Tuition, course publications, course pack, and certification.
  • Plotter and dividers are provided for loan or can be purchased in our shop


  • RYA/ MCA Yachtmaster Shorebased Theory Certificate

Before you start

  • You have completed RYA Essential Navigation and Seamanship (online) or RYA Day Skipper Shore-based or have equivalent knowledge. 

What next?

  • You are now ready to start RYA Coastal Skipper training or go on to a Yachtmaster Prep and Exam course.