Yachtmaster exemption

If you hold a YA-RYA Yachtmaster Certificate or approved equivalent, you may be exempted from the requirements to hold a commercial Certificate of Competency for specified operations on a sailing vessel, provided you meet the required criteria.

Exemption criteria

To be eligible for the exemption, you must:

  • Be at least 16 years of age
  • Hold a Medical Fitness Declaration (AMSA 558) (Word); and
  • Hold a current first aid certificate of at least HLT training package 'Provide first aid' standard; and 
  • Hold at least a Marine Radio Operators VHF Certificate of Proficiency issued by the Australian Communications and Media Authority, or other qualification approved as equivalent; and
  • Complete the Elements of Shipboard Safety units of the maritime training package of the Transport & Logistics Industry Skills Council Ltd or other training that the National Regulator approves as equivalent, or the YA-RYA Safety and Sea Survival course or the International Sailing Federation Offshore Personal survival course.

What you will need

In addition to the above requirements, for an exemption to operate a sailing vessel ≤12 m long with operating power <75 kw and ≤15 nm from shore, you'll need to hold:

  • A current YA-RYA Yachtmaster Coastal certificate or Coxswain (Sail) certificate.

For an exemption to operate as Master of a sailing vessel ≤24 m long, with operating power <75 kw up to 100 nm from shore; or to operate as Mate of a sailing vessel ≤35 m long in the Australian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), you'll need to hold:

  • A Master 5 (Sail) certificate that was valid on 30 June 2013; or


  • A current YA-RYA Yachtmaster Ocean or Offshore certificate; and
  • Evidence of completion of TDMMR3007B - Operate and carry out basic service checks on small vessel marine propulsion systems or MARC005 – operate inboard and outboard motors, or

YA–RYA Diesel Engine course and the YA Powerboat Handling course, or
YA–RYA Diesel Engine course and the RYA Level 2 Powerboat course.


A person who, on 30 June 2014, was approved under Marine Safety (Sail) Exemption 2013 is taken to comply with the conditions for exemption under this instrument for the specified duties for which the person was approved.

Contact us if you require further information.

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