Verification and certification of yachtsmen

Montserrat Yachting Association (MYA) provides examination of yachtsmen and issues the below mentioned Certificates of Competence to candidates who successfully pass examination or provide evidence of Competence at the appropriate level.

DAY SKIPPER

Holders are qualified to skipper a yacht at sea from sunrise to sunset within 15 nautical miles from the skipper's homeport, or 25 miles from their homeport provided they are no more than 15 nautical miles from an approved safe haven.

COASTAL SKIPPER

Holders are qualified to skipper a yacht on any coastal passage within 40 nautical miles of the coast by day or by night.

YACHT MASTER OFFSHORE

Holders are qualified to skipper a yacht on any extended passage within 150 nautical miles of the coast by day or by night.

YACHT MASTER OCEAN

Holders are qualified to skipper a yacht on any extended or all oceans passage by day or by night. This qualification is a badge of honour that indicates the holder has mastered celestial navigation.

GMDSS RESTRICTED OPERATOR

Holders are qualified to operate VHF radio station with DSC in A1 area.

GMDSS GENERAL OPERATOR

Holders are qualified to operate VHF/MF/HF radio station with DSC in A1, A2 and A4 areas and Inmarsat satellite station in A3 area.

RADAR OBSERVER

Holders are qualified to operate a Marine Radar.

The following are mandatory:

- You must be a Day Skipper to apply for a Coastal Skipper Certificate of Competence.

- You must be a Coastal Skipper to apply for Yacht Master Offshore.

- You must be a Yacht Master Offshore to apply for a Yacht Master Ocean.

There are some prerequisites that must be met before a candidate can apply for a Certificate of Competence. They are as follows:

AGE

Candidates must be at least 16 years of age.

GMDSS RESTRICTED OPERATOR’S CERTIFICATE

Candidates for Day Skipper and Coastal Skipper require a GMDSS Restricted Operator's Certificate.

GMDSS GENERAL OPERATOR’S CERTIFICATE

Candidates for Yacht Master Offshore and Yacht Master Ocean require a GMDSS General Operator's Certificate.

RADAR OBSERVER CERTIFICATE

Candidates for Yacht Master Offshore and Yacht Master Ocean require a Radar Observer Certificate.

VISUAL ACUITY AND ISHIHARA COLOUR TEST

All candidates require a basic eye test. If you are colour blind you cannot go further than Day Skipper.

STCW-95 ENDORSEMENT

Candidates for Yacht Master Offshore and Yacht Master Ocean level are not required but highly recommended to complete the five days STCW-95 course which covers Fire Fighting, Sea Survival, First Aid, Personal Safety and Social Responsibilities.

EXPERIENCE (Pre-course experience)

For Day Skipper to Yacht Master, the minimum experience (described as mandatory above) is required. Only experience as a skipper or an active member of crew on a yacht at sea is considered to be qualifying experience.

PERSONAL LOGBOOK

A logbook is required as proof of experience. The logbook records the details of each voyage, and should be signed off by the Skipper of the yacht. If you are the Skipper for a particular voyage, you sign for that voyage yourself.

Where the candidate has not kept a logbook, the examiner may accept retrospective logging of experience at his discretion.

EXAM

Please note that the syllabuses from Day Skipper to Yachtmaster Ocean are cumulative. Thus the Yachtmaster Offshore exam will focus on issues related to offshore and ocean crossing voyages but will include questions relating to the Day Skipper and Local Waters Skipper and Coastal Skipper syllabuses. At Yachtmaster Offshore level the examiner will expect mastery of the lower levels.

To prepare for the Coastal Skipper, Yacht Master Offshore or Yacht Master Ocean chartwork exam you should ensure that you can answer all the questions from the lower levels. The exam papers typically draw questions from the lower levels to ensure that you have indeed mastered this material.