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RYA Yachtmaster Ocean Shorebased

Correspondence Course : £375

East Anglian Sea School's Yachtmaster Ocean distance learning course allows you to study anywhere in the world and at your own pace within the time frame of 1 year from the date of enrolment.

This is a course in astro-navigation and worldwide meteorology which also reveals the mysteries of the sextant. It assumes a knowledge of all subjects covered in the other shorebased courses: Day Skipper & Coastal Skipper Yachtmaster Offshore.

The course is suited to those who wish to go ocean cruising, it will equip you with the skills needed to carry out an ocean passage either as a skipper or mate.

This course is essential preparation for a qualifying passage for the RYA Yachtmaster Ocean Examination.

 PLEASE NOTE: This course is currently not compatible with MAC

Suggested Previous Experience

Theory: RYA Coastal Skipper & Yachtmaster Offshore Shorebased Certificate

Practical: Not essential but any coastal & offshore yachting or motor cruising is an advantage.


The complete course includes:

  • Study material on CD
  • Study guides
  • Interactive modules
  • RYA Student pack
  • Astro Navigation Handbook by Tim Bartlett
  • 2B pencil for chartwork
  • Marking and Support
  • Exams
  • Postage to UK addresses

Popular extras:

  • Navigational instruments - plotter and high quality dividers
  • Books - RYA books and other publications that are not essential for completion of the course however are nice to have on the book shelf and can help when moving onto higher level courses.
  • Extra training chart
  • Astro Plotting Sheets
  • Planisphere






  1. Astro Theory and Time – the basic concepts of astro explained together with time zones and the relationship between longitude and time.
  2. The Sextant - how to adjust, use and maintain this expensive piece of kit.
  3. Meridian Passage – the simplest and most basic sight which gives us our latitude.
  4. Sun Sights and Plotting – the next stage in being able to put together sights and use them for practical navigation – the sun-run-sun.
  5. Using the Stars – an under-rated tool for obtaining and instant fix. Once the method for the sun has been learned then the rest of the heavenly bodies are relatively simple.
  6. The Moon, Planets and Polaris – the only new elements are the different adjustments that need to be made to the sight, and Polaris provides another method of obtaining latitude.
  7. Weather – global weather explained for both hemispheres together with tropical revolving storms.
  8. Passage Planning – the nitty gritty of planning and making an ocean passage.


There is one paper that covers astro weather passage planning and passage making.



RYA Yachtmaster Ocean Shorebased


What's next?

Once you have completed your qualifying 600 mile (minimum) passage you can take the RYA Yachtmaster Ocean Oral & Written Exam. For details or to book this please contact our office to arrange this.


Other options available @ East Anglian Sea School for RYA Yachtmaster Ocean Theory course

Classroom course: 5 days: £485.00


5 Day

13 November '17Places
19 February '18Places

1:1 Tuition: If our course dates do not suit you, we can arrange this course for you via personal tuition at a more suitable time, please call for price & details.


RYA Yachtmaster Ocean Theory Syllabus

The earth and the celestial sphere

  • Definition of the observer's zenith and position of a heavenly body in terms of latitude, longitude, GHA and declination
  • Right angle relationships, latitude and co-lat, declination and polar distance
  • Relationship between GHA, longitude and LHA
  • Tabulation of declination in nautical almanac
  • Rate of increase of hour angle with time

The PZX triangle

  • The tabulated components of the triangle, LHA, co-lat and polar distance
  • The calculable components, zenith distance and azimuth
  • Relationship between zenith distance and altitude
  • Introduction to the tabular method of solution in the Air Navigation Tables and the basic sight form
  • The use of calculators for the solution of the PZX triangle

The sextant

  • Practical guide to the use and care of a sextant at sea
  • Conversion of sextant altitude to true altitude
  • Application of dip, index error and refraction
  • Correction of side error, perpendicularity, index error and collimation error.

Measurement of time

  • Definition of, and relationship between, UT, LMT standard time and zone time
  • Rating of chronometers and watches

Meridian altitudes

  • Forecasting time of meridian altitude
  • Reduction of meridian altitude sights

Sun, star and other sights

  • Reduction and plotting of sun sights using Air Navigation Tables
  • Awareness of use of calculator for sight reduction
  • The plotting of a sun-run-sun meridian altitude
  • Awareness of the reduction and plotting of sights obtained from stars, moon and planets

Compass checking

  • Use of amplitude and azimuth tables systems and/or calculator

Satellite Navigation Systems

  • Principles and limitations of use of all systems

Great circle sailing

  • Comparison of rhumb lines and great circles
  • Vertices and composite tracks
  • The computation of a series of rhumb lines approximating to a great circle by use of gnomic and Mercator projections


  • General pressure distribution and prevailing winds over the oceans of the world
  • Tropical revolving storms, seasonal occurrence and forecasting by observation

Passage planning

  • Publications available to assist with planning of long passages (routeing charts, ocean passages of the world and other publications)
  • Preparation for ocean passage including survival equipment, victualling, water and fuel management, chafe protection, spares and maintenance

Passage making

  • Navigational routine
  • Watchkeeping
  • Crew management


  • Satellite and terrestrial systems
  • Weather information
East Anglian Sea School Ltd.
Tel: 01473 659992    Email: sales@eastanglianseaschool.com