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Old 25-06-2007, 03:02   #1
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Certification Standards?

Ok I have been wondering this for a while and doing (a little) research. There is no licensing per-se in the US for sailling, right?

Sticking to Keelboats for now -

US Sailing has the following courses:

Basic Keelboat
Basic Cruising
Bareboat Cruising
Coastal Navigation
Coastal Passage Making
Celestial Navigation
Offshore Passage Making

American Sailing Association has -

Basic Keelboat
Basic Coastal Cruising
Bareboat Chartering
Coastal Navigation
Advanced Coastal Cruising
Celestial Navigation
Offshore Passage Making

These both seem like pretty good systems for making sailing schools money and confusing people. Seems like lot's of overlap.

Ok - I own my boat and from now on probably always will so don't need permission to go anywhere. I completed locally:

Powered Pleasurecraft Licensing - This is the real deal with signals (horns, lights, flags) navigation, rules of the road, safety, buoys-beacons-markers - 24 hours of lecture, a written exam, verbal exam and practical exam by the Singapore government.

Competent Keelboat - 24 hours class and water based J24 sailing course.

Keelboat Captain - 16 hours - Offshore cruising, boat and crew handling, navigating acting as captain in charge the whole time.

BTW - Singapore has no national licensing or standards for Keelboat training. Singapore Sailing Federation overseas sailing here and racing sailor rankings but basically leaves training standards up to the clubs.

So - I go to rent a Catalina for a say sail in San Diego -

"Got a credit card? Good. We take a $2,000 deposit for the insurance deductible. Here's the key. Boat XYZ. Be back at 6PM. Don't leave the harbor."

"Do you want to see my llicense or certifications?"

"No. Have a good day."

Maybe it's just the place I was at didn't want people leaving the harbor on "day sails" but my question is, in general what certs do people have, what do you need, what gets credibility?

I'd be interested in renting a boat over the summer from Marina Del Rey or San Diego and and do a Catalina Island trip. What would I need in terms of certs to make the boat places comfy with that?

What about the Whitsundays or other places - What is people's experience?

BTW - Is Catlina recovering from the fires?
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Old 25-06-2007, 06:18   #2
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That is correct, however, in most states you are required to take a basic safety course if born after a certian year.

People drive their boats like they drive their cars.
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Old 25-06-2007, 07:22   #3
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Take courses from the US Power & Sail Squadrons. They are REALLY inexpensive and REALLY good. They have courses on safety, navigation, piloting, diesels, sailing, GPS... and the list goes on. You can even hook up with some of their events and gets some hands on from a member, if you're nice.

It is by far the best way of getting training and some hands on experience. It can be a LOT of fun too.
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Old 25-06-2007, 08:41   #4
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Catalina (Avalon) has recovered from the fire - the hills are not a pretty as they were Two Harbors wasn't effected.

The CC / Deposit has been my experience in SF Bay when you rent from the tourist rental companies. The SAIL CLUBS almost always require that you demonstrate basic competency and/or take both a writen and on-the-water exam (some won't rent unless you can show proof of the first course - ASA cert. or you took courses from them). Depending on the boat, most places will go over basics of their boat with you.
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Old 25-06-2007, 15:02   #5
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Quote:
These both seem like pretty good systems for making sailing schools money and confusing people. Seems like lot's of overlap.
They both are about equal. If in doubt meet the instructor before you pay. Most times you'll tell if you like them or not. It's not like there is a law that there can only be one standard. I'm sure you could find some place that will charter you a boat with a credit card. Seems silly to think you couldn't. The idea is would you want to do that?

USCG Auxiliary has about the best courses going and you pay only for course materials and the folks that teach the classes are great and they know the stuff and can teach on top of all that. The two navigation courses they have are hands down ahead of ASA or US Sail. If you want a class on the water then US Sail and ASA are the only standards out there but not the only courses. Meet the instructor first!

The new state boating requirements are pretty lame. If you can read and spell then 2 hours study should get you past that requirement. It's about minimum certification (note the key word here). It's basically to prove you know you can't overload a small boat and forget to blow out the bilge and blow up.

To really be qualified you have to do more than pass a lame state exam and have a credit card. I think it's not hard to tell if you really know what it takes and that there is great value to hands on experience and practice with an instructor. Boating is just too darn fun to not know how to do it well too. You want to be better than minimally competent.
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Old 25-06-2007, 20:25   #6
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Some rental and charter companies will want to see "proof of competency" and each has their own options. Any ASA-member facility will probably accept ASA course for that. Others may require you to take a one-hour checkout sail with a captain--no matter what you have. Still others will accept your own boat registration and log book.

It's the wild wild west, and every place has its own standards. USSA and ASA are two major attempts that have been made to place at least SOME uniformity in the mix, they're better than nothing.

You got lucky--someone just wanted money.<G>
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Old 26-06-2007, 00:25   #7
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When I last chartered I took my holiday snaps from my last 20 years sailing/boating and the log book from the yacht. All Sunsail wanted was my deposit and credit card. The briefing was brief and off we went for 11 days on their quite new 40 foot Benetau. Never had to call in or anything. Should have sailed from Auckland to the Islands, repainted the name and ..............
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Old 26-06-2007, 00:49   #8
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I guess some folks are missing the point of my rant.

I know there are a lot of courses out there and I could take them all given enough time and money - not to mention if I lived in the US.

As I googled and researched a bit more I guess the only "real" licensing are the USCG series.

OUPV
OUPV Limited
Limited Master
Master 100 Tons

In the meantime I guess the answer that has come out is - There are no standards. If you plan to rent someone's boat email or phone ahead and find out what documents they would accept or need. With what I have I probably could get in the door most places with possibly a checkout sail required.
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Old 26-06-2007, 01:18   #9
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I think you are right. It's a matter of "Show me the money Captain Dan"
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Old 29-06-2007, 13:36   #10
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Pleasure craft vs. commercial craft

Yes, Virginia...

On pleasure craft there are very few legal requirements, either in the USA or anywhere else. But be aware there are many local exceptions. (Admiralty Law might be described as the collected mass of a zillion different rules/laws/standards/policies regarding things that float.)

There are, however, many different licensures and standards for commercial craft. The USA's system which you described is only one; every maritime nation has its own standards of licensure. The primary purposes of such licensures is related to insurance and legal liabilities, and any trained monkey can (and will) be insured if the premium is high enough. IOW: do not believe that any particular licensure guarantees the holder is truly competent.

This is the same theory behind chartering. If you require proof of appropriate insurance, who cares what licensure they have? If you get a credit card number, that may be enough to statistically limit the risk of loss/liability. All those trophy wives on fifth avenue may be as qualified or more so to charter as the members of a junior yacht club or Canadian Sea Scouts.
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Old 29-06-2007, 15:24   #11
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IOW: do not believe that any particular licensure guarantees the holder is truly competent.
All license systems in all countries for all things are meant to assure to the general public "MINIMAL" competency. The next time you board any form of public transportation you can know with complete assurance the operator in minimally trained.

This goes with the general principle of human achievement: "You don't have to be that good to be better than most."
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Old 29-06-2007, 15:51   #12
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Old 30-06-2007, 06:05   #13
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One school my wife and I found hillarious was the "Offshore Sailing School" franchise.

It seems to consist of guys who hang out around the docks selling the courses, which take place aboard a Hunter 40-45 in the bay or in a sound.

It's got to be the funniest thing to see someone taking an "Offshore Sailing" class and only going out for a day sail.
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Old 30-06-2007, 07:03   #14
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the "Offshore Sailing School" franchise
Consider the alternative "OnShore Sailing School". They teach that one in the parking lot when it's raining.
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Old 30-06-2007, 13:53   #15
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*minimal*

Yah, it always has amused me that 99% or more of houses are "built to the UBC." The UBC is the minimal standard to not be considered dangerous or uninhabitable. I think generally I'd prefer my home is built to a touch higher standard than that.
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