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Old 19-05-2016, 05:14   #1
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Qualifications

Hi my name is Rik

I have set my self a 5 to 6 year plan of buying a catamaran and sail from the UK to see my brother in NewZealand. As well of a lot of places in between.

I have joined my local Lake sailing club and have passed my first learn to sail course. I am enjoying learning how to read the wind and control the 16 foot wayfairer boat. Learning how to rig up the sails and all that goes with it.
When the second course comes up I will take that.

At the end off this month I am taking the 5 days at sea RYA competent crew course at Hull. Which I am looking forward to. To the follow on with the other RYA courses.

My question is.
How many people on this site Have gone all the way to Yacht Master or equivalent. Or to Coastal Skipper. Or just wing it with a couple of lessons.
Thought I'd ask your experiences
All the best Rik
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Old 19-05-2016, 06:00   #2
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Re: Qualifications

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Rik.
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Old 19-05-2016, 06:08   #3
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Re: Qualifications

I write as a Yorkshireman who's boat is in New Zealand.

Very few cruisers out in the Pacific have formal qualifications. The Brits tend to have more qualifications and experience because of the combination of the RYA and British conditions. The Yanks tend to just wing it, the trip from California to New Zealand is called the 'Coconut Milk Run!'

My wife and I got both qualifications and experience and would not have done it any other way...There can be some very challenging situations between Hull and New Zealand. We crossed Panama to New Zealand in 2015 and we personally know two boats that sank, we drank beer with one and were in the same radio net as the other.

The most important 'qualification' is experience!
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Old 19-05-2016, 06:15   #4
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Re: Qualifications

Thanks for that Phil
Did you go all the way to Yacht Master.
I want to be as safe as I can. As you say its down to experience. Like learning to drive after you have taken your test.
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Old 19-05-2016, 06:52   #5
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pirate Re: Qualifications

I did my International Helmsman back in the 80's.. I did have my own little 24ft boat however and sailed her solo every chance I got in and around Poole and the Isle of Wight with crossings to Cherbourg.. so packed in a lot of experience in the lead up to my setting off South in '96..
Do your Comp crew then get a small boat and sail.. and swot the Offshore YM Theory for a few months then do your RYA International Helmsmans practical exam..
Involved picking up and slipping moorings under power or sail, same with anchoring and docking.. Lights and Marks recognition and situational awareness, boathandling and course management.. navigation.. questions thrown at random during the sail.. all solo with no help from the examiner.. Great fun..
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Old 19-05-2016, 07:36   #6
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Re: Qualifications

Quote:
Originally Posted by rik stoney View Post
Hi my name is Rik

I have set my self a 5 to 6 year plan of buying a catamaran and sail from the UK to see my brother in NewZealand. As well of a lot of places in between.

I have joined my local Lake sailing club and have passed my first learn to sail course. I am enjoying learning how to read the wind and control the 16 foot wayfairer boat. Learning how to rig up the sails and all that goes with it.
When the second course comes up I will take that.

At the end off this month I am taking the 5 days at sea RYA competent crew course at Hull. Which I am looking forward to. To the follow on with the other RYA courses.

My question is.
How many people on this site Have gone all the way to Yacht Master or equivalent. Or to Coastal Skipper. Or just wing it with a couple of lessons.
Thought I'd ask your experiences
All the best Rik
Welcome to CK

I too did that Competent Crew course. Personally I think it was a waste of money 'for me'. I should have put the money into a boat.

If you want to go commercial 'on sail boats' then going all the way to a yacht master is the go. But otherwise I'm not sure of the point.
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Old 19-05-2016, 08:00   #7
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Re: Qualifications

Rustic
I dont want to go commercial.
I just want to be safe for myself and Partner. Also would like to charter a boat mabe in the Med to play on.
Its cold off the british coast.
I would like to think I could sort things if I got into difficulty. Not ringing 999
I know its all down to experience.
I just wondered how far people went or have to go, to say right Im off.
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Old 19-05-2016, 08:14   #8
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Re: Qualifications

Experience is critical and often learned the hard way.
Education is its' own reward and can often help avoid learning "the hard way".
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Old 19-05-2016, 12:49   #9
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Re: Qualifications

I think we'll done formal classes are incredibly helpful at pushing you up the learning curve. But there is no alternative to experience. In my eyes you really need both. I know a number of 'experienced' skippers I think are dangerous, but I also know a number of trained skippers that have no idea how to fix anything they didn't cover in class....
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Old 19-05-2016, 15:29   #10
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Re: Qualifications

It will not hurt you if you get one step (in formal qualifications) too far.

You need the qualifications only as far as required by the size of the boat you are sailing under the flag of the country you are sailing.

However, you may want SKILLS that far exceed any formal sailing exam requirements to sail from say the UK to the AUS (or was it NZ).

Qualifications (exams taken) are not SKILLS. Go for skills. Take exams if you can/must. Sailing is a practical activity, hands on the tiller and ass in wet salopettes. ;-)

Sail, sail, sail then sail some more. If time allows, take formal exams to meet the legalities of your chosen flag.

Cheers,
b.
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Old 19-05-2016, 16:16   #11
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Re: Qualifications

Thanks for the advise. It is much appreciated.
My next question is.
What's the best way of getting experience on a boat at sea, with out having to buy 1. I am trying to save for my cat.
I live in The middle of Blighty so is a couple of hours to the coast either East or west,
Would I need to join a sailing club on the coast, befriend people and beg,or buy passages to somewhere, but don't have spare weeks off work.
Can you do weekend sailing and learn.
Sorry to sound thick but I'm outside the box trying to learn the inside
All the best Rik
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Old 19-05-2016, 16:27   #12
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Re: Qualifications

I am one of those Yanks spoken of earlier. I bought my first boat (43ft sail) and went out 2 times with my broker for a total of about 3 hours, read a couple of books and started small trips and getting bigger and accepting less desirable condtions than i was...the best knowledge i have found is from other boaters, joined 2 local yacht clubs, and doing. Now i at least understand educational material i look at, rather than just going to a bunch of classes and getting about half of it.

You can always post on the crew section your available. I myself will be considering someone to stand watch on a trip i hope to take soon. The other way around, id be looking for someone i can learn something from, but a more experienced captain may be willing to teach for the extra hand. Especially if you cover your own costs.
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Old 19-05-2016, 16:28   #13
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Re: Qualifications

Quote:
Originally Posted by rik stoney View Post
Rustic
I dont want to go commercial.
I just want to be safe for myself and Partner. Also would like to charter a boat mabe in the Med to play on.
Its cold off the british coast.
I would like to think I could sort things if I got into difficulty. Not ringing 999
I know its all down to experience.
I just wondered how far people went or have to go, to say right Im off.
If you don't want to go commercial then concentrate on what makes you safe and that's firstly learning in weather and navigation. You can usually do simple night courses in both. But you can also hit the books at home. Most people get in trouble due to errors with navigation or weather mistakes.

Secondary it's about experience. Get out and sail. You will learn good sailmanship volunteering on a race boat, but it's not a must. As long as your cautious with the weather and navigation, you will build on your experience.

You also mentioned dry sailing, renting a boat in the Med. you will need to comply with whatever the minimal requirements are over there. In Australia it's just a cheap basic speed boat license. But there are requirements in different places.

Personally, your competent crew course won't give you zip if it's anything like the course that I did in Sydney so save your money.
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Old 19-05-2016, 16:31   #14
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Re: Qualifications

Quote:
Originally Posted by rik stoney View Post
Thanks for the advise. It is much appreciated.
My next question is.
What's the best way of getting experience on a boat at sea, with out having to buy 1. I am trying to save for my cat.
I live in The middle of Blighty so is a couple of hours to the coast either East or west,
Would I need to join a sailing club on the coast, befriend people and beg,or buy passages to somewhere, but don't have spare weeks off work.
Can you do weekend sailing and learn.
Sorry to sound thick but I'm outside the box trying to learn the inside
All the best Rik
Weekend sailing is the cheapest. Join a local sail / yacht club, and you will get plenty of experience. And you will get it for free.
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Old 19-05-2016, 17:08   #15
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Re: Qualifications

I've sailed on and off for 30 years, owning yachts for the last 10. I only got round to doing any courses a couple of years ago and did the RYA Coastal Skipper practical.

On my course there were two doing Coastal Skipper, two doing Day Skipper, and one doing Competent Crew. Personally I didn't think much of the Competent Crew training - the guy got all the crap jobs and wouldn't even have had a shot on the helm if the rest of us hadn't insisted.

Where in the UK are you? If you can I'd suggest you get to the coast at weekends and to a yacht club - most will have boats looking for crew, some with crew match arrangements, and you'll learn far more than the Competent Crew course will teach you.

Get some experience, then go and do Day Skipper - once you've got that you can charter abroad. Get some more experience, then decide what other qualifications you might want.
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