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Old 16-09-2014, 08:07   #1
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Experience but no License. Where to Begin?

Hey All,

I've logged over 9,000 sea miles on my Pearson 26 in the last 6 years, sailing from NYC to the Bay of Fundy and back four times, along with several other substantial trips. I've also chartered larger boats in California and the British Virgin Islands, where they don't require a license as long as you can "talk the talk."

What I'm saying is that although I still have a lot to learn and probably always will, I do have some experience. What I don't have is any kind of sailing license. I would like to be able to charter boats in the Mediterranean (Greece and Croatia, for example) where the EU requires an operator's license. I'd also eventually like to buy a proper blue water boat and sail it across the Atlantic and back (probably over the course of 5 or 6 years, in two-month summer segments, hauling out in various spots during the off-season).

What kind of sailing license(s) should I pursue? I'm looking for something that will be relatively cheap to get, pretty permanent once I have it, and internationally recognized. I don't have any commercial aspirations anytime soon (I'm pretty happy as a middle school teacher 10 months out of the year). My boat is out of commission for the season and I'm having surgery soon anyway, so this might be a good time for me to buckle down, study, and take some tests. I've looked into a few options but there are so many, and I'm really curious to see what people here think is the way to go.

Any recommendations? Thanks a lot!
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Old 16-09-2014, 08:19   #2
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Re: Experience but no license. Where to begin?

Go to UK for a sailing holiday and start with RYA Day Skipper which will give you the required International Certificate of Competence.

I highly recommend BOSS sailing school on the Hamble. Many like to do the courses in sunny places but they deny themselves the experience of tides and heavy traffic on the Solent.

How to get your International Certificate of Competence - ICC | BOSS Sailing School Blog

Good Luck
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Old 16-09-2014, 09:12   #3
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Re: Experience but no license. Where to begin?

Someone will definitely correct me if I am wrong but to my knowledge you have to be resident for ICC

My understanding is OP is from USA so I would look for something equivalent of RYA in his homeland
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Old 16-09-2014, 09:30   #4
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Re: Experience but no license. Where to begin?

ASA apparently offers them now: International Sailing Proficiency Certification for Chartering from ASA

Quote:
Who can get one?
Only ASA members who have completed through ASA 104, Bareboat Charter, are eligible to order the certificate. One must be a current member of ASA to be issued the certificate.
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Old 16-09-2014, 09:36   #5
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Re: Experience but no license. Where to begin?

Quote:
Originally Posted by parito View Post
Someone will definitely correct me if I am wrong but to my knowledge you have to be resident for ICC

My understanding is OP is from USA so I would look for something equivalent of RYA in his homeland
If a US citizen, I would go for a US Captain's license. Start with either a 6 Pack or a Master Near Coastal. Typically about an 11 day course and under $1000.

The Yachtmaster Certificate of Competence approach is a bit different, emphasizing hands on evaluation more and total sea time less. At most schools the Yachtmaster can be carried over toward USCG but you would still have to complete the additional sea time.

RYA is respected in most of the world. USCG for US flagged vessels.
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Old 16-09-2014, 09:48   #6
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Re: Experience but no license. Where to begin?

Quote:
Originally Posted by parito View Post
Someone will definitely correct me if I am wrong but to my knowledge you have to be resident for ICC

My understanding is OP is from USA so I would look for something equivalent of RYA in his homeland
From the page linked above your post:

Quote:

The RYA issues ICCs in the UK in accordance UNECE eligibility criteria. Applicants should be aged over 16 and be one of the folllowing;
  • British National or Resident
  • National of a non-UNECE County
  • National of United States or Canada
  • National of Australia or New Zealand
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Old 16-09-2014, 10:08   #7
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Re: Experience but no license. Where to begin?

Not sure about specific countries and companies but I've seen complaints on some EU specific web sites that complain anyone that can sign a check can charter a boat in Europe.
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Old 16-09-2014, 10:29   #8
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Re: Experience but no license. Where to begin?

Thanks, this is already very helpful.

The US Coast Guard "Six pack" would be great, but since I have no intention of commercial captaining it may be a bit more involved than I need (course fees, CPR & First aid requirements, random drug testing, frequent renewal requirements, etc.)

The ASA license could be a better fit for me right now, especially if it will be honored in Europe. The three required courses could get pricey there too, depending on where I end up going. If the RYA can be given to US citizens that could be a good choice too, just not sure how I would go about completing it in the USA.

Does anyone have experience with the ASA licensing process?
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Old 16-09-2014, 10:34   #9
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Re: Experience but no license. Where to begin?

Orange,

You are eligible to take Yacht Master tidal so just go to BOSS and get an internationally recognized 200 ton license.

However, if you do go listen and take their advice as it is a tough exam. Do not be tempted to take it in a non-tidal location or just turn up and think you can pass.

Best advice is talk to the people at BOSS sailing school.
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Old 16-09-2014, 10:35   #10
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Re: Experience but no license. Where to begin?

Depending on where you are I know for a fact you can get an ICC on the west coast Canada. One Advanced Cruise and Learn for $1800 and you are good to go. I was supposed to do it in October but had to back out. Advanced CYA/ ISPA Advanced Sailing Course | Sailboat School BC Canada. They told me I would walk away with my ICC as well as the listed certifications.

I seem to remember them mentioning you could challenge it as well, but maybe that was me talking to myself while counting the beans. It's worth contacting someone and asking.
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Old 16-09-2014, 11:53   #11
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Re: Experience but no license. Where to begin?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OrangeCrush View Post
Thanks, this is already very helpful.

The US Coast Guard "Six pack" would be great, but since I have no intention of commercial captaining it may be a bit more involved than I need (course fees, CPR & First aid requirements, random drug testing, frequent renewal requirements, etc.)

The ASA license could be a better fit for me right now, especially if it will be honored in Europe. The three required courses could get pricey there too, depending on where I end up going. If the RYA can be given to US citizens that could be a good choice too, just not sure how I would go about completing it in the USA.

Does anyone have experience with the ASA licensing process?
Most maritime schools offer both USCG and RYA now. The safety elements are STCW requirements which are one of the few things that's constant world wide.
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Old 16-09-2014, 12:08   #12
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Re: Experience but no license. Where to begin?

Hmm, at around $500-600 for an online course including the exams, the USCG OUPV (6-pack) may be the most cost effective after all. I have enough sea time already on my own boat. I would need to get the CPR/First aid course but I can deal with that.

It sounds like since I wouldn't be using the 6-pack commercially, it wouldn't be considered an "active" license, but I'm not really clear on how this works. I guess I would just need to go through another round of drug tests and a physical every 5 years when I renewed it. I'm hoping that even if it wasn't active I could still use it as a credential for chartering in other countries, or to obtain an ICC?

Can anyone confirm this info? Anyone have experience using the USCG 6-pack as a sailing credential without being an active commercial captain?

Any advantages to the RYA over the USCG license? Thanks again for all the guidance as I make sense of all this...
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Old 16-09-2014, 12:54   #13
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Re: Experience but no license. Where to begin?

I am a US citizen, and hold an RYA 200t license that I converted to an MCA license.

I have never had trouble finding work, in the US or abroad.

I did my course in South Africa which was much cheaper than the UK, and an awesome place to sail.
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Old 16-09-2014, 15:33   #14
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Re: Experience but no license. Where to begin?

The OP wants to charter leisure vessels.if so get the ICC. Either by direct assessment of by doing the more difficult but very valuable RYA day skipper.

There no need for any sort of commercial endorsements or " captains" license

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Old 16-09-2014, 17:06   #15
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Re: Experience but no License. Where to Begin?

Email various charter companies in the areas you want to charter, and see what they require. There are adds everywhere that have Email addresses. Give it a go. ______Grant.
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