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Old 02-02-2020, 04:58   #16
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Re: RYA Yachtmaster Fast Track

Having actually done such a course out of the hamble 15 years ago I'd suggest that if naf thinks this is something s/he wants to do then do it. You really can go from zero to a high degree of competence in all the skills tested in the yachtmaster exam in 4 months if you are living and breathing sailing every day in all weathers. You'll accrue more miles than many leisure sailors gain in a decade. It won't make you a complete rounded sailor but it's an excellent base to start the next phase of your learning from. Regarding the commercial endorsement and certificates required for it....those are *actually useful* courses with only the (very short) Professional Practices and Responsibilities course really being of little relevance to leisure sailors. Even if you don't want a career in yachting, a commercially endorsed YM is a great foot in the door for a position as mate on deliveries which is a great way of gaining experience of crossing an ocean.

Demographics may have changed but when I did mine it was with one parent-funded teenager, 3 of us in our 30s and one guy about 50 (all male). Only the youngster and one other guy planned on making a career out of sailing. The youngster became a successful and well-known pro skipper. The other guy who wanted to be a pro disappeared half way through the course and was never heard from again.

No disrespect to NavRoman but if you're flying from Canada to do this course, do it out of the Solent. It's a fabulous and technically challenging place to learn. My course took me all over the south coast of the UK and north coast of Brittany and Normandy. A non-EU national aboard would have complicated things (I'm sure the schools know how to deal with this though) but given that we in the UK have just been stripped of our european nationality, things are going to be complicated by an as-yet-unknown amount for all of us from the end of this year. The proximity of the channel islands and the cotentin peninsular are handy for the required 60+nm passages. The isle of wight and the hamble are also the setting for just about any British yachting novel or tv show. I note there's a low-res copy of "Howard's way" on youtube...

I did my course in winter (Jan-April) which in retrospect was a good call. I would now never voluntarily go out in weather I was completely blasé about at the time but it's good to know that the limits of both me and a well-found boat are considerably beyond what I might otherwise have thought.

Regarding renting a house for the duration of the course...if money's no object fine but consider that you'll be on the boat more time than not, a school *may* let you stay on a boat for shore-based parts (ask them in advance) but a B&B when you need it may be as cost effective.

Note that particularly on UK forums lots of people want to negatively comment on these courses that have no experience of them. Some people who have been sailing for decades dislike others getting a professional qualification in 4 months. Ignore them. Go for it. Do it in the Solent. Don't do it in summer if you have the choice. Having our own boat to then apply your new skills to and augment your knowledge with all the practical aspects of boat ownership is ideal.
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Old 02-02-2020, 20:56   #17
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Re: RYA Yachtmaster Fast Track

Hi Muttnik, thanks kindly for the input from a first person perspective.
Your experience sounds similar to what i was envisioning... setting up a strong base of skills for future expansion.

If I decide to proceed I'll be sure to post some feedback on my experience.
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Old 10-02-2020, 08:26   #18
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Re: RYA Yachtmaster Fast Track

Originally Posted by duncan_ellison View Post
Hi Naf,

The courses are really aimed at getting young people jobs in the superyacht industry, so the course covers all the requirements to get your Yachtmaster commercially endorsed (i.e. able to be used as an industry qualification).

Just curious, did you and the other 2 people who took the course get employment in the superyacht industry after the course?
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Old 31-12-2020, 11:00   #19
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Re: RYA Yachtmaster Fast Track

The best thing about doing hero to zero and I have never done it by the way would be the fact you dont have time to forget the prior lessons. I did competent crew to yacht master offshore in a year. It meant stuff was still fresh in my mind. I was an experienced sailor before that but ended up a far better sailor after the course. There is not one part of the course that was a waste of time. All that theory and practical have been with me through the last 30 years. I went onto do the Ocean a few years later. That was easier than the YM Offshore.
cant think of anything funny or wise....
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mast, rya yachtmaster, yacht

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