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Old 09-01-2012, 22:42   #1
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Sailing Licensing

Hello all-

My first post.

A brief background, recently transplanted to Damascus, Maryland from Western Montana (Missoula). Previous professions; Carpenter, Chiropractor, Clinical Microbiologist. My wife landed a big job at the NIH forcing me to leave my beloved MT and into early retirement. I grew up on the lakes of Minnesota, owned homemade plywood runabouts and maintained them (my Dad built boats as a hobby). I sailed with friends, but never owned a sail boat, always wanted one.

I decided to remember this period (will be living here ~8 years before back to MT) by doing something here, now that I have the time. I want to/will sail around the world. I will be taking the first "basic" course with my Wife from the NIH Sailing Assoc. NIH Sailing Association - sponsored by NIH/NOAA R&W. The reason for the NIH course is because she knows people there & good enough for me to refresh. From this point on I need to move on. There are a number of sailing schools nearby, Annapolis & along the Chesapeake.

I would like to ask, what courses, certifications etc. I would need to sail the world?

Can anyone recommend a sailing school in my area? Any well known instructors?

I'm thinking a training program/school that has access to clubs/people with the boats I will need to crew on and get lots of hours. I'm hoping to learn all I can & get all the experience I can starting now.

All comments appreciated!

Later, Robes
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Old 09-01-2012, 23:09   #2
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Re: Sailing Licensing

Welcome to Cruisers Forum! Sounds look a good deal to me -- wife gets a good job, you get to take 8 years off and sail around the world. And you're complaining about being away from Montana?!

You are asking about two different things, which you should be sure to keep straight -- training, and qualification. Training you can't get too much of, and people who live in your (new) area will be sure to pipe up with advice. As to qualification, strictly speaking you don't need it to sail your own boat for leisure purposes without paying passengers. Few people would bother with it, although there is a country here or there which might like to see it. If you do decide to pursue qualification, the two which come to mind are (1) the Coast Guard captain's license (someone here who has one will tell you what is involved in getting it; and (2) the ICC -- International Certificate of Competency -- which is issued by the RYA in the UK for Americans (a lot of other countries recognize and issue the iCC, but as far as I know, only the RYA in the UK will issue one to a non-resident. The US is not a party to whatever convention created the ICC so you can't get it there.

The ICC is pretty easy to get once you are a reasonably experienced sailor and have boned up a little on subjects like the Colregs, navigation, and so forth, which you need to do anyway. It involves a practical exam which you can take on your own boat (if your boat is in the UK). The ICC if nothing else is a good check that you have covered the most basic things. It might help with your insurance, too.

Good luck, and keep us apprised of how your adventure shapes up. You will find lots of like-minded souls on here.

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Old 10-01-2012, 05:13   #3
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Re: Sailing Licensing

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Robes.
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"

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Old 10-01-2012, 06:23   #4
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Re: Sailing Licensing

Welcome aboard! Regarding local schools, I got my certifications thru J World in Annapolis. I have nothing but nice things to say about them.
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Old 10-01-2012, 06:35   #5
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Re: Sailing Licensing

Welcome, Robes. I agree with all above: Take the courses that you think will help your experience and knowledge, don't do it for the piece of paper. The Chesapeake is a great place to gain experience, and it's a lot of fun, especially in the spring and fall...and you'll meet lots of folks on the water. Good luck with your dream!
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Old 11-01-2012, 05:37   #6
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Re: Sailing Licensing

NIH boats are kinda small but a good place to start. They have a good active group. I have enjoyed classes I have taken at the Chesapeake sailing school. The Annapolis sailing school and I really liked their diesel and electric classes. I also went to the maryland school of sailing and seamanship you can continue with them from basic to offshore and live aboard while sailing. Don't forget the boat show in Annapolis in October
That derelict boat was another dream for somebody else, don't let it be your nightmare and a waste of your life.
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Old 11-01-2012, 06:16   #7
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Re: Sailing Licensing

Try Sail Solomons.
SAIL SOLOMONS - Sailing instruction and charters in Solomons Island, Chesapeake Bay, news, courses and links.
Andy and Lisa are pretty high speed folks.
When choosing, think about your needs/expectations and trim to that.
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Old 11-01-2012, 20:23   #8
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Re: Sailing Licensing

Hello everyone,

Thanks for the welcomes and information.

Dockhead: Very informative, that cleared a few things up. The ICC is interesting. Thanks for your comments.

Anzo, DrivinSteve & Badsanta: Thanks for your links and local support. I think I will plan on some certification courses. Allot to look at and plan/decide. I appreciate your suggestions.

Waterway Guide: your links don't work for me.

GordMay: Thunder Bay, Ontario. Been there, back in ~ 1972, ski racing on the U.S. Ski Team (didn't do well on that one), loved it though, great slalom hill I recall. Have a cottage in Ely MN on Fall Lake (an entry lake to BWCA), that makes us neighbors.....

Thanks again for your replies. I'm going to crew as much as possible and take training when the portal opens. I go to my first NIH sailing club meeting tomorrow night (Thurs) to sign in.
I think this will prove to be a valuable forum.....
Later, Robes
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Old 11-01-2012, 20:52   #9
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Re: Sailing Licensing

The Us Power Squadron has their Boat Operator Certificate which may be Resolution 40 compliant. They are working with RYA for a CEVNI certification (inland waters of europe).

The program has some good training and might be worth your while.

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