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Old 04-04-2011, 06:55   #1
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What License? US Citizen Chartering in Med

I searched the forums for "charter license" and just "charter" and didn't find anything relevant.

I'm a US citizen living in the world class sailing mecca of central Romania
I'd like to start bareboat chartering in the Croatia or Turkey, but I'd like to have the option of other locations in the Mediterranean.

I'd like to find out what kind of course I could take to learn the necessary skills and to obtain a license that will be valid in many countries. On the skill side I'm particularly not interested in learning "old salty dog" skills such as Morse code, nautical flag signalling, and using a sextant. I'd be particularly interested in hands-on practice at docking, mooring, anchoring, and maneuvering under power.

I should mention that I have some sailing experience having crewed in races every Wednesday and every weekend out of Marina del Rey, California for two years. I also owned an engine-less 29' Baltic Cruiser that I occasionally managed to get in an out of my downwind slip.

I'd like to take the course in English and would be willing to travel most anywhere in Europe to do it. As usual, budget is an issue, so cheaper is better as long as the substance is delivered.
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Old 04-04-2011, 08:05   #2
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Re: What license can a US citizen get to charter in Med?

To the best of my knowledge there is no license needed to buy, use, or charter a boat. Most charter companies will provide a questionnaire to determine your sailing experience. If it is insufficient in their eyes they either will not charter to you or more likely insist that you have one of their captains on board.

There are various sailing schools that upon successful completion will issue you a bareboat charter certificate. Many charter companies will accept this as proof of adequate knowledge/experience in as much as their are certain standards that have been met. As to the location of schools, pick up a sailing magazine, there will be a ton of them advertising.

Rich
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Old 04-04-2011, 08:12   #3
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Re: What license can a US citizen get to charter in Med?

Just about any "training Certificate" is adequate. Although I have been sailing for over 30 years, all I had was a certificate from the Annapolis Sailing School fronm 1976 and I obviously couldn't find it when I wanted to charter in Spain. Luckily, one of my crew had a 100 ton masters certificate. I got my masters license after that trip.
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Old 04-04-2011, 10:46   #4
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Re: What license can a US citizen get to charter in Med?

Get an ICC , always useful to have , see RYA. ICCs can now be issued by the RYA to US citizens. Easy two day exam. Many schools around teh Med.

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Old 04-04-2011, 10:57   #5
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Re: What license can a US citizen get to charter in Med?

No universal charter licence thing (as far as I know) - for a "recognised" sailing qualification the RYA schemes seem to be universally accepted, with schools scattered around southern Europe. and being an English based organisation the target market is in English.

I would have thought something like Day Skipper (aka Dazed Kipper) would cover things - or at least give you something to Google on. RYA a bit like PADI with sails - plusses and minuses to that.
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Old 05-04-2011, 01:38   #6
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Re: What license can a US citizen get to charter in Med?

It seems that bareboat charter companies in the Mediterranean DO require some kind of a license. I made a general inquiry about chartering to one company in Croatia (yacht-base.com) and they responded with a list of licenses from 44 different nations that were acceptable. Note that they raised the subject; I didn't ask about licenses or even mention them.

It seems like this is being driven by national laws instituted in 2010. That is, the charter companies aren't doing this to for their own protection, they are doing it because they are required to. This is probably an example of all countries in the EU area moving in lockstep.
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Old 05-04-2011, 02:24   #7
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Re: What license can a US citizen get to charter in Med?

At least in Greece it seems that any kind of license will do. Often they refer to RYA coastal spipper (non tidal). Personally I have shown them ICC issued by Finnish maritime athorityes and that is different than ICC issued by some other European contry. Propaby US license will do also, main thing is that you have something to show for your qualification.

I think that usually this requirement is only because they won't like to give a yacht to whoever walks to theirs office. Some contries has legilisation about this also "eg Greece" but since really internationally recognised licence does not exist are legal requirements more or less vague.

BTW. in Croatia they tend to ask for VHF license too.

There is various sailing schools in meditereinian area having RYA courses, you can find them from there:
Find A Training Centre | Learning | Courses & Training | RYA
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Old 05-04-2011, 02:50   #8
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Re: What license can a US citizen get to charter in Med?

Interesting. They are requiring any certificate from US Sailing or ASA for a US citizen to charter. ASA is just a popular sail teaching company, nothing official. They claim to be 85% of the viable commercial sailing schools in the US. Good claim since many schools aren't commercial. USSailing is the National Governing Body for the sport. I don't know what that means, but it has nothing to do with official licenses in the US, as there are none. The only requirement in the U.S. is a boating safety operators card that is required by many states now, and USSailing doesn't have anything to do with that.

http://www.croatia-yachting-charter....ng-croatia.pdf

I know that you can challenge ASA courses. Some people from my club that moved onto bigger things said they challenged the first two levels of ASA and easily passed with what they learned in our non recognized, not commercially viable school.

If this is going to be a common restriction in Europe or around the world, how do I get the sailing school I intend to create on the short list so people will be forced to come to my school to make me rich?

John
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Old 05-04-2011, 04:19   #9
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Re: What license can a US citizen get to charter in Med?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cal40john View Post
If this is going to be a common restriction in Europe or around the world, how do I get the sailing school I intend to create on the short list so people will be forced to come to my school to make me rich?
The US government will probably start selling ICC's like they sell VHF certificates. I still don't understand how they get away with it but they apparently do as one of these bought certificates allows you to operate even a SSB in countries where one has to attend 5 full days of training to obtain a certificate that allows SSB operation (like MARCOM A)

I am naive enough to think that this EU requirement for an ICC for chartering a boat has to do with the safety of the other sailors that come near you, but it is probably lobbied into existence by some interest group for the training institutes.

ciao!
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Old 05-04-2011, 04:27   #10
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Re: What license can a US citizen get to charter in Med?

Quote:
ut since really internationally recognised licence does not exist are legal requirements more or less vague.
The ICC is the closest thing we have.

Quote:
The US government will probably start selling ICC's like they sell VHF certificates.
The ICC is a product of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Inland Water Committee (UN ECE IWC) Resolution 40. To issue ICC's the US would have to sign up to resolution 40. Unlikely.

Dave
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