Ocean Yachtmaster Theory Course

The RYA Ocean Yachtmaster theory course in astro navigation and world wide meteorology assumes a thorough knowledge of the subjects covered in other shore based navigation courses.

In addition to learning about all aspects of sextant navigation, this course, designed
for who aspire to blue water cruising, covers ocean passage planning, yacht management, and electronic navigation aids.

Available as an online course option.


RYA Training Centre

RYA Yachtmaster Ocean Shore based Course Syllabus 

This is a course in astro-navigation and worldwide meteorology which also reveals the mysteries of the sextant. The assumed level of knowledge before starting this course is the Coastal Skipper  Yachtmaster Offshore Shore based Course and is ideally suited to qualified Offshore Yachtmaster who wish to progress to Ocean Yachtmaster.

1. The earth and the celestial sphere

  •           Definition of observer's zenith and position of a heavenly body in terms of latitude, longitude, GHA and declination
  •           Right angle relationships, latitude and co-lat, declination and polar distance
  •           Relationship between GHA, longitude and LHA
  •           Tabulation of declination in nautical almanac
  •           Rate of increase of hour angle with time

2. The PZX triangle

  •           The tabulated components of the triangle, LHA, co-lat and polar distance
  •           The calculable components, zenith distance and azimuth
  •          Relationship between zenith distance and altitude
  •           Introduction to the tabular method of solution in the Air Navigation Tables and the basic sight form
  •           Use of calculators for the solution of the PZX triangle

3. The Sextant

  •           Practical guide to the use and care of a sextant at sea
  •           Conversion of sextant altitude to true altitude
  •          Application of dip, index error and refraction
  •           Correction of side error, perpendicularity, index error and collimation error

4. Measurement of time

  •           Forecasting time of meridian altitude
  •           Reduction of meridian altitude sights

5. Meridian altitudes

  •           Forecasting time of meridian altitude
  •           Reduction of meridian altitude sights

6. Sun, star and other sights

  •           Reduction and plotting of sun sights using Air Navigation Tables
  •           Awareness of use of calculator for sight reduction
  •          The plotting of a sun-run-sun meridian altitude
  •           Awareness of the reduction and plotting of sights obtained from stars, moon and planets

7. Compass Checking

  •          Use of amplitude and azimuth tables systems and/or calculator

8. Satellite Navigation Systems

  •           Principles and limitations of use of all systems

9. Great circle sailing

  •           Comparison of rhumb lines and great circles
  •           Vertices and composite tracks
  •           The computation of a series of rhumb lines approximating to a great circle by use of gnomonic and Mercator projections

10. Meteorology

  •           General pressure distribution and prevailing winds over the oceans of the world
  •           Tropical revolving storms, seasonal occurrence and forecasting by observation

11. Passage Planning

  •           Publications available to assist with planning of long passages (routeing charts, ocean passages of the world and other publications)
  •           Preparation for ocean passage including survival equipment, victualling, water and fuel management, chafe protection, spares and maintenance

12. Passage Making

  •           Navigational routine
  •           Watch keeping
  •           Crew Management

13. Communications

  •           Satellite and terrestrial systems
  •           Weather information

Please contact us for latest dates and availability call +44 (0) 2380457733