Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 24-07-2014, 13:11   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 7
To Cert or not to Cert, that is the Question

Whether tis nobler... ah screw it!
Wife and I are avid lake sailers/cruisers with a short time before early retirement and full time live aboard cruising. I have sailed all of my life but all has been lakes and bays. She is fairly new to it. We have no plans to charter, but would like coastal navigation and maybe passage making training. Just not sure if I really care about certification for bareboat that must be completed prior to getting to what I see as more relevant needs.
That being said, she sees this as good prep for our future. I am looking for everyone's thoughts on the relevance of these certifications towards live aboard cruising. Are there alternatives like captains licensing through USCG that would be a better fit?


Sent from my iPhone using Cruisers Sailing Forum
__________________

__________________
hesmysnowman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-07-2014, 13:38   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: San Diego
Boat: Pearson 39-2 "Sea Story"
Posts: 1,109
Re: To cert or not to cert, that is the question

You could talk to an instructor about challenging the course: you take the written test and a couple of hours on the water to demonstrate skills.


Sent from my iPad using Cruisers Sailing Forum
__________________

__________________
SV Sea Story adventures
Greenhand is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-07-2014, 13:43   #3
Registered User
 
Stu Jackson's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Cowichan Bay, BC (Maple Bay Marina)
Posts: 6,385
Re: To cert or not to cert, that is the question

I'm not sure about your goals at all. I get a general "feeling" you both think you "need something more" before you buy a boat.

But before you make any choices on courses, it would appear that you need to be more specific.

It also depends a lot on how you, or each of you, learn. Some people pick up from books, others need to be shown. For example, I can look at a book of knots and "get it" while others couldn't do it without the animated knots now on the internet.

And some would say: buy the boat, you'll pick it up.

Good luck.
__________________
Stu Jackson
Catalina 34 #224 (1986) C34IA Secretary
Cowichan Bay, BC, (Maple Bay Marina) SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)
Stu Jackson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-07-2014, 13:50   #4
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: May 2012
Location: New Orleans
Boat: We have a problem... A serious addiction issue.
Posts: 3,940
Re: To cert or not to cert, that is the question

I am a big believer in formal education. While books and videos are great, some of the realities don't fall into place until you actually get out there with an instructor and do it.

For my money the USCG license is somewhat silly for a cruiser, unless you want to charter your boat out. It is completely theory based and has no practical test.

The ASA or RYA certifications however are much more practical based, and require time on the water. I would probably go this route, which an eye towards their endorsements like marine weather, radar, ect.


The one other thing I would highly recommend is to take a community college class in Diesel engine repair. My dad did this before we left for 10 years in the Carribean and it was probably the most valuable thing he studied before setting out.
__________________
Greg

- If animals weren't meant to be eaten then they wouldn't be made of food.
Stumble is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-07-2014, 14:16   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 7
Re: To cert or not to cert, that is the question

Thanks. I have thought about the diesel repair as well and appreciate that note to the conversation. I just didn't know how applicable ASA was to everyday cruising. I may go through a couple just to see. We cruise on a large but non-tidal lake in a small cruising boat. I have a background in navigation fundamentals as a private pilot, and electronic nav and comm systems through military service. Navigation is not new to me, but practical coastal navigation is a different matter.
I often see people that leave with no background whatsoever, but as my wife and I will both be responsible for each other out there, I do want to get further training before departing. I'm just looking for the right fit in a non charter specific environment.



Sent from my iPhone using Cruisers Sailing Forum
__________________
hesmysnowman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-07-2014, 14:21   #6
Senior Cruiser
 
Scot McPherson's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Shoreline, CT and Portmouth Harbor
Boat: Standfast 33, building a 65 ft Wooden Schooner
Posts: 631
Re: To cert or not to cert, that is the question

Sounds to me like you want to get your captains license for some income based on your comment "prep for the future".

The certfications do nothing except give you some education you could get from any good sailing lessons program such as those provided by simply sailing. The captain's licenses require logged and recorded sea time signed off by the vessel's owner/operator or captain...it's as simple as that...the only thing the certs will get you is the number of hours you spend in a boat during the programs.

If you want the certs so YOU feel better about it, then that's fine.

A charter company doesn't care about certs, they care about a good sailing resume demonstrating experience with that "class" of vessel. Certs can help demonstrate that and make YOU feel more comfortable, but a good sailing resume is all you need. Same with insurance.
__________________
Scot McPherson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-07-2014, 14:41   #7
Senior Cruiser
 
Jim Cate's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2008
Location: cruising SW Pacific
Boat: Jon Sayer 1-off 46 ft fract rig sloop strip plank in W Red Cedar
Posts: 11,438
Re: To cert or not to cert, that is the question

I know that my attitude is frowned upon these days,but formal training just isn't really needed to become proficient sailors in the arena that you describe. You have learned to sail on your own, apparently successfully, and I think this demonstrates that you don't need spoon feeding. Coastal navigation isn't difficult, arguably far less stringent than air navigation simply because of the time constraints of flying. That is, you have plenty of time to work things out if you become confused... not gonna run out of fuel and crash!

You have espoused the route of moving up the ladder in smaller steps by learning on your current "small cruising boat". What you propose is just another small step, that is buying a larger and more complicated boat. In that vessel, you can take small incremental steps as you learn a new set of parameters, then undertake short coastal passages, and so on. In the old days, that was how most of us progressed into voyagers. And despite the added burdens of celestial navigation, poor communications, limited electrical and engine power, I believe that our success rate was as good as, likely better than that of the take ASA, buy a big boat and go cruising folks that surround us today.

How well does it work? I'm sure that there are a wide range of answers, but Ann and I, neither of whom have had any formal training save one class in Celestial Nav for me, have been cruising successfully for 28 years now. We've racked up a lot of miles, learning along the way, have not lost a boat nor required rescue, and are still having fun in our older days on the water.

So, the answer to your question re ASA courses, etc, is (as always) "it depends"! It depends on how self reliant you are, how well you retain knowledge gained via experience, and how independent your thought processes are. Classes on specific subjects (celestial, diesel, sail repair, etc) may be used to fill in gaps in your knowledge, and may be quite useful. Or, you can learn from books or the internet, and get the practical experience working on your own boat rather than the classroom. Again, it depends on your own means of learning.

So, good luck with it. It isn't rocket science, and it isn't that hard to learn any of it.

Cheers,

Jim
__________________
Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II , lying Port Cygnet, Tasmania once again
Jim Cate is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 24-07-2014, 14:44   #8
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: May 2012
Location: New Orleans
Boat: We have a problem... A serious addiction issue.
Posts: 3,940
Re: To cert or not to cert, that is the question

Scott,

That's not quite true. I am planning a charter for next summer and have been told that to charter in Greece I have to have an ICC. In the US that means getting an ASA 104, which is taken as an equivilant certification.

There are no countries in the Carribean that to my knowledge require any license to operate your own vessel. However in the Mediterranean they are much more strict.


While I agree with Jim that they are by no means required to be a good operator, there are things that you can do in a classroom that just aren't practical on your own.

Taking diesel repair classes for instance... At least the class here includes completely disassembling and engine and rebuilding it from the ground up as part of the class. While I can certainly imagine wanting to do to that on my own, it isn't something that I would undertake on my boat. I just wouldn't be willing to decommission the boat for months while I worked thru it using YouTube videos.
__________________
Greg

- If animals weren't meant to be eaten then they wouldn't be made of food.
Stumble is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-07-2014, 17:08   #9
Registered User
 
Stu Jackson's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Cowichan Bay, BC (Maple Bay Marina)
Posts: 6,385
Re: To Cert or not to Cert, that is the Question

Jim presented very good stuff.

As far as diesel classes go, if the class is NOT working on the engine in YOUR boat, it's practically worthless. You NEED to know how to work on your Universal, not someone else's Yanmar, they're two different animals. Same concept, which you can learn from a book, but lotsa different features:

shut-off
exhaust elbow
start and lift pump operation
alternators (Hitachis are different)
water pumps
belts

So be careful in signing up for a generic class.

I agree with Greg, you don't need to know, yet, how to rip one apart and rebuild it, you do NEED to learn how to service it and fix most of it. If you have to go into the guts, you have a much different issue OR you'll learn it if you go further, you'll' KNOW then you'll need it.

Good to plan, fun, too, huh?
__________________
Stu Jackson
Catalina 34 #224 (1986) C34IA Secretary
Cowichan Bay, BC, (Maple Bay Marina) SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)
Stu Jackson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-07-2014, 18:25   #10
Registered User
 
Snowpetrel's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Hobart
Boat: Alloy Peterson 40
Posts: 3,071
Re: To Cert or not to Cert, that is the Question

I pretty much agree with Jim, though I do have a lot of time for the RYA yachtmaster courses. At least when I was involved they where a real challenge and sorted the men from the boys. The navigation was much harder than most commercial tickets navigation units. The examiners that tested us to become instructors where very impressive and open minded. I had been sailing offshore and had worked as a navigation officer on ships for years these guys taught me many useful things and raised my professionalism another notch.

Other non RYA yachting courses I have dealt with seemed to have had lower standards.
__________________
My Ramblings
Snowpetrel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-07-2014, 19:10   #11
Registered User
 
Capt Phil's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Stateline NV
Boat: Prior boats: Transpac 49; DeFever 54
Posts: 2,749
Re: To Cert or not to Cert, that is the Question

The only reason I maintained my Masters certification was for insurance purposes when I was in the delivery business. Brokers were a good source of clients and they always asked if I was licensed as well. Your sea time and the variety of different vessels you have worked aboard qualify you more than the license. Insurers of vessels always asked for a copy of my papers before the client was able to engage me on a delivery.
You need to be aware that in the event of an accident or a liability issue aboard, if you are licensed, you will be held to a much higher standard than a non licensed mariner or pleasure craft operator. I know that from personal experience so be aware! Phil
__________________
Capt Phil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-07-2014, 22:54   #12
Moderator Emeritus
 
Ex-Calif's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Singapore
Boat: Maxi 77 - Relax Lah!
Posts: 11,514
Images: 4
Re: To Cert or not to Cert, that is the Question

I sailed a lot as a kid but didn't restart until a few years ago - I have "competent crew," a Singapore boating license, and an 8 year sailing resume that includes boat ownership, racing experience including a couple of significant regatta wins and international passage making.

I send this ahead to Charterers as my sailing resume. Never had any issues chartering. Always had to do a check out regardless of certificates - it's an insurance thing.

I am conflicted because a lot of what Jim says is 100% true - for Jim. Someone else may do better in a formal training environment.

My resume was built as circumstances presented. I have had no "cert plan" really.

Focus on what you need to "know how to do both theoretically and practically." and how to best get those skills. It will naturally come together.

- Weather - A1 most important damn thing in sailing. Complete mystery to most people. #1 cause of wrecks and losses. Argue about sextants all you want but if you don't understand weather and you cruise long term it will eventually kill you.
- Seamanship - Boat handling. Learn how to sail the boat - really this is the easy part - sailing well is harder
- Navigation - An important skill but less difficult in the electronic age
- Passage planning and management - provisioning and managing a boat for extended times away from port - only learned by experience with increasingly long journeys. The dumb and lucky can make a pacific crossing 1 time out of 10. It's really freakin' hard and never underestimate it.
- Maintenance - If you are going to be 100+ miles away from port. You need to know how to get your boat underway again.
__________________
Relax Lah! is For Sale <--- Click
Click--> Custom CF Google Search or CF Rules
You're gonna need a bigger boat... - Martin Brody
Ex-Calif is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-07-2014, 08:29   #13
Registered User
 
Capt Phil's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Stateline NV
Boat: Prior boats: Transpac 49; DeFever 54
Posts: 2,749
Re: To Cert or not to Cert, that is the Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post
I sailed a lot as a kid but didn't restart until a few years ago - I have "competent crew," a Singapore boating license, and an 8 year sailing resume that includes boat ownership, racing experience including a couple of significant regatta wins and international passage making.

I send this ahead to Charterers as my sailing resume. Never had any issues chartering. Always had to do a check out regardless of certificates - it's an insurance thing.

I am conflicted because a lot of what Jim says is 100% true - for Jim. Someone else may do better in a formal training environment.

My resume was built as circumstances presented. I have had no "cert plan" really.

Focus on what you need to "know how to do both theoretically and practically." and how to best get those skills. It will naturally come together.

- Weather - A1 most important damn thing in sailing. Complete mystery to most people. #1 cause of wrecks and losses. Argue about sextants all you want but if you don't understand weather and you cruise long term it will eventually kill you.
- Seamanship - Boat handling. Learn how to sail the boat - really this is the easy part - sailing well is harder
- Navigation - An important skill but less difficult in the electronic age
- Passage planning and management - provisioning and managing a boat for extended times away from port - only learned by experience with increasingly long journeys. The dumb and lucky can make a pacific crossing 1 time out of 10. It's really freakin' hard and never underestimate it.
- Maintenance - If you are going to be 100+ miles away from port. You need to know how to get your boat underway again.
Excellent synopsis, Dan... good advice! Phil
__________________
Capt Phil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-07-2014, 09:06   #14
Registered User
 
OldFrog75's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Santa Monica, CA
Boat: Club Sailor; various
Posts: 922
Re: To Cert or not to Cert, that is the Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by hesmysnowman View Post
She is fairly new to it. That being said, she sees this as good prep for our future.

Sent from my iPhone using Cruisers Sailing Forum
I think that pretty much says it all. I don't know either of you but she's a big part of the adventure and the last thing I think you want to hear in the future is, "we should have taken the courses."

If it were me I'd much rather hear, "the courses were a waste of time", than, "I told you I wanted to take them and you talked me out of it".

+1 on the diesel class.

__________________
OldFrog75 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-07-2014, 10:19   #15
Writing Full-Time Since 2014
 
thinwater's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Deale, MD
Boat: PDQ Altair, 32/34
Posts: 4,324
Re: To Cert or not to Cert, that is the Question

I'll be the contrarian.

If you are a pilot you can navigate. Read a little on the differences with boats and you'll be good. Coastal navigation is mostly a matter of getting your head out of the cockpit and looking around. It sounds to me like you are a person who can learn by reading. Currents in tight spaces are the main thing that will be new to you.

If you have worked on any sort of motors, I find I can learn new ones very easily from manuals. I'm not going to remember the class anyway. Just give me the service manual (not the owners manual).

----

The ONE plus for classes is if the wife is in a position of having to be taught by the husband. That often goes very poorly. It depends on whether she likes to learn on her own or wants a class. Husbands and wives often approach sailing very differently; the husband is fascinated by the boat, the process, and the challenge, while the wife is interested in a shared activity and the places. This is the part of "sailing" that took the longest to get through my skull; I guess I'm engineering smart and people stupid. It's a common condition.

As for the rest, read, practice, and critique what has happened each day, just as a pilot should. I doubt a class will teach you anything you won't figure out in a few weeks, if you always review the results of your actions. And read. I doubt the instructor can show you anything that has not been written down. Much is boat- and region-specific and you will have to work through that.
__________________

__________________
Gear Testing--Engineering--Sailing

Writing full-time since 2014.
Bookstore:http://sail-delmarva.blogspot.com/20...ook-store.html
thinwater is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Catalina 30' CE Cert 'A' storyinframes Monohull Sailboats 4 02-02-2012 19:43
New USDA Dog Health Cert Question JusDreaming Rules of the Road, Regulations & Red Tape 9 31-01-2012 08:22
Sailing cert and charter combination in Florida? Blue Skye Training, Licensing & Certification 7 01-04-2008 08:09



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 19:16.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.