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Old 16-10-2017, 05:44   #1
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Certifications and Insurance

I imagine it is pretty standard that insurance companies would want some level of captaincy before insuring your vessel. However, from what I can find the courses seem.... mmmm ... overly easy, or overly expensive... or both. Is this the case (insurance companies requiring qualifications that is)? or could I get insurance without any formal certificate?

I would say a large amount of what you need to know, can be learnt from a book, and doing some of the course I have found with the NZ coastguard seem almost worse than what you would get from reading good book and watching a youtube video or too. Here's a link to what I mean Day Skipper Course | Classroom, Online or by Home Study | Coastguard Boating Education just as an example.

I would note that I have little to no experience sailing, but am confident I could get from A to B with the knowledge I have. I would also read a few more books and what not before giving it a go. But my goal is to buy a yacht to live on full time and I'm sure a few weeks of (strategic weather selection permitting) sail and reading and watching videos I would have far better knowledge than spending thousands of $$ on courses I would soon forget most of. Assuming its several months or over a year before buying a boat.

I suspect I will get a bit of flack for what I said above, but I am curious of your thoughts and options. I'm sure there a tales of people buying a yacht will no skills or experience and sailing off and around the world having a great time and success. I would also expect there are more storey of people doing exactly that and running aground or hitting a reef a few weeks later.
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Old 16-10-2017, 14:10   #2
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Re: Certifications and Insurance

Hi, first post here.

I am in the same situation as you - nil qualifications and nil offshore experience, but I have raced beach yachts and crewed on larger (50ft) vessels and I feel quite at home on them.

I've run countless fizzboats, jetboats, launches, and sailboats aground - and suffice to say the type of vessel doesn't make you immune from it.

I've done enough aviation to know that if you're behind the craft, stressed and polarized and in a convoluted environment, then you have an excellent chance of being done like a dinner - so recognize them at a distance and stay well clear until your head is in a good space and you have the information you need.

Watching your thread with interest.
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Old 16-10-2017, 14:18   #3
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Re: Certifications and Insurance

Depends on the size and type of vessel and what you plan to do with it.

Mostly, sailboats used only for recreation will not require any credentials for the owner to get insurance. Owners with credentials, or other documented experience, might get better rates, but I wouldn't count on it.
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Old 16-10-2017, 14:50   #4
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Re: Certifications and Insurance

Personally I would be looking at something around $50k in the 36 - 42 ft range. That's just a best guess at the moment, cheaper might be nicer but what I have been looking at for a live aboard yacht. So I would want insurance because who knows what could happen and that's a fair bit of cash.

I guess the issue with qualifications I have is in part that I would be buying and sailing my own yacht, I have no plans on making money or a living from delivering yachts or anything like that. So the courses lose a lot of value, that I could just get from experience.

Also taking a few courses would add up pretty quick.
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Old 16-10-2017, 15:35   #5
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Re: Certifications and Insurance

I suspect you wont have any trouble getting insurance on a boat like that, even without experience or credentials. When you find a boat you like, ask the owner if he has an old survey report. Give that to any insurer and they'll give you a quote.

That said, some sailing courses are worthwhile and not super expensive. A basic keelboat course is a good place to start.
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Old 16-10-2017, 15:50   #6
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Re: Certifications and Insurance

PLEASE do NOT think that because you were free you can skipped a boat. There are many decisions made by the person in charge that make the boat run and run safely. For example do you know who is stand on in all situations? Do you understand how being stand-on has significant obligations?

U.S. residents would do well to take ASA 101 and perhaps 103 as a minimum. Or hire an ASA Instructor to do private lessons on your boat. Most of us who are affiliated with good schools can do ASA level training on your boat.

You are about to spend big money on a boat — why not a few boat bucks on good training?
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Old 16-10-2017, 16:45   #7
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Re: Certifications and Insurance

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snore View Post
You are about to spend big money on a boat — why not a few boat bucks on good training?
I totally agree with you, I'm not wanting to be overly stingy with my money and would like some level of training. But I guess I would like to pay for an instructor to join me on my (future) yacht for some proper instruction, tips and tricks etc. There are some things that books won't teach you, that only experience will.

I could also get some instruction from friends who sail and who's family have a yacht. But in my opinion that's where you can learn some bad habits off others.

Overall if a certificate isn't needed or helpful in reducing the cost of insurance, then I think I would opt for the option I mentioned above. Get the knowledge for a bit less and not bother with trying to obtain a nice piece of paper saying I know what I'm doing.
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Old 16-10-2017, 17:10   #8
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Re: Certifications and Insurance

Have you tried the RYA courses in Auckland? They offer Coastal skipper and Ocean Yachtmaster qualifications. They are a U.K. Based organisation with an excellent reputation.
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Old 16-10-2017, 19:34   #9
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Re: Certifications and Insurance

Quote:
Originally Posted by l2ustyl3ullet View Post
I totally agree with you, I'm not wanting to be overly stingy with my money and would like some level of training. But I guess I would like to pay for an instructor to join me on my (future) yacht for some proper instruction, tips and tricks etc. There are some things that books won't teach you, that only experience will.

I could also get some instruction from friends who sail and who's family have a yacht. But in my opinion that's where you can learn some bad habits off others.

Overall if a certificate isn't needed or helpful in reducing the cost of insurance, then I think I would opt for the option I mentioned above. Get the knowledge for a bit less and not bother with trying to obtain a nice piece of paper saying I know what I'm doing.
The “piece of paper” confirms you were taught to a standard. Versus having someone just teach you what they think you need to know.

If you lived in the US I would really push ASA 101-105. Done in steps (vs all at once) to help you learn properly and enjoy your boat with a level of confidence. Down under I would check out the RYA series.
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Old 17-10-2017, 04:09   #10
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Re: Certifications and Insurance

Yeah, I have had a bit of a look at the RYA, they do seem a lot better, and practical training, but at $900 per person for level 1 and then again for level 2. For me and my girlfriend that adds up to a fair bit more than getting an instructor to join us on our boat for 2-3 days. I'm guessing.

And yeah, I get the piece of paper proves you're taught to a standard and that's a good thing if you're going to rent a boat or sail someone else. But the piece of paper isn't going to sail my boat, or make me any more competent.

Overall I think I would just prefer an education without a qualification. Because at the end of the day the only one I need to convince that I can sail is myself.
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Old 17-10-2017, 05:28   #11
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Re: Certifications and Insurance

Quote:
Originally Posted by l2ustyl3ullet View Post

I get the piece of paper proves you're taught to a standard and that's a good thing if you're going to rent a boat or sail someone else. But the piece of paper isn't going to sail my boat, or make me any more competent.

Overall I think I would just prefer an education without a qualification. Because at the end of the day the only one I need to convince that I can sail is myself.
I fundamentally disagree with your logic. Most pro instructors would likely say the same thing. It is not that I will not make money-keep in mind your are down under- it is that your logic is flawed.

At the end of the day you need proper training. Being taught to a standard ensures that. This applies to driving a car, large truck, operating a crane or a sailboat.

At the minimum please take the basic RYA class at a good school.

I will bow out I’d this conversation. Feel free to PM any follow-ups.
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Old 17-10-2017, 05:53   #12
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Re: Certifications and Insurance

just go for it !
the rescue services are set up just to deal with this type of scenario
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Old 17-10-2017, 16:12   #13
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Re: Certifications and Insurance

Would it make any difference if I said I have a Masters of Engineering, that's just a piece of paper that "proves" inelegance. What I'm trying to say is the piece of paper is worthless, not the training. I am wanting to get training. But I think spending $1000 on a 2 day course with 3-4 other people (so you are sitting around for 75-80% of the time watching, isn't the best value. You are paying more (or at least extra) for the piece of paper.

If I did all the courses I would like to do, it would start approaching $10k. $20k if we did it as a couple. So logically, I'm saying it would be better to hire an instructor for a week for a fraction of the price to go over everything. Sure you won't get that lovely piece of paper, but you still get the knowledge, it makes no difference. I kinda get the feeling my point has been completely missed.

Also I would expect you are taught to a standard that caters to the lowers common denominator. And in a group setting that can have negative results overall. But that is just an opinion, based on my view of the New Zealand education system which basically is tailor to allow the stupidest people pass. Rather than providing good education they just lower the bar. I'm sure the RYA isn't the same though, but my view is sadly tainted.
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Old 17-10-2017, 16:39   #14
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Re: Certifications and Insurance

Re the insurance aspects of your question: Why in the world don't you call some insurance agents and see if they would insure you in the sort of boat and environment that you envision entering? They should be able to say yea or nay, and then you wouldn't need to rely upon faceless internet advice.

And as a sailor who has now logged > 150,000 miles in my own boats, and without any formal training whatsoever, I know that it can be done that way. The current mania for lessons and certifications for everything in life does not resonate well with me, but it surely exists. With the exception of very high risk, high complexity activities (flying, surgery, automotive driving, marriage, etc), I'm not convinced of the necessity of formal training. Obviously, many others disagree...

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Old 18-10-2017, 17:56   #15
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Re: Certifications and Insurance

Quiet right about the faceless internet. I just thought it might be a simple question where people can speak from the experience. And I have a dislike of talking to people on the phone for some reason.

But nice to get another opinion on the formal training.
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