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About this course

The first part of the course includes lectures covering navigational theory, electronic navigation aids and chart work. You’ll receive instruction in practical chart work, tidal calculation and radar plotting, combined with a series of exercises to practice these techniques. 

Electronic navigation aids include GPS, eLoran, ECDIS, echo sounders and speed logs. There is a significant emphasis on radar and ARPA and interpreting the radar picture. 

In week three, with the assistance of instructors, you will develop and practice navigation techniques in our multi-purpose radar and navigation bridge simulators. This is an assessed week where you will develop your collision avoidance skills and demonstrate application of the Collision Regulations. 

See career progression chart for this course

What you'll study

Weeks one and two

  • Magnetic compass 
  • Gyro compass 
  • Chartwork 
  • Chart correction 
  • Notices to mariners 
  • Practical tides 
  • International Regulations for the Prevention of Collision at Sea (IRPCS) 
  • Buoyage system test 
  • Navigation aids 
  • Radar and radar plotting 
  • ARPA 
  • AIS 

Written exam lasting 2.5 hours in two parts: 

  • Part A: three questions covering chart work, secondary port tides and a radar plot. 
  • Part B: three questions testing underpinning knowledge of topics in the syllabus. 

Week three

Bridge simulator practical exercises

Online module

This course now includes unlimited access to an online module containing pre-course preparation materials, course notes, revision quizzes and lots of other useful information. 

View a demonstration version (you will need to create an account for our online learning system. Your details will not be used for marketing purposes). 

When you book a place on this course you will be sent access details for the full version of the online module. 

Useful tips

  • Read though 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 examination. 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 have not 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’). An ECDIS course will also make it easier for you to pass your Yacht OOW Navigation and Radar course. 
  • 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.  
  • Do your training on real simulators. Many students who come to us benefit from our bridge simulators.  

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 must hold the RYA Yachtmaster Offshore certificate of competency

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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