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Old 05-12-2011, 21:58   #1
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Certification Needed ?

All my sailing experiences have been with friends or family being the helpful teacher but this spring I will be getting more professional training now that I am looking to buy my very own sailboat. Plus, I'd like to eventually be able to take friends out sailing and, being responsible for lives other than my own, I'd like the very best instruction.

What's confusing, is many of the schools in my area (Vancouver BC) offer ASA or CYA (Canadian Yachting Association) certification for an extra fee.

When would I need this if at all? It doesn't appear I need it to own and operate a sailboat in the waters here (just a pleasurecraft certificate). Is it for my insurance company? The marinas? Are there places in the world I will require it? Is it only necessary for renting boats without a skipper?

Also, if you have experiences with any specific school in my area, your shared experiences with them would be most appreciated.
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Old 05-12-2011, 23:22   #2
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Re: Certification needed?

Your insurance company may want a sailing resume. A strong resume will either reduce your deductible or increase the range where you're permitted to sail without an increased deductible.

It could help, further, to have bareboat certification if you want to be able to charter a boat without a captain. For the uncertified and/or those with weak certifications, you may have to hire a captain for the first few days until the captain decides that you are capable of navigating the boat on your own.
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Old 05-12-2011, 23:41   #3
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Re: Certification needed?

In Canada you'll first need one of these>>> Boating License | BOATsmart! Canada Pleasure Craft Operator Card | Boat License Exam

And if you come down to the States, your Canadian cert is good for a short while in WA.

It's good to get a lot of time out on the water with different weather conditions but avoiding the bad stuff until you get more experience.

If you want to charter there are charter places that give a course which is usually good in other places around the world. It's best to contact them first before arrival.
Insurance co. likes to see lots of certs and time of ownership. Most marinas would like insurance on the boat.
In most cases your going to have to pay to start out but one can become self learned once one gets the basics down and knows the lingo.

I've taken courses with the local Power Squadron, Zenith, Red Cross, NTC and others in my youth but there should be people up your way. ASA has a good rep! Don't know about CYA. Experience is around 80%.
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Old 06-12-2011, 00:50   #4
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I prefer the CYA certifications. I did them and an glad I did. You can try Cooper in Vancouver. Not required, buy a good jump start to get the skills and confidence up quickly.
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Old 06-12-2011, 02:50   #5
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Re: Certification needed?

I have never been asked for any proof of competancy when sailing in foreign waters on my own boat. Charter companies may ask for some form of certification before releasing a bare-boat. On a 5 year circumnav I have only ever required a passport, clearance from last port and proof of boat ownership.
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Old 06-12-2011, 02:51   #6
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Re: Certification needed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bash View Post
It could help, further, to have bareboat certification if you want to be able to charter a boat without a captain. For the uncertified and/or those with weak certifications, you may have to hire a captain for the first few days until the captain decides that you are capable of navigating the boat on your own.
Having skipped the "certification" stuff I would recommend getting them as you go along.

I have chartered many(?) times and have always sent my personal sailing resume in advance and traded plenty of email to make sure things will go smooth when I show up. In some cases I have been required to take a checkout with the charter operator to go bareboat. I have suspected this would not change with a daysailor or even coastal sailor cert. that it was insurance requirements.

I have never been refused a charter due having no certs and have never been required to have a skippered charter up to 40 feet mono.

I freely admit I have not gone to the more "serious" places and suspect that the med and Europe are probably more anal about certs.

I toy with the idea of doing certs but paying for daysailor, coastal sailor etc. at this point just probably isn't in the cards.

I do have a powerboat license and a competent crew certification and am a believer in some sort of basic test of knowledge for boaters.

Bash - Once again thanks for the tips on Sausolito charters and our 4 day bay cruise - It was magic!
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Old 06-12-2011, 03:02   #7
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Re: Certification needed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bajabound View Post
When would I need this if at all? It doesn't appear I need it to own and operate a sailboat in the waters here (just a pleasurecraft certificate). Is it for my insurance company? The marinas? Are there places in the world I will require it? Is it only necessary for renting boats without a skipper?
If you are doing related courses at the moment, then I would suggest getting something with a certificate at the end of it - whilst the stuff is still fresh in your memory.

Which one? I would go for whatever one is best recognised internationally (as well as accepted in home waters - even if not required) - probably won't ever need to show it.........
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Old 06-12-2011, 03:05   #8
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Re: Certification needed?

Some insurance companies offer a discounted annual premium if you can provide evidence of having taken certain boating courses. The discount at BoatUS was a nice 10%.
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Old 07-12-2011, 12:53   #9
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Thanks for the replies, I've decided on the ASA certification courses.
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Old 07-12-2011, 14:00   #10
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Re: Certification Needed ?

In the Vancouver area you will find ISPA, IYT, CYA and ASA certifications, as well as Power Squadron courses.

I have taught ISPA and CYA courses for a number of schools in the area. If you are still looking for feedback, PM me.

Some insurance companies will provide a discount for boating courses. Some even do it for a PCOC.

Building up your sailing resume is always good. No charter company company has ever asked me for a logbook or a card, but they are interested in my experience.

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