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Old 17-01-2012, 14:41   #1
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RYA Yachtmaster - Suggested Schools ?

Hello,

I apologize if I'm posting this in the wrong forum, but I figured there'd be a lot of eye balls over here...

I'm researching options to best meet my goals of ultimately working crewed sailing charters in the Caribbean. It seems to me that the RYA tickets are the most recognized compared to something like the USCG "6 pack." I'm from the states and I am considering intensive courses overseas to achieve the RYA yachtmaster license.

I've been sailing for some time, competed numerous ASA courses and have crewed a 1500 nm offshore delivery. Still, I imagine I might have to begin from the ground up in the eyes of RYA...?

I've seen some schools (in the UK, Spain, SA et) that offer intensive 17 week programs for Yachtmaster. I would love to hear from folks who have any knowledge on such programs and perhaps first hand experiences?

I understand that a license never brings the same value as experience and time on the water. That being said this would be a required step in running a crewed boat so either way it's something that must be achieved (along with a STCW95).

Thanks in advance!

ps: yes, I know charters are hard work! I have no illusions about the lifestyle/job .
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Old 17-01-2012, 14:53   #2
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pirate Re: RYA Yachtmaster - Suggested schools?

Hi CB...
If you go the RYA route do it in the UK...
the Med ticket is non-tidal and also not as navigationaly challenging... but choose your school carefully.. something out of the S.West that does Channel crossings to France would be ideal building miles towards your totals rather than poodling round the bay..
Also you can enter at the level you feel able and you have the miles... its then up to you to pass at the end.. be it Coastal, Offshore or Ocean..
Good Luck..
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Old 17-01-2012, 15:25   #3
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Re: RYA Yachtmaster - Suggested schools?

cbcat

You can go straight for ocean yatchmaster if you have the skills you just apply for the exam!
However from your message you seem to have some (not vast) experiance and skills as well as some milage.
If you have a record/proof of experiance i would suggest doing a coastal skipper course with exam at the end. in the UK the solent has most schools and UKSA are big on adverts and lots of experiance on zero to hero with comercial ticket.
How We Change Lives: UKSA.org
Lots of info for you there

Of course the west coast of scotland is beautiful with tide,deep water and shelter.
I have sailed both.
I cannot recomend anyone as i dont have enough to give balanced advice on the schools.
But i had a yacht charter from these guys and it was excelent
http://www.alba-sailing.co.uk/rya.html

wishing you the best
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Old 17-01-2012, 17:32   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by limejucer
cbcat

You can go straight for ocean yatchmaster if you have the skills you just apply for the exam!
However from your message you seem to have some (not vast) experiance and skills as well as some milage.
If you have a record/proof of experiance i would suggest doing a coastal skipper course with exam at the end. in the UK the solent has most schools and UKSA are big on adverts and lots of experiance on zero to hero with comercial ticket.
How We Change Lives: UKSA.org
Lots of info for you there

Of course the west coast of scotland is beautiful with tide,deep water and shelter.
I have sailed both.
I cannot recomend anyone as i dont have enough to give balanced advice on the schools.
But i had a yacht charter from these guys and it was excelent
http://www.alba-sailing.co.uk/rya.html

wishing you the best
Firstly it's the yachtmaster offshore not ocean. Secondly Op if you want a career in super yachts. Then yes you are right do the zero to hero. Several Rya schools do them. I know several people who did them. They give you the ticket you need to start in the super yacht business. IYT in Florida also do the yachtmaster course and they specifically target the super yacht area.

Then get yourself to Florida or the south of France and register with the crewing agencies. Plenty of work available. ( you need to look OK in a tee shirt and shorts ).

In the UK UKSA and BOSS do them. If you can find one in a sunny place that's tidal then that might be even better. Contact the RyA or IYT.

The zero to hero courses often generate a lot of flack amongst the crusty brigade. But they serve a purpose and are aimed at people like you that want to make a career out of it. It wouldn't put a wise head on young shoulders, but you already pointed that out.

After that you should do the basic STCW 95 courses ( here IYT has some benefits over purely leisure schools)



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Old 17-01-2012, 18:10   #5
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Re: RYA Yachtmaster - Suggested schools?

I used All Abroad out of Gibralter and it was excellent. Spent a lot of time in Portugal to work on the tidal issues.

You will hear lots of opinions, many less than flattering. Make your own decision based on your needs and goals. I liked All Abroads work on close quarters and tidal work. They also are willing to give you as much extra work as needed on areas you are weak. I have over 10,000 blue water miles since my time there and would likely have give up sailing had I not taken the course.

Set your goals and work it. Enjoy.
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Old 17-01-2012, 18:30   #6
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Re: RYA Yachtmaster - Suggested schools?

Thanks for the feedback.

Not sure the zero to hero is what I need if it's geared towards the superyacht career path. Ultimately I'd hope to use the RYA ticket to run crewed charters on cats somewhere in the 50-60' range (in the caribbean).... either via a larger operator like the Moorings or for a privately owned vessel. I have no interest in getting into superyachts or generally any vessel where a "couple crew" could not handle its operation.

My girlfriend, who's a long time sailor would probably get her ticket too. We obviously don't need both of us with the Yachtmaster, but it'd be nice to have and really a pursuit of personal interest. Additionally, we both love cooking and would plan on an intensive 6 month culinary program as well (such as the CIA in the states or a program in France).

I have no idea how it would work out in real world application, but it might be nice if we're both qualified and competent at both areas so we can switch if one needs a break or at the least to try and stay out of a rut with our roles. I imagine we'd each have our dedicated role (captain & chef), but having some flexibility could be nice.

Anyway, that's a little beyond the scope of my original post, but the point is that the goal is to do the "couple captain/chef" gig" on cats in the Caribbean. So, I'm still trying to asess what programs would best be suited for our long term goals in the most expeditious manner. Expeditious does not mean cutting corners. If I decide to go for Yachtmaster than I want a reputable program in an area that will offer the best training and dynamic conditions.

Thanks again for your input.
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Old 17-01-2012, 18:39   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbcat
Thanks for the feedback.

Not sure the zero to hero is what I need if it's geared towards the superyacht career path. Ultimately I'd hope to use the RYA ticket to run crewed charters on cats somewhere in the 50-60' range (in the caribbean).... either via a larger operator like the Moorings or for a privately owned vessel. I have no interest in getting into superyachts or generally any vessel where a "couple crew" could not handle its operation.

My girlfriend, who's a long time sailor would probably get her ticket too. We obviously don't need both of us with the Yachtmaster, but it'd be nice to have and really a pursuit of personal interest. Additionally, we both love cooking and would plan on an intensive 6 month culinary program as well (such as the CIA in the states or a program in France).

I have no idea how it would work out in real world application, but it might be nice if we're both qualified and competent at both areas so we can switch if one needs a break or at the least to try and stay out of a rut with our roles. I imagine we'd each have our dedicated role (captain & chef), but having some flexibility could be nice.

Anyway, that's a little beyond the scope of my original post, but the point is that the goal is to do the "couple captain/chef" gig" on cats in the Caribbean. So, I'm still trying to asess what programs would best be suited for our long term goals in the most expeditious manner. Expeditious does not mean cutting corners. If I decide to go for Yachtmaster than I want a reputable program in an area that will offer the best training and dynamic conditions.

Thanks again for your input.
Sorry maybe it was me that thought it was for super yachts. the yachtmaster ticket is useful for many things.

Firstly no one in their right mind is going to let you skipper a crewed charter with just a zero to hero yachtmaster ( unless it's your boat). You are going to need significant experience before that happens either as responsible crew or perhaps a flotilla leader.

All the schools offering " full time " yachtmaster courses tend to be reputable. Remember there is only an exam and a mileage requirement. There's no standardised course. It up to each school to decide how to teach you enough to gain the miles and pass the exam.
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Old 17-01-2012, 19:13   #8
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Re: RYA Yachtmaster - Suggested schools?

cbat
I think you are on the right track with the RYA. Their certificates are respected all over the world, especially in British colonies.

I took my RYA Day Skipper course theory from Tiller in the UK and my practical from Club Yachting in Tenerife, Canary Islands. Taking the theory course, in my opinion, is very important to both passing the course and gaining the knowledge you will need in practice.

The Canary Islands are a good place to take your practical in the winter time. I would stay away from the Caribbean because the courses are way more expensive. The UK is probably the best place in the summer time and priced very reasonably.

One caution though. If you are going to operate in the USVI, then the Coast Guard will expect you to have the "6 pack" licence and could care less about the RYA certification. Also, if you intend to do your chartering in the Caribbean, then the Yachtmaster may be overkill. The Coastal Skipper course will teach you everything you need to know.
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Old 18-01-2012, 02:05   #9
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Originally Posted by tmsmith
cbat
I think you are on the right track with the RYA. Their certificates are respected all over the world, especially in British colonies.

I took my RYA Day Skipper course theory from Tiller in the UK and my practical from Club Yachting in Tenerife, Canary Islands. Taking the theory course, in my opinion, is very important to both passing the course and gaining the knowledge you will need in practice.

The Canary Islands are a good place to take your practical in the winter time. I would stay away from the Caribbean because the courses are way more expensive. The UK is probably the best place in the summer time and priced very reasonably.

One caution though. If you are going to operate in the USVI, then the Coast Guard will expect you to have the "6 pack" licence and could care less about the RYA certification. Also, if you intend to do your chartering in the Caribbean, then the Yachtmaster may be overkill. The Coastal Skipper course will teach you everything you need to know.
Correct me OP if I'm wrong but you intend to skipper a commercial charter. That's not day skipper territory.
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Old 18-01-2012, 02:20   #10
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Re: RYA Yachtmaster - Suggested schools?

Also, if you are working in the commercial world, you need to get a commercial endorsement to your YM
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Old 18-01-2012, 02:21   #11
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Re: RYA Yachtmaster - Suggested schools?

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Correct me OP if I'm wrong but you intend to skipper a commercial charter. That's not day skipper territory.
I believe the OP also said he wishes to work his way up to Yachtmaster... which seems like a very sensible approach to gaining the qualifications he needs We all need to start somewhere!
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Old 18-01-2012, 03:12   #12
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Re: RYA Yachtmaster - Suggested schools?

Friend of mine did the "channel crossings" version as recommended by boatman - sounded cruel! 90 days of sailing up and down the channel from february to april on boats without heating. Dead reckoning only.. I guess he's a better sailor now.
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Old 18-01-2012, 03:28   #13
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Re: RYA Yachtmaster - Suggested schools?

i did mine in the solent, and would highly recommend it. there's just nothing quite like the challenges that you will meet there. tides, navigation, weather, traffic, etc. and the instructors skilled in these conditions. my yachtmaster exam was a gruelling 12 hours, including night navigation, blind navigation, maneuvering in tight (and I mean TIGHT) quarters under sail in miserable wind/tide conditions, etc. after you are comfortable enough to pass your exam in the solent - you should be ready for just about anything else that the sea can throw at you!

as to mile-building, I did mine on cross-channel races, but that's the part that I would have done differently. mile-building is just that - you are a fairly passive part of the crew, while the boat is at sea for a long time. so, unless you can really meaningfully participate in the running of the boat, no reason to exert yourself physically (unless of course you just enjoy being wet and cold, hanging on the rail for 24 hrs straight, etc). looking back, what i really should have done is joined some longer races in the Med or Carribean or even the ARC, and built my miles that way. much more pleasant.
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Old 18-01-2012, 11:30   #14
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Re: RYA Yachtmaster - Suggested schools?

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Originally Posted by SaucySailoress View Post
I believe the OP also said he wishes to work his way up to Yachtmaster... which seems like a very sensible approach to gaining the qualifications he needs We all need to start somewhere!
That's correct... work up to Yachtmaster. Day skipper would not qualify for my goals though. Again, the aim is to ultimately run crewed charters of 6 guests on a sailing vessel approx 60' in length.

As a side note, any additional members out there have experience or input with regard to the Allaboard program in Gibraltar? About Allabroad Fast Track Courses | Allabroad Fast Track Yachtmaster Courses | Allabroad Sailing Academy

Thanks again for everyone's input.
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Old 18-01-2012, 12:25   #15
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Re: RYA Yachtmaster - Suggested schools?

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As a side note, any additional members out there have experience or input with regard to the Allaboard program in Gibraltar? About Allabroad Fast Track Courses | Allabroad Fast Track Yachtmaster Courses | Allabroad Sailing Academy

Thanks again for everyone's input.
I did dayskipper with them long time ago, very good. Vic was there then, think he set it up. If Vic still has a hand in it then probably the level of teaching is very high. Great sailing area as well.

Though if you want more hard core experience under your belt then yachtmaster fast track in the English channel would be 3/4 months of sailing in some of the most challenging waters you're likely to spend any time in, masses of traffic, very tidal and guaranteed nasty weather. But not as sunny as Gib
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