First and foremost you need your Yachtmaster Offshore with Commercial Endorsement. This will allow you to skipper a yacht up to 200gt.
A commercially endorsed Coastal Skippers ticket will get you a few jobs, perhaps with a Med based yacht charter/sailing activities company or as a mate on a delivery but the Yachtmaster opens up many more doors.
From January 1st 2010 the RYA/MCA Coastal Skipper Certificate of Competence will be known as the RYA/MCA Yachtmaster Coastal Certificate of Competence.
Unlike with the Day Skipper, where you are deemed competent (or not) by the instructor, obtaining the RYA/MCA YC Certificate of Competence requires passing an assessment by an external examiner who comes on board for a 6 to 10 hour period.
The Yachtmaster Coastal ticket is an excellent stepping stone on your way to Yachtmaster from Day Skipper. It is a lot harder than Day Skipper and requires a lot more experience. You need 800nm, 30 days at sea (2 of which as skipper), and 12 night hours before you can take the Yachtmaster Coastal Certificate of Competence exam.
Most people that take the RYA/MCA Yachtmaster Coastal Certificate of Competence exam do a 4 or 5 day Coastal Skipper prep course beforehand. This allows them to really focus on getting up to the standard the RYA expect and ensures that any bad habits are ironed out before the examiner comes on board.
Some people like to take the Coastal Skipper practical course before taking an exam. To take this course only 15 days sea time are required (2 of which as skipper), 300nm and 8 night hours. So it is a course that can be taken relatively soon after taking the Day Skipper course. It is deemed that the quality of experience obtained by taking the CS practical course is so good that the requirements to sit the RYA/MCA Yachtmaster Coastal Certificate of Competence are reduced to 20 days at sea (2 as skipper), 400nm and 12 night hours.
The difference between a Yachtmaster Coastal and a Yachtmaster or Yachtmaster Offshore is that Yachtmasters do it better. They are expected to be slicker, better practised and quicker to react to a problem.
To get the RYA/MCA Yachtmaster Offshore Certificate of Competence ticket candidates sit an 8 to 12 hour practical exam. Before sitting the exam they must have at least 50 days seatime, 5 days as skipper, 2500nm, 5 passages over 60nm, including 2 overnight and 2 as skipper. It is a good idea for candidates to do a Yachtmaster prep week before taking the exam.
To sit either the Yachtmaster Coastal or Yachtmaster Offshore Certificate of Competence exam candidates must also have a restricted (VHF only) Radio Operators Certificate or a GMDSS Short Range Certificate or higher grade of marine radio certificate plus a valid first aid certificate (first aid qualifications held by Police, Fire and Armed Services are acceptable).
If you need a Yachtmaster Coastal Certificate of Competence in order to work on board a commercial craft subject the MCA's codes of practice, you will need to get it commercially endorsed. You can then work on commercial vessels up to 24m in length, operating in category 3, 4, 5 and 6 waters - that is up to 20 miles from a nominated departure point in fine weather and daylight.
If you need a Yachtmaster Offshore Certificate of Competence in order to work on board a commercial craft subject to the MCA's codes of practice, you will need to get it commercially endorsed as well. You can then work as a Master of commercial vessels of up to 200gt in category 1 to 6 waters - that is up to 150 miles from a safe haven.
The RYA Yachtmaster Offshore Certificate of Competence can be used commercially in its own right. It is also a pre-requisite for the MCA's Officer of the Watch qualification, which enables you to work worldwide on vessels of up to 3000gt.
To get a commercial endorsement on either the Yachtmaster Coastal or Yachtmaster Offshore certificate you have to send your original YC or YM certificate to the RYA along with a commercial endorsement application form (issued by the RYA), a ML5 or ENG1 medical fitness certificate, a copy of your Personal Survival Techniques STCW95 or Basic Sea Survival Certificate and a passport sized photo with your name on the back plus an admin fee.