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About this course

This MCA-accredited classroom-based course will provide you with practical understanding and knowledge for the safe day-to-day operation and good management of a large yacht. The course introduces you to ship construction, stability, meteorology and seamanship, watchkeeping, preparation for sea and maintenance. 

See career progression chart for this course

What you'll study

Ship construction 

  • Ship construction technology 
  • Longitudinal, transverse and local stresses due to static and dynamic loading 
  • Methods of yacht construction 
  • Plans normally carried on board 
  • The cause and prevention of corrosion 
  • The functions of classification societies 
  • Load lines, reserve buoyancy and methods of damage control 
  • Bilge pumping systems 


  • Basic principles of hydrostatics and related items 
  • Initial stability 


  • Global wind distribution 
  • The causes of local winds 
  • The effects of water vapour in the atmosphere 
  • The practical use and care of common meteorological instruments 
  • Frontal depressions 
  • The sources of weather information available to ships 


  • The responsibilities of the officer of the watch in relation to boarding a yacht 
  • The precautions to be taken in preparing a vessel for sea 
  • The Code of Safe Working Practices for Merchant Seafarers (CoSWP) 

Useful tips

  • Read through the exam syllabus. It can be found here
  • Your pass certificate is valid for three years. 
  • You do not need a Notice of Eligibility (NoE) to attend this course. However, you will need an NoE for your MCA oral exam. The application form can be found here. Allow at least six weeks for the NoE to be processed by the MCA. 
  • You do not need ECDIS for your yacht OOW. If you haven't done the ECDIS course your CoC will have a negative endorsement (‘From the 1 January 2017 this certificate is not valid for service on ships fitted with ECDIS’). 
  • Do the ‘proper’ PSCRB course instead of ‘Advanced Sea Survival for Yachtsmen’. The latter has not got an STCW Code which has the following implications: Not all flag states recognise the Advanced Sea Survival, meaning you might have to do the PSCRB later anyway. Your certificate will have a negative endorsement (‘not to be used on vessels with davit-launched life rafts’). There is also no updating course available for the Advanced Sea Survival. 
  • Pre-study makes the difference. That’s why we send you the course notes as soon as you book. 

Notice of Eligibility (NoE) and oral exams guidance

When you have accrued sufficient sea time to sit an oral exam with the MCA, you are required to apply for a Notice of Eligibility (NoE). 

This form can be downloaded from the MCA website and must be returned with original copies of your supporting documentation (sea service testimonials, STCW certificates, exam pass certificates and ENG1) to prove you are eligible for an oral exam. 

Once you have your NOE you can book your oral exam at any of the MCA offices throughout the UK. The MCA office you have chosen will not confirm your booking until you have received your NOE. Be aware they do have busy periods, so it is best to book your oral exam well in advance to ensure you get your preferred date. 

A Notice of Eligibility is valid for five years from date of issue, and for three years after a successful oral exam. You must apply for your NOE well in advance of your anticipated exam date as they can take up to six weeks to be processed. 

Please see our Covid-19 statement and guidance for those attending maritime training and certification courses and exams at Solent University from week commencing 6 July 2020.

Course Information

  • Next available date


  • Duration


  • Price


  • Approvals


  • Career progression

    Yacht Officer of the Watch

  • Prerequisites

    You are expected to hold at least an RYA/IYT Yachtmaster Offshore certificate of competency and the corresponding shore-based certificate, plust STCW Basic Safety Training

Course availability

Please contact admissions for course availability and to book.

Contact us

Please contact the admissions team if you require more information about this course.

Online bookings will be confirmed with joining information within one working day of the booking being made. Confirmation of payment should be received in the normal way.

Please ensure that you follow the booking process and do not enter payment details more than once, unless you are booking more than one course. If you experience any issues, please email

Admissions Team

Normal office hours are (UK time):

08.30 - 17.00 Monday to Thursday
08.30 - 16.30 Friday

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