So taking you Master 200 is a great step for many budding professionals who are becoming stuck against a glass ceiling with their RYA qualifications.

So what’s the driving force behind the move?

Well the driving force behind the move must be the perceived erosion of the standard of newly qualified yacht masters and the apparent reliance on electronic navigation. I believe that this is probably true in part but is mainly due to the increasing numbers of qualified Yacht master’s flooding the market.

Equally there are pressures exerted from abroad with boats finding both Spain and Germany particularly hard to operate in even with commercially and STCW endorsed tickets.

What do I Need?

First and Foremost you need to hold the Yachtmaster Offshore and it needs to be commercially endorsed. This will limit your Master 200 in the same way as your original ticket.

An Ocean Yacht Master is unlimited however be prepared to answer fairly in depth questions on the Sextant and other extended voyage subjects.

You Need to obtain and NOE that is a Notice of Readiness, essentially its an application form for the exam and it can be found here http://www.dft.gov.uk/mca/deck_yacht_msf4343.pdf This Details the requirements for the exam.

They are

  • ROC or GOC Radio Course (Most will do a GOC)
  • STCW 95, Fire Flighting, Elementary First Aid, Personal Survival Techniques, Personal Safety and Social Responsibility.
  • RYA Yachtmaster Offshore

Consider also in addition to the basic qualification to increase your likely hood of employment.

  • MCA Approved Engine Course
  • Ships Captains Medical
  • ECDIS Course

The Guidance Notes are extreamly complete and provide all the detail required.

http://www.dft.gov.uk/mca/mcga-mnotice.htm?textobjid=A2972962E00EF8DA

What preparation should I do?

A 6 Day preparation is the Normal format, I can thoroughly recommend Paul Cunningham who is an MCA Master, through the training centre Sea Regs in Plymouth run by Simon Jinks.

What am I going to be asked?

Well I can only give you my experience!

First of all I was invited in. I was wearing a suit with jacket, this goes down well, remember chaps its a professional exam.

We talked about what I was going to do with the ticket and what I had been up to before, he was trying to get a feel for what I knew.

We moved quickly on though the legislation type questions based around the laws of salvage, MARPOL, ISPS, ALC1, Maritime Labour Convention, ISM Code, COSWAP.

After that he asked me about actions upon grounding, I quoted the entry from the Bridge Procedures Guide which was well worth the use!

Then onto the collision regulations, the questions were scenario based using smartie boards and small models and he expected me to give him my actions often forcing me to turn to port and explain my reasoning for doing so using the rules. I did so by quoting the rule to support my answer. He left this after a few questions.

We then looked and a simple RADAR Plot

He then told me that the exam was over and I had passed. I was in there and little under an hour.

The exam was testing but not impossible for anyone who is adequately prepared and is prepared to put the effort into the learning of the professional aspects of the industry,