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RYA Yachtmaster – Australian Commercial recognition.

Since 1 July 2014, AMSA (the Australian Maritime Safety Authority) recognised RYA qualifications as acceptable for commercial use in Australian Territorial waters on commercially registered sailing vessels.  Holders of the RYA Yachtmaster Offshore and Ocean Certificates of Competence can now act as Master on commercial sailing vessels less than 24 meters LOA up to 100 miles to seaward from the coast or as Mate on commercial sailing vessels less than 35 meters inside the Australian Exclusive Economic Zone.  Holders of the RYA Yachtmaster Coastal Certificate of Competence can act as master on commercial sailing vessels less than 12 meters and up to 15 miles from the coast.

This recognition is achieved by AMSA EX18 – Marine Safety (Sail) Exemption 2014.
Effectively this means that once a person holds all of the necessary certificates they can commence working on commercially registered or surveyed sailing vessels.
To meet the criteria a person must:

Hold an RYA Yachtmaster Offshore or Ocean certificate of Competence with commercial endorsement from the MCA. (The UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency)

Hold an approved, in-date First Aid Certificate

Hold a Marine Radio Operators Certificate (Long range)

Hold an in-date RYA, YA or ISAF Sea survival certificate or have completed the Elements of Shipboard Safety units or the relevant STCW course

Have completed the RYA Diesel Engine course.

Have completed the YA Powerboat handling course or have completed the RYA Level 2 powerboat handling course.

Make a declaration of medical fitness on the approved form.

Prior to undertaking an RYA Yachtmaster Exam, a compulsory prep week will assess your strengths and weaknesses and coach you in the areas required to pass the examination, however, our experience normally leads us to work on the following areas; passage planning, man overboard recovery, close quarters handling, skippering techniques, navigation in restricted visibility, pilotage and knowledge of the International Collision Regulations.

The instructor will debrief you fully as the week progresses and ensure that you get time to work on those weaker areas.  Before joining the intensive week of skills polishing, students should have the previous experience outlined below, completed RYA Coastal Skipper/Yachtmaster theory or equivalent and a thorough knowledge of the Collision Regulations.

The examiner will ask each candidate to skipper the yacht on several short passages and complete various demonstrations of their skippering and sailing ability over the course of the week.

After the prep week, there’s generally a couple of days rest to re-coup, study any areas for improvement and provision the yacht as part of the exam.

Wynnum-Manly, Brisbane, QLD
  • Previous Experience

    Minimum 50 days aboard, 5 days as skipper, 2500 miles logged, 5 passages of over 60 miles including 2 overnight and 2 as skipper (Half the qualifying sea time must have been conducted in tidal waters). VHF radio operators certificate and a valid first aid certificate. Current theory knowledge to RYA Coastal/Yachtmaster theory.

  • Course Duration

    5 Days (non-liveaboard) + exam

  • Certificate Upon Completion

    The Yachtmaster preparation course is leading towards the RYA Yachtmaster exam, please talk to our friendly staff as exam bookings must be made in advance.

An incredible adventure! The experienced owners Carly & Jamie of SCY were fantastic in booking & organising, the instructor was incredibly knowledgeable & professional, and the boat was amazing. Can’t rate Southern Cross Yachting highly enough- I’m already planning my next lesson
Jemma - July 2023 
Jemma - July 2023

Massive thank you to Jamie and all the staff and other instructors at Southern Cross Yachting! 10/10 experience from booking to sailing to instruction to food whilst onboard.
Absolutely one of the best things I’ve ever done and now I’m addicted to sailing!


A great place to learn all things about sailing, experienced Captains who are only to happy to answer any and all questions, a great experience,

Michael MacCormack 2021
Michael MacCormack

Well organized with a wonderful team and instructors. Completed my Comp Crew and looking forward to doing the Day skipper next.

N Dashti 2020
N Dashti

We were lucky enough to spend a day with Jamie on Moreton bay and can’t speak highly enough about it. Three of us with varied previous experience of sailing joined with a father and son to share in a day of learning the ropes. The day was tailored to our varied needs and at all times we were able to ask questions and glean experience from Jamie’s wealth of knowledge. We would highly recommend signing up for a course if you’re interested in getting back on the water after a hiatus. Thanks so much guys! It was a priceless day!

Maria Bukala 2021
Maria Bukala

Preparation and brush up for the RYA/MCA Yachtmaster Offshore Certificate of Competence. Revision of advanced skippering techniques, close quarters handling under power and sail, navigation and pilotage by day and night, man overboard recovery and overall yacht management skills. Ratio 4:1

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