RYA Yachtmaster Ocean

Course overview

Learn to navigate without any electronic instruments and only relying on the Sun, the Moon and the stars. A fascinating journey to learn the secrets of how to use a Sextant and prepare you to obtain the Yachtmaster Ocean shorebased certificate.


RYA Yachtmaster Ocean - White Wake Sailing

Course type: Theory


Duration: 2 Weekends (2 days + 3 days)


Location: Classroom course


Included: 40 hours tuition over 2 weekends. Training pack (RYA Yachtmaster Ocean theory Handbook, RYA training charts and exercises, Training almanac), Coffee and snack during the breaks


Not included: lunches, overnight stays


Course content

This is an intensive course to learn about Astro Navigation and how to find your position by means of a Sextant, the Sun, the Moon or the Stars. Did you know that the GPS system, without which now orientation would seem nearly impossible, became fully operational only in 1995? That is only a quarter of a century ago...

During this course we will go through the basic concepts and notions of astronavigation: the celestial sphere, zenith, azimuth, etc. We will learn how to properly use a sextant and then turn those angle readings  into an estimated position on a chart. We will also make use of the 'sight reduction tables' and different almanacs and publications. Don't be scares, we will not use trigonometry!

As part of the course we will also look at some of the necessary steps in the planning of an ocean passage. Weather and ocean meteorology, great circle sailing, and overall passage planning....just on a different scale.

The course takes place over two weekends, with sufficient time in between to study. At the end of the course you will go through an exam paper to then obtain the 'Yachtmaster Ocean Shorebased certificate'. This is an essential step to then proceed to the Yachtmaster Ocean exam...

How to book

You can book directly online by clicking the 'Add to cart' button.  As we do not run this course on a regular basis, please give us a call or send us an email with your desired dates.  We will then get back to you with a confirmation. Once you book the course, we will send you the course pack (containing the RYA Yachtmaster Ocean Handbook, RYA training charts, exercises and almanac) so you can start browsing through. We will also send you the detailed joining instructions. 

For a more detailed summary of the course Syllabus please scroll all the way down 

RYA Yachtmaster Ocean


You can review our Booking and Payment policy Here


Give us a call to know about the next available dates!


899,00 €

  • Available / Plätze frei

Any questions or doubts? Contact us:

 +43 664 88360842 or info@white-wake.com


1. The earth and the celestial sphere 

  • Definition of 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 

2. 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 

3. 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 

4. Measurement of time 

  • Definition of, and relationship between, UT, LMT, standard time and zone time 
  • Rating of chronometers and watches 

5. Meridian altitudes 

  • Forecasting time of meridian altitude 
  • Reduction of meridian altitude sights 

6. 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 sun-run-sun meridian altitude 
  • Awareness of the reduction and plotting of sights obtained from stars, moon and planets 

7. Compass checking 

  • Use of amplitude and azimuth tables systems and/or calculator 

8. Satellite Navigation Systems 

  • Principles and limitations of use of all systems 

9. 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 gnomonic and Mercator projections 

10. Meteorology 

  • General pressure distribution and prevailing winds over the oceans of the world 
  • Tropical revolving storms, seasonal occurrence and forecasting by observation 

11. 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 

12. Passage making 

  • Navigational routine, Watchkeeping, Crew management 

13. Communications 

  • Satellite and terrestrial systems 
  • Weather information