ISPA Yachtmaster Course

ISPA Yachtmaster Certificates of Competence are awarded to candidates who have demonstrated skills, training, experience and competence to safely venture on the high seas as the skipper of a sail or power vessel of more than 12 meters (39 ft) overall length.
Yachtmaster certificates are generally sought by seasoned sailors who have held ISPA Coastal Skipper Bareboat and ISPA Coastal Navigator Certificates of Competence for several years and have accumulated hundreds of days of day and night sailing experience in all weather conditions, in tidal waters well out of sight of land. 

ISPA Yachtmaster Certification is as much about leadership, situational awareness, decision making, resourcefulness, passage planning and vessel preparedness as it is about sailing. Your in-depth understanding of meteorology, electronic navigation, first aid and vessel systems and maintenance is presumed.

Yachtmaster candidates must feel confident that they are ready physically and mentally for the ultimate recreational boating challenge.


Yachtmaster courses have a shore-based component with a written exam and a practical, on-the-water component. The shore based component can be taken year-round but the practical component is only offered in the spring summer and fall.

Yachtmaster, Offshore Typical Course Route
1. Circumnavigation of Vancouver Island, departing North Vancouver – approximately 1200 nm, during which a passage of at least three consecutive days will occur at least 50 nm offshore West Coast Vancouver Island.

YachtMaster Ocean Typical Course Routes
2. Queen Charlotte Islands (Haida Gwaii), departing North Vancouver – approximately 2400 nm, during which 3 ocean passages, one of which will be 150 nm off shore.
3. San Francisco, departing North Vancouver – approximately 1500 nm, duration approximately 7 – 10 days at least 150 nm off shore.
4. Hawaii, departing San Francisco – approximately 2500 nm and 14 days
5. San Francisco, departing Hawaii – approximately 3000 nm

ISPA Yachtmaster Certificates of Competence are of two types:

1) Yachtmaster Offshore, Sail or Power

  • ISPA Coastal Skipper Bareboat, ISPA Coastal Navigator Certificates of Competence
  • Current first aid certificate
  • VHF or GDMSS radio operator’s licence
  • List logged experience, roles and vessels type

Syllabus as described in the workbook for ISPA Yachtmaster Offshore, Sail or Power, Certificate of Competence

2) Yachtmaster Ocean, Sail or Power

  • ISPA Yachtmaster, Offshore Certificate of Competence
  • Current first aid certificate
  • VHF or GMDSS radio operator’s licence
  • List logged experience, roles and vessel types here

More ISPA International Certificate of Competency Program

Sail | Power | Young Mariner/Tall Ship | Yachtmaster