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Old 29-10-2020, 03:29   #1
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Single Handed Yachtmaster mile recording

Not sure how to state my question without sounding stupidly naive.

TL;DR -

I am busy organising some courses and training to eventually qualify as YM Offshore to make my chances of getting a deckie position on a super yacht and I am wondering sea miles can simply be gained as single handed sailing on a vessel over 7m as per the below link:

https://www.rya.org.uk/courses-train...-passages.aspx

Long version:

A little background about myself, I have been doing accounting for the last 16 years and would like to make a permanent career change into yachting.

In 2019 I completed STCW, RYA Powerboat 2 and ENG1 medical and headed off to Europe from my native South Africa for the Med Season.

After about 2.5 months of on and off day work, which I thoroughly enjoyed (who wouldn't after 15 years of office graft), my 90days (every 180days) on Schengen Visa (1 year) was running out and stupidly enough I booked my flight ticket as return for my VISA application.

I headed back to SA and then in 2020 ol' Covid-19 struck and no chance of getting back over without an actual job with a vessel.

So I thought I might as well make my chances better next time around, busy with dive master course and will start the formal yacht training next month with Competent Crew and then Skippers until I get to YM Offshore.

I have some experience sailing casually on a Holiday 23 and Hobie 14.

Obviously I have a budget as many others on the forum have and probably everyone's budget looks different to the next. I would like to make my funds stretch as far as possible.

That being said, in order to gain sea miles I have the option to pay for mileage building trips with a yacht training school.

I have found some threads on this forum that linked me to the RYA website where it is stated that sea mile on vessels greater than 7meters can be used.

So then my question is whether miles gained single handedly on a Holiday 23 (7.04meters) would count toward the mileage required?

Thank you to all for your time!
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Old 29-10-2020, 05:42   #2
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Re: Single Handed Yachtmaster mile recording

Howzit Lucas!

Although you are pushing is a bit with only 4cm between qualifying and non qualifying :-) you should be fine.

AFAIK the rules don't stipitate whether you are single handing or not, only that you put in your log the capacity you are acting in, in this case you can write 'skipper'.

Most of my qualifying miles were gained effectively single handing my 13.5m yacht (OK, the wife was on board as well, but it would be pushing it to call her the 'first mate')

RYA only cares that you really do have the sea time and that you didn't gain it just as a passive passenger. In many respects, I think the YM examiner would give you more credit for planning and executing safe, well considered passages under your own steam and knowledge.

The main thing is that you MUST properly log these in your book. State the vessel and name. Make sure to add 'skipper'. The examiner WILL look at these and quiz you about them. You should have good answers about when / why / how you did these passages. That's actually part of the assessment they make.

Duncan (Commercially Endorsed YM Offshore)
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Old 29-10-2020, 06:01   #3
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Re: Single Handed Yachtmaster mile recording

Thanks for the reply Duncan, was quite nervous to post my question but your "Howzit" just put me at ease!

"......credit for planning and executing safe, well considered passages..."

I am hoping to build these skills during the training part. If I remember correctly we did something which I don't know really qualify as "passage planning" during PBL2, as we were in a RIB and the draught isn't deep enough to pose any danger and we were just navigating outside a harbour (even if the swell was around 2m).

I guess in that way sailing differs from driving a car, in the way that you could just jump in the car and go for a drive, or even to a few towns over without too much thought.

Do sailors ever just jump in behind the helm? Does that come with experience?
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Old 29-10-2020, 06:46   #4
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Re: Single Handed Yachtmaster mile recording

No, your time spent with RIBs doesn't count, that's considered to be the wrong class of boat.

Your passages have to be in a vessel appropriate to the class of YM you are being examined on (Power or Sail). You can later on add the other class, but you need separate, documented sea time then on both classes.

For practical reasons, most people don't get enough qualifying sea time on power vessels to take the YM exam unless they already have a job at sea or own their own vessel. The fuel costs alone make this difficult.

BTW, I assume you already figured out that none of the SAMSA qualifications count for anything outside SA, so you are following the right course doing RYA.

The UKSA does a 'zero to hero' course for people wanting to become professional skippers and deckhands on super yachts. Here's the minimum set of qualifications they think you'll need :

RYA/MCA Yachtmaster Offshore (Sail) or RYA Yachtmaster Coastal (Sail)
RYA Day Skipper Shorebased
RYA Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster Shorebased
MCA STCW Basic Safety Training
Personal Survival Techniques
Fire Prevention and Fire Fighting
Elementary First Aid
Personal Safety and Social Responsibility
MCA Proficiency in Designated Security Duties
RYA Short Range Radio
RYA Radar
RYA Diesel Engine Maintenance
RYA Powerboat Level 2
RYA Professional Practices and Responsibilities

In addition, you will need to get your YM 'Commercially Endorsed' which involves a couple of additional steps including a valid medical.
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Old 29-10-2020, 07:03   #5
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Re: Single Handed Yachtmaster mile recording

Sorry I didn't mean to say that the RIB navigating could be used just as an example of what type of planning I have done already, which to say is not really any.

The time set aside to do the "Zero to Hero" made me rethink this method and I have since read several articles where it was implied that certain vessels would not be keen on this as the actual experience is very limited. And at the same time super yachts now consider YM Offshore as the minimum entry level.

So for the moment my idea is to do theory online (through NavAtHome), which will afford me the opportunity to do it while still being gainfully employed. And then do the practical parts in Cape Town.

And as mentioned earlier if possible use a smaller more affordable vessel to gain sea miles single handed or then take the "risk" and gain sea miles though a mile building trip, which would be the same as fast track / zero to hero.

Your list looks very similar to what I have been given so far, set out like that I have done about half...just not the useful half !

On the SAMSA comment, not sure how familiar you are with that part of it but it seems that I would need to complete a separate SAMSA qualification in order to skipper a SA flagged boat or work commercially in SA waters as the RYA YM qualification was gained in SA waters. The concept blows my mind.
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Old 29-10-2020, 07:16   #6
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Re: Single Handed Yachtmaster mile recording

Yeah, the SAMA thing really sucks. It's a real jobs for the boys deal. That's the reason I never took the SA qualifications as I'd be going back over everything I learned in RYA school again and paying again for the privilege.

They convinced the government that that somehow SA waters are so different to any others in the rest of the world that you need a South African qualification to be safe. RYA qualifications are just not strong enough for Africa. Eish!

You are right that, technically, you need a SA qualification to skipper a boat in SA waters, however there is a lower length exemption, you might want to look into that. There's also a short term exemption for holders of overseas quals, but I think it's only 6 months from memory.

Once you achieve your YM, that's then formally equivalent to an UK MCA (commercial) ticket and that might mean that there's some kind of mutual recognition - not sure about that though.
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Old 29-10-2020, 10:19   #7
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Re: Single Handed Yachtmaster mile recording

Quote:
Originally Posted by LukasB7 View Post
So then my question is whether miles gained single handedly on a Holiday 23 (7.04meters) would count toward the mileage required?
Technically no. See here:
https://www.rya.org.uk/courses-train...-passages.aspx
... and note 7m *LWL*. A quick google tells me the Holiday 23 is 6.01m LWL.

Note also that the exam boat requirement is 7m *LOA* (so the Holiday 23 would be OK).

This discrepancy is the subject of frequent discussion on the uk's scuttlebutt forum. If anything it's the wrong way round: the boat you do your exam in is the one which needs a slightly bigger minimum size as it has to accommodate the examiner as well as skipper and crew.
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Old 29-10-2020, 10:50   #8
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Re: Single Handed Yachtmaster mile recording

Ooooh muttnik, I like technicalities! Thanks for the correction

From a cursory search it seems that 7m LWL would put the vessel around +9m over all which means that a skippers licence would be necessary in South Africa at least.

I guess there would probably be a certain hull which would fit these parameters but it should not be high on the list of pre-requisites.

It would make sense to have the examiner more comfortable than less so.
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Old 29-10-2020, 11:09   #9
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Re: Single Handed Yachtmaster mile recording

Quote:
Originally Posted by LukasB7 View Post
... I am busy organising some courses and training to eventually qualify as YM Offshore to make my chances of getting a deckie position on a super yacht ...
I fail to understand why you're going down the RYA course route. There are approved maritime schools providing courses specifically for super yacht crew. The course may include some modules from RYA and there is some topic overlap, but graduates gain a commercial ticket.

Perhaps ask Google about 'super yacht crew courses'.
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Old 29-10-2020, 11:18   #10
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Re: Single Handed Yachtmaster mile recording

Hi Grant

A lot of Super Yachts are run as commercial vessels with full MCA contracts etc.

I am merely trying to cover my basis and have options for deliveries etc in future, I also feel it would give me good experience when I eventually am able to get my own vessel.

That being said, every second job post I see requires YM Offshore for entry level deckhand position, so I am just trying work with the reality of the situation.
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Old 29-10-2020, 11:51   #11
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Re: Single Handed Yachtmaster mile recording

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Originally Posted by LukasB7 View Post
Hi Grant

A lot of Super Yachts are run as commercial vessels with full MCA contracts etc.

I am merely trying to cover my basis and have options for deliveries etc in future, I also feel it would give me good experience when I eventually am able to get my own vessel.

That being said, every second job post I see requires YM Offshore for entry level deckhand position, so I am just trying work with the reality of the situation.
I think I meant MLC contracts
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Old 02-11-2020, 04:54   #12
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Re: Single Handed Yachtmaster mile recording

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Originally Posted by muttnik View Post
Note also that the exam boat requirement is 7m *LOA* (so the Holiday 23 would be OK).
I clarified this with the RYA, pointing out the minimum length discrepancy between qualifying requirement and exam boat requirement. They tell me the "LOA" refers to the 18m upper limit, with the 7m lower limit being LWL and that they'll update the guidance to clarify that (just as well, never believe posts from random people on the Interweb :-). So Holiday 23 not OK.

Why is the lower length LWL whereas the upper is LOA? Well I didn't ask that...
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Old 02-11-2020, 05:12   #13
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Re: Single Handed Yachtmaster mile recording

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Originally Posted by muttnik View Post
I clarified this with the RYA, pointing out the minimum length discrepancy between qualifying requirement and exam boat requirement. They tell me the "LOA" refers to the 18m upper limit, with the 7m lower limit being LWL and that they'll update the guidance to clarify that (just as well, never believe posts from random people on the Interweb :-). So Holiday 23 not OK.

Why is the lower length LWL whereas the upper is LOA? Well I didn't ask that...
Thanks for clarifying this with them!

As my experience with boats are only superficial I can't begin to reason why.

I did a little bit of scratching and it seems that geographically LOH (Length Of Hull) is sometimes substituted for LOA (length OverAll) and then further definitions are created like LOA including bowspirit etc. I am sure the MCA's version is well documented, so at least there is a clear distinction for the lower and upper limits after your inquiry.
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Old 03-11-2020, 01:56   #14
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Re: Single Handed Yachtmaster mile recording

I would also wonder why about mileage.

You already have something worth more to a prospective employer. Actual experience working on large motor yachts.
What relevance single handing a 23 ft boats has I donít know.

Speaking as an employer(not yacht).
Given a choice between a RYA Super sailing YM of any type on small sailboats.
Or someone with actual experience working as a deck hand. Along with a reference.

I would pick the experience every time. Everything else being equal.
When things get back to normal you will probably be able to find work if you want it.
Get your mileage working.
Then go and take the appropriate RYA course or other options if you prefer.

In the mean time go sailing for fun if you have the opportunity.

Or do like another young man I met who had done a PB level 2 and worked as deck hand on yachts. At possibly the same centre.

Apply to a real commercial Cadet program at a real maritime school. It will take 3 or 4 years.
He now has an unlimited cert.
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Old 03-11-2020, 03:02   #15
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Re: Single Handed Yachtmaster mile recording

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I would also wonder why about mileage.

You already have something worth more to a prospective employer. Actual experience working on large motor yachts.
What relevance single handing a 23 ft boats has I donít know.

Speaking as an employer(not yacht).
Given a choice between a RYA Super sailing YM of any type on small sailboats.
Or someone with actual experience working as a deck hand. Along with a reference.

I would pick the experience every time. Everything else being equal.
When things get back to normal you will probably be able to find work if you want it.
Get your mileage working.
Then go and take the appropriate RYA course or other options if you prefer.

In the mean time go sailing for fun if you have the opportunity.

Or do like another young man I met who had done a PB level 2 and worked as deck hand on yachts. At possibly the same centre.

Apply to a real commercial Cadet program at a real maritime school. It will take 3 or 4 years.
He now has an unlimited cert.

Hi Uricanejack, thanks for the response!

I guess the answer I was looking for was if I weren't able to go sailing with someone for fun (and to build miles) if it would be possible to go solo and still have the miles count towards the YM Offshore requirement. From the replies above I do believe if the correct boat size (for single handed and MCA requirements) is selected then the answer is yes.

Sailing with someone I find quite enjoyable.

The peculiarity with the super yacht job search is that quite a bit of it is luck (right place, right time), certifications help a lot applying online, and day work doesn't count for much:

1. Actual seasons experience
2. Luck (timing)
3. Certs
4. Daywork (as a base)

So I am working my way up this ladder as it were

I met a friend in Juan les Pins (just west of Antibes) that also struck out with permanent employment and decided to go the cadet route with a Turkish based company.

He is currently in the South East Asia after finishing his first 9 months and loving it, unpaid but getting great experience and will be successful next year I am sure. Very good advice!
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