RYA/MCA Yachtmaster Ocean Theory

Experience required: RYA Day Skipper Theory & RYA Yachtmaster Coastal/Offshore Theory

The RYA/MCA Yachtmaster Ocean Theory is a course in astro-navigation and worldwide meteorology which also reveals the mysteries of the sextant.
This 5 day week is for anyone preparing to gain their RYA Yachtmaster Ocean Certificate of Competence which is the Highest Qualification in the RYA Scheme.  It is the Preferred Qualification in the Yachting Industry. 
The course runs from Monday to Friday in our Classroom at Royal Cape Yacht Club and can be followed by optional extra to go out on the yacht to take Ocean Sights on a weekend.

Recommended reading is Celestial Navigation for Yachtsmen by Mary Blewitt and you will need to practice adding, dividing, and averaging various hours, minutes and seconds.  Also angles being degrees,minutes and single decimal of minutes.

The Yachtmaster Ocean is experienced and competent to skipper a yacht on passages of any length in all parts of the world.

 You will receive an RYA Ocean Theory Course Completion Certificate on successful completion of the course

Course Content:

  • The earth and the celestial sphere
  • The PZX triangle
  • The sextant
  • Measurement of time
  • Meridian altitudes
  • Sun, star and other sights
  • Compass checking
  • Satellite Navigation Systems
  • Great circle sailing
  • Meterology
  • Passage planning
  • Passage making
  • Communications

Course Fees:

The 5 day RYA Yachtmaster Ocean Theory Course Fees is:
R10 500 - Total Course Fees incl VAT (Payable to Yachtmaster Sailing School)

Included in the Course fees is:

  • All your training and Certificate as listed above 
  • Your RYA Theory pack
  • Use of RYA Reference Books and navigation equipment
  • Celestial Navigation for Yachtsmen by Mary Blewitt
  • Exercise books for notes and sketches
  • RYA / MCA Course Completion Certificate

Excluded & Extra Over the above fees:

  • Accommodation in Cape Town
    During the 1 Theory Week, 7 Nights Accommodation On-shore is required in Cape Town.
    We can arrange a Backpacker at about R250 per night
    Food and Transport is not included

Recommended Additional 1 day Courses:

  • R 1 650 - RYA SRC Radio Course + £ 60 GBP RYA Fees for SRC Radio Certificate - RYA fees are paid Directly to the RYA in the UK via Credit Card (if you would like your RYA Radio Cert)
  • R 1 650 - RYA Diesel Engine Maintenance
  • R 1 650 - RYA Radar

Course Dates:

  • 21 November 2016
  • 05 December 2016
  • 27 March 2017
  • 08 May 2017
  • 25 September 2017


Should the above dates not suit you, please contact us so we can try to accommodate you in a more convenient time frame.

Once you have completed your RYA Yachtmaster Ocean Theory, the next step is the Ocean Practical Sights:

NOTE! The RYA Yachtmaster Ocean Theory & Sights can be done at anytime in preparation for your RYA Yachtmaster Ocean Oral Exam, but before you can take your Ocean Oral Exam, you need to hold your RYA Yachtmaster Offshore Certificate of Competence and have a 600 mile Qualifying PassageOnce you have all the Pre-Exam requirements, we can help you arrange your RYA Yachtmaster Ocean Oral Exam.

St Helena Adventure Trip - Qualifying Ocean Passage:
If you do not have the 600 Mile Qualifying passage then we can arrange for you to join our yacht the week after your Theory to gain this passage on our non-stop 6-8 week trip from Cape Town to St Helena via Luderitz, Namibia.  We have a limit of 6 Students per yacht for this trip - on board "AURORA".

PRE-Exam requirements for RYA Yachtmaster Ocean Oral Exam:
(Please Read Carefully)
All candidates must have:

  • An RYA/MCA Yachtmaster Offshore Certificate of Competence
    (which enables you to skipper a commercial or private vessel on voyages up to 150 miles from a safe port worldwide).
    The RYA Coastal Skipper Certificate does NOT qualify.
  • An RYA/MCA Yachtmaster Ocean Shorebased Course Completion Certificate
  • A 600 mile Continuous Ocean passage acting as skipper or mate of watch, involved in planning and execution of the voyage including selection of the route,the navigational plan, checking the material condition of the yacht and her equipment, storing spare gear, water and victuals and organising the watch-keeping routine;
  • 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 while sailing a distance of at least 200 miles.
  • All qualifying seatime must be within 10 years prior to the exam.
  • All qualifying Mileage must be on a Yacht less than 24 Meters and less than 200 tonnes.
  • Sights taken from a yacht at sea, must be a minimum of sun run sun, or sun run meridian passage and a compass check by suns amplitude.
  • The sights must have been taken out of sight of land and must have been reduced at sea and used to navigate the vessel.
  • Valid STCW First Aid qualification, as for Yachtmaster Offshore
  • Log Book to show the Examiner all Qualifying mileage completed.
  • 4 Colour Passport size photos
  • Credit Card details for RYA Fees

RYA Yachtmaster Ocean Oral and Written Exam:

We can arrange for you to do your RYA Yachtmaster Ocean Exam when you are ready.


The candidate must provide the examiner with:

A narrative account of the planning and execution of the qualifying passage (see under Pre-exam requirements).

Navigational records, completed on board a yacht on 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.

During the oral test the candidate may 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.


The written exam will include questions on sights and sight reduction and worldwide meteorology.

You will need to practice adding, diving, and averaging hours, minutes and seconds and also angles being degrees, minutes and single decimal of minutes.

Excluded & Extra Over the above fees:

  • RYA Yachtmaster Examination Fees - These Fees are paid Directly to the RYA in the UK via Credit Card:
    • £173 GBP - RYA Fees for Yachtmaster Ocean Examination
    • £   33     GBP    RYA fees for STCW / Commercial Endorsement

To work with your RYA Certificate of Competence in the Industry, you will need to apply to have it Commercially or STCW Endorsed and you will need:

  • R 1 000 - RYA PPR (Professional Practices and Responsibilities Course)
  • R 7 200 - STCW Course (Competence in Security Awareness, Elementary First Aid, Fire Fighting, Personal Survival Techniques with Proficiency in Life Raft & Personal Safety & Social Responsibility) 
  • R 1 700 - ENG 1 Medical Fee - Payable Directly to Dr


If you would like to book a course then please press the "Book a Course" button now and complete form or email OrangeButton



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