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Old 25-07-2013, 17:11   #16
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Re: RYA Fast track Yachtmaster Class for American NOT interested in sailing career?

I will start by saying not all RYA schools are the same.

When I recently acted as crew for a friend doing his RYA certification it was a very different experience to what I had on mine.

Get together a short list of schools that appeal to you. Phone them up and ask a lot of questions. Money spent on the phone could save you thousands later if you get it wrong. Some schools are run by old salts who just love to pass on their experience, some are run by individuals with an eye on the bottom line of a balance sheet.
If you don't like the sound of them on the phone do you really want to spend months in a confined space with these people?

Recently, a solent based RYA school made headline news and the courtroom for repeatedly putting to sea in dangerous conditions which ended up with injured crew and a rescue mission.
A good school will not only teach the practical things they also teach seamanship.

Experience.... When you think you have seen it all and your experience tells you that you have nothing else to learn from others, in my book, you have just demonstrated there are lots you still need to learn.
Some people do indeed have 30 years expereince, some have 1 years experience 30 times!

Should learning be fun? Of course it should. Life is a journey not a destination if you don't have fun along the way something is wrong.
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Old 25-07-2013, 17:28   #17
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Just again for clarification.


There is no RYA syllabus for a Yachtmaster course. There is no such course. The Yachtmaster is an on-boat exam , taking 1to two days , examined by a RYA qualified examiner , who can not be an instructor. You must have 3000 sea miles in a sailing vessel serving primarily as skipper as a prerequisite.

That's it.

There are schools that run fast track YM, pre exam YM courses , etc etc, these are purely designed by the school for the purpose of then presenting you to the YM examiner. But they are not per say necessary. Nor does the school e en have to be RYA recognised.

There is , misleading called , the RYA Yachtmaster shore based course. This is a RYA course and syllabus carried out in a classroom covering , chart work, COLREGS , weather , passage planning etc., by a recognised RyA school. you do a written exam and get an attendance cert. it is not part of the YM process and is not needed to do the YM exam. It does not make you a YM or anywhere near it. In fact you will be examined on techniques in the practical exam that are not covered in the shorebased course.

Fastrack courses primarily exist to take someone with no experience from zero to hero in about 18 weeks, the main idea is to prepare you for entry into the world of commercial leisure yachting , where the RYA YM is a valuable cert. you do classroom stiff, you sail to build miles , you usually take your VHF , first aid and Stcw95 basic courses as well. At the end you do the YM practical exam with the examiner.

If you have the experience you can walk in off the street and with a boat do the YM practical exam. No courses needed at all.


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Old 25-07-2013, 18:16   #18
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Re: RYA Fast track Yachtmaster Class for American NOT interested in sailing career?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Colorado6 View Post
Hi Everyone,

(...)

While crewing is great, I'm never going to get any real experience skippering unless I buy or rent my own boat. It seems the RYA class, despite the money and five months of time, would be a good bet, particularly if I took one in an English winter and was exposed to tides, currents, lousy weather, etc. Thoughts?
Getting exposed to English winter will not teach you sailing. Getting max hours at the helm will.

I would invest the same kind of money into a couple of charters in the Caribbean. If you have a good friend who is an experienced driver, take him along, split costs, you will have a tutor 'for free'.

Learning does not have to be all hard grind to be productive. Some say we learn faster when we are having fun.

b.
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Old 25-07-2013, 18:48   #19
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Re: RYA Fast track Yachtmaster Class for American NOT interested in sailing career?

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Getting exposed to English winter will not teach you sailing. Getting max hours at the helm will.

I would invest the same kind of money into a couple of charters in the Caribbean. If you have a good friend who is an experienced driver, take him along, split costs, you will have a tutor 'for free'.

Learning does not have to be all hard grind to be productive. Some say we learn faster when we are having fun.

b.
That post was spot on

I took a young man who had never been offshore on a delivery from Florida to St. Vincent a few years ago.
1700 miles later he knew more about sailing than most ASA or RYA offshore cert. folks I know.
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Old 26-07-2013, 05:59   #20
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Re: RYA Fast track Yachtmaster Class for American NOT interested in sailing career?

'Goboatingnow' is correct there is no RYA syllabus for the Yachtmaster course that's why it is very important to go with a school you can trust.

Why is it that many Americans regard the RYA qualifications as only for those wanting to go pro? Thousands of amateur sailors over here do RYA courses as a matter of course. It is up to the individual to decide if they want to do the exams with an MCA examiner and put a commercial endorsement on the certificate.

I did a one week prep course out of Gibralter in the middle of winter. The crew consisted of two newbies and a keen yachty going for his day skipper. And of course a teacher.

I was expected to help teach these people and bring them up to speed to pass their exams. My own knowledged was constanly being tested and conditions (such as fog) were often simulated to push me to the limit. My weak points were indentified and worked on.

On the day of my test it was 30 gusting 40 plus knots and it was suggested I cancel. An automatic fail. I elected to have a go. It was one of the harded days I have ever spent on the water and the MCA examiner made few concessions for the weather.

One way or another I passed and I believe the experience made me into a much better Skipper.

The school had several 'Zero to Hero' courses on the go and they seemed to be working these students pretty hard. Their backgrounds were wide and diverse (including an American ski instructor who had never set foot on a boat before but had fallen in love with the ocean) I got the feeling they would all leave as very good skippers with a lot of experienced crammed into a few months.

I cannot comment on UKSA but I have done shorebased courses with Plas Menai the Welsh equivalent and often found myself sat next to pro sailors - clearly the industry takes these establishments serioulsy.

If you have mentor who will let you sail his boat and pass on his experience great. If you don't then consider some sort of course. There are courses that cater for everyones needs and there is nothing like a test with an independent examiner to confirm how good, or bad, you are.
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Old 20-08-2013, 22:31   #21
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There is no Yachtmaster course per say. So what did you do.
Presumably the Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster Theory.
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Old 21-08-2013, 03:05   #22
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Re: RYA Fast track Yachtmaster Class for American NOT interested in sailing career?

Most schools offering practical courses like to know you have passed the theory exam prior to putting to sea.

They don't expect to have to teach you about buoys, colregs, shipping lanes, etc, etc.

I am not sure if the MCA will sign you off for a commercially endorsed cetificate if you haven't passed the theory exam. Interesting point because, as was stated earlier, anyone with logged mileage can book the practical exam.
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Old 21-08-2013, 04:37   #23
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Re: RYA Fast track Yachtmaster Class for American NOT interested in sailing career?

This was BRILLIANT! "Some people do indeed have 30 years expereince, some have 1 years experience 30 times!"
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Old 21-08-2013, 13:37   #24
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Originally Posted by Alenka View Post
Most schools offering practical courses like to know you have passed the theory exam prior to putting to sea.

They don't expect to have to teach you about buoys, colregs, shipping lanes, etc, etc.

I am not sure if the MCA will sign you off for a commercially endorsed cetificate if you haven't passed the theory exam. Interesting point because, as was stated earlier, anyone with logged mileage can book the practical exam.
Hi
I took my YM coastal last month (MCA) the exam will include question on the above, often relivent to what happens at the time.
I was asked what to look for in a harness/ life belt and had to do man over board under sail as well as explain why a engine might fail and how to get it going again.

I had done a week on a YM offshore prep week as crew and another prep week with no shore based course but lots of home revision. You need 800 logged miles before you can take your coastlal and 2500 before the offshore but if you take RYA coastal practical course you get. 400 allowance towards your log

I raced dinghys a lot in my teens, then had motor cruisers 22 to 32 ft for the last 25 years, so did the mileage on a month charter and various mileage builders on other yachts then jumped straight into the exam please note the exam be can tidal or non tidall so Caribbean month charter only qualified as half mileage for the tidal MCA exam.
The commercial endorsement is only obtained with the 4 stcw95 course completion certificates

Hope this helps
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Old 22-08-2013, 08:55   #25
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Most schools offering practical courses like to know you have passed the theory exam prior to putting to sea. They don't expect to have to teach you about buoys, colregs, shipping lanes, etc, etc..
Agreed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alenka View Post
I am not sure if the MCA will sign you off for a commercially endorsed cetificate if you haven't passed the theory exam. Interesting point because, as was stated earlier, anyone with logged mileage can book the practical exam.
The commercial endorsement does not require successful completion of the shore-based course.
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Old 25-08-2013, 13:18   #26
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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post

Getting exposed to English winter will not teach you sailing. Getting max hours at the helm will.

I would invest the same kind of money into a couple of charters in the Caribbean. If you have a good friend who is an experienced driver, take him along, split costs, you will have a tutor 'for free'.

Learning does not have to be all hard grind to be productive. Some say we learn faster when we are having fun.

b.
The Caribbean will not give you tidal experience or the knowledge on secondary ports , limited tidal streams etc that you will be quizzed on in the exam. I. Had to do a blind nav in simulated 50m vis up a buoyed channel with a 3knot tidal stream in 8 knots of wind with 0.2m drying heights on the flats around the channel at night. True .. Sailing is all about the experience gained but as many have said it is the quality of it that matters.
The 2500 miles you log prior to the exam in the English Channel with trips around the Uk will be invaluable if you take the Ym in the uk, I have been told by a few pro's that if you pass here you will cope with most areas you sail, ok we don,t hurricanes but , a F 8 easterly in the channel that has blown up in the last hour will test you as much as a squall in the carribean.

The other factor is crew command , which is a big part of the Ym exam as well as general things that you will learn that won't be learnt on a 1700 mile trip with a "exsperienced driver" or a couple of charters, although long passages are needed , do it with a few on board so you learn the way to deal with different characters on board and learn what a skip needs to know about man management.

I hope this helps and wish you all the best but go for the widest exsperience you can get
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Old 14-09-2013, 20:07   #27
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Having taken the fast-track YM in the Solent and English Channel in winter time ( and passed) I would suggest that you get out of the training what you are willing to put into it. The more challenging the more one is likely to learn.
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