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Officer of the Watch (Yachts) - Navigation and Radar

About this course

Our yacht deck courses have achieved the highest pass rates in the industry for the last six years - 85% overall.

The first part of the course includes lectures covering navigational theory, electronic navigation aids and chart work. Instruction is given in practical chart work, tidal calculation and radar plotting, combined with a series of exercises to practice these techniques.

Electronic navigation aids include GPS, eLoran, ECDIS, echo sounders and speed logs. There is a significant emphasis on radar and ARPA and interpreting the radar picture.

In week three, with the assistance of instructors, students develop and practice navigation techniques in our renowned multi-purpose radar and navigation bridge simulators. This is an assessed week where collision avoidance skills are developed and application of the Collision Regulations must be demonstrated.

Course content

Weeks one and two

  • Magnetic compass
  • Gyro compass
  • Chartwork
  • Chart correction
  • Notices to mariners
  • Practical tides
  • International Regulations for the Prevention of Collision at Sea (IRPCS)
  • Buoyage system test
  • Navigation aids
  • Radar and radar plotting
  • ARPA
  • AIS

Written exam lasting 2.5 hours in two parts:

  • Part A: three questions covering chart work, secondary port tides and a radar plot.
  • Part B: three questions testing underpinning knowledge of topics in the syllabus.

Week three

  • Bridge simulator practical exercises

Online module

This course now includes unlimited access to an online module containing pre-course preparation materials, course notes, revision quizzes and lots of other useful information.

View a demonstration version
(you will need to create an account for our online learning system. Your details will not be used for marketing purposes).

When you book a place on this course you will be sent access details for the full version of the online module.

Useful tips and tricks

  1. Read though the exam syllabus. It can be found here.
  2. Your pass certificate is valid for three years.
  3. You do not need a Notice of Eligibility (NoE) to attend this course. However you will need an NoE for your MCA oral examination. The application form can be found here. Allow at least six weeks (currently even more) for the NoE to be processed by the MCA.
  4. You do not need ECDIS for your Yacht OOW. If you have not done the ECDIS course your CoC will have a negative endorsement (‘From the 1 January 2017 this certificate is not valid for service on ships fitted with ECDIS’). An ECDIS course will also make it easier for you to pass your Yacht OOW Navigation and Radar course.
  5. Do the ‘proper’ PSCRB course instead of ‘Advanced Sea Survival for Yachtsmen’. The latter has not got an STCW Code which has the following implications: Not all flag states recognise the Advanced Sea Survival, meaning you might have to do the PSCRB later anyway. Your certificate will have a negative endorsement (‘not to be used on vessels with davit-launched life rafts’). There is also no updating course available for the Advanced Sea Survival.
  6. Pre-study makes the difference. That’s why we send you the course notes as soon as you book. 
  7. Be familiar with the career progression requirements. A simple progression chart can be found here.
  8. Did you know that you may be eligible to do the OOW Unlimited? More information can be found here.
  9. Do your training on real simulators. Many students who come to us to benefit from our bridge simulators
  10. Our first-time pass rate is unsurpassed in the industry.

PLEASE NOTE: this course fills very quickly! Book early to avoid disappointment.

Course delivery location

This course is delivered from our new maritime simulation centre at Solent University's main East Park Terrace campus in Southampton city centre. Please check your joining instructions for further information. 

How to book

Please contact the admissions team if you require more information about this course:

Telephone: +44 (0)23 8201 5004 

Normal office hours are (UK time):
Monday - Thursday: 08.30 - 17.00
Friday 08.30 - 16.30

Online bookings will be confirmed with joining information within one working day of the booking being made. Confirmation of payment should be received in the normal way.

Please ensure you follow the booking process and do not enter payment details more than once, unless you are booking more than one course. If you experience any issues, please email

Your joining instructions will tell you which campus your training will take place at - please read carefully and take note.

Related courses

Candidates booking this course usually also book OOW (Yachts) General Ship Knowledge.

You might also want to consider: EDHPSCRBHELM(O)GMDSS GOCECDIS.

Course availability and booking

Date Places Fee Book
Monday 4 November 2019 No £2995 Enquire
Monday 20 January 2020 Yes £2995 Book
Monday 9 March 2020 Yes £2995 Book
Monday 8 June 2020 Yes £2995 Book

Course information

Next available date

Monday 20 January 2020


3 weeks






Practical in-course assessment and a written examination of 2.5 hours, divided into two parts. A minimum of 70% must be achieved in part A, and 50% in part B to pass. Continuous assessment in week three, emphasis being put on the final four navigation exercises during this simulation week.

Teaching methods

Theory lectures on the use of electronic navigation aids and practical teaching including chart work, radar and tides. Use of multi-purpose bridge simulators.


Successful completion of the RYA Yachtmaster Offshore course.

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