Practical Mile Building, Skippered Passages and Skills Development

Mile Building Adventure to St. Helena Island and back

The Skills Development and Mile Building trips place the emphasis on practical navigational experience by visiting as many ports as possible, going in and out of harbours along the coast. This gives you the extra boat handling and skippering experience that you need, in some of the most challenging conditions in the world, rather than just 1 long passage.

You will also have the opportunity to gain all the mileage, sea time and night hours required for your RYA Yachtmaster Coastal or RYA Yachtmaster Offshore Exams. Including days as the Skipper, 60 mile passages and 60 mile passages as the Skipper required for the RYA Yachtmaster Offshore Qualification.

All the mileage gained during these trips will be signed off in your Logbook.

The Skills Development trips will take you along some of the most unspoilt and beautiful coastlines in South Africa, including both the wonders of the cold waters of the west coast and the temperate waters of the well-known east coast.

Let us know exactly what pre-examination requirements you are needing before you join the Mile building Course so that we can ensure that you gain the necessary during the weeks aboard.

For the 2,500nm required for the RYA Yachtmaster Offshore examination, we take you on an adventure to St. Helena Island in the mid-Atlantic Ocean and back which takes +-6 weeks.

Passport required.

We sail from Cape Town to St. Helena Island in the Mid-Atlantic Ocean and may make stop overs at Luderitz and / or Walvis Bay in Namibia. Usually 3 days off at the Island to explore (depending on COVID rules and regulations on the Island) and then sail directly back to Cape Town.

Upon your return, you will be able to go directly into the Preparation for Examination for the RYA Yachtmaster Offshore.

Course Content includes:

  • Passage planning
  • Preparation for sea
  • Pilotage
  • Passage making and ability as Skipper
  • Yacht handling under power
  • Yacht handling under sail
  • Adverse weather conditions
  • Emergency situations
  • For those who have completed their RYA Yachtmaster Ocean Theory, time will be taken to allow students to do a SUN RUN SUN with the use of a sextant whilst on board.

Exam Preparation week

This is unique within the RYA training framework in that it does not have a fixed course syllabus, length or course completion certificate. However, RYA Yachtmaster preparation training is generally 5 days long and followed by the practical exam.

The School and the Instructor will expect that you have all the pre-requisites to be eligible for an RYA Yachtmaster Offshore exam. In addition, they will be expecting a suitably experienced skipper and yachtsman/woman who can competently handle a boat under sail in close-quarter situations and at sea and has a depth of knowledge equivalent to that gained from attending an RYA Yachtmaster Shore based course. Most importantly, this knowledge should have been applied in a variety of situations during day and night passages.

You are required to have an RYA Yachtmaster Coastal/Offshore Theory certificate and an RYA Radar certificate before attending.

Pre-exam Requirements:

To be eligible to take the Practical examination, candidates must be aged 18 or over and require:

  • A Radio Operator’s Qualification – RYA SRC VHF Radio certificate
  • A valid first aid certificate – ie Elementary First Aid Certificate
  • Sea time – 50 days, 2,500 miles within 10 years prior to the examination, including at least 5 passages over 60 miles, acting as skipper for at least two of these passages and including two which have involved overnight passages. 5 days experience as a skipper. At least half the qualifying sea time must have been accrued in tidal waters.

Qualifying passages for RYA Yachtmaster Ocean and Offshore must be a non-stop, by the shortest navigate route with no change of skipper. Passages such as recognised races which may not comply exactly with these requirements may be submitted to the RYA for approval before the voyage.

Trainee Skippers undertaking 60-mile passages are strongly advised to take a Coastal Skipper course first.

This Includes:

  • International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea
  • Safety
  • Boat Handling
  • General seamanship, including maintenance
  • Responsibilities of the Skipper
  • Navigation
  • Meteorology
  • Signals

After completing your preparation, you attend a two-day assessment, given by an RYA appointed examiner.

Exam Duration:

The exam will take about 8-12 hours for one candidate and between 5-9 hours per candidate where more than one candidate is being examined.
Candidates will be set tasks to allow them to demonstrate their ability as skipper of an offshore cruising yacht cruiser and may also be asked questions on any part of the syllabus for all courses except RYA Yachtmaster Ocean.

Need Assistance? Contact Us!