RYA Yachtmaster Ocean

To sail without limits, the world is your oyster!

What is an RYA Yachtmaster Ocean?

Successful completion of an RYA Yachtmaster Ocean Oral exam (commercially endorsed) enables you to work as a Master of commercial vessels of up to 200gt, subject to the MCA’s codes of practice, worldwide.

The RYA Yachtmaster Ocean certificate is also a pre-requisite for the MCA’s Chief Mate, Master 500, and Master 3000 qualifications.



Virtual course via Zoom

without Shorebased exam



Classroom course (Palma)

with Shorebased exam

What’s included in an RYA Yachtmaster Ocean course?

The minimum tuition time for the RYA Yachtmaster Ocean Shorebased course is 43 hours of tuition time including a written exam, usually covered over five and a half days.

Subjects covered include:

  • Earth and Celestial Sphere
  • PZX Triangle
  • Sextants
  • Measurement of Time
  • Meridian Altitudes
  • Sun, Star and other Sights
  • Compass Checking
  • Satellite Navigation Systems
  • Great Circle Sailing
  • Meteorology
  • Passage Planning
  • Passage-making
  • Communications

What do I need to do for the RYA Yachtmaster Ocean course?

The certification required for the Shorebased course and subsequent Oral exam is either a Yachtmaster Offshore Certificate of Competence or Officer of the Watch (3000gt) issued by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

What is the Virtual Interactive RYA Yachtmaster Ocean course?

In the current times of travel restrictions, lockdowns and quarantine requirements, we want to ensure that students are still able to study, this is why we are offering Virtual interactive courses. You’ll learn in real-time with our experienced instructors.

To take part in a virtual interactive course you need to download the Zoom app to your PC/Mac/Tablet (we recommend using these rather than a phone for quality), full instructions on this can be found in the course dates below.

The Virtual Interactive Ocean course does not include the invigilated exam, this can be arranged at a later date in Palma or we can assist you in arranging an exam at your local RTC.

Please note that virtual courses will be recorded, both through video and audio, to verify your participation in the course; these recordings will not be given to third party companies with the exception of the accrediting body for the course if necessary. If you have any objections to this, please inform us immediately.


A commercial endorsement will be required if you intend to work onboard British flagged vessels that are subject to the MCA’s codes of practice for small commercial vessels.
A number of additional training courses and medical fitness certificates are required to be eligible for a commercial endorsement.
For full information to check which certificates may be commercially endorsed, details concerning additional courses to be completed, and fitness certificates, Please use the following link to the RYA website where the information appears in full.

Once you have completed your Yachtmaster Ocean Shorebased course and before you go for your Oral exam, you must have completed a qualifying passage within the past 10 years as skipper or mate in sole charge of a watch on a suitable vessel, which meets the following criteria:

  1. The candidate was fully involved in the planning of the passage, including the selection of the route, the navigational plan, checking the material condition of the vessel and her equipment, storing with spare gear, water, and victuals, and organizing the watch-keeping routine.
  2. During the passage a minimum non-stop distance of 600 miles must have been run by the log, the yacht must have been at sea continuously for at least 96 hours and the yacht must have been more than 50 miles from land or charted objects capable of being used for navigation/position fixing while sailing a distance of at least 200 miles.
  3. To be eligible as an ocean qualifying passage the distance between departure and arrival points by the shortest navigable route must be more than 600 miles.
    See Information on Qualifying passages

You must provide the independent examiner with the following information 48 hours prior to the exam:

  1. A narrative account of the planning and execution of the qualifying passage providing all relevant details.
  2. Navigational records, completed on board a yacht on a passage, out of sight of land showing that the candidate has navigated the yacht without the use of electronic navigational aids. The records must include as a minimum, planning, reduction, and plotting of a sun run meridian altitude sight and a compass check carried out using the bearing of the sun, moon, a star, or planet.

There is no time limit between taking the Shorebased course and the final Oral exam, though we do recommend doing it as soon as you can so the knowledge is fresh in your memory.

During the Yachtmaster Ocean oral test, the candidate will be required to answer questions on all aspects of ocean passage making in a yacht, including passage planning, navigation, worldwide meteorology, crew management, and yacht preparation, maintenance, and repairs.

Completion of the Shorebased course exempts you from the written exam within the final Oral.

‘Sights’ for an assessment must be taken independently by the exam candidate.

Additional expenses:

Upcoming Courses

Please contact the Nautical team if you have any questions.
*Dates and timings may be subject to change at our discretion. We can arrange the dates to suit your schedule. We must have a minimum of three students in attendance per course.

12 - 16September

RYA Yachtmaster Ocean: Virtual

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14 - 18November

RYA Yachtmaster Ocean: Virtual

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12 - 16December

RYA Yachtmaster Ocean: Virtual

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Course Reviews
Share your experience with us

Have you completed a course with SOVREN Nautical Academy? We hope you had a great time. Please click on the button below to leave a review of your experience. Thank you!

May 2020

I felt more engaged, almost privately tutored on the online virtual Ocean course – plus it was great to complete the course in the comfort of my own home. The instructor was the most phenomenal, engaging, patient and helpful individual! Nothing but praise for Simon.

October 2019

Great school, courses and facilities offered with instructors who are passionate about what they are teaching and students’ learning and career progression. The extra knowledge, time and guidance that they give students, particularly through the Navigation workshops is so valuable. It is no wonder why you’re the go to choice and have many returning students.

October 2019

From an instructor’s point of view, they offer unparalleled facilities but, more importantly, a very good support system which means we can offer great service to the students. When you couple that with their diligence and integrity you can be sure of being in safe hands.

October 2019

Thanks for everything during the two weeks I spent with you guys. It was a lot of information to take on and was a great feeling to complete the course on Sunday afternoon. I felt well prepared for the exam and found it to be a straight forward process. The examiner was great.

October 2019

Just finished a week of Theory with Simon Bradshaw and yet again, they have not failed to deliver on top quality tuition, support and smiles throughout the whole week! Fantastic school and I could not recommend them enough!