Yachtmaster Preparation & Exam - One week prep & assessment

This intensive coaching session will help prepare you for the examination which gives you the most respected yachting qualification in the world. You must arrive fully prepared in your sailing ability and with a full knowledge of navigational theory. Practice complex sailing skills with guidance from one of our senior instructors and gain confidence from working under pressure. Our 6 day course means you will receive 4 days full exam preparation/practice time prior to commencement of your exam. Prepare a theoretical passage plan for presentation to your RYA examiner who will independently assess your theory and practical knowledge and skills.

Note: We offer a “Boat Handling” combined with advanced sailing skills course in the week preceding this preparation and exam week.


1 week (6 full days sailing)

Pre Course Experience
Pre Course Experience

We will send you a document listing all the disciplines that can be tested by the examiner. For YM Offshore you will be tested on a) MOB under sail & b) Navigation tactics in fog (blind navigation).

Assumed Knowledge
Assumed Knowledge

Yachtmaster theory knowledge including IRPCS!!! Ideally you have successfully completed RYA Tidal Coastal Skipper Practical completion certificate - this course teaches you the sailing skills & techniques required to further practice & pass an RYA exam.

Course Content
Course Content

6 days - 4 days preparation time followed by exam (depending on number of candidates). Drilling and honing the skills. Execute theoretical passage plan (supplied by us!) for presentation to your examiner


From €1195/pp (shared cabin for 2)


From €1290 (own cabin)


Contact us for availability


Click here for local weather links


Course content

Below is a list of the disciplines you will practice leading to your RYA/MCA Yachtmaster Offshore or Coastal Yachtmaster Exam with Canary Sail

  • Pilotage
  • Passage planning
  • Man Over Board
  • Managing yacht and crew
  • Navigation in poor visibility
  • Position fixing/finding
  • Yacht handling
  • Sailing on/off bouys, berth and anchor

Typical Itinerary for Week

Day 1 (Saturday – 17.00)

We will meet and welcome you and settle you onto your yacht. You are then invited to join us all for drinks to meet the team, your instructors and fellow students or crew. You will be made very welcome by the Canary Sail team and we can advise the best restaurants for you to sample!

Day 2

You will participate in the safety briefing on board, you will be asked to prepare the boat for departure and almost always be taken out for a sailing/MOB session in the wind acceleration zone (WAZ) just off he harbour wall. You will also be given an opportunity to get used to handling your yacht in confined spaces.

Day 3

Boat handling in and around the marina before making the first passage through the Wind Zone to Marinas and ports in your area.

Day 4/5/6

Plenty of yacht handling and sailing exercises including passage making, pilotage at day and at night, blind navigation, MOB, sailing on/off with the opportunity to work on your passage plan in preparation for presentation to the examiner.

Day 7

Tuesday evening or Wednesday, your instructor will introduce you to your examiner and leave the yacht. The rest is then up to you – good luck with your exam!

Day 8

Leave the yacht at 09.00 latest please for your return home or to continue your holiday on La Gomera or Tenerife. Please see our stay page for accommodation.

Exclusive Course Yacht option for couples, families or groups on 36 to 50ft cruise yachts – now also including our Lagoon 38 C2 Catamaran option!


This Yachtmaster Exam assessment week is not a course! The Yachtmaster Prep & Exam week offers just 4 days of exam preparation, comprising of intense “Drills & Skills” practice of the sailing a docking exercises. Theory is also tested – not taught! There is no time for teaching new techniques. These should be covered before one arrives – fully prepared for the Exam week.

The prerequisites for this exam week are a total of 2500 sea miles covered under sail in the last 10 years, half of which must be conducted in tidal waters. At Offshore level, 5 x 60NM or longer passages are required, 2 as skipper and 2 overnight. Ideally, some formal sail training using traditional methods of chart navigation is a significant advantage to the candidate. Very sound knowledge of Navigational Theory and Collision Regulations is a must!

This Yachtmaster Exam Prep & Exam is run over a 6-day period. For the prep practice and testing of knowledge, drills and skills, your RYA Instructor has just 4 days with a max of 4 candidates on board to prepare for the remaining 2 days of assessment when your Prep instructor steps off the yacht and is replaced by an independent RYA Examiner.

Whether the candidate is successful or not in passing the exam, one gains great benefit from participation in such an intense training week. On passing the Exam, the resultant Certificate will help reduce yacht insurance premiums, both privately and for Yacht Charter. This certificate is the International “door opener” into the prestigious world of the Super Yacht and Professional Sailing Industry.

One might develop towards RYA Yachtmaster Ocean level learning celestial navigation techniques.
Commercial Endorsement of the RYA Yachtmaster Offshore Certificate will allow the holder to work professionally taking paying guests on board a sailing vessel they skipper. Many turn to Sail Training and Teaching through the RYA Cruising and Yachtmaster Instructor scheme.

Yes, the RYA Yachtmaster Coastal, and in particular Offshore Certificate is widely accepted internationally, both by Yacht Charter Companies and in the pursuit of a Professional Sailing Career.

From the Yachtmaster Exam syllabus, as many topics as possible with be practiced during the 4 days of exam preparation. There is not time to cover the whole syllabus. That is covered on the sail training road to this assessment. However, the instructor will be keen and willing to home in on any weaker or less practiced areas for each individual.

A theoretical Passage Plan will be presented to each candidate, comprising of Almanac, Charts, Weather Synopsis and all the material necessary to pre-prepare a Passage Plan. For those training in the week(s) leading to this exam week, these will be handed out early. During the exam, passage plans will be presented by each candidate to the examiner. In addition, the examiner will test depth of knowledge of any aspect of navigational theory, and Collision Regulations – e.g. Buoyage, Lights Shapes, Sounds, etc. 

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A wide range of practical and theory courses offered all year round

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Choose from a variety of sail cruises around the Canary Islands and beyond

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From Bareboat to skippered charter, we have an option to suit your needs

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Recommended accommodation options in La Gomera and Tenerife

Get in Touch

Phone any time on our UK Divert No. (UK call cost): 0044 1252 837648
Phone (USA): 001 855 866-5566
Phone (Spain): 0034 922 141 967

Postal Address:
Apartado 211,
Calle Del Medio, 38800,
San Sebastian de La Gomera,
Islas Canarias, Spain

Office opening hours:
Tuesday-Friday 08.30-15.30

Calls diverted outside of office hours, excluding Mondays. Please send us an email and your enquiry will be dealt with promptly.

Quick Contact

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