The MCA has announced changes to its yacht deck training scheme. Officers of the Watch will now have to complete the Efficient Deck Hand (EDH) course and Master Yachts will have to complete Celestial Navigation. Warsash Superayacht Academy has summarised the most important changes:

OOW (Yachts, less than 3,000GT)

From 1 January 2014 all candidates for an OOW (Yachts) need to complete the Efficient Deck Hand (EDH) course. This is in addition to the new HELM(O) course that was announced as part of MIN 455.

Chief Mate (Yachts, less than 3,000GT)

From 1 January 2014 all candidates for a Chief Mate (Yachts) need to complete the ECDIS course. This is in addition to the new HELM(M) course that was announced as part of MIN 455. Note that those going straight for a Chief Mate (Yachts) CoC and who do not already hold an OOW (Yachts) CoC will need to do both the HELM(O) and HELM(M) course.

Master (Yachts, less than 500GT or 3,000GT)

From 1 January 2014 all candidates for a Master (Yachts) CoC need to pass a new written MCA examination in Celestial Navigation. This is in addition to the new HELM(M) course that was announced as part of MIN 455 and in addition to ECDIS.

Watchkeeping service

The definition of watchkeeping service (for those working towards Master 500GT or 3,000GT) has been amended: The hours can now be recorded on an accumulative basis.

Navigational Watch Ratings

From 31 December 2013 yacht rating certificates will no longer be issued and all crew wishing to sail as a rating will have to gain an unrestricted navigational watch rating (NWR) certificate. To apply to the MCA for an NWR certificate you must complete application form MSF 4371. NOTE: if you currently hold a yacht rating certificate there is no requirement for you to upgrade your certificate.

For more information, read the full MIN 471 (M) here.

With thanks to Lars Lippuner at Warsash Superyacht Academy.