A significant issue faced by RYA Yachtmaster (Power) candidates is gaining the required sea miles and skippering experience prior to attending an RYA Yachtmaster Prep course and exam. Unless you are lucky enough to own or have access to a suitable motor vessel how do you gain the sea miles and navigational experience! Whereas many people are both confident and competent in all aspects of boating they may not have ventured further afield to meet the RYA Yachtmaster requirements.
Coastal: 30 days motor cruising, 800 miles logged, 12 night hours, 2 days as skipper (ideally over 60 miles along the rhumb line).
If you hold the Coastal Skipper practical course completion certificate this is reduced to 20 days, 400 miles, 12 night hours, 2 days as skipper (ideally over 60 miles along the rhumb line).
Offshore: 50 days, 2,500 miles including at least 5 passages over 60 miles measured along the rhumb line from the port of departure to the destination, acting as skipper for at least two of these passages and including two which have involved overnight passages. 5 days experience as skipper. At least half this mileage and passages must be in tidal waters. All qualifying seatime must be within 10 years prior to the exam. NB. Qualifying seatime in boats over 24m only counts as 50% of the minimum requirement.
What is a mile builder – Skippered Passage? These can be both or either… Some people just need to gain the ‘Skippered Passage’ and or just the sea miles. These trips are always over 60nm by the Rhumb Line (straight line) so inevitably are over 60nm’s from departure point to destination. Anyone on board can claim the total sea miles of the trip but only one person can claim to have skippered each 60nm+ leg. The person wishing to claim the ‘Skippered’ passage must and will be responsible for the planning of that passage.
As Skipper you would prepare a detailed passage, manage victualling, schedule a crew roster, ensure a navigation log is maintained and ensure a safe passage. You would be expected to utilise a range of navigation skills to include traditional paper navigation, position fixing, electronic navigation techniques and the use of RADAR. The passages may include night hours if required. These are expensive courses to run so we expect that you would want to get as much out of it as possible.
Every mile building trip is supervised by an experienced RYA Yachtmaster (Power) who will ensure that the pilotage and passage plans are safe and to the right standard. You will be set some exercises to complete such as running fixes, fixes by RADAR etc.
Our most recent mile builder, skippered passage, was a run to Falmouth via refuel in Torquay and then return. This was a valuable learning experience for someone with many years of boating experience but not quite enough longer, 60+nm passages. I hope to post a post trip report sometime soon.
By their nature, these cannot be boat handling courses.