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RYA Yachtmaster Ocean Shorebased

'Learn to Navigate by the Stars'

5 days: £485.00

Correspondence Course : £365

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. 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.

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

Suggested Previous Experience

RYA Coastal Skipper & Yachtmaster Offshore Shorebased Certificate and Coastal & Offshore yachting or motor cruising.

Course Content

Astro-navigation, ocean meteorology & passage planning. Includes some practical work.

Includes: RYA training pack and astro navigation handbook.



  • Five day classroom course @ East Anglian Sea School

A non-residential course available over five days commencing Monday at 0930 hrs and ending approximately 1700 Friday. Local accommodation is available to suit all budgets.

  • Correspondence course

Work through the syllabus anywhere in the world at your own pace with distance learning.



RYA Yachtmaster Ocean Shorebased



5 Day

13 November '17Places
19 February '18Places




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