Officer of the Watch (Yachts) - General Ship Knowledge (GSK)

About this course

Our yacht deck courses have achieved the highest pass rates in the industry for the last six years - 85% overall.

General Ship Knowledge (GSK) is a MCA-accredited yacht deck module. This is a classroom based course providing an introduction to ship construction, stability, meteorology and seamanship, watch keeping, preparation for sea and maintenance.

Candidates are expected to hold at least an RYA/IYT Yachtmaster Offshore certificate of competency and the corresponding shorebased certificate, plus STCW basic safety training.

Useful tips and tricks

  1. Read though the exam syllabus.
  2. Your pass certificate is valid for three years.
  3. You do not need a Notice of Eligibility (NoE) to attend this course. However you will need an NoE for your MCA oral examination. Download the application form. Allow at least six weeks (currently even more) for the NoE to be processed by the MCA.
  4. Do the ‘proper’ PSCRB course instead of ‘Advanced Sea Survival for Yachtsmen’. The latter has not got an STCW Code which has the following implications: Not all flag states recognise the Advanced Sea Survival, meaning you might have to do the PSCRB later anyway. Your certificate will have a negative endorsement (‘not to be used on vessels with davit-launched life rafts’). There is also no updating course available for the Advanced Sea Survival.
  5. Pre-study makes the difference. That’s why we send you the course notes as soon as you book.
  6. Be familiar with the career progression requirements. Download a simple progression chart.
  7. Did you know that you may be eligible to do the OOW Unlimited? Read our guide on how to gain OOW Unlimited certification when working in yachting.
  8. Our first-time pass rate is unsurpassed in the industry.
  9. View more FAQs.

Plan your training

Candidates booking this course usually also book: OOW (Yachts) Navigation and Radar.

You might also want to consider: EDH, PSCRB, HELM(O), GMDSS GOC, ECDIS.

Course delivery location

This course is delivered from Solent University's main East Park Terrace campus in Southampton city centre. Please refer to your joining instructions for information of where to report to when you arrive. 

Southampton city centre map

Getting to Solent University

How to book

Please contact the admissions team if you require more information about this course:

Telephone: +44 (0)23 8201 5004 

Normal office hours are (UK time):
Monday - Thursday: 08.30 - 17.00
Friday 08.30 - 16.30

Online bookings will be confirmed with joining information within one working day of the booking being made. Confirmation of payment should be received in the normal way.

Please ensure you follow the booking process and do not enter payment details more than once, unless you are booking more than one course. If you experience any issues, please email

Your joining instructions will tell you which campus your training will take place at - please read carefully and take note.

Course availability and booking

Date Places Fee Book
Yes Enquire
Monday 28 October 2019 Yes £1095 Book
Monday 13 January 2020 Yes £1095 Book
Monday 2 March 2020 Yes £1095 Book
Monday 20 April 2020 Yes £1095 Book
Monday 18 May 2020 Yes £1095 Book

Course information

Next available date

Monday 28 October 2019


5 Days






Written 2.5 hour examination. Pass Mark is 60%.

Teaching methods

Classroom based, guided study.


Candidates must hold at least an RYA/IYT Yachtmaster Offshore certificate of competency.

STCW basic safety training.

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