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Old 20-03-2024, 22:03   #1
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RYA or other agency and where in Europe??

Hello sailers,

Question to the more experienced and seasoned sailers:

I'm looking to get into sailing by doing a Zero to Day Skipper course but so many offerings. Different agencies, different countries, different places. Hope you guys can help me out.

Currently I am in Thailand working as a Dive Instructor but am most likely flying back to Europe in May. I would like to do my zero to day skipper course somewhere in Europe and potentially after the course find a boat to crew on to get experience in sailing and cruising the med.

I've been thinking about Greece, Croatia, Italy, Spain, Portugal.

Any tips and/or information are welcome to help me decide the best thing for me.

Thanks a lot in advance.

Luuk
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Old 21-03-2024, 14:57   #2
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Re: RYA or other agency and where in Europe??

Hi, Luuk,

It’s hard to give too much advice without knowing more about your sailing experience.
One school, for example, offers a 9-day course but you need to have some sailing under your belt.
Another one offers a 14-day course starting from absolute beginner. This consists of the Competent Crew course, the Day Skipper Theory and the Day Skipper Practical courses all combined together.

Google “ rya day skipper fast track” to get some ideas.

I can’t speak to any specific schools as I’m on the other side of the world.

Note that the biggest issue will probably be the theory side, however you may already have some of that given you work on boats for a living.
You might like to have the skipper on the boat you work on to give you some training.
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Old 21-03-2024, 15:44   #3
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Re: RYA or other agency and where in Europe??

You have probably already discovered that there are quite a few place offering 0-DS courses. Depending on your sailing experience you may need to take the 14 day including CC, as already mentioned.

You may be able to take the theory portion online before hand which, if you don't have any real experience with meteorology and navigation, will probably be helpful unless you are a fast learner. RYA schools typically offer this through Skippers Online. You'll receive study materials by mail consisting of a text, a book of practical exercises, and a couple of charts of the fictional sailing area used by RYA during teaching. Remember, use VICTORIA for your tidal calculations. This will make sense once you take the course. Depending on the course you register for a Portland Plotter may be included in the study materials. If not, buy one because it is the easiest way to learn what they teach. I'm not saying it is the best tool, it is just how they teach and as a beginner you should be able to achieve competence with it fairly easily.

Speaking of tidal, RYA no longer distinguishes between tidal and non-tidal certification, however, I think it is well worth it to go somewhere with tides so you can experience them as you learn. I did and it was very helpful.


Finally, if you are going this route you may want to consider adding an additional 2 day Powerboat 2 course to your curriculum. This will give you a well rounded intro to sail and power, and set you up for crewing on either a power or sail boat.


I hesitate to recommend a particular school/training centre because my experience with RYA overall has been good so I think you should choose based on what is most convenient for you and where you would most like to go to learn.
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Old 21-05-2024, 21:49   #4
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Re: RYA or other agency and where in Europe??

The first question is where do you want to work?
Then.
Can you work there legally?
What certificates are required for the type of boat and work you are looking for?
Don't rely on posts here, Check with the Local Maritime Authorities.

If you are European you can pretty much go anywhere in Europe and work. Unless you are British.
If not what is required? To live and work there.
Most places.
Require their own nationals or residents and their own certificates to work professionally.
If you only do international voyages? You need to meet flag state requirements.

Once you figure out the above, select the appropriate course and training provider. who offer the certification valid where you want to work.

For recreational sailing on your own boat, It doesn't really matter pick what works for you.
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