RYA Yachtmaster Ocean course

Why do the RYA Yachtmaster Ocean Theory Course

The RYA Yachtmaster Ocean Theory Course provides a theoretical background for people intending to make ocean passages.

For many, including those who do not intend making ocean passages, one of the main attractions is the opportunity to learn celestial navigation – fixing one’s position out of sight of land using sextant, chronometer and almanac, rather than relying on electronic aids.

Demystifying navigation by sun, moon, planets and stars provides considerable satisfaction and new avenues of interest.

Content

The three main components are elementary great circle navigation, ocean meteorology and ocean passage planning. There is also more detailed consideration of electronic systems and long-range telecommunications.

Although this is a shore-based course, the Club possesses some sextants and the opportunity is given of handling them and making adjustments to obtain basic familiarisation with their use.

Celestial navigation is founded on more advanced trigonometry; however, the use of sight reduction tables means that no mathematical knowledge, other than simple arithmetic, is expected.

Timetable

The course runs from September to April on Wednesday evenings from 1900-2100. A pre-course supper is available.

The Club’s special Braided Rope and Practical Weather Forecasting courses help provide some of the self-sufficiency expected of ocean passage-making skippers and mates.

Since 2017, some of the material from Practical Weather Forecasting has been incorporated into our version of the Yachtmaster Ocean course.