How to become a yacht chief engineer: Y4

Written by Michael Henson

Last updated: 11/10/2016

If you plan on becoming a superyacht chief engineer, you’ll need to obtain the internationally recognised skills and MCA qualification Y4 (Yacht 4) certificate of competency (CoC). Read on for a breakdown of how to get the Y4 qualification, which grants the owner to be a chief engineer on vessels less than 200GT and less than 1,500kW.

To find crew training companies providing the Y4 click here.

Cheif engineer training crew

Click here to search Y4 Courses

A quick summary of the Yacht 4

To obtain the Y4 an oral exam is taken whereby applicants will be required to demonstrate familiarity and proficiency in numerous areas of a superyacht engine.

However three modules need to be taken before the Y4 oral exam and a number of months of sea service required. The exams are:

  • Marine Diesel Engineering certificate
  • Auxiliary Equipment certificate
  • Operational Procedures, Basic Hotel Services and Ship Construction certificate

Further to the above modules an engineering skills test will need to be taken.

Once these have been completed a Notice of Eligibility can be applied for from the MCA, which is needed to sit the oral exam.

As well as the job opportunities it can provide, completing the course allows holders to progress on to the Yacht 3/2.

The individual modules cost £1,150 upwards and the oral exam costs between £150 and £250 and must be taken at a MCA approved training centre.

What job can you get with the Y4 certificate?

This MCA Y4 certificate of competency allows the candidate to work as a chief engineer on a superyacht of up to 200 GT and less than 1,500kW, or as a second/third engineer on a larger superyacht. Read these amazing guides to improve your chances of getting a chief engineer job.

Marine engineering

What is involved in the Y4 program certificates?

Marine Diesel Engineering certificate

The syllabus will cover the working principles and maintenance of diesel and petrol engines including turbochargers, engine construction, engine safety devices, engine room layouts and auxiliary systems. The application of oils, cooling water systems, heat exchangers and starting systems is also covered. The course will cost between £1,150 and £1,250.

Auxiliary Equipment certificate

A five-day course certificated by examination, covering the working principles and maintenance of 
  • Valves
  • Pumps
  • Compressed air system
  • Hydraulic & pneumatic control principles
  • Hydraulic control systems
  • Clutches
  • Gearboxes
  • Propellers and thrusters
  • Shafting and bearings
  • Electrical plant

Due to the large amount of material to be learnt, a substantial amount of pre-course study is required. The course will cost between £1,150 and £1,250.

Operational Procedures, Basic Hotel Services and Ship Construction certificate

This course and examination covers a range of operational, legal and environmental issues. The expected learning outcome is that the student understands:

  • Legislation including the purpose of the MCA
  • Merchant shipping notices
  • Marine guidance and information notes
  • Code of Safe Working Practices
  • ISM
  • SOLAS
  • MARPOL
  • STCW conventions
  • Watch keeping
  • Maintenance procedures
  • The importance of record keeping and trend analysis
  • Bunkering procedures
  • Operation of sewage plants
  • An understanding of refrigeration and air conditioning plants
  • Fresh water generation and management
  • Motion control
  • Fire fighting
  • Ship construction

The course will cost between £1,150 and £1,250.

Engineering Skills Test

Designed to allow students to demonstrate basic engineering skills in fitting, assembly, and electrical maintenance. Students must complete all tasks for assessment on their own and no instruction is given. The tasks cover the following:

  • Safe and efficient use of equipment
  • Inspection and care of equipment; selection and suitability of equipment
  • Use and care of hand tools; safe use of portable power tools
  • Safe use of drilling machines and bench-mounted grinders
  • Maintenance and assembly skills
  • Electrical testing and wiring; recognition of common components, symbols and configuration

Yacht engineer at work stationY4 examination and assessment

To get the Y4 qualification an oral exam is taken whereby applicants will be required to demonstrate familiarity and proficiency in numerous areas of a superyacht engine.

Y4 course prerequisites

The below course certificates must be held before taking the Y4:
  • Marine Diesel Engineering certificate
  • Auxiliary Equipment certificate
  • Operational Procedures, Basic Hotel Services and Ship Construction certificate
  • Skills Test certificate (exemption may be given under certain circumstances)
  • ENG1 Medical certificate

If the AEC and MEOL certificates are not owned by a student, but they can prove 42 months as an engineer including six months sea service then the below certificates will not need to be obtained. If they have less than 42 months the below courses will also be needed:

  • CPSC&RB/Advanced Sea Survival certificate
  • Advanced Fire Fighting certificate
  • Proficiency in Medical First Aid Aboard Ship
  • Element Leadership & Management (Operational)  (HELM O) certificate

Yet to receive any of these certificates? You can still apply for the Notice of Eligibility (NoE), but you will need to submit the certificates to the MCA after you have undertaken your oral exam.

Y4 sea-service prerequisites

A Marine Engine Operators License (MEOL) will need to be held for 12 months and proof of service as a yacht engineer, on yachts of 350kW or more in propulsion power, with at least six months actual sea service, whilst holding the MEOL.

Or

If you are going straight for the Y4, proof of 42 months service as a yacht engineer, with a minimum of 12 months on yachts of 350kW or more in propulsion power, which must include at least 6 months actual sea service.

Or

Six months service as a yacht engineer, on yachts of 350kW or more in propulsion power, whilst holding a MN Senior Marine Engine Operator licence (SMEOL), which must include at least three months sea service.

Expert tip from a yacht crew training school

You can sit your exams in any order and can even go for the oral first as long as you have your NoE. However due to the perceived difficulty, Warsash Training Academy advises that you do the exams in the following order: Marine Diesel Engineering, Operational and Hotel, Auxiliary Equipment, then the oral exam.

The reason for this is that that you will progress through the courses gaining vital experience with respect to learning and exam techniques, finishing with Auxiliary Equipment which is the most demanding of the three modules.

To find crew training companies providing the Y4 click here.

Click here to search Y4 Courses

Crew Training Banner

A guide on how to become a yacht chief engineer: Yacht 4 (Y4)

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How to become a yacht chief engineer: Y4

Written by Michael Henson

Last updated: 11/10/2016

If you plan on becoming a superyacht chief engineer, you’ll need to obtain the internationally recognised skills and MCA qualification Y4 (Yacht 4) certificate of competency (CoC). Read on for a breakdown of how to get the Y4 qualification, which grants the owner to be a chief engineer on vessels less than 200GT and less than 1,500kW.

To find crew training companies providing the Y4 click here.

Cheif engineer training crew

Click here to search Y4 Courses

A quick summary of the Yacht 4

To obtain the Y4 an oral exam is taken whereby applicants will be required to demonstrate familiarity and proficiency in numerous areas of a superyacht engine.

However three modules need to be taken before the Y4 oral exam and a number of months of sea service required. The exams are:

  • Marine Diesel Engineering certificate
  • Auxiliary Equipment certificate
  • Operational Procedures, Basic Hotel Services and Ship Construction certificate

Further to the above modules an engineering skills test will need to be taken.

Once these have been completed a Notice of Eligibility can be applied for from the MCA, which is needed to sit the oral exam.

As well as the job opportunities it can provide, completing the course allows holders to progress on to the Yacht 3/2.

The individual modules cost £1,150 upwards and the oral exam costs between £150 and £250 and must be taken at a MCA approved training centre.

What job can you get with the Y4 certificate?

This MCA Y4 certificate of competency allows the candidate to work as a chief engineer on a superyacht of up to 200 GT and less than 1,500kW, or as a second/third engineer on a larger superyacht. Read these amazing guides to improve your chances of getting a chief engineer job.

Marine engineering

What is involved in the Y4 program certificates?

Marine Diesel Engineering certificate

The syllabus will cover the working principles and maintenance of diesel and petrol engines including turbochargers, engine construction, engine safety devices, engine room layouts and auxiliary systems. The application of oils, cooling water systems, heat exchangers and starting systems is also covered. The course will cost between £1,150 and £1,250.

Auxiliary Equipment certificate

A five-day course certificated by examination, covering the working principles and maintenance of 
  • Valves
  • Pumps
  • Compressed air system
  • Hydraulic & pneumatic control principles
  • Hydraulic control systems
  • Clutches
  • Gearboxes
  • Propellers and thrusters
  • Shafting and bearings
  • Electrical plant

Due to the large amount of material to be learnt, a substantial amount of pre-course study is required. The course will cost between £1,150 and £1,250.

Operational Procedures, Basic Hotel Services and Ship Construction certificate

This course and examination covers a range of operational, legal and environmental issues. The expected learning outcome is that the student understands:

  • Legislation including the purpose of the MCA
  • Merchant shipping notices
  • Marine guidance and information notes
  • Code of Safe Working Practices
  • ISM
  • SOLAS
  • MARPOL
  • STCW conventions
  • Watch keeping
  • Maintenance procedures
  • The importance of record keeping and trend analysis
  • Bunkering procedures
  • Operation of sewage plants
  • An understanding of refrigeration and air conditioning plants
  • Fresh water generation and management
  • Motion control
  • Fire fighting
  • Ship construction

The course will cost between £1,150 and £1,250.

Engineering Skills Test

Designed to allow students to demonstrate basic engineering skills in fitting, assembly, and electrical maintenance. Students must complete all tasks for assessment on their own and no instruction is given. The tasks cover the following:

  • Safe and efficient use of equipment
  • Inspection and care of equipment; selection and suitability of equipment
  • Use and care of hand tools; safe use of portable power tools
  • Safe use of drilling machines and bench-mounted grinders
  • Maintenance and assembly skills
  • Electrical testing and wiring; recognition of common components, symbols and configuration

Yacht engineer at work stationY4 examination and assessment

To get the Y4 qualification an oral exam is taken whereby applicants will be required to demonstrate familiarity and proficiency in numerous areas of a superyacht engine.

Y4 course prerequisites

The below course certificates must be held before taking the Y4:
  • Marine Diesel Engineering certificate
  • Auxiliary Equipment certificate
  • Operational Procedures, Basic Hotel Services and Ship Construction certificate
  • Skills Test certificate (exemption may be given under certain circumstances)
  • ENG1 Medical certificate

If the AEC and MEOL certificates are not owned by a student, but they can prove 42 months as an engineer including six months sea service then the below certificates will not need to be obtained. If they have less than 42 months the below courses will also be needed:

  • CPSC&RB/Advanced Sea Survival certificate
  • Advanced Fire Fighting certificate
  • Proficiency in Medical First Aid Aboard Ship
  • Element Leadership & Management (Operational)  (HELM O) certificate

Yet to receive any of these certificates? You can still apply for the Notice of Eligibility (NoE), but you will need to submit the certificates to the MCA after you have undertaken your oral exam.

Y4 sea-service prerequisites

A Marine Engine Operators License (MEOL) will need to be held for 12 months and proof of service as a yacht engineer, on yachts of 350kW or more in propulsion power, with at least six months actual sea service, whilst holding the MEOL.

Or

If you are going straight for the Y4, proof of 42 months service as a yacht engineer, with a minimum of 12 months on yachts of 350kW or more in propulsion power, which must include at least 6 months actual sea service.

Or

Six months service as a yacht engineer, on yachts of 350kW or more in propulsion power, whilst holding a MN Senior Marine Engine Operator licence (SMEOL), which must include at least three months sea service.

Expert tip from a yacht crew training school

You can sit your exams in any order and can even go for the oral first as long as you have your NoE. However due to the perceived difficulty, Warsash Training Academy advises that you do the exams in the following order: Marine Diesel Engineering, Operational and Hotel, Auxiliary Equipment, then the oral exam.

The reason for this is that that you will progress through the courses gaining vital experience with respect to learning and exam techniques, finishing with Auxiliary Equipment which is the most demanding of the three modules.

To find crew training companies providing the Y4 click here.

Click here to search Y4 Courses

Crew Training Banner