Yachtmaster Practical Examination

Practical examination lasting approximately 8 to 10 hours.

Course Journey

  • COURSE REQUIREMENTS

    A minimum of 50 days experience, 5 as skipper, 2500 sea-miles, 5 passages over 60 miles including 2 overnight & 2 as skipper. VHF radio operator licence or SRC is required, also an approved First Aid Certificate.

  • COURSE AIM

    This course is designed to test the candidate's ability in all fields necessary for independent motor boat driving.

  • SYLLABUS

    An 8-topic syllabus covering all necessary aspects of safety, boat handling, skipper responsibility, navigation, meteorology and signals.

  • ABILITY AFTER COURSE

    Certified to skipper and drive a motor boat without supervision.

  • NEXT STEP

    Well done! You can now pilot and skipper a motor boat independently! We recommend regular revision, development and honing of knowledge and skills.

Course DetailsCOURSE DETAILS

Demonstrate your skills and knowledge with the practical examination lasting approximately 8 to 10 hours.

Pre-course Experience

A minimum of 50 days experience, 5 as skipper, 2500 sea-miles, 5 passages over 60 miles including 2 overnight & 2 as skipper. VHF radio operator licence or SRC is required, also an approved  First Aid Certificate.

Assumed Knowledge

You must have learned the content of Coastal and Yachtmaster shore based & practical cruising courses before undertaking the exam.

Course Content

You will be set tasks to demonstrate your ability as skipper of an offshore motor yacht including questions on collision avoidance, navigation, pilotage, meteorology and boat handling.

Minimum Duration – 8 – 12 hours for one candidate, 10 – 18 for two.

Minimum Age

This exam is for adults only.

Ability after Course

Certified to skipper and drive a motor boat without supervision.

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SYLLABUS

Below are the syllabus topics/questions for this examination.

Practical -

1. International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea

• General rules
• Steering and sailing rules
• Lights and shapes
• Sound and light signals
• Signals for vessels fishing in close proximity
• Distress signals

2. Safety

Candidates must know the responsibilities of a skipper in relation to:
• Safety harness
• Lifejackets
• Distress flares
• Fire prevention and fighting
• Liferafts
• Knowledge of rescue procedures
• Helicopter rescue

3. Boat handling

Candidates will be required to answer questions regarding and demonstrate the following:
• Coming to and weighing anchor under power in various conditions of wind and tide
• All berthing and unberthing situations in various conditions of wind and tide
• Recovery of man overboard
• Towing under open sea conditions and in confined areas
• Boat handling in confined areas
• Boat handling in heavy weather
• Helmsmanship
• Use of warps for securing in an alongside berth and for shifting berth winding

4. General seamanship, including maintenance

• Properties, use and care of synthetic fibre ropes
• General deck-work at sea and in harbour
• Engine operations and routine checks

5. Responsibilities of skipper

• Can skipper a motor cruiser
• Communication with crew
• Delegation of responsibility and watch-keeping organisation
• Preparing vessel for sea and for adverse weather
• Tactics for heavy weather and restricted visibility
• Emergency and distress situations
• Victualling for a cruise and feeding at sea
• Customs procedures
• Standards of behaviour and courtesy

6. Navigation

• Charts, navigational publications and sources of navigational information
• Chartwork including position fixing and shaping course to allow for tidal stream and leeway
• Tide and tidal stream calculations
• Buoyage and visual aids to navigation
• Instruments including compasses, logs, echo sounders, radio navaids and chartwork instruments
• Passage planning and navigational tactics
• Pilotage techniques
• Navigational records
• Limits of navigational accuracy and margins of safety
• Lee shore dangers
• Use of electronic navigation aids for passage planning and passage navigation
• Use of waypoints and electronic routeing
Use of radar for navigation, pilotage and collision avoidance

7. Meteorology

• Definition of terms
• Sources of weather forecasts
• Weather systems and local weather effects
• Interpretation of weather forecasts, barometric trends and visible phenomena
• Ability to make passage planning decisions based on forecast information

8. Signals

• Candidates for Yachtmaster Offshore and Coastal Skipper must hold the Restricted (VHF only) Certificate of Competence in radiotelephony or a higher grade of certificate in radio telephony

9. Emergency situations

• Is able to take correct action as skipper for recovery of man overboard
• Can operate a radiotelephone in an emergency to send a distress message
• Understands how to secure a tow
• Understands rescue procedures including helicopter rescue
• Understands distress flares and how to use a liferaft

10. Night cruising

• Has experienced motor cruising at night, including leaving and entering harbour, and understands the special considerations for pilotage plans, keeping a lookout and identifying marks by night

  • Training with Phil Jackson of Suncoast gave us the confidence to use our boat in all conditions and to cruise new areas. The teaching was highly professional and informative but also relaxed and fun! If you have a boat, or are thinking of buying one, remember to invest a bit of money in yourself. Get confident, ring Suncoast.

    Neil & Janice McLachlan
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