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RYA Yachtmaster Ocean Theory - Syllabus

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Yachtmaster Ocean Theory Syllabus


This is a course in astro-navigation and worldwide meteorology which also reveals the mysteries of the sextant. It assumes you already have a knowledge of all subjects covered in introductory course Day Skipper Shorebased Course and the more advanced RYA Yachtmaster Offshore theory syllabus. If you are not sure you can check the content of the more advanced Yachtmaster Offshore here:

Pre Requisite Knowledge - RYA Yachtmaster Offshore Theory Syllabus

 


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

 

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