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Old 24-04-2012, 15:09   #1
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Fast Track to Yachtmaster Offshore (Sail)

Hello, similar to the other thread (power) I am in a similar situation. Early 30's with my wife in her late 20's and we are considering taking our RYA Yachtmaster Offshore for sail.

Our experience is limited, we are ASA 101 certified. I have sailed smaller boats & beach cats, on and off again over the past 15 years. We are currently land locked in Houston Tx, and most of our sailing has been here in the Kemah/Clear Lake area.

We are thinking of selling off most of our valuables and heading to South Africa to take the RYA Yachtmaster Coastal (sail). Using this experience to start into the sailing world doing deliveries, crewing and various jobs. Eventually acquiring our USCG 6-Pack license and work up to our goal as a charter capt. & cook for a major charter co. in the USVI & BVI's.

We feel we need to act fast if we plan on having kids at a later date. We have been planning on getting into the industry for 6 or 7 years and our own honeymoon island hopping in the BVI's sealed the deal 4 years ago.

Does this even make sense? Any and all comments are greatly appreciative.
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Old 24-04-2012, 15:54   #2
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Re: Fast Track to Yachtmaster Offshore (Sail)

Building your way into any business takes tame and drive. At 30 is probably where you have already started building a career in some field and now leaving things behind and going into a new profession would be a major risk.

My standing advice for anybody seriously considering becoming a professional is to: a) start early and b) to go from the bottom up - gaining experience and building your C.V. as you go. And, as you go, you will have a very clear picture of what licenses are required, what skills are required and what the optimum time/place to get all of it is.

All this said, there are countless ways to approach things and this is where the beauty of life dwells. Some of us will rather go for what their heart craves and burn out trying than remain stuck in stagnant waters of one's indecisions.

Fair winds - living & sailing.
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Old 24-04-2012, 16:23   #3
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Re: Fast Track to Yachtmaster Offshore (Sail)

It sounds like your experience is limited, which may impede your licensing, since the RYA requires miles at sea. If you don't have the prerequisit miles or days at sea (USCG), maybe you should consider signing on as a Deckhand on a yacht to gain experience and a little bit of money. If your wife is considering being a Chef/Steward on a vessel she should start thinking about culinary classes.

In these lower level jobs all you would need is an STCW class before stepping on a ship, but normally no other licensing would be required for deckhand or galley departments .

First and foremost you should talk with people wiorking in the industry. They will provide you a weath of knowledge and give you an idea if this life is really for you. They will also advise you on the proper licesing... For instance you don't want to apply for the USCG Operator of Uninspected Vessels (SixPax) with the USCG as you mentioned. This license restricts you to carrying no more than six passengers. You can take the 100ton upgrade test with the same seatime and not have the six person restriction placed on you.

Lately, the Yacht Masters License is not as well received as the MCA Captain/Mate/Engineer licensing as far as the Mega Yachts go and of course USCG pretty much limits you to US Flagged vessels only.

If your intention is to eventually return to the US and you are set on Yacht Master, you might want to consider taking the RYA course in the US, which will allow you to apply for both licenses (USCG & RYA) at the same time, of course you would still have to meet the seatime requirements.

Lastly, if you want to be a delivery skipper, you need experience. If you are moving anything that requires insurance, the company will probably want to see your CV (Resume) before approving you to Captain the vessel they are insuring. The rule here is size, tonnage and education for insurance comapnies. Again this goes back to working on larger vessels in lower level positions, working on smaller vessels in higher level positions and taking classes.


Good luck...
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Old 24-04-2012, 16:40   #4
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Re: Fast Track to Yachtmaster Offshore (Sail)

Thank you for your quick responses.

With the Fast Track RYA Yachtmaster Coastal (sail) you earn all the required miles there at the school over a 11-14 week coarse. We would not plan on skippering a delivery boat but just crewing/1st mate to continue racking up miles and time at sea to eventually start chartering.

We have been trying to save and work regular jobs but find ourselves becoming stuck here. This is the reasoning behind the sudden jump into sailing with the fast track coarse. Other thoughts, we would have to relocate to a different city, find similar jobs, and then start sailing.
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Old 24-04-2012, 16:58   #5
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Re: Fast Track to Yachtmaster Offshore (Sail)

Agree with Tom except for Seatime required is 720 days for 100 Ton (360 of which may be inland or great lakes).
Lots to consider, offshore work is not like island hopping or LAke sailing, Days on end of beating to bad weather, sliding down huge waves, and getting the crap kicked out of you may change (or make) your mind.
I am pretty sure you could sing on to help with deliveries and get your name out there and build your Resume at the same time, as well as help make sure its what you want to do before you sell the farm.
I sometimes wish I was smart enough to take my own advice
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Old 24-04-2012, 17:22   #6
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Re: Fast Track to Yachtmaster Offshore (Sail)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dulcesuenos View Post
Agree with Tom except for Seatime required is 720 days for 100 Ton (360 of which may be inland or great lakes).

Sorry was thinking 100-ton Inland License, which of course would do him no good...

Although he could take the 100ton upgrade test with 360 days, including 90 days near coastal and receive a license of "100-ton Inland and OUPV Near Coastal".

Anyway thanks for the correction!
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Old 24-04-2012, 17:47   #7
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Re: Fast Track to Yachtmaster Offshore (Sail)

If you have no real commitments ashore and you are serious then why not? I think you are the perfect age for making the leap into the unknown. I agree with the idea of competent crewing as an excellent way into the captains seat. As many boats and as many skippers as you can get to take you on and keep taking courses during the down time. I hope it works out for you.
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Old 24-04-2012, 18:16   #8
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Re: Fast Track to Yachtmaster Offshore (Sail)

I did my RYA Yachtmaster Offshore in South Africa. Its is a good choice as it is one of the few places outside the UK where there are tidal streams and the course costs are significantly less than UK.

If you do it during the winter, it's a bit chilly, but class numbers are much reduced. The maximum students on the boat when I did it was 4 during the final week, but usually just me and one other. The 1 on 1 time with the instructor is vital.
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Old 24-04-2012, 18:25   #9
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Re: Fast Track to Yachtmaster Offshore (Sail)

South Africa has a very good RYA YachtMasters Offhore - (check what the requirements are). You can acquire significant experience up and down the coast (which is undoubtedly some of the most challenging sailing in the world) from weather to currents. Also there are a number of multihull manufacturers that run deliveries up the Caribbean and to Europe that you can cut your teeth on.
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Old 24-04-2012, 21:35   #10
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Acquiring a YM is a good first step into the professional field. For small boat work, a commercially endorsed YM is all you need , plus of course experience.

For super yachts or stuff over 24 metres , generally you'll need to do the stcw95 courses. A YM is generally the minimum entry requirement for a super yacht deckhand.

Small boat deliveries are not a way to make money. IMHO.

Getting a lead boat position on a charter fleet isn't too difficult. You'll need to work up some experience. Again expect a 1-3 year period crewing for others for little or no money.

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Old 25-04-2012, 02:39   #11
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Re: Fast Track to Yachtmaster Offshore (Sail)

A lot of good advice here, I have the USCG 100 ton masters near coastal and If I remember right it requires 720 days of Sea time and while the test is easy if you study and have the experience- there are a lot of professional crew/Capitan’s out of work right now- I know because I have several friends who cannot find work-and who are normally working in the field-I also have a friend who owns a crew agency and has told me they are about to go out of biz- because the Captains who do the hiring have been told by the owners of the yachts to cut costs, one way there doing this is to hire you directly through online websites- (like crew finder) the rescission has affected this industry – so just be aware of this-Ft. Lauderdale , Fl is the super Yacht capital of the world and here is a great place to start- a really great school to look at is Captain’s License Classes - Courses - Maritime Professional Training -and very inexpensive also- -housing is cheap here-They may even help you find a job-If you want to get into this biz -South Florida is the place to start- GO around once you have your ticket and apply at all the crew agencies in the area, in person , if you just call or send them your paper work it will not work , you need some face contact-bring some donuts or somthin and they will remember you-it worked for me-and online and keep in contact with these people a few times a month or more- you can do it!
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Old 25-04-2012, 06:07   #12
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Re: Fast Track to Yachtmaster Offshore (Sail)

You should be able to get a position delivering a new cat from Cape Town to the Caribbean with minimal experience. First time no pay and pay your own airfare back, but you will get a lot of sea miles. After that you will get paid, but not much. I have met a few delivery captains. Not much money in it even with 100 000 miles experience. Having said that, I would like to do a few deliveries.
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Old 25-04-2012, 06:28   #13
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Re: Fast Track to Yachtmaster Offshore (Sail)

Experience is the most important thing! No boat builder is ever going to turn an inexperienced Captain loose with a new boat. Even if it is across the harbour. Their best bet is to go to work as crew and a big motor yacht. All they need is STCW 95. They can hop on a sailboat after they make some connections in the business. It is much easier to get a berth when you already have one. Crews tend to leave ships with little or no notice. If they are in the right place at the right time, clean cut an smiling it will happen.
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Old 25-04-2012, 07:03   #14
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Re: Fast Track to Yachtmaster Offshore (Sail)

One small detail you may need to seriously address is to ask yourselves... How old do I want to be when I launch my spawns? Those I know with kids still in HS or college while they're in their late 50's and mid 60's are the ragadiest, most tired, wrung out parents around, constantly pining about not having enough time to enjoy. Good luck.
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Old 25-04-2012, 11:10   #15
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Re: Fast Track to Yachtmaster Offshore (Sail)

Wow, thanks for all the input. I am concerned about finding employment after we receive our RYA Yachtmaster coastal and SCTW95. The way I figure it is that once we are involved we will be located someplace that we will be able to have our face out there and meet and greet future employers.

"And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." Abraham Lincoln
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