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Professional certification for yacht captains

An RYA/MCA Yachtmaster certificate is the benchmark qualification for professional yacht captains and a passport to worldwide employment in the yachting industry. For recreational skippers, it is a validation of competence and substantial personal achievement.  

If you are ready for some time out, a Flying Fish Yachtmaster Fast Track programme is an awesome training adventure and an efficient pathway to certification.  

Prefer to take things at your own pace? Choose from our menu of Yachtmaster Short Courses or ask us to help you make a training plan to suit your needs.

If you want the gold standard Yachtmaster Ocean certification check out the options below. 

Our Superyacht Crew Training courses are for those looking to work as deck crew or interior crew in the burgeoning superyacht sector. 

Australia's best Yachtmaster training


Flying Fish have been training Yachtmasters in the UK and Australia since 1996. 

With more than one million sea miles under our keels we are the longest established RYA approved centre in Australia. 

Every year we welcome up to one hundred new Yachtmaster students from a varieity of countries and backgrounds to our training centre in Sydney. 

Our past graduates include Clipper Race skipperscharter yacht captains, superyacht deck officers, and Flying Fish instructors training the next generation.

Whatever your reasons or prior experience Flying Fish can help you achieve this prestigious qualification

Flying Fish Sailing

Yachtmaster Fast Track - a Sea Change


Give up the rat race, join a Yachtmaster Fast Track course and start an action-packed career on the water!

Taking three months out of your comfort zone to recharge and learn new skills in a challenging and exhilarating environment is food for your soul

You will discover your potential, gain a wealth of knowledge and skills, and leave the course as a confident skipper with a package of valuable qualifications and an international network of sailing buddies. 

A typical group includes an international mix of gap year students and professionals taking a career break or starting an action-packed retirement. 

Whether you choose a career in sailing afterwards, go back to your old job, or buy a boat and sail around the world you will have rebooted your operating system and had the adventure of a lifetime which will set you on course for a lifetime of adventure!

Examinations for Yachtmaster certificates of competence are conducted on board by RYA appointed Yachtmaster Examiners.

On passing your Yachmaster examination, you have been found competent to act as Master of a vessel up to 24 metres in length for operations limited by your level of certification, as shown below.

  • Yachtmaster Coastal is restricted to operations within 20 miles of port.
  • Yachtmaster Offshore is valid for use up to 150 miles from a safe haven.
  • Yachtmaster Ocean is unrestricted by distance.

All of the above can be endorsed for commercial use within the limitations shown above. See Yachtmaster commercial use below. 

Yachtmaster Offshore and Coastal candidates require the following prior to submitting for examination.

  • Radio operator’s certificate (restricted VHF or higher grade of certificate)
  • First aid certificate (on the RYA approved list)
  • Theory knowledge to RYA Yachtmaster Shorebased Theory standard
  • Boat handling and navigation ability to Yachtmaster Practical Skills standard.
Yachtmaster Ocean candidates MUST complete ALL of the following prior to submitting for the RYA Yachtmaster Ocean oral examination.
  • RYA Yachtmaster Offshore Certificate of Competence
  • RYA Yachtmaster Ocean shorebased theory course
  • Yachtmaster Ocean Qualifying passage (minimum distance 600 nm by the shortest navigable route. 
  • A narrative of your qualifying passage including details of your celestial sights for submission to the examiner. 

Required sea time and qualifying passages must be logged in the 10 years prior to examination

Yachtmaster Coastal

  • Seatime (30 days on board, two days as skipper, 800 miles, 12 night hours)
  • For holders of the RYA Coastal Skipper certificate the seatime requirement is reduced to 20 days on board, two days as skipper, 400 miles, 12 night hours

Yachtmaster Offshore 

  • Seatime (50 days on board, five days as skipper, 2500 miles)
  • Qualifying passages (five passages over 60 miles, including two overnight and two as skipper)

If you intend to use your Yachtmaster certificate commercially anywhere in the world you will also need.

For commercial operations in Australia you will also require

A certificate of medical fitness is also required 

Details for certificate of medical fitness in Australia