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© Mark Harpur

MCA introduces new route for UK Officer of the Watch (OOW) yachts Certificate of Competency (CoC)

5 December 2023

The MCA have updated their guidance for applicants looking to gain an UK OOW yachts Certificate of Competency (less than 3000 GT in an unlimited area, II/1 Certificate of Competency).


As the size of superyacht vessels continues to grow, acquiring the necessary experience for certifications like the RYA Yachtmaster Offshore or IYT Master of Yachts/Mate Limited 200 GT has become more challenging.

In response, the MCA outlined MIN 580, providing a new avenue for individuals engaged on yachts exceeding 24 meters. This route allows them to secure an RYA Yachtmaster Coastal CoC or IYT Master of Yachts Coastal/Mate less than 200 GT CoC as an alternative option.


The RYA Yachtmaster Coastal CoC serves as a substitution for the RYA Yachtmaster Offshore CoC when applying for an OOW yachts certification, catering to vessels under 3000 GT, with an unlimited operational area, II/1 classification.


Eligibility for the RYA Yachtmaster Coastal examination entails candidates possessing 800 miles and 30 days onboard vessels less than 24m in length. However, completion of an RYA Coastal Skipper Practical Course can lessen this requirement to 400 miles and 20 days aboard vessels of any size.


Securing an RYA Yachtmaster Coastal CoC or an IYT Master of Yachts Coastal Mate less than 200 GT CoC allows entry into the EDH course. However, holders of the IYT Master of Yachts Coastal/Mate less than 200 GT CoC are ineligible to acquire a UK Master, II/2, code vessels less than 200 GT CoC.


The MCA acknowledges these certificates for manning UK-registered vessels in specific capacities and areas, albeit without assured international recognition. The parameters of this acknowledgement remain subject to continuous evaluation and approval by the MCA and the RYA/IYT.


To get further details about the new route you can download the marine information note to find out more.


The PYA is authorised by the UK Maritime Coastguard Agency to issue Yacht Rating Certificates which are needed by some vessels to comply with their safe manning requirements. If you are looking to get a Yacht Rating Certificate verified, explore our service, or as a full member you can access this for free.

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