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MCA seeks feedback on the new Coastal Skipper Route to OOW Yacht less than 3000 GT

Published on: 06 September 2018

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As the average size of superyachts has increased and the industry has grown, opportunities for those working on larger yachts to gain the necessary experience on the relevant sized vessels needed to be eligible for the RYA Yachtmaster Offshore or the IYT Master of Yachts/Mate Limited 200 GT Certificates of Competency (CoC) has become increasingly difficult to obtain. These CoCs are a mandatory pre-requisite for those who wish to obtain a UK OOW yachts, less than 3000 GT, unlimited area, II/1 CoC.

The Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) is consulting on a marine information note (MIN) which details a solution by introducing a new route that allows those working on yachts over 24 meters to count some of their sea time towards the issue of an RYA Yachtmaster Coastal CoC or IYT Master of Yachts Coastal/Mate less yachts, less than 200 GT CoC. These coastal level CoCs will allow a candidate the opportunity to progress within the industry to achieve yacht restricted Officer of the Watch (OOW), Chief Mate and Master qualifications.

Details on the qualifying process are below and British Marine members wishing to provide feedback should do so by 14 September 2018. Feedback should be sent to:

Harry Deans, Acting Head of Branch, Seafarer Training & Certification
Maritime & Coastguard Agency, Spring Place, 105 Commercial Road, Southampton, SO15 1EG
Email: harry.deans@mcga.gov.uk

1. New Route to obtain an OOW yachts, less than 3000 GT, unlimited area, II/1

The RYA Yachtmaster Coastal CoC accompanied with an RYA Coastal Skipper practical course completion certificate, or the IYT Master of Yachts Coastal/Mate less than 200 GT CoC, can be used in lieu of the following pre-requisites identified in section 3.3 of MSN 1858:

• An RYA Yachtmaster Offshore Certificate of Competence; or
• An IYT Master of Yachts Limited Certificate of Competence.

2. Sea Time Requirements for the RYA Yachtmaster Coastal CoC

To be eligible for an RYA Yachtmaster Coastal examination candidates should hold sea service of 800 miles and 30 days onboard vessels less than 24m in length. Completing an RYA Coastal Skipper Practical Course reduces the sea service requirement to 400 miles and 20 days onboard vessels less than 24m.

Providing all other pre-requisites defined by the RYA are met, the MCA have agreed that completion of the RYA Coastal Skipper Practical Course will also allow sea service of 800 miles and 30 days onboard yachts up to 3000 GT to be accepted as eligibility for the RYA Yachtmaster Coastal examination.

It is recommended that candidates with limited skippering experience on vessels less than 24m gain boat handling experience on appropriate vessels, such as larger tenders and other vessels greater than 7m waterline length, prior to attending the RYA Coastal Skipper Practical Course.

Holders of the RYA Yachtmaster Coastal CoC will not be eligible to obtain a UK Master, II/2, code vessels less than 200 GT CoC.

3. Sea Time Requirements for the IYT Master or Yacht Coastal CoC


To be eligible for an IYT Master of Yachts Coastal, less than 200 GT examination, a candidate must have completed 30 days at sea and 800 miles logged on yachts (of any size). Successful completion of the IYT Master of Yachts Coastal, less than 200 GT course and examination can be used to obtain an IYT Master of Yachts Coastal/Mate less than 200 GT CoC providing all other pre-requisites defined by the IYT are met.
Holders of the IYT Master of Yachts Coastal/Mate less than 200 GT CoC will not be eligible to obtain a UK Master, II/2, code vessels less than 200 GT CoC.

4. Progression to Chief Mate yachts, less than 3000 GT, unlimited area, regulation, II/2

4.1 To enable those using the alternative coastal CoC route detailed in this MIN to progress to a UK Chief Mate yachts, less than 3000 GT, unlimited area, II/2 CoC, the OOW Yachts, less than 3000 GT, unlimited area, II/1 may be used as eligibility to complete an RYA Yachtmaster Ocean Oral Examination in lieu of the RYA Yachtmaster Offshore.

This evidence of successfully completing the RYA oral examination may be used in lieu of the following requirements listed in section 3.4 of MSN 1856:

• An RYA Yachtmaster Ocean CoC.

4.2 Holders of an IYT Master of Yachts Coastal/Mate less than 200 GT CoC must complete the IYT Master of Yachts unlimited course and examination to be eligible for UK Chief Mate yachts, less than 3000 GT, unlimited area, II/2 CoC. All other pre-requisites, as detailed by the IYT, must be completed prior to taking the course and examination.

5. Pre-Requisite Requirements for an MCA-Approved Efficient Deck Hand (EDH) Course

In addition to the pre-requisites mentioned in MSN 1862 (Paragraph 4.2, page 4) the RYA Yachtmaster Coastal CoC or an IYT Master of Yachts Coastal Mate less less than 200 GT CoC will permit entry into the EDH course.

6. Recognition of these Certificates

The MCA accepts the RYA Yachtmaster Coastal CoC (with commercial endorsement) or IYT Master of Yachts Coastal/Mate less than 200 GT CoC for the Manning of UK registered vessels in the following capacities:

• Chief Mate of 500 GT on vessels up to 60 nautical miles offshore; and
• Chief Mate of 200 GT on vessels up to 150 nautical miles offshore.

In addition, they are recognised for commercial use in UK waters as a Master on vessels of under 24 metres and 80 GT and up to 30 nautical miles offshore.

While the MCA recognises these RYA and IYT qualifications for use on UK registered yachts of less than 200 GT in areas specified on the certificate, it cannot guarantee recognition internationally (outside of UK waters). If you hold these certificates you should check the certification requirements of the local Port State Control Administration prior to entering their jurisdiction.

The terms of this recognition will be detailed in separate agreements between the MCA and IYT/RYA. The agreements will be subject to ongoing approval procedures set out between the MCA and RYA/IYT and subject to review. Both organisations will need to meet the requirements identified by an MCA against an agreed set of terms and conditions to ensure they have robust ongoing approval and monitoring procedures.