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Old 23-11-2017, 11:01   #1
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Skipper qualifications

We bought a Lavranos designed Tosca 36 a few months ago and became liveaboards while prepping the boat for cruising.
Being new to sailing weve done some training through a training school and will soon have a day skippers license (South African qualification). For us to obtain a yachtmaster ocean going/crossing license wed need a few thousand Nm logged, which leads me to the question;
Though I believe in having the necessary skills and knowledge, Im not exactly stuck on official qualifications as such. So, what is the general consensus about cruising with or without official skipper qualifications?
One option we find attractive is to start cruising sooner and once we have the Nm logged to still go for official qualifications, mostly because that could be a potential revenue source, doing deliveries and such like, if necessary.

Would appreciate opinions from experienced folks.
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Old 23-11-2017, 11:18   #2
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Re: Skipper qualifications

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Originally Posted by SailingCN View Post
We bought a Lavranos designed Tosca 36 a few months ago and became liveaboards while prepping the boat for cruising.
Being new to sailing weve done some training through a training school and will soon have a day skippers license (South African qualification). For us to obtain a yachtmaster ocean going/crossing license wed need a few thousand Nm logged, which leads me to the question;
Though I believe in having the necessary skills and knowledge, Im not exactly stuck on official qualifications as such. So, what is the general consensus about cruising with or without official skipper qualifications?
One option we find attractive is to start cruising sooner and once we have the Nm logged to still go for official qualifications, mostly because that could be a potential revenue source, doing deliveries and such like, if necessary.

Would appreciate opinions from experienced folks.
First the delivery skipper aspect - lots and lots of cruisers, some very experienced want to do this and can't find work - let's jsut say that there are many more potentila skippers than there are boats than need delivering

re formal qualifications - nobody will ask you for them (well almost nobody) so from that aspect you don't need much. But the theory is worth spending the time on.

There is a current thread running about the Colregs (which you absolutely need ton know - despite what some think) that might be interesting reading for you.

And many other aspect of the theory - navigation, weather (very, very important), aspects of shipbuilding, how to load a boat, celestial navigation, and much much more.

your choice, but the theory will make you a better or at least more aware sailor
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Old 23-11-2017, 11:37   #3
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Re: Skipper qualifications

Agree with Carsten's post above in most aspects. But, one can learn all of the stuff he mentions without classes or certifications; some people learn best in structured, class-like formats. Others do well in self administered schooling...

As to certifications, well, I have absolutely none, and I have been a full time cruiser for 31 years now, and no one has ever asked for such documents. Times change, and some parts of the world seem more regimented than the South Pacific, so YMMV.

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Old 23-11-2017, 12:47   #4
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Re: Skipper qualifications

If you ever decide to sail far North to Europe, there are a few countries that need a certification of competence, ICC is usually recommended (can be obtained from the RYA if you have a Day skipper ticket).

So, apparently no multi-thousand-dollar top-yachtmaster training is necessary to sail your own boat, save those $$$'s for your trips.
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Old 23-11-2017, 23:13   #5
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Re: Skipper qualifications

The above answers to your questions are relevant. However, there are four problems you need to know.

1. If you are South African and the boat is South African, you will not receive clearance from customs, when departing out of the country, if you do not hold a minimum of a Yachtmaster Offshore qualification issued by either SAS or SAMSA - do not even try obtaining a RYA certificate as they are not recognised by the SA government for SA citizens.

2. When seeking insurance for your vessel, they will willingly sell you insurance, but you will find a clause in the policy that stipulates that the vessel must be under the control of a suitably qualified person at all times. "Suitably qualified" means, in insurance talk, that you hold the appropriate certificate as stipulated under SA law if you are a SA citizen. If something happens and you try and claim, they will not pay you a cent as you were not complying with their clause and the law.

3. If you depart the country illegally or without the appropriate qualification and something happens to you overseas and you need SA government assistance, DIRCO will not assist you or your family as you committed an illegal act when departing.

4. If your vessel is SA flagged, only an appropriately qualified SA citizen may skipper it out of the country.

All the above may sound like BS. However, it is not and is an absolute PITA to many a SA dude wanting to go sailing.

Do the appropriate mileage and study the syllabus as found on the SAS web site - you do not need to attend a sailing school. Then do the exam and go sailing. Although it may appear to be complicated, it is not and is relatively simple if you study and absorb the knowledge.

John
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Old 24-11-2017, 00:25   #6
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Re: Skipper qualifications

Oh, I forgot to address your delivery skipper idea. Simply forget it as a source of revenue. Nobody will hire you if you do not have sufficient miles under your belt and at least a few coastal passages and basically three ocean crossings. The delivery business in SA has almost dried up with most companies shipping the boats now. Internationally there are few deliveries for people with even massive cv's, experience and miles. Look to earn money by some other means!

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Old 24-11-2017, 01:00   #7
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Re: Skipper qualifications

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The above answers to your questions are relevant. However, there are four problems you need to know.

1. If you are South African and the boat is South African, you will not receive clearance from customs, when departing out of the country, if you do not hold a minimum of a Yachtmaster Offshore qualification issued by either SAS or SAMSA - do not even try obtaining a RYA certificate as they are not recognised by the SA government for SA citizens.

2. When seeking insurance for your vessel, they will willingly sell you insurance, but you will find a clause in the policy that stipulates that the vessel must be under the control of a suitably qualified person at all times. "Suitably qualified" means, in insurance talk, that you hold the appropriate certificate as stipulated under SA law if you are a SA citizen. If something happens and you try and claim, they will not pay you a cent as you were not complying with their clause and the law.

3. If you depart the country illegally or without the appropriate qualification and something happens to you overseas and you need SA government assistance, DIRCO will not assist you or your family as you committed an illegal act when departing.

4. If your vessel is SA flagged, only an appropriately qualified SA citizen may skipper it out of the country.

All the above may sound like BS. However, it is not and is an absolute PITA to many a SA dude wanting to go sailing.

Do the appropriate mileage and study the syllabus as found on the SAS web site - you do not need to attend a sailing school. Then do the exam and go sailing. Although it may appear to be complicated, it is not and is relatively simple if you study and absorb the knowledge.

John
For that reason and others, we are planning to register her in Delaware. Which in essence is also a question mark for us, being new to the sailing world; It sounds like thousands have registered their boats in Delaware with no real drawbacks.. Are there concerns we should be aware of?

JohnT; you sound like the person to speak to especially since you're from our neck of the woods. If convenient or interested, I'd love to chat in person, drinks on me.
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Old 24-11-2017, 01:12   #8
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Re: Skipper qualifications

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Agree with Carsten's post above in most aspects. But, one can learn all of the stuff he mentions without classes or certifications; some people learn best in structured, class-like formats. Others do well in self administered schooling...

As to certifications, well, I have absolutely none, and I have been a full time cruiser for 31 years now, and no one has ever asked for such documents. Times change, and some parts of the world seem more regimented than the South Pacific, so YMMV.

Jim
I totally agree that competence, knowledge and skills are essential.
I personally prefer to learn through taking an interest, passion, research, forums, trying it out in controlled environments.

Having said all that, I'd still be interested in obtaining a yachtmasters once I have the logged Nm and experience. I believe it ads rather than subtract and though we don't plan to do deliveries or related jobs for an income, it could be a fine option at the right time and place.
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Old 24-11-2017, 02:28   #9
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Re: Skipper qualifications

Lots of good advice above re SA.. as for the delivery work.. its there but not in any quantity nor regularity to make a living.. pocket money maybe.
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Old 24-11-2017, 03:06   #10
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Re: Skipper qualifications

i was quite surprised to find that an ICC and a STWC95 are accepted as sufficient qualification in many eu countries for commercial day charter vessels under 24 m in coastal waters
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Old 24-11-2017, 11:55   #11
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Re: Skipper qualifications

John T s comments are valid as far as South Africa goes. The rules there have destroyed sailing in the country. I am next door in Moz and avoid all these problems but my boat insurance sits in RSA although my boat is Mauritius registered. I have a SAMSA commercial skippers done when it was still DOT.
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