Adult Sailing

Yachtmaster Preparation Course

There are two levels of Yachtmaster qualification available. Our preparatory week is designed to prepare you for each qualification.

  • RYA Yachtmaster Coastal Certificate of Competency
  • RYA/MCA Yachtmaster Offshore Certificate of Competency, which is one of the most prestigious sailing achievements to gain.

Our preparation course is designed to ensure that those who choose to go forward and take the examination have the best possible chance of passing first time.  The intensive week is used to practise all manoeuvres both power and sail and also to hone all navigational skills by day and night. 

To pass the practical exam, a skipper must display the capability to handle a yacht in all conditions and effectively skipper the boat avoiding all dangers and taking many variables into account.


  • Intricate Passage Planning
  • Preparation for Offshore Passages
  • Pilotage plans for entering into harbours and coves by day and night
  • In depth skippering including all responsibilities
  • Advanced Yacht Handling under power
  • Heavy weather sailing and preparation
  • Understanding how to abandon a vessel.

The Boat...

This course is held on board either our Elan 36 'Beaufort Venture' or our First 36 ‘Lulla Belle’. Both are 36-foot cruising yachts with 6 berths, full kitchen including stove and fridge, as well as toilet and shower facilities.

Sailing Gear...

We provide foul weather waterproofs from Gill Marine, though you will need to bring with you enough clothing for the course and a sleeping bag.

Course Dates & Price 2021...

  • Prep Week 3: 13th – 17th September, Exam 18th & 19th September
  • Prep Week 4: 8th – 12th November, Exam 13th & 14th November

The course fee is €799 + (RYA set Examiners Fee, £193 for Coastal, £224 for Offshore) + Examiners Expenses (roughly €30)

Amendments to bookings due to COVID-19

  • In light of the current situation, we have significantly relaxed our booking terms and conditions. If courses cannot run due to issues relating to COVID-19 we will move bookings without penalty, or refund fees where a suitable alternative cannot be found.
  • Please see the current schedule alterations here.
  • If you make a future booking, please be reassured that if the course is unable to go ahead due to future restrictions we will reschedule the course to a time of your convenience or refund the fees.

Qualification Pre-Requirements...

RYA Yachtmaster Coastal Certificate of Competency

  • A Radio Operator’s Qualification: GMDSS Short Range Certificate (SRC) or higher
  • A valid first aid certificate
  • Sea time - 800 miles logged within 10 years prior to examination, 30 days living on board, two days as skipper and 12 night hours. Half of the qualifying sea time must have been accrued in tidal waters.

For holders of the Coastal Skipper Practical Course Completion Certificate the seatime requirement is 400 miles, 20 days living on board, 12 night hours and two days as skipper. Half of the qualifying sea time must have been accrued in tidal waters.

RYA/MCA Yachtmaster Offshore Certificate of Competency

  • A Radio Operator’s Qualification: GMDSS Short Range Certificate (SRC) or higher,
  • A valid first aid certificate
  • Sea time – 50 days, 2,500 miles which includes at least 5 passages over 60 miles – with the candidate acing as skipper for at least two of these passages and two that have involved overnight passages. The candidate must have a minimum of five days as skipper. Half of the qualifying seatime must have been accrued in tidal waters.

Trainee candidates looking to build sea time are advised to undertake a coastal skipper qualification. Please ensure to have records of your qualifying passages ready in advance of the course commencement. Please see the RYA's notes on Qualifying Passages.


We are delighted to answer questions you may have regarding this course and encourage you to chat to us prior to enrolling. You can contact us either on 01 2844195 or by email to

Once you have booked in, we'll send you a confirmation email outlining your course, what to expect and specific course information. Please ensure to have read our Terms and Conditions prior to enrolling. Our cancellation policy for this course can be viewed here.

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