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Old 06-03-2024, 09:45   #1
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Economical and fun certification: STCW-95 and RYA Powerboat 2 or equivalent

Hi folks,
long time reader, first time poster. I'm reaching out for some knowledge because I've been doing research online and running into circular links on training websites. I've talked to people at trade shows as well, and I'm still rather confused.

Goal:
I'm looking to get some training done so I can learn my way around the water. I'm planning to apply for a Polar expeditions company (ie: QUARK, Lindbladt, Hurtigruten, etc) as an expedition guide and/or recreation crew. Possibly spending the shoulder seasons in the Carribean or Mediterreanean working on smaller (or larger) sailing ships.

I've talked to some folks, and gathered that it's possible to travel to the Carribean and do the STCW-95 course and have a nice little vacation all in one. I'm not too picky about where I go, but the idea of getting my STCW-95 and RYA Powerboat 2 or equivalent while saving money and taking a vacation at the same time sounds amazing. Do you guys have any recommendations about how I could get that done? Schools/training facilities/locations? Any additonal advice also welcome.

Background:
I've been a flatwater canoe trip guide for 20ish years, and can handle a little one-person boat on a Canadian Lake, but I have no water-craft based certifications. I have my Wilderness First Responder, CPR, Lifeguarding and basic Canadian Pleasurecraft Operator Cards. Based near Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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Old 06-03-2024, 15:37   #2
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Re: Economical and fun certification: STCW-95 and RYA Powerboat 2 or equivalent

Regarding STCW certification, make sure that the country where you do the course is on the IMO white list (a fun Caribbean island might not be on that list) and if you want to work on a US flagged ship be aware that foreign certificates are not accepted (and unless something has changed in the last 2 years you need to be a US passport holder,) white list or not. I,m not sure what advantage is achieved commercially by completing an RYA course but at least you’ll learn Colregs and basic yacht skills….to climb the professional mariner ladder you need seatime to be able to go up each rung. STCW is the bottom rung but will get you onto a superyacht at entry level. Good luck with your plan.
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Old 06-03-2024, 16:06   #3
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Re: Economical and fun certification: STCW-95 and RYA Powerboat 2 or equivalent

The STCW-95 has been amended and now is STCW-2010 which went into effect in 2012.

Manila Amendments
The IMO Convention on Standards of Training Certification and Watchkeeping of Seafarers adopted a new set of amendments in Manila in 2010 called "The Manila Amendments". These amendments were necessary to keep training standards in line with new technological and operational requirements that require new shipboard competencies. The Manila Amendments were effective as of 1 January 2012. There is a transition period until 2017 when all seafarers must be certified and trained according to the new standards. Implementation is progressive, every year a modified set of requirements comes into force. The most significant amendments are:

New rest hours for seafarers
New grades of certificates of competency for able seafarers in both deck and engine
New and updated training, refreshing requirements
Mandatory security training
Additional medical standards
Specific Alcohol limits in blood or breath.


SkipperPete denotes the unique Jones Act factors for USA flagged vessels. Jeff of Canada may have limitations as to citizenship.

Bon voyages .
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Old 06-03-2024, 16:16   #4
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Re: Economical and fun certification: STCW-95 and RYA Powerboat 2 or equivalent

Greetings, Jeff of Canada, and Welcome.

I was at a similar starting point as you about 10 years ago, although with a different end goal. I had recently begun sailing, was really enjoying it, and wanted to do some formal training to improve my sailing, safety, and navigational skills. I had heard about working on deliveries, charters, superyachs, cruise ships etc. and wanted to open some doors to those possibilities as well.

I chose Ft. Lauderdale, Florida for STCW vs a school in the Caribbean or farther simply because it was closer, cheaper, and I could go somewhere warm during the chilly off season. You are in class for 5-6 days, 8 hours a day generally. The material isnít hard, just lots of it, and a things like fire and survival training break up the classroom time and keep things interesting. FLL is a hub for commercial marine training and crewing of many kinds, and the various training schools often have connections or their own crewing agencies to help you find work. You mention wanting to do RYA Powerboat 2 training which is an MCA certification. Several of the schools in FLL offer MCA Powerboat 2, and the choice of whether to have your STCW registered as MCA or USCG. So you donít have to go as far as Antigua to check this box, although if you have the time and money then I wouldnít turn up the experience.

If youíre willing to go farther abroad, you could also go to the UK or the Med. to do these courses. I did a Day Skipper course at a school in the Solent, UK and had a great time. Having grown up beside a Great Lake and paddled inland lakes and rivers I had no real understanding of tide. I knew what it was, but hadnít actually experienced it. 9 days living aboard watching the tide rise and fall, including 4 days floating classroom time in an old barge, and 5 days of destination hopping and putting new navigation and pilotage skills to work made everything much clearer, and I gained a lot of practical skills and knowledge. It was fun and I met some good people too.

I did not look up the companies you listed as aspiring to work for but before you commit to a learning/certification stream (i.e. MCA/RYA, USCG, Transport Canada etc.) do some research on what qualifications your target employers actually want or require. For example, a US company running US flagged boats may legally require, or just prefer, US specific certification.

You may also want to look at Viking. They offer adventure and luxury cruising world wide but recently began running cruises on the Great Lakes with both US and CAN destinations, Toronto being one. You may find work you enjoy closer to home.

If you think you might want to work on the water here in Canada for a Canadian company or a government agency then almost none of your training, certifications, or sea time outside Canada will be applicable or given equivalency, even for something as basic as the SVOP, a PB 2 would not transfer. Transport Canada is pretty firm, if you want a Canadian marine certification or license then you have to put in the sea time and class time here to achieve it. Not that I blame them. In Ontario, Georgian College is a place to start looking for info and training opportunities to work commercially on the water in Canada. There are good schools on the coasts as well. The STCW is considered equivalent to the Canadian MED3, so that can be carried over, but PB 2 or even Yachtmaster and the documented sea time needed to acquire it mean nothing here.

Conversely, the RYA does recognize documented sea time, so gaining experience here is not necessarily a bad thing. In my case, I was able to skip Competent Crew and enter the Day Skipper program because I had kept a log of my sailing from when I first started and had time both as crew and skipper, including some night sailing. I was able to use it along with additional training and sea time from various deliveries when I tested for Yachtmaster as well. Youíll have to contact them for specifics on what is able to carry over. Their certifications team is helpful.

Finally, if you donít want to travel too far, I believe there is an RYA school in Kingston, and one out in Nova Scotia. Nothing wrong with a work vacation right here in Canada
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Old 06-03-2024, 17:53   #5
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Re: Economical and fun certification: STCW-95 and RYA Powerboat 2 or equivalent

As Nekton73 said ... https://www.georgiancollege.ca/marine-training/

I did all my masters courses there.

You might check this out too.
https://tc.canada.ca/en/marine-trans...chkeeping-stcw
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Old 08-04-2024, 16:07   #6
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Re: Economical and fun certification: STCW-95 and RYA Powerboat 2 or equivalent

Thanks all for your information. All of my response notifications were going to an older email address!

Mekton, that's a lot of great info, and helps me figure out a bit why I'm struggling to find certain information. I did reach out to a hiring manager at Quark Expeditions, the one I was looking at, and they recommended those specific courses, and mentioned Florida as well.

I reached out to the RYA school in Kingston, and I drive by there fairly often. Seems they're only offering the course as needed, I'll ask about the cost of getting them to run the course just for me!

I ran into some Navy recruiters at an outdoors show, and I'm thinking it may be easier and simpler to join up for their one-year experience program to get a good feel for everything, great training, sail time and do my civic duty. Not sure how that water time will translate to working in the commercial industry after, but looks like a cool experience.
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Old 21-05-2024, 22:49   #7
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Re: Economical and fun certification: STCW-95 and RYA Powerboat 2 or equivalent

If you want to work STCW or small domestic vessel in Canada forget RYA.
Georgian Collage, Is probably the closest.
There are places in Quebec. Nova Scotia, Newfoundland. BC

Its not cheep.
You will need. MED. Marine Emergency Duties plus some other annoying course's
Each course is $1000 or more.

Most certification requires some kind of sea time and experience.
A year with the Navy may give you some qualifying sea time. Depending upon what you are on board for. A trainee sea person. Will work.

In order to get taken seriously as an applicant for a commercial vessel in Canada.
The best option.
Is a Bridge Watchman Course. The big advantage of which. It reduces the amount of required sea time down from 180 Days or 6 months.
To
60 days or two months
Even working full time this may take several months to accrue but might save you a year.
This course is quite expensive $ 8 to 10 grand. but it covers all the requirements for STCW.
If I have a choice when hiring. I will pick a graduate of one of those programs. Because I have a very limited use for trainees I can only have up to a limited no of trainees in my required manning certification.
60 days is a lot less inconvenient for me than 180. After the 60 days I can use you in more capacities.

You want to work in Non STCW spots. Minimal entry MED will do.
If you are a good worker we might give you a chance. If you need the full 180.
If we are short.
We might hire somebody as a trainee requiring the full 180. If we cant find some who only needs 60. But you are third in line.
The good employee is first. We will even pay cost of MED. If they ask ahead of time.
The BW course graduate is 2nd.

RYA ect nice. Doesn't hurt. but you still need the above.
Even after the Navy you will need the 180 and the MED's and the BW. Before we consider hiring you. It might give you a leg up if you are a few days more than 60 short of the 180.

For smaller domestic voyage only vessels full STCW sea time might not be required.
Our policy is STCW for new hires. Even where minimum manning only requires domestic.

Florida, We probably wouldn't bother looking at you unless we were really short.
Other companies might have had better luck. With Florida and be more interested.

If you go work some place else, Transport Canada may accept RYA or other sea time accrued, if properly certified and verifiable for qualifying sea time for a Canadian certificate.
Sorry not interested if your certificate is not Canadian.
Canada is in the process of accepting more foreign certification.
My understanding mostly for higher level certificates.

We do have a couple of ex kayak guides, one really nice lady who is doing just great.
The other
Is a nice guy.
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