Since the RYA Yachtmaster Offshore certificate of competency (CoC) is a command certificate for small craft, the RYA insists that at least half the qualifying 2,500 nautical miles have been acquired on a small vessel under 24m and 200GT.
However, this may make it difficult for deckhands to progress to an OOW (Yachts under 3000GT) if they completed all their sea time on large yachts.
Consequently, the MCA has created an alternative route where instead of a RYA Yachtmaster Offshore, a RYA Yachtmaster Coastal will now be sufficient as an entry requirement for the OOW (Yachts under 3000GT).
To obtain the RYA Yachtmaster Coastal, you will need the following:
RYA Yachtmaster Coastal/Offshore shore based theory course and exam,
RYA Yachtmaster Coastal practical course,
RYA Yachtmaster Coastal practical exam prep course (recommended)
400nm, 20 days, two days as skipper, 12 night hours on a yacht less than 24m and 200GT (miles obtained on the RYA Yachtmaster Coastal practical course and the exam prep course will count towards the 400nm, as may some of the tender driving time)
RYA Yachtmaster Coastal practical exam.
This solution should make it easier for those candidates who have completed all of their service on superyachts to progress to their OOW.
MCA Chief Mate (Yachts under 3000GT)
In order to obtain the MCA Chief Mate (Yachts less than 3,000GT) candidates still need to:
Meet the RYA Yachtmaster Ocean requirements for the qualifying ocean passage
Complete the RYA Yachtmaster Ocean shore based theory course
Pass the RYA Yachtmaster Ocean oral exam.
Candidates who have just the RYA Yachtmaster Coastal will still be able to progress to Chief Mate, but will not be issued the RYA Yachtmaster Ocean CoC for which a RYA Yachtmaster Offshore CoC is required.
Similar arrangements will be put in place for the International Yacht Training (IYT) equivalent CoCs.
This change is likely to come into force 1 January 2017, and it is expected that it will soon be announced in a MIN.
Reminder: Efficient Deck Hand
From 1 January 2017, all deckhands progressing towards OOW (Yachts under 3000GT) must have held the Efficient Deck Hand (EDH) certificate for at least 18 months before the OOW certificate of competency will be issued - an incentive to complete the EDH course in good time!