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Old 05-03-2008, 10:43   #1
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Info needed!

Hi everyone,

I'm a student at university in the UK at the moment and rather than go into the world of work I have chosen, along with one other, to go traveling. The general idea is to go round the world without flying, starting with sailing across the Atlantic.

I was wondering about peoples general thoughts about this, the best way to do it and the best qualifications to get before hand. We've already arranged for a few weeks sailing experience in the summer, with a view to cross the Atlantic in the ARC later in the year. What do you think would be the best qualification to obtain prior to this. Its been mentioned that the RYA day skipper would be most beneficial. Also, whats the best way to get on a yacht, iv seen there are websites like crewseekers etc but these are fairly expensive to sign up to. Anyone know of anyone needing 2 crew for the ARC??

But yeah.... all your views and ideas are welcome, cheers
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Old 05-03-2008, 12:31   #2
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Aloha Rayner,
Welcome aboard! I hope some folks respond. I don't have a clue as to what you might do over there to sign up as crew.
Here we have sailing newspapers, craigslist, this forum, bulletin boards at yacht clubs and marinas. You might try those.
Kind Regards,
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Old 05-03-2008, 13:46   #3
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Hi Rayner,

Most people have the year travel before they go to Uni, but what the hell...I hope you make it. You don't mention the Uni you attend. A long time ago when I was a student most universities had sailing clubs...does yours? If so they will have the RYA courses and yes the RYA day skipper would be most helpful. Again in my salad days when I was a green lad the RYA had two other lesser courses.... Competent crew...team leader then the day skipper. If your UNI has a sailing club, then they will be geared to graduate you through the process.

Where are you located? Are you near the sea or inland lake. The sailing community universally is very acccommodating to those that show a genuine interest in our common sport, therefore I am pretty confident that in the UK any sailing club will welcome you as a new member and I am equally confident that your offer to crew and learn will be very welcomed and used. Traditionally, British boat owners did not need RYA qualifications to do and go anywhere, and as such sailing clubs had an informal system whereby senior members made sure that new and less experienced sailors/members where brought up to a specific standard. I am sure this still exists on a local level and as such you will achieve a level of competence which will enhance your future opportunities.

Within this forum are many threads which will enable you to understand nearly all aspects of sailing from basics to expert levels. Therefore welcome and enjoy. Some British based member will no doubt post website and such regarding crewing opportunities, but if your Uni does not have a club the the RYA wedsite will have a list of clubs within your area.

Regards

Alan

PS. get yourselves to Venezuela during your trip and maybe we can add to your experience
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Old 05-03-2008, 14:44   #4
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... We've already arranged for a few weeks sailing experience in the summer, with a view to cross the Atlantic in the ARC later in the year. What do you think would be the best qualification to obtain prior to this. Its been mentioned that the RYA day skipper would be most beneficial.
I wouldn’t expect the “RYA Day Skipper” course to qualify a newbie sailor to attempt a Transat.
According to their course description, you should expect to: “skipper a small yacht in familiar waters by day.”
Even the "RYA Yachtmaster Offshore" Certificate of Competence only suggests competentance to skipper a cruising yacht on any passage, during which the yacht is no more than 150 miles from harbour.

Their descriptions match my real-life experience with RYA "qualified" skippers (which are less than "exemplary")

However: your value as "crew" will depend more upon your personal characteristics, than your formal qualifications.
GoForIt !!!

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Old 05-03-2008, 15:02   #5
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Dear Gordmay,

I believe the question asked referred to a qualification which would enable him to obtain a place as "crew" the RYA Day Skipper certification covers all the basics and has both a Practical and theorectical grounding which if they can add as much actual sailing hours in addition will make the possibility of their "dream" more likely.

Regards

Alan
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Old 05-03-2008, 15:08   #6
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As far as trainning goes the RYA course is considered one of the best as far as formal training goes. Formal training can't be a bad way to start as far as I'm concerend. It also introduces you to people in the sailing community that can speak up for you to others. Good performance yields good reccomendations. Training and some experience are just not a bad idea. Just because you really want to do this does not make you prepared to do it. The dream is the beginning and only the beginning. It's not enough to make it really happen.

For getting a crew position on a yacht going across the Atlantic I would think it comes down to two options. Get some trainning and other shorter experience first or be lucky and then find a skipper that would have you as a green sailor.

A position for two is always harder to fill than one. Some skippers might take one new person but probably not 2 inexperienced crew. It becomes more than most skippers can handle. Crew on a long crossing have to stand watches and perform well perhaps in difficult conditions not of anyones choosing.
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Old 05-03-2008, 15:16   #7
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Were I selecting a newbie” crew to join me on a Transat (or any other significant voyage); I would be much less impressed by any RYA “(or other) “qualification” than by my (or more properly, Maggie’s – she’s a much better judge than I ) assessment of “personal character”.

As hockey coaches are wont to say:"I’ll teach him the plays; but he’s got to skate.”
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Old 05-03-2008, 16:25   #8
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Were I selecting a newbie” crew to join me on a Transat (or any other significant voyage); I would be much less impressed by any RYA “(or other) “qualification” than by my (or more properly, Maggie’s – she’s a much better judge than I ) assessment of “personal character”.

As hockey coaches are wont to say:"I’ll teach him the plays; but he’s got to skate.”
Of course that is correct....it would a foolish skipper who did not consider the personal character/compatabilty higher than any qualification, epecially in an undertaking such as an extended voyage. The point of the original thread was what qualification would best assist. The RYA day skipper would I feel enhance their chances by demonstrating a decent grounding and a willingness to learn. I believe that any RYA practical qualification still requires a proven minimum of sea miles completed experience before they can actual take the test and as such does provide some measureable standard which may just be the difference in a successful outcome of their undertaking and as such should be encouraged

Regards

Alan
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Old 06-03-2008, 10:03   #9
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Thanks for all your feeback its been very helpful. I know the idea of going round the world without flying is pretty ambitious but the main part of it for me is sailing across the Atlantic. If anyone hears of anything or knows anyone who is thinking of doing it and needs a couple of keen crew then point them in my direction

Cheers

P.S Alan that invitation to Venezuela sounds very appealing, where abouts are you based?
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Old 06-03-2008, 14:14   #10
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Dear Rayner,

Caracas.... You still haven't mentioned your Uni or general location in the UK

Alan
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Old 07-03-2008, 14:36   #11
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I go to uni at UEA which is in Norwich. There is a sailing "society" but as i'm a third year now have left it too late to join, needing to dedicate most of my time to work. I'll have a look for yacht clubs and the possibility of advertising for possible crew positions, this seems like one of the best options.

Cheers
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