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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    386

    Default Yachtmaster offshore Practical (Sail) any tips?

    I am doing my exam prep in a few weeks along with my practical exam, any tips / advice appreciated?

    anyone recently took it?

    of course the exam prep will prepare me & I feel confident with navigation, weather e.t.c but feel like I should be preparing somehow?

    all the other courses I have taken haven't had an "examiner" as such so I'm just questioning the format I guess?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    SE London
    Posts
    67

    Cool Re: Yachtmaster offshore Practical (Sail) any tips?

    It's been a few years now but remember the examiner probably finds it just as strange as you. Make sure he and the rest of the crew are well fed.

    Use the exam prep to check the depth gauge offset if any and estimate how accurate the log reading is. All helps with the blind navigation exercise.

    You will be assumed to have all the theory knowledge, just the odd question to check.

    Have your qualifications and log book available.

    Relax and good luck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Home: North West, Boat: The Clyde
    Posts
    3,520

    Default Re: Yachtmaster offshore Practical (Sail) any tips?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cactus Sailing View Post

    .........but feel like I should be preparing somehow?
    Have you read through the syllabus in G158 logbook? Itís a good place to start.

    How up to date is your Shorebased/theory knowledge?

    The prep course is likely to run through commonly seen areas of weakness.

    The examiner has the freedom to ask you to demonstrate any part of the syllabus and you should trust that he/she has the experience to assess your ability to skipper a boat to the level of competence required.

    If youíve done your prep and have the required skills youíll no doubt enjoy the experience.

    Close quarters manoeuvring, picking up a fender under sail (an MoB is always under power) and blind nav are pretty much certainties.

    Itís probably wise to expect the unexpected, too. I did it a good few years ago. My examiner spotted a friend on the water nearby. Unknown to me, as I was skippering an exercise, he called his pal to set a new challenge. The guys aboard the nearby yacht gave us the hands-up distress signal. I aborted my exercise and changed course towards the ailing vessel. It seems that their sails had torn and the motor disabled so they required a tow into the nearest marina, 3 miles away. He made me give them a long tow, then a short tow into the marina fairway. Barsteward!

    The best part of the day is having a small glass of whisky at about 03h00 back in the marina, after the debrief and after the examiner had offered his congratulations! I did it in Scotland so your choice of celebratory booze may differ.

    Good luck!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    UK - Solent region
    Posts
    37,617

    Default Re: Yachtmaster offshore Practical (Sail) any tips?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cactus Sailing View Post
    I am doing my exam prep in a few weeks along with my practical exam, any tips / advice appreciated?

    anyone recently took it?

    of course the exam prep will prepare me & I feel confident with navigation, weather e.t.c but feel like I should be preparing somehow?

    all the other courses I have taken haven't had an "examiner" as such so I'm just questioning the format I guess?
    Be a skipper, you are in charge (but you are not Capt Bligh), look after & out for your crew, give all including examiner a decent safety brief, then relax & enjoy as if you are out sailing with your mates. You will get things wrong, everybody sailing does, some are better at hiding it. Remember the examiner is on your side, they are not ogres.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Atlantic
    Posts
    19,226

    Default Re: Yachtmaster offshore Practical (Sail) any tips?

    Here you go.

    Beg, buy or borrow the most excellent RYA Yachtmaster Handbook by James Stevens. Follow his advice, it doesnt get any better.

    Theory. Really and I mean really revise IRPCS. And boyage and pilotage.

    Practical. Go out and put reefs in and out over and over and over. Do as many MOB under sail and power as you possibly can. Find new berths and go bow to, stern to and both port and starboard side to again and again.

    Have had the opportunity to prepare many, many candidates. Above are the common weak areas. Dont expect to learn it all on your prep few days. Nothing should come as a surprise. Read the syllabus. Start practice right now!

    Good luck, keep your wits about you, if not sure ask the examiner to repeat until you do and dont flap. As Alan says (he knows a lot about it) they are on your side. Its up to you to show them you can pass!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Posts
    114

    Default Re: Yachtmaster offshore Practical (Sail) any tips?

    expect the unexpected , on mine the examiner switched the engine off in the narrow entrance to the hamble on low springs on a busy easter bankholiday friday ! if you are doing it with others establishing who is really up to it can help when its your turn , ( unless you take her off the dock as i did )

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Me Edinburgh, boat JWD
    Posts
    5,069

    Default Re: Yachtmaster offshore Practical (Sail) any tips?

    Tea/coffee and hot food ..... and plenty of it.

    Oh, and don't forget your tidal calcs.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    36,308

    Default Re: Yachtmaster offshore Practical (Sail) any tips?

    Refresh the whole theory syllabus.
    Think about the man-management/teamwork side of running a boat with 4 or so people on it.
    Think about how you would explain your method of e.g. springing off a pontoon, MOB or whatever to a beginner.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Posts
    2,295

    Default Re: Yachtmaster offshore Practical (Sail) any tips?

    An examiner is not above putting 'temptation' in your way. A long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away I was asked to bring us alongside the end of the hammerhead pontoon outside the rightly-famous Pandora Inn up the Truro River above Falmouth..... which I did.

    It being a bright and warm day, the examiner and others decamped along the pontoon for a pint and an oggie. After a moment or three I joined 'em, and was asked by said RYA scrote "Is it alright for us to stay alongside here....?"

    Despite the 'raging thirst', I went back and did some careful calcs and was close to tears when I had to announce that it wasn't OK, we'd have to drink up pdq and get out of there, for the calcs suggested the ebbtide was about to accelerate and the hole scoured in the fundament - right under the transducer - was enough to give me a very false sense of security. Get it wrong by half an hour, and we'd be stuck there, in that scoured hole, for a tide, for it was shallower just away from the hammerhead.

    "OK" grinned the 'zaminer, "so we need to get off - now! I'm simulating a rope around the prop. No engine available. Now what...?"

    He didn't know I'd spent several years with an engineless Hurley 22 moored right there ( well, now and then an old, unreliable Silver Century ). That was easy. Just a briefing, a backed jib, a wee bit of ferry glide off, and a steady turn downstream and away.

    Mind you, I wouldn't have minded too much being stuck there for an hour or six.....





    So... don't worry about being bowled a swerver. An examiner will want to know if you can think your way out of a possible problem - and that's fair enough. So just think..... That's what a proper skipper is there for!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    5,468

    Default Re: Yachtmaster offshore Practical (Sail) any tips?

    This is the impression I got from one CS exam & one YM Offshore exam where I was the candidate. So I've not seen thousands like the instructors on the forum.

    1) The exam is not particularly onerous - except of course it is very easy to convince yourself it will be. If you can skipper a boat and know you can skipper it you'll pass. If you make a mistake, relax and don't let it get to you.

    2)The examiners like sailing. May seem obvious but you can lose sight of that at the start of an exam. They've also done lots of it, so they will be able to suss you out whatever you say. So just get on with it and sail the boat. They're keen to help you develop. I learnt something in both exams.

    3) And they've probably been to the places that you mention in your logbook too, so no problem if you've really been there.

    4) There's no official right way. So run the boat the way you think it should be run.

    5) You know the things you need to swat up on like ColRegs, so do that.

    6) You need to know the boat, but you can learn that during the prep. I was asked to show the examiner 'every hole in the hull and every piece of safety kit on board'.

    7) Delegate to the crew. On my YM exam I overheard the examiner intercept the least useful crew member and ask him what tasks he'd been given in prep to go to sea. Later on when I stayed on the helm after the MoB bit to chill out (after not touching the wheel for about 6 hours prior to that) he half-jokingly asked me what I was doing helming the boat when I was supposed to be managing it.

    8) Enjoy the sail.

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