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Old 14-02-2011, 04:26   #1
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Unique Situation - RYA Yachtmaster in Exotic Location ?

Hi guys

I have a rather unique and incredible opportunity, and Id love some advice.

First, some background: Im 24 and started lake sailing with my parents when I was 11. 5 years ago I did a 1 week course with friends and obtained my ASA 104 (bareboat chartering), which I have heard is roughly equivalent to Day Skipper. I have probably covered close to 300 miles, but I have spent so many random days lake sailing that it is hard to say.

My situation: I am starting a highly stressful finance job in mid July and have May and June to do whatever I like with my sign-on bonus before I start slaving away and working 90 hour weeks. I also have $1000 in flight vouchersso effectively a free flight anywhere in the world (compensation for being screwed around by Delta last Christmas). I have considered travelling around South America and chilling on the beach for a month, but Id rather do something constructive in that time as well.

A few options Ive been considering:

1. I would love to cross the Atlantic, and I would love to get my RYA Yachtmaster Offshore (or Ocean) certification. SailIonian.com offers the Antigua to Gibraltar trip over a month for not much money. After this, Id have enough miles for the certification, but am not sure Id have enough passages (just one very large passage...would this count?). Do the examiners check your miles/passages rigorously? How would they know? Im not trying to cheat the system or anything, just curious!
2. You can jump into a lot of these zero to hero Yachtmaster fast track courses at a later stage if you have some experience. Would this be a good option? Can someone recommend a good course, and preferably one in a cool/exotic location and not the solent?
3. Where else are there solid RYA schools in exotic locations? If there was one in South Africa, for example, I could do some milebuilding around there and do the Yachtmaster after. I would be able to get in plenty of passages tailored to exactly what I would need.

I think I will do all of the navigation/theory courses via distance learning before I embark, so all that will be left is practical.

Thanks, any suggestions would be much appreciated!
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Old 14-02-2011, 05:24   #2
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Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, coolrunnings.
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Old 14-02-2011, 06:29   #3
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This is the qualifying statement for the RYA YM Coastal ( which is "The yachtmaster" certification)

"50 days, 2,500 miles including at least 5 passages over 60 miles measured along the rhumb line from the port of departure to the destination, acting as skipper for at least two of these passages and including two which have involved overnight passages. 5 days experience as skipper. At least half this mileage and passages must be in tidal waters. All qualifying seatime must be within 10 years prior to the exam."

In general you will need to demonstrate that you are a competent skipper. Thats mainly what the examiner wants to see. ie that you just havent crewed everywhere.

Note that there isnt a "RYA Yachtmaster " course. Some schools runs an exam preparation course ( 4-6 days) and organise the exam on that boat. In my opnion thats a very good thing to do as with all exams there are tricks and gotchas that are worth knowing. The exam will be at least a day and may imvolve some passages in the dark. ( depending on the examiner).

As for the Zero to hero, well Im not a fan, really you should have about 10,000 miles of experience with a considerable number as skipper to be comfortable with the exam. But then "exam jockeys" do them fast all the time.

looking at my 2011 RYA schools list, There are schools in Australia, (1) , Carribbean( 1, grenada), Croatia (2), Brittany(1), Gibraltor(2),Greece(3), Italy(2),Malta(1), New Zealand(2),Portugal(2),Roamania(1),Singapore(1),So uth Africa(2, Capetown),Spain(2), Balearics (4), Canaries(3), Thailand(1),Turkey(1)

These are all schools that participate in the RYA Sail Cruising Scheme, but remember in many cases the RYA examiner will have to be flown out from the UK and hence these schools may offer the practical lead in training, ,but you may find that actually taking the exam there can be very difficult to set up.

Dave
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Old 14-02-2011, 07:02   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
This is the qualifying statement for the RYA YM Coastal ( which is "The yachtmaster" certification)

"50 days, 2,500 miles including at least 5 passages over 60 miles measured along the rhumb line from the port of departure to the destination, acting as skipper for at least two of these passages and including two which have involved overnight passages. 5 days experience as skipper. At least half this mileage and passages must be in tidal waters. All qualifying seatime must be within 10 years prior to the exam."

In general you will need to demonstrate that you are a competent skipper. Thats mainly what the examiner wants to see. ie that you just havent crewed everywhere.

Note that there isnt a "RYA Yachtmaster " course. Some schools runs an exam preparation course ( 4-6 days) and organise the exam on that boat. In my opnion thats a very good thing to do as with all exams there are tricks and gotchas that are worth knowing. The exam will be at least a day and may imvolve some passages in the dark. ( depending on the examiner).

As for the Zero to hero, well Im not a fan, really you should have about 10,000 miles of experience with a considerable number as skipper to be comfortable with the exam. But then "exam jockeys" do them fast all the time.

looking at my 2011 RYA schools list, There are schools in Australia, (1) , Carribbean( 1, grenada), Croatia (2), Brittany(1), Gibraltor(2),Greece(3), Italy(2),Malta(1), New Zealand(2),Portugal(2),Roamania(1),Singapore(1),So uth Africa(2, Capetown),Spain(2), Balearics (4), Canaries(3), Thailand(1),Turkey(1)

These are all schools that participate in the RYA Sail Cruising Scheme, but remember in many cases the RYA examiner will have to be flown out from the UK and hence these schools may offer the practical lead in training, ,but you may find that actually taking the exam there can be very difficult to set up.

Dave
Thanks so much for the help.

Would an Atlantic crossing count for multiple passages or just one large one?

Does anyone have any experiences/recommendations for any of the RYA schools in the locations listed above?

Thanks again.
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Old 14-02-2011, 07:11   #5
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The atlantic crossing will count as one passage, remember you dont learn a whol lot crossing the atlantic, mainly how to live on a small boat, thats about it.

As to a school recomendation, I would firstly pick a location and then check if they are actually able to host the exam. Some schools can be vague on this "sure we intend to run one,etc". You need to tie down the exam date and ensure the school has access to an examiner.

Dave
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Old 06-03-2011, 11:44   #6
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Re: Unique Situation - RYA Yachtmaster in Exotic Location ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
This is the qualifying statement for the RYA YM Coastal ( which is "The yachtmaster" certification)

"50 days, 2,500 miles including at least 5 passages over 60 miles measured along the rhumb line from the port of departure to the destination, acting as skipper for at least two of these passages and including two which have involved overnight passages. 5 days experience as skipper. At least half this mileage and passages must be in tidal waters. All qualifying seatime must be within 10 years prior to the exam."

In general you will need to demonstrate that you are a competent skipper. Thats mainly what the examiner wants to see. ie that you just havent crewed everywhere.

Note that there isnt a "RYA Yachtmaster " course. Some schools runs an exam preparation course ( 4-6 days) and organise the exam on that boat. In my opnion thats a very good thing to do as with all exams there are tricks and gotchas that are worth knowing. The exam will be at least a day and may imvolve some passages in the dark. ( depending on the examiner).

As for the Zero to hero, well Im not a fan, really you should have about 10,000 miles of experience with a considerable number as skipper to be comfortable with the exam. But then "exam jockeys" do them fast all the time.

looking at my 2011 RYA schools list, There are schools in Australia, (1) , Carribbean( 1, grenada), Croatia (2), Brittany(1), Gibraltor(2),Greece(3), Italy(2),Malta(1), New Zealand(2),Portugal(2),Roamania(1),Singapore(1),So uth Africa(2, Capetown),Spain(2), Balearics (4), Canaries(3), Thailand(1),Turkey(1)

These are all schools that participate in the RYA Sail Cruising Scheme, but remember in many cases the RYA examiner will have to be flown out from the UK and hence these schools may offer the practical lead in training, ,but you may find that actually taking the exam there can be very difficult to set up.

Dave
You've quoted the requirements for Yachtmaster Offshore, not Yachtmaster Coastal (what used to be called Coastal Skipper, until the RYA decided to cheapen the Yachtmaster brand).

Go to Gibraltar to do it. Then you've got a shipping lane to cross, some OK anchorages, some good, hard navigation and nice winds.
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Old 06-03-2011, 13:59   #7
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Re: Unique Situation - RYA Yachtmaster in Exotic Location ?

I remember a Gibraltar based school offered the zero to hero towards the West Indies. I would probably climb on this one.

Better yet get my boat in a place where the certification is not required and learn some sailing ;-).

b.
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Old 07-03-2011, 02:11   #8
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Re: Unique Situation - RYA Yachtmaster in Exotic Location ?

I took some training and the exam for my Yachtmaster Offshore out of Capetown. They do have examiners there.

Some general advice I'd offer would be:

The RYA courses don't teach you how to sail, they teach you how to be in charge of a boat.

The important bit of the courses are the knowledge you gain - not the piece of paper that you may or may not be given at the end of it. A pass is not a certainty - for those without much experience, like yourself, the fail rate is high.

Go out of season - instructor to pupil ratio is much more in your favour. Out of season in Capetown, it was 1 instructor to 2 pupils most of the time I was there. This gives you double or treble the time on the helm compared to in season courses. It's usually cheaper too.

Go for a small boat with a tiller. If it's a 40fter with a wheel, the practical will be much more difficult. Also, a 40ft boat would set alarm bells ringing about pupil to instructor ratios again. Check the max number of pupils on the boat.

Decide between tidal and non tidal courses. Many places outside the UK can't offer the tidal bit.

Realize that the RYA courses are incremental and are matched to increasing levels of experience. There is nothing to stop you doing a zero to hero course, but all you will gain is the bare minimum required to pass an exam. You will not have the depth of knowledge that makes a good skipper.

The RYA courses are very good and I would definately recommend them and June / July is only out of season in the Southern Hemisphere.
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Old 07-03-2011, 18:49   #9
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Re: Unique Situation - RYA Yachtmaster in Exotic Location ?

Quote:
You've quoted the requirements for Yachtmaster Offshore,
sorry , yes thats what the Op wanted, I just mistyped.

Quote:
The important bit of the courses are the knowledge you gain - not the piece of paper that you may or may not be given at the end of it. A pass is not a certainty - for those without much experience, like yourself, the fail rate is high.
There is much confusion here. There is no RYA course to gain Yachtmaster Offshore. There is only the exam. Some schools run a week long YM Exam Preparation courses, that are good in that they show experienced people the way the exam works and some of the techniques that the examiners will ask to to perform. But these courses are designed by the school and there is no standardised course content. You need to evaluate the school carefully. (a) Has it a prep course (b) has it access to RYA Examiners ( these are independant and not part of the school) and (c) Is it scheduling any such exams.

If you are a reasonable good novice, you will not have enough experience to convience an examiner that you can "cut it". Most dont follow a particular format, their aim is to establish if you can command a yacht, if you have little skippering experience, that will show you clearly and they will be unlikely to pass you.


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Old 07-03-2011, 20:27   #10
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Re: Unique Situation - RYA Yachtmaster in Exotic Location ?

Much confusion? - maybe you are right.....

But if it looks like a duck.

A course designed to prep you for an RYA Exam, provided by an RYA accredited training facility, which is periodically inspected by RYA representatives and then the exam is taken by an RYA Examiner.

Looks like an RYA coloured duck to me.
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Old 08-03-2011, 15:53   #11
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No the course doesn't have to given by an Rya instructor nor an accredited school. It's a creation of the individual instructor. The examiner plays no role in evaluating the course. The RYA exam on the other hand is run by the examiner on a boat completely outside the auspices of the schools.

There is no yachtmaster course.

Some exam preps are good some are rubbish.

Dave
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Old 08-03-2011, 16:20   #12
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Re: Unique Situation - RYA Yachtmaster in Exotic Location ?

you might want to spent some time at this web site

Maritime Professional Training - Captain's License | Sea School | Merchant Marine | Simulation

it is set up for yacht people in fort lauderdale, there web site can answer questions that you may have and the school is very knowledgable
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Old 08-03-2011, 16:53   #13
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Re: Unique Situation - RYA Yachtmaster in Exotic Location ?

Cool, you misunderstand the RYA system. Yachtmaster is a high level professional certification that requires experience and competency.

The one week courses are just to familiarize you with the local waters and the content of the two day practical test.

'Fast Track' courses are 3-4 months long, are very hard work sailing 3,500 nm and in England include at least 5 crossings of the English Channel or similar trips. They cost about $15,000.

The practical test, done on a school boat is 4 students, with a RYA examiner on board, sailing the boat 18 hrs as day for two days performing difficult practical sailing, maneuvering and navigational tests such as MOB drills under sail even if its blowing 30+ knots and finding a buoy 5 miles away sailing dead to windward by dead reckoning without looking, you sit below decks navigating while the other students sail the boat.

Basically the examiner expects you to be able to command a boat at night in bad weather and be able to navigate your way in complex heavily trafficked waters and do difficult night entries. Crossing the Atlantic will do nothing to give you those skills.
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Old 08-03-2011, 17:00   #14
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Re: Unique Situation - RYA Yachtmaster in Exotic Location ?

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be able to navigate your way in complex heavily trafficked waters and do difficult night entries.
while I agree with you , its not quite as harsh as you make out. heres the RYA summary How to pass your Yachtmaster exam | Exams | Learning | Courses & Training | RYA

Theres no requirement that it "be heavily trafficeked waters" or "difficult night entries". In fact theres no requirement that anything be done at night, its often included, but not always.

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Old 08-03-2011, 17:15   #15
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Re: Unique Situation - RYA Yachtmaster in Exotic Location ?

It was that hard when I took it 13 yrs ago, have they dumbed it down?
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