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Old 26-12-2015, 06:04   #1
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Sailing certification. Asia? Europe?

Hi,

I am currently traveling in Thailand and vietnam and have been looking for somewhere nearby to get a basic sailing certification like the RYA competent crew or similar. I plan to try and crew for someone next autumn and I hope that having a certification as such will help me get a foot in the door.

My problem is, I'm having a hard time finding info about accredited training in SE asia. Can anyone point me in the right direction?

I'll also be traveling in Europe in February and would consider doing a course there if opportunities are more prevalent and perhaps a better price.

Any advice about where to get training and what course to do, how much I can expect to pay and even whether I should do a course at all (with the end goal of essentially hitchhiking with some cruisers in the Caribbean) would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks.
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Old 26-12-2015, 06:12   #2
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Re: Sailing certification. Asia? Europe?

Hi alienpostie,

Welcome to CF!

I can only speak for myself, but when the time comes for me to look for crew, a piece of paper will be the last thing I pay attention to, to be perfectly honest.

I'd be much more interested in things like
- can we get along well enough in such a tiny space for so long?
- can you at least keep watch and handle smaller stuff when on watch?
- can we get along well enough in such a tiny space for so long?
- do have have some experience maybe?
- can we get along well enough in such a tiny space for so long?
- can you cook, help with maintenance etc.
- can we get along well enough in such a tiny space for so long?
- are you willing to do those chores
- etcetera

But again - that's just me, and we all like to do things our own way of course.
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Old 30-12-2015, 08:43   #3
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Re: Sailing certification. Asia? Europe?

Hi!
I can only agree to lizzy_belle. A certificate will maybe give you some knowlegde on theoretical things (which you can also easily learn from books or online) and the basic technique, but not the experience that most people looking for crew are wishing for. I'd say, just be willing, take every chance to crew that you can an learn by doing. The more experience, the better, not just for the people you are cruising with, but also for yourself.
Only if you wish to skipper or charter yourself, you will need a licence.
There are tons of sailing schools in Europe (I don't know about Asia), in basically every country with a coast. Try to look for sailing courses in the university sports programs, the courses are generally quite cheap there.
Good luck with your plans!
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Old 30-12-2015, 14:42   #4
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Re: Sailing certification. Asia? Europe?

To answer your question, there is a sailing school in Pattaya. Sailgschoolasia.com. There may be others and any Sunsail charter area will have info. Good luck, it is an amazing area to sail.


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Old 31-12-2015, 03:23   #5
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Re: Sailing certification. Asia? Europe?

Agree with the above - we do not take crew anymore -- in the past we did and had some very experienced people on board who has cruising and or racing in their background. We are not great sailors and at times I wanted to do something with the sails and they started argueing with me, one decided to see how close he could cut a steel marker as we entered a narrow channel when they had the helm - I freaked out as there was no reason to do that -
we have inmast furling and one talked about what a dump of a boat I had and how slow she was and why he could not put the rail in the water - once going down another channel and someone had the helm they drifted a bit out of the channel and looking forward was ok but looking backwards you could see the move to the starboard and out of the channel and when I told them that they got a bit huffy -
one had the helm as we approached a bridge and then took a phone call and lost concentration - I grabbed them and pulled them out of the way and took the helm

regardless of experience we have had to many bad experiences and will never take crew but if we did the piece of paper would mean nothing to us - it is will you listen and can we get along
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Old 31-12-2015, 05:18   #6
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Re: Sailing certification. Asia? Europe?

Welcome to CF alienpostie!

I commend you on getting some formal training as it shows commitment and a desire to BE a serious crew on a voyage.

Many self taught forget all the mistakes they unnecessarily made when learning by experience alone.
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Old 20-01-2016, 02:50   #7
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Re: Sailing certification. Asia? Europe?

Hi Alienpostie,

I am from South Africa and we are looking at cruising Southeast Asia mainly because our currency the “Rand” has recently devaluated badly against all the major currencies.
Would you consider sharing your experiences and lessons learned cruising Thailand and vietnam? What is a reasonable budget, all in inc, food, mooring, maintenance for three guys (+58yrs) sailing in Asia?
Some assumptions:
We would eat local food and enjoy a relatively simple life.
Very little marinas unless they are very cheap for occasional use.
Most if not all maintenance will be done by our self.
Hope to hear from you soon.

Kind Regards,
Raka
Andante.cape28@gmail.com
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Old 20-01-2016, 02:59   #8
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Re: Sailing certification. Asia? Europe?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raka View Post
Hi Alienpostie,

I am from South Africa and we are looking at cruising Southeast Asia mainly because our currency the “Rand” has recently devaluated badly against all the major currencies.
Would you consider sharing your experiences and lessons learned cruising Thailand and vietnam? What is a reasonable budget, all in inc, food, mooring, maintenance for three guys (+58yrs) sailing in Asia?
Some assumptions:
We would eat local food and enjoy a relatively simple life.
Very little marinas unless they are very cheap for occasional use.
Most if not all maintenance will be done by our self.
Hope to hear from you soon.

Kind Regards,
Raka
Andante.cape28@gmail.com
While I cant speak for sailing costs, I have travelled and worked in Cambodia as well as spending some time in Laos (landlocked) Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar and Malaysia.

Costs of street food is normally a couple of dollars. Meals in most of the above are 5-10 at local restaurants.

Beer in Cambodia 50 cents a can. Vietnam is similar. Thailand is slightly more expensive and Malaysia is the most expensive for alcohol (though still cheaper than my country Australia).

Thailand and Malaysia are well set up for cruising sailors. There isnt much you cant buy. Cambodia is still developing for cruising and you would be best to have spares on board.
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Old 20-01-2016, 03:47   #9
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Re: Sailing certification. Asia? Europe?

I have been looking into this (ICC for Europe), and as far as I am concerned, it is just a chronically overpriced sales mechanism for courses and licenses.

So I have been looking at alternatives, both in America, and in Canada (having the idea to maybe do both).

In America, you can get a boating safety license equivalent to the ICC, free of charge. Yes you can pay (a moderate fee) for course material and instruction (along with online help, for example with Canada, it comes to about 50 Canadian dollars), or, via BoatUS in America, for free.

Problem though, is even though BoatUS allows foreign membership for the courses, you cannot proceed with registration without a USA State and zip code to enter.

So I am going to do this when I get to Florida, and can register with the State of Florida with the zip code of the Marina where the boat is. Then I can do the online tests, print out the pass Certificate (free) and take it to the local Wildlife and Fisheries Office (with a passport photograph) and get the license for free (because I was born before 1988, I don't actually need to do this, but I think it will be a nice gesture and a courtesy to a host Country - like flying a courtesy flag).

Having seen this sort of imposed licensing and qualification nonsense before, I am opposed to it, as to me, all it does is move towards destroying or severely hampering the associated industry. In fact, the more complex versions of which (what they always end up being), have a tendency to result in people being increasingly incompetent rather than more competent.

Take the driving test in the EU for example. Prior to Portugal joining (always hilarious to watch the reaction of Spanish drivers, when they realise they are close to a car with a Portuguese number plate), the very worst drivers in Europe, were the French. Yet they had the most rigorous and demanding testing regime for licensing.

When the French system was adopted across the EU, including here, in chats with fellow professional drivers at the time (I did a fair few years as a long distance driver, HGV driver, etc) I said "Watch driving standards in Britain plummet thanks to this".

This was before such things as road rage became present on British roads.

Sad to say (and I would have dearly loved to be proved wrong), British driving today is just as bad as it was in France 40 years ago.

There are better ways of going about this, rather than just using it as an excuse to lift more money out of people's wallets.

Though I am pleased to say, and credit where it is due, my local RYA accredited training Centre have a very good crowd of people (this is true of many and probably most, and to me the RYA as an organisation does not reflect their integrity or represent their interests at all satisfactorily, because apart from anything else, the RYA is really driving away potential customers for them), and I have all the time in the World for them.

When I get back from my travels with my new Log Book (the old one somehow got destroyed when I moved, as my friends son inadvertently threw it on the bonfire of unwanted stuff, and it also had my lifetime Marine VHF licence in it at the time /sigh), filled in properly from my journeys, I know any paperwork that I may wish to obtain, will be reasonably straightforward, and the largest expense by far, will be the fees imposed by the RYA, for issuing those bits of paper.

So my main advice would be to get yourself a very good logbook (I obtained a hard covered beaut off Amazon for about $12 equivalent), and update it religiously with your time on board and associated duties carried out, whether day watches or night watches, the journeys and distances travelled, as that logbook will count very much as Course work. That could save you a HUGE amount of money.
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Old 20-01-2016, 05:05   #10
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Re: Sailing certification. Asia? Europe?

As for Spain, the system is utterly absurd. No matter your nationality, you must be in possesion of a valid license for the kind of navigation you're doing. Which is a problem for nationals of countries that do not require any license at all, like UK.

And of course, if you have Spanish nationality, you must have a Spanish license, and they come in a variety of flavours to add to the absurd. With the simplest one (needed even for jet skis and dinghies with a motor) you cannot get further than 3nm from safe harbour. With the next one, you can get up to 12nm from the coastline (it's funny that I've read here that it's actually safer to keep away from the rocks...) with boats of up to 15m. LOA. Next title allows for boats of up to 24m. and 150nm from coast. And the last one, also 24m. LOA and unlimited range.

To further complicate matters, all Spanish-flagged boats must have been inspected by an authorized agent and got a seaworthiness certificate, that also allows for different navigation categories. And these requirements might be enforced (or not, depending upon the regional maritime authority) upon foreign vessels as well. The only good side of this is that if you buy a boat in Spain with all papers up-to-date, you can be reasonably sure it's safe...
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Old 20-01-2016, 05:21   #11
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Re: Sailing certification. Asia? Europe?

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Originally Posted by Bertie68 View Post
As for Spain, the system is utterly absurd. No matter your nationality, you must be in possesion of a valid license for the kind of navigation you're doing. Which is a problem for nationals of countries that do not require any license at all, like UK.
Is this true only if you are a resident in Spain, right? They can not demand that from pureply passing through, visiting boats? Or can they?
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Old 20-01-2016, 05:44   #12
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Re: Sailing certification. Asia? Europe?

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Originally Posted by Sea Frog View Post
Is this true only if you are a resident in Spain, right? They can not demand that from pureply passing through, visiting boats? Or can they?
This is what the law says (Google Translate, sorry). However, many people say that there is a "grey area", as many countries don't issue a skipper's license, and depending upon the stubborness of the officials, they can keep on demanding a title, because that's what the law says...

Quote:
Qualification requirement for the government of recreational vessels
flagged in other States.
1. Any person who governs a pleasure boat, flagged in other
States which navigate waters where Spain exercises sovereignty rights
or sovereign jurisdiction shall be in possession of a qualification allowing him to
make such navigation.
2. For the purposes of the preceding paragraph the qualifications required in those
cases where the nationality of the skipper matches the flag of the vessel,
It will be required under the law of the country of nationality of the skipper; and ¡in
cases where both nationalities do not match the degree will be that
required by the law of the country of residence of the skipper or otherwise, of his
nationality
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Old 20-01-2016, 05:59   #13
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Re: Sailing certification. Asia? Europe?

I'm currently living in Indo and am aware of quite a few training schools in Thailand and Malaysia. Googling 'sailing schools Thailand' brings up a bunch.

As far as whether it's worth it or not, I agree with most of the posters here that it's not necessary, and a willingness to learn and ability to get on with people in close quarters is most important. Having said that, I think Pelagic has a very good point, it shows commitment and the skipper can see that you are at least comfortable on a boat (even if only for short periods). I have sailed with inexperienced crew who loved the idea of crewing, but soon realised it wasn't as romantic as they thought and couldn't get off the boat quick enough. Not sure of your experience, but if you have the time and can afford it, why not. You might even learn something
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Old 20-01-2016, 06:05   #14
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Re: Sailing certification. Asia? Europe?

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Originally Posted by Bertie68 View Post
This is what the law says (Google Translate, sorry). However, many people say that there is a "grey area", as many countries don't issue a skipper's license, and depending upon the stubborness of the officials, they can keep on demanding a title, because that's what the law says...
I guess, a little creativity with photoshop/color printer/laminator will satisfy even the most stubborn official. There is absolutely no way for them to check anyway. "So you need papers? OK, here, have some"
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