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RYA Yachtmaster™ Sail – Power Exam Prep

The RYA have recently removed the RYA Yachtmaster Sail to Power conversion Exam meaning that if you already hold either the RYA Yachtmaster Coastal Certificate of Competence or the RYA Yachtmaster Offshore Certificate of Competence for Sail and wish to gain the ‘Power’ qualification students are now required to take the full RYA Yachtmaster (Power) Exam.

We have decided to combine our exam preparation courses this year as we have found, from experience, that shortening the Preparation time, for RYA Yachtmaster Sail certificate holders, from 4 to 2 days hasn’t been successful.

The exam you take is now the full exam and you can be tested on anything from the Yachtmaster Syllabus and log book (G158) and you will be expected to plan a passage for the examiner.  We have also identified that boat handling is a weak area for RYA YM Sail candidates so the additional time on the helm is very beneficial. You may want to consider the additional half day practical boat handling opportunity; these are bespoke to the students needs and are scheduled prior to the preparation days.

Pre-requisites are less than required for students who do not hold an RYA Yachtmaster Coastal or Offshore Sail certificate but it is important that you do meet these pre-requisites.

As a Yachtmaster Sail the areas you should concentrate on are:

  • Boat Handling in a twin engine motor cruiser
  • Passage planning for high speed craft
  • Electronic navigation, with particular focus on Radar
  • MOB procedure
  • Improved diesel knowledge, with get you home techniques

If these subjects sound daunting then you should consider our Two day RYA Radar and one day RYA Diesel courses or an additional Practical Boat Handling day.

As with all exam preparations, this is not the time to learn techniques from scratch but to revise and polish existing skills.

Full details of the exam syllabus and requirements are shown in the RYA’s Motor Cruising Logbook (code G158).

Click here to read our Yachtmaster advice paper.


How does it work?

Simple really: We aim to work with you to ensure you pass your exam. The preparation time gets you familiar with the boat, and re-looks at exam techniques whilst polishing existing and any rusty skills.

It is important that students update / refresh their Yachtmaster Theory knowledge as there is no time time to re-teach you.

What’s included (on our boat):

  • between 3 – 6 days use of our motor cruiser – 2 or 4 -days exam preparation, 1 – 2 days exam
    • (NB if course limited to 2 people max prep is only 2 full days)
  • maximum four students
  • G158 – RYA Motor Cruising log book
  • Diesel and on board consumables
  • Loan of Wet Weather gear and life jacket
  • Lunch, tea/coffee and snacks onboard
  • Free parking at our marina
  • Accommodation on Fenland Dancer at £25 per night

What’s not included:

  • Evening meals unless on a night exercise.
  • MCA / RYA Yachtmaster offshore Exam Fee –  £231.00
  • RYA Yachtmaster Coastal Exam fee – £200

Notes re Pre Requisites for the exam for holders of RYA Yachtmaster Coastal or Offshore Sail

  • The qualifying mileage must be in the type of boat that you are converting to.
  • All qualifying seatime must be within 10 years prior to the exam
  • At least half the qualifying sea time should be gained in tidal waters
  • Qualifying miles and passages must be on a vessel less than 24m LOA or under 500gt.  If seatime is on a vessel greater than 24m and 500gt contact the RYA
  • Notes regarding qualifying passages 


Charter of boat only for an exam is £1200

Exam requirements Must hold an RYA Yachtmaster Offshore or Coastal (Sail), GMDSS compliant Marine Radio Operators licence, RYA First aid or another valid certificate, RYA Sea Survival Course (recommended – compulsory if you are seeking a MCA/RYA Commercial Endorsement.  
Exam pre-requisites  YM Coastal Exam: Minimum 400 miles, 12 days at sea, 2 days as skipper, 12 night hours.
YM Offshore Exam: Minimum 1250 miles, 25 days at sea, 3 days as skipper, 3 passages over 60 miles (along the rhumb line) including 1 overnight and 1 as skipper
Exam Duration RYA YM Coastal 6 – 10 Hours one candidate, 8 – 14 Hours for two candidates.
8 – 12 hours for one candidate, 10 – 18 for two candidates.
The examiner may ask questions, or set tasks on any part of the syllabus. Please note you may be asked to prepare a passage plan.
Recommended Additional
Training Opportunities
Practical Boat Handling £325pp for 4 hours.
Yachtmaster Theory Refresher 2-days £250pp
Mile builder / Skippered passages £650pp plus fuel (split between number of attendees – max 2)
RYA Radar – 2 days £250
Minimum age RYA Yachtmaster Coastal – 17 years.
RYA Yachtmaster Offshore – 18 years
Maximum Student : Instructor Ratio5 : 1 however we aim to keep to 4:1

The Coaching and Exam is held on our school boat, Fenland Dancer. She is a Princess 368 with a fly bridge and 2 x 300Hp Cummins engines on shafts. She has the latest Raymarine electronic equipment and her salon was refurbished summer 2019.

Any classroom work takes place in the Mendez Marine Classroom at Deacons Marina or onboard Fenland Dancer.

If taking on your own boat: The boat used must be between 7m (23ft) and 18m (59ft) and be in sound, seaworthy condition, equipped to the standard set out in the RYA book Cruising Yacht Safety (code C8). The boat must be equipped with a full up to date set of charts and navigational publications and be efficiently crewed (minimum 2), as the examiner will not take part in the management of the boat during the exam.

The exam will include an assessment of your skippering skills, boat handling, general seamanship, navigation, safety awareness and knowledge of the IRPCS, meteorology and signals. The exam fee is additional and is currently £200.00 RYA YM Coastal and £231 RYA YM Offshore

Before you book your exam please check that you:

  • Have completed the required mileage and experience as skipper
  • Hold a VHF Radio Operators License or Short Range Certificate
  • Hold a valid first aid certificate
  • Have read the syllabus in RYA publications; G158 (power)
  • Have read and comply with the pre-requisites above.

The Yachtmaster™ Offshore is competent to skipper a motor cruiser on any passage during which the vessel is no more than 150 miles from a safe haven.

If you need a Yachtmaster™ Offshore Certificate of Competence (Power) in order to work on board a commercial craft subject to the MCA’s codes of practice, you will need to get it Commercially Endorsed. You can then work as a Master of commercial vessels of up to 200gt in category 1 to 6 waters – that is up to 150 miles from a safe haven, day or night.

The RYA Yachtmaster™ Offshore Certificate of Competence (Power) is a pre-requisite for the MCA’s Officer of the Watch qualification, which enables you to work worldwide on vessels of up to 3000gt.

View all upcoming dates
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