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RYA Ocean

Online Theory Course

An outstanding course - I can highly recommend this. The details, feedback and support is excellent - makes celestial navigation understandable!
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Over 13,500 students
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Unravel the mysteries of astro navigation, the sextant, global meteorology and ocean passage making

The online RYA/MCA Yachtmaster Ocean theory course teaches advanced techniques to those aspiring to blue water cruising and is ideal for holders of the Yachtmaster Offshore certificate who are preparing for their first ocean passage, and for commercial Skippers or Mates planning on operating more than 150nm from a safe haven.

This course will introduce you to the principles of astro navigation, the practical use of the sextant, the measurement of time, position fixing by the sun and stars, compass checking and great circle sailing.  

You’ll also study the concepts of worldwide meteorology, including tropical revolving storms, and passage planning for ocean voyaging.

  • Assumed knowledge
    Yachtmaster level.
  • Minimum duration
    40 hours study is specified by the RYA.
  • Ability after course
    Theory knowledge to undertake an ocean passage.

Simply click below to try a free lesson.

Introduction to Astro Navigation

  • Introduction & Basic Astro Navigation Theory
  • Using a Sextant
  • Meridian Passage
  • Sun Sights
  • Plotting Your Position
  • Planet Sights
  • Moon Sights
  • Star Sights
  • Latitude by Polaris (The Pole Star)
  • Compass Check by Sun’s Amplitude
  • Ocean Weather & Tropical Storms
  • Passage Planning
  • Satellite, HF communications and obtaining weather data

Unlimited support from our dedicated RYA Instructors - 365 days a year via email, phone or Skype/Zoom.

14-day unconditional money-back guarantee.

13 fully-narrated online lessons including animations, videos and realistic 3D graphics.

Embedded quizzes with instant feedback in each lesson.

Self-assessment exercises with fully worked answers.

Final exam with detailed instructor feedback and free repeat attempts if requried.

RYA Ocean Yachtmaster Shorebased Theory Course Completion Certificate.

12 months access to study with instructor support and exams - you can extend this if you want.

Lifetime access to training materials once you’ve completed the course.

This course is accessed online with no additional software required.

Lessons are accompanied by optional professional narration, and notes. 

They are intuitive and easy to follow, whilst more complex subjects are accompanied by interactive animations and graphics to help you gain a full knowledge of each subject in the course syllabus.

Whilst the process of translating a sextant sight into a position line is straightforward it is quite challenging to get to grips with. Unlike classroom training, where time is limited and students progress at different rates, online learning allows you to participate in lessons as many times as you wish to fully get to grips with the concepts.

At the end of each lesson there are excercises containg similar questions to the exam, with detailed and illustrated answers sent to you immediately to confirm your progress and fully prepare you for your final exams.

You can repeat entire lessons and excercises as often as you wish until you are confident that you fully understand each subject.

When you have completed the course you can request the final exam.

This is assessed by our RYA Instructors and detailed feedback is provided in any areas that may require further study within the course.

If you pass the final exam you will be awarded the RYA/MCA Yachtmaster Ocean Shorebased Course Certificate, which will be posted to you.

RYA Yachtmaster Ocean Shorebased Certificate

Additional free resits, with suitable Instructor guidance, are available if required.

If you are working towards your Yachtmaster Ocean Certificate of Competence, successful completion of this course exempts you from the written exam.

For most students exam invigilation is not required - see here for examples of when invigilation is required.

Call us for advice on 0238 218 2604

Read this Sailing Today article about our Ocean Yachtmaster course

Course Reviews

  • Nigel Andrews

    Helped me master it

    This was my third attempt at an RYA Yachtmaster Ocean online course from different companies, and by far the best. For an admittedly difficult subject matter to get one’s head around, the instructor presents a very organized and understandable series of lessons that combine learning with wisdom and humour. Its still a tough subject, but this course helped me master it. Thanks!

  • Mathew Myatt

    Ability to repeat when in doubt

    Logical and clear. What was really good was the ability to go back and repeat or all or part of a lesson to ensure you truly understand a concept / principle, something which is more difficult to do when in a real classroom situation

  • David McIntyre

    An excellent course

    I found this course to be very comprehensive and informative. The format was very well presented and clear. The main advantage for me was the convenience of doing this in your own time. They are very generous with this. All my correspondence was very promptly replied. They are certainly very on the ball. The instructors gave clear and prompt feedback.

  • David Collins

    Well worth the investment. Excellent!

    A challenging course which stretches you but backed up with excellent coaching and instructor support. Worth the investment in time and money. Highly recommended.

Dedicated instructor support 365 days a year
Multi device and platform compatible
Study wherever you are anywhere in the world
Progress at your own pace with regular tests
RYA Certification on completion of course
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