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MCA Officer of the Watch (OOW) Yachts Certificate of Competency Requirements for Serving UK Registered Yachts of over 24m (Mega Yachts or Superyachts)

oow yacht

Officer of the Watch (OOW) Yachts is a Certificate of Competency (CoC) and an STCW endorsement with tonnage limitations for the deck officer on Yacht. This MCA CoC allows candidates to work as an Officer in charge of a Navigational Watch (OOW) on superyachts. A Superyacht (Mega Yacht or Luxury Yacht) is usually over 24 meters motor yacht and privately owned and professionally crewed. The legal distinction is between yachts above 24 meters and below. The route for yacht certification is structured by MCA to provide a progressive career path for those in the industry to achieve yacht OOW Qualifications.

RYA Yachtmaster certificates must be commercially endorsed for you to work onboard British flagged vessels subject to the MCA's codes of practice for small commercial vessels. IYT Certificates of Competency require no further endorsement for use in the commercial sector. While the MCA recognizes these qualifications for use on yachts of less than 200 GT in areas specified on the certificate, it cannot guarantee recognition internationally.

oow superyacht

You may also read: International Maritime Organization (IMO) STCW requirements for OICNW

UK MCA General Requirements for OOW Yacht CoC


  • Meet the minimum age requirement
  • Complete the minimum period of seagoing service
  • A valid ENG1 (medical fitness certificate) or accepted equivalent
  • Hold applicable ancillary and safety course certificates
  • Complete the appropriate education and training meeting the minimum vocational and academic standard
  • If applicable, pass an oral examination conducted by MCA

MCA Officer of the Watch (OOW) Yachts Less Than 3000 GT Unlimited (STCW II/1) Requirements

  • Be at least 19 years of age
  • Hold either - RYA Yachtmaster certificate Offshore and a certificate of successful completion of a shore-based Yachtmaster Offshore course (Not required if the candidate holds a Yachtmaster Offshore certificate issued before 31 July 2003) OR IYT Master of Yachts Limited certificate
  • Since the age of 16 have obtained a minimum of 36 months onboard yacht service - This must include at least 365 days seagoing service on vessels of 15 meters or over in load line length, made up of a minimum of 250 days ACTUAL sea going service and 115 days of any combination of - Actual sea service; Stand-by service of a maximum of 14 consecutive days may be counted at one time, but on no occasion may a period of standby service exceed that of the previous voyage; Yard service of up to a maximum of 90 days continuously or in separate periods.
  • Hold an MCA approved Efficient Deck Hand (EDH) certificate (After 01 January 2017, this certificate must have been issued at least 18 months prior to the issue of your Certificate of Competency)
  • Successful completion of approved education and training, meeting the standards of competency identified by the MCA from section A-II/1 of the STCW Code as applicable to a yacht restricted Certificate of Competency, and covered by successful completion of the MCA approved training and passed the examination of the modules - Navigation and Radar (OOW Yachts) & General Ship Knowledge (OOW Yachts).
  • Completion of Yacht Training Record Book - To obtain the exemption from completing a TRB for OOW yachts, less than 3000 GT, unlimited area, regulation II/1 you must demonstrate 36 months Actual Sea Service in vessels of at least 24 meters in load line length
  • Pass the OOW (yachts less than 3000 GT) oral examination
  • To obtain Master, II/2, code vessels less than 200 GT endorsement on your OOW yachts, less than 3000 GT, II/1 Certificate of Competency, you must apply to sit a separate oral examination.

OOW Ancillary and Safety Course Certification Requirements

oow course training requirements
Table: Ancillary and Safety Course Certification for OOW Yachts - Credits: MCA

  1. The MCA will accept certificates issued under the authority of any IMO 'White List' country.
  2. The MCA will accept certificates issued under the authority of any EU Member State, as well as Canada, New Zealand and South Africa.
  3. Certificates must be MCA-approved.
  4. The MCA will accept certificates issued under the authority of any EU Member State and those listed on the approved list.

Disclaimer: For general information purpose - please check with MCA for the latest requirements and accurate info

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