Dockwalk - The Essential Site For Captains And Crew - DockTalk Untitled Page

Welcome to the Forum


In order to post a comment in one of the forum topics, you must log in or sign up. Your display name will appear next to your posts unless you check the Post Anonymously box. When writing a post, please follow our forum guidelines. If you come across a post that you would like us to review, use the Report Post button. Please note the opinions shared in the forums do not necessarily reflect the views of Dockwalk.

RSS Feed Print
Transfer from RN
Posted: Monday, July 27, 2015 9:59 PM
Joined: 27/07/2015
Posts: 1

Good evening all,

As the title suggests, I'm considering leaving the Royal Navy and starting a new career in the yachting industry. I'm a warfare officer, having spent the last 6 years in various bridge watch keeping assignments on ships ranging from 400 to 12000+ tons. I hold an STCW 98 (military caveat) and I'm aware I'd need to conduct some form of training to transfer my qualifications into civilian ones. I also hold RYA day skip and powerboat qualifications although they haven't been used for a number of years!

I've spent time looking and reading through this and a few other websites but all the advice I could find is on to those starting out with no experience at all. Although I obviously don't expect someone to hand me the keys to a yacht based purely on my prior experience I was hoping for an indication at the level of employment I could expect to achieve.

Additionally any information on which qualifications I'd need/would be helpful would also be appreciated. I know bluewater offer an exam-only OOW course, however I'm concerned this would leave me without knowledge of aspects of the yachting industry that would cause me issues later in my career. However, having been using ECDIS for 6 years I'm hoping I won't have to redo that course!

I'm aware that this is a very expansive question and I very much appreciate any responses. Thanks in advance,


Posted: Tuesday, July 28, 2015 7:15 AM
Joined: 03/09/2014
Posts: 8

Hi Taylor,

The first thing that you need to do before trying to book any courses is just talk to the MCA. They will look at what qualifications you currently hold and will then issue you with a level of civilian CoC that they feel is appropriate. They may just ask you to do an oral exam there but I'm guessing that if you've got the experience that you say you have they should allow you to have an OOW CoC in some form with the addition of maybe a few short STCW courses.

Hope this helps

Akula Dave
Posted: Monday, August 3, 2015 12:49 PM
Joined: 03/08/2015
Posts: 2


There is no ability to map RN OOW qualifications over to the yacht industry.  This is only for the engineers who complete a 'Letter of Initial Assessment' which they send to the MCA who in turn look at the qualifications and experience and then issue a 'Certificate of Competence' (CoC) within the engineering world. (Y1 to Y4).

Unfortunately your RYA day skipper and powerboat (Probably RYA level 2) are you only transferable skills.

Your ISSC will cover the basic STCW requirements but you will need to take the new security course of 'Proficiency in Dedicated Security Duties' (PDSD) to have the necessary STCW qualifications as a basic seafarer.

You will also need the seafarers medical certificate generally known as the ENG1.  There are equivalents which are accepted.

Your RYA Day Skipper and ECDIS experience are of value on a small yacht where you could join as a Lead Deckhand and work your way up.

Read Maritime Shipping Notice 1858 for further guidance. You would need to be Yachtmaster Offshore or Yachtmaster Ocean to get your foot on the ladder.

Investigate the 'Exam Only' route to get OOW certified.

Sea-time on a working yacht would be invaluable for you.  Look at trying to get a 'Delivery' deckhand position on a yacht relocating from the Med to the States at the end of the current season.

Good Luck

Posted: Thursday, August 6, 2015 10:34 AM
Joined: 01/03/2015
Posts: 5

Good morning ally,

I'm an ex warfare officer myself, albeit with significantly less RN sea time than you. As previously mentioned there is no conversion from the NWC into the yachting qualifications, however there is a transfer to OOW unlimited, which is obviously a superior ticket to have if you can afford the expense. The main exemption they give you is sea time, as you will only have to complete 3 months sea time on a merchant ship to be eligible for an NOE, which is a bonus. On top of that you only have to do 5 out of the 10 modules of study that the merchant navy cadets do, ensuring you learn all the stuff that they don't teach in depth in the RN like stability, cel nav, law and management etc whilst giving you exemptions from subjects you are familiar with like navigation, tides, chart work etc. Sadly the expensive bit is the short courses, and yes will will have to do ECDIS again, and advanced firefighting and all the other things you probably shouldn't have to. 
The bad news is the cost, as all the courses and exams together add to around 10k, not to mention hotel bills, travel expenses, loss of income etc. The good news is that the academic bits can be done via distance learning with Fleetwood college, so you can earn while you learn (if you are motivated enough!). I've just gone this route  so am speaking from experience. As for getting into yachting, my advice would be get your yachtmaster (offshore/ocean) and leave your officers hat at home and find a job as a deckhand for a 6-12 months, you'll get the deck experience, save some money and most importantly get that 3 months sea time. You can then choose whether to leave your job, re-mortage the house (jokes) and do it all at once over 9 months, or whether you would prefer to stay working as a deckhand, bosun whilst doing the conversion piecemeal. I did the former.
Check this out if you want more info:
Regards, Will
Oh, and funnily enough you won't get the same sea time exemption if you want a >3000gt OOW(Y), so if you want to go that route it's going to take you the full 3 years. I know this because I tried, bureaucracy eh! 

 Average 0 out of 5