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
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