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Old 17-07-2010, 19:53   #1
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Italian Captain License Valid ?

Hello crew, here is my question: I have a international captain license that I obtained in Italy in 1992, the license allows me to take a boat ( sail or motor ) of max 24 metres anywhere in the world. I took the license with the idea of cruising anywhere but I end up finding out that most charter companies won't recognize it as valid in the US. I worked and studied really hard for the license, I don't know here but in Italy it's a pretty serious deal. I had to go to the local coast guard and take a whole bunch of exams, tests, etc etc....
Can anybody tell me what the deal is??? I don't understand why they let you buy and take a boat anywhere without any sort of training but when you show them a international license to rent one they look at you like you are from another world. I'd like to say that I do have experience in the water having sailed Europe up and down quite a few times.
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Old 17-07-2010, 20:59   #2
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Buon Giorno cla6665

I would guess that the company you are dealing with is just not familiar with the Italian license and the strict requirements you followed to obtain it.

I have usually sailed my own boat but a few years ago when I did not own a boat I chartered a 45 sailboat with several friends to go to the Bahamas. I was the only one in the group with any sailing experience and I have no license at all. The charter company wanted me to list my sailing experience and also required me to take a test of about 10 pages. Based on my experience and good results of the test I was allowed to charter the boat.

Have you tried to charter on the basis of your experience?
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Old 17-07-2010, 21:04   #3
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Maybe you can get an 'endorsement' on your license from some authority in the USA (maybe ASA?)

Welcome to America: Where other countries just don't exist...
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Old 18-07-2010, 06:11   #4
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To get a USCG licence, you must be an American citizen, or a permanent resident in possession of an Alien Registration Card.

General Requirements - USCG National Maritime Center

There are no citizenship requirements for RYA/MCA Yachtmasters.
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Old 18-07-2010, 07:10   #5
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Most charter companies are more interested in your experience than your licenses. I have just given them a copy of my sailing resume in the past. If they are unsure, they may require a check-out sail.
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Old 18-07-2010, 11:59   #6
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The license you have allows you to take an Italian boat internationally, not a foreign boat. In Rome do ... ;-)

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Old 18-07-2010, 13:12   #7
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Thank you for all the inputs, it figures...these Italians........
Well, instead of throwing away money in charter I am just going to buy myself one.
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Old 19-07-2010, 22:29   #8
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Plainly put, the charter companies want to see a resume of current rentals from other companies that they know of or can check out. Having a 18 year old certificate from a foreign country means nothing to them. And why should it, you could have purchased it without benefit of any training (not that you did, but others can) or even printed it yourself on a home computer.
- - The rental companies know about the major USA sailboat training companies like US Sail and ASA and others. That along with a resume of other rentals is what they want to see. And even then they will be evaluating you during the "check-out" of the boat. If the charter company employee thinks or feels that you really don't know what you are doing they will require you to take a hired local captain (at your expense) with you. Sailboats are not cheap and they want to be reasonably assured you will bring it back in one piece.
- - Building a resume can be tough as you have to start somewhere with zero or little experience. Usually you can take "courses" from the combination sailing schools/rental outfits. This gets you the privilege of renting their boats. Then one builds on that with another charter outfit that knows your school. Slowly you build up a record of successful charters from several outfits and from then on it is easy.
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Old 22-07-2010, 09:17   #9
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Funny thing from the charter companies. In Brazil we are also required by the Coast Guard to take a series of examinations before getting a license to skipper a boat. First there is a port license, then coastal, then offshore.
The problem with sailing experience only is that you have no idea if that person has any navigational experience, which I believe is more important in order not to get lost or hitting something at night!!!!
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Old 22-07-2010, 10:33   #10
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You might investigate getting a RYA or MCA equivalent license based on your Italian license. If you can get a MCA or RYA then you may be able to get a US license based on the certificate of equivalent competency (CEC). The US and UK/MCA have reciprocal agreements depending on you tonnage and other endorsements.

Good luck. Getting the Italian license is not easy and you deserve some consideration for the effort.
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Old 22-07-2010, 14:29   #11
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I too find it surprising....
Does your sailing association's publish within their website/literature comparisons with other EU tests? Nowadays continental Europe seem to have similar standards for everything. As the last resort, I would visit a well known yacht club ( I am assuming that you are not a member of a club as your president or club captain could provide you with a letter of "good standing and expertise" which would easily suffice) explain your problem...and the national slight.... detail your experience and I am sure
a similar type of letter/ confirmation of experience could be achieved.

Good luck

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Old 22-07-2010, 17:54   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Augusto View Post
Funny thing from the charter companies. In Brazil we are also required by the Coast Guard to take a series of examinations before getting a license to skipper a boat. First there is a port license, then coastal, then offshore.
The problem with sailing experience only is that you have no idea if that person has any navigational experience, which I believe is more important in order not to get lost or hitting something at night!!!!
I can only speak to Caribbean Bareboat Charter outfits and ones inside the USA waters - if you look at their rules and requirements you will see that you are prohibited from operating usually after 16:00 local hours and during the night. Also there are numerous prohibited islands and passes between islands that are usually marked on a chart they give you. Sometimes whole islands are off limits. The bareboat charter companies are very concerned about you being able to bring the boat back in one piece so any "licenses" are of little value to them. Your experience and record with other bareboat charter outfits and sailing schools is what they want to see.
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Old 23-07-2010, 17:53   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anglooff View Post

Nowadays continental Europe seem(s) to have similar standards for everything.
It seems, but it does not.

E.g. you cannot sail a Spanish flagged boat without a Spanish license. Surprisingly, you can, if it is a charter boat.

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