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Home > Crew Matters > Bluewater Training – No more Y4/Y3/Y2/Y1s! 

Bluewater Training – No more Y4/Y3/Y2/Y1s! 

No more Y4/Y3/Y2/Y1s!  The Y Qualifications are coming to an end and will no longer be issued from 1st January 2022.

The Small Vessels Engineering Route has been brought in to replace the Yacht Engineer Qualifications and create a broader qualifications system for Small Vessels to enable engineers to cross between Yachts, Tugs, Fishing Vessels, Workboats, Standby, Seismic Survey, Oceanographic Research Vessels and Government Patrol Vessels.  This opens up more opportunities for engineers all round.  That said, as the other industries move a lot more and there is a great deal of sea time required for the Unrestricted route, there is still a yacht restricted route for those unable to attain the required sea time for the Unrestricted Route.

There has been a transitional period for the last few years that is now coming to an end.  Anyone holding a Y ticket that wishes to revalidate can continue to do so but new Y licenses will not be issued after the end of this year.  Those with Y tickets who wish to progress can convert and upgrade into the SV route.

Details of the qualifications, conversions and Yacht restricted Route are outlined in MIN 524 and MIN 594.

We are awaiting the latest manning tables to be issued by the MCA but we expect that the SV 2nd will sit where Y4 once was, SV Chief 3000kw where Y3 once was and SV Chief 9000kw where Y2/Y1 stood.  The restrictions are similar but not the same so, for you captains out there, it might be worth checking with flag state what SV licences you can accept.

For those of you working towards your first Yacht Engineering Qualification, if you are not already well on their way towards completing the Y4 you should be looking at registering on the Small Vessels 2nd Engineer Programme, as soon as you qualify, so you don’t waste any yacht service or sea time.  You need a minimum of 24 months employed in the engineering department on a vessel with engines greater than 200kw, of these 6 months must be actually underway for the yacht restricted route.  For the Unrestricted Route all 24 months should be at sea, but, if working on yachts, 16 months underway of the 24 months employed will be accepted for the Unrestricted Route.

As soon as you have these seatime requirements you should register on the Small Vessels Programme with bluewater or any MCA Approved Training Provider.  Then you can start filling in the required Training Record Book, sitting the academic modules and accruing the further sea service required.  Between registration and applying for your Notice of Eligibility you need to accrue a further 11.5 months employed with 4 months actual for the Yacht Restricted Route and 8 months actual for the Unrestricted Route.  This service must be on vessels over 350kw and 6 months must be engaged in watchkeeping or UMS duties.


Sophie Allerton


T: +34 971 677 154