Ocean Passages

RYA Ocean Yachtmaster Qualifying Passage

Regrettably we will not be running any ocean passages during 2023. 

We offer a comprehensive range of long distance experience cruises, many of which may be used by those wishing to take the RYA / MCA Yachtmaster Ocean exam. The RYA / MCA Yachtmaster Ocean qualification is available to those who hold the RYA / MCAYachtmaster Offshore certificate of competency. Candidates should attend the five day RYA Ocean Yachtmaster shore based course and have taken an active part in the planning and preparation of an Ocean qualifying passage as well as being fully involved in the navigation of the vessel.

During the passage a distance of 600 nautical miles (nm) by the log must have been run, the yacht must have been at sea continuously for a period of at least 96 hours and the yacht must have been over 50nm from land continuously for a period of at least 48 hours or for a distance sailed of 200nm. Ocean Yachtmaster candidates are then required to submit the sights taken whist on passage. The Oral exam generally takes between two and three hours. 

Any of our Blue Water Cruises are suitable for those seeking an Ocean Qualifying passage.


 Qualifying Passage Criteria and Exam

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

Qualifications required before examination.

All candidates must:

1. Hold an RYA Yachtmaster Offshore Certificate of Competence

2. Have completed a qualifying passage as skipper or mate of a yacht, which meets the following criteria:

a) The candidate was fully involved in the planning of the passage, including selection of the route, the navigational plan, checking the material condition of the yacht and her equipment, storing with spare gear, water and victuals and organising the watch-keeping routine.

b) 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.

3. Hold a first aid qualification, as for Yachtmaster Offshore.

Form of Examination

The exam consists of an oral and written test.


The candidate must provide the examiner with:

a) A narrative account of the planning and execution of the qualifying passage.

b) 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. Candidates who hold the Certificate of Satisfactory Completion of the RYA/MCA Yachtmaster Ocean Shore based Course, a Royal Navy Ocean Navigation Certificate or a MCA Certificate of Competence as a Deck Officer will be exempt from the written examination.