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Old 07-04-2017, 12:09   #61
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Re: Licenses for Americans sailing in Europe

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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
I have sailed Spain from La Coruña to Marbella, Portugal from the Azores to Sao Vincente - four times starting back in 2002 and last time on our return trip in 2014. I have never ever been asked to show my boating license ONCE. This is just my singular data point but an average of 0 makes for a deep statistical consideration. Esp. in a sample that itself has close to one hundred data points.
Ample instances over on ybw forums over the years of skippers being asked for some sort of license in Spain, Portugal and Greece (no license no dekpa sometimes) amongst the better known about Croatia, ICC or Yachmaster offshore seem to be the most common licenses held.

Just because you didn't get asked doesn't mean it doesn't happen, uncommon maybe and any country regulations or lack of may or may not be known about by the grumpy port official looking to tick a box.

Random thread from ybw...
Need ICC for Spain/Portugal?
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Old 07-04-2017, 17:19   #62
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Re: Licenses for Americans sailing in Europe

In ones own country Licences are a source of Government revenue AND normally a proof of some level of competencies. In some one else's country are are a proof of competencies sanctioned by another sovereign state so show have have standards behind them.

The question is why shouldn't other countries require proof of competencies especial when they often require the same from their own nationals.

In both cases laws are one thing but enforcement is often another - however the past can often be a bad predictor of the future.
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Old 07-04-2017, 18:07   #63
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Re: Licenses for Americans sailing in Europe

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Originally Posted by conachair View Post

(...)

Just because you didn't get asked doesn't mean it doesn't happen, uncommon maybe and any country regulations or lack of may or may not be known about by the grumpy port official looking to tick a box.

(...)
Yep.

I have noticed the gap between our own experience and the broader picture. I am barking back my earlier 'no boating license required in Europe' attitude - it was only our personal impression and based only on the Atlantic coast. Marbella is as far as we ever got into the Med.

I must confirm in Portugal (continental) we did see an unusual amount of red tape - a lot of men in uniforms, some with mustache, all acting very important, none speaking English. This local folklore was also too clearly visible in Brasil.

The oddest thing though, in Portuguese speaking Azores the officials are friendly and courteous and good English, Spanish and French were common both in the offices and in the street.

So, obviously, even within one country or broadly one culture there are vast variations in how one can get treated and what memories one takes away.

Very educative the thread.

Cheers,
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Old 08-04-2017, 03:31   #64
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Re: Licenses for Americans sailing in Europe

BTW, for those of you that might be planning a trip to California beginning in 2018 please take note of the following:

California Boater Cards

Jan. 1, 2018, implementation date.

The new requirement will begin on Jan. 1, 2018 for all persons 20 years of age and younger who operate a motorized vessel on state waterways. On that date these boaters will be required to carry a boater card issued by DBW, unless they meet certain exemptions stated below.*
Each year after January 2018, a new age group will be added to those who are required to possess a valid card. By 2025, all persons who operate a motorized vessel on California waters will be required to have one. Once issued, the card remains valid for a boat operator’s lifetime. California Harbors and Navigation Code Section 678.11(b) contains the following phase-in schedule based on operator age:
  • January 1, 2018 Persons 20 years of age or younger
  • January 1, 2019 Persons 25 years of age or younger
  • January 1, 2020 Persons 35 years of age or younger
  • January 1, 2021 Persons 40 years of age or younger
  • January 1, 2022 Persons 45 years of age or younger
  • January 1, 2023 Persons 50 years of age or younger
  • January 1, 2024 Persons 60 years of age or younger
  • January 1, 2025 All persons regardless of age
*California age restrictions for operating a motorized vessel: According to California Harbors and Navigation Code Section 658.5, NO person under 16 years of age may operate a boat with a motor of more than 15 horsepower, except for a sailboat that does not exceed 30 feet in length or a dinghy used directly between a moored boat and the shore (or between two moored boats). The law allows children 12-15 years of age to operate boats with a motor of more than 15 horsepower or sailboats over 30 feet if supervised on board by an adult at least 18 years of age. Violating these provisions constitutes an infraction.

According to California law, the following persons will not be required to have a boater card to operate a motorized vessel on California waterways when the requirements go into effect beginning in January 2018:
  • A person operating a rental vessel.
  • A person operating a vessel while under the direct supervision of a person 18 years of age or older who is in possession of a California Boater Card.
  • A person who is a resident of a state other than California who is temporarily operating a vessel in California for less than 60 days and meets the boating requirements, if any, of his/her state.
  • A person who is a resident of a country other than the United States who is temporarily operating a vessel in California for less than 90 days and meets the boating requirements, if any, of his/her country.
  • A person operating a vessel in an organized regatta or vessel race, or water ski race.
  • A person who is in possession of a current commercial fishing license.
  • A person who is in possession of a valid marine operator license, for the waters upon which the licensee is operating, issued by the US Coast Guard, or who is in possession of a valid certificate issued pursuant to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978, as amended.
  • A person who has successfully completed a boating course approved by the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training.
A violation of this article (Harbors and Navigation Code Section 678.15) is an infraction. According to the person convicted of an infraction for a violation of this article shall be fined as follows:
  • For an initial conviction, by a fine of not more than $100.
  • For a second conviction, by a fine of not more than $250.
  • For a third or subsequent conviction, by a fine of not more $500.
  • A fine imposed on a vessel operator pursuant to subdivision (b) shall be waived, if the vessel operator provides proof that he or she had a valid vessel operator card at the time of the citation.
  • In addition to the fines imposed by subdivision (b), the court shall order a person convicted of violating this article to complete and pass a boating safety course approved by the division pursuant to Section 668.3.
  • If a person who is ordered to complete and pass a boating safety course pursuant to paragraph (1) is 18 years of age or younger, the court may require that person to obtain the consent of a parent or guardian to enroll in that course.
  • A person who has been ordered by a court to complete a boating safety course pursuant to paragraph (1) shall submit to the court proof of completion and passage of the course within seven months of the date of his or her conviction. The proof shall be in a form that has been approved by the division and that is capable of being submitted to the court or a state or local agency approved by the division through the US Postal Service or another certified means of transmission.
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Old 08-04-2017, 04:00   #65
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Re: Licenses for Americans sailing in Europe

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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
Yep.

I must confirm in Portugal.... none speaking English


Why they should speak English, they are in their own country. I wonder how many foreign languages you can speak, or how many foreign languages in your own country "officials" can speak.


You remained me of British, they are expats but every one else is immigrant.

Spaniard living in England is immigrant but British living in Spain are expat, they will never call themselves immigrants.
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Old 08-04-2017, 04:13   #66
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Re: Licenses for Americans sailing in Europe

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Why they should speak English, they are in their own country. I wonder how many foreign languages you can speak, or how many foreign languages in your own country "officials" can speak.


You remained me of British, they are expats but every one else is immigrant.

Spaniard living in England is immigrant but British living in Spain are expat, they will never call themselves immigrants.

I once saw some Russian people getting really frustrated in France in a restaurant, because no one spoke English.

I've also seen two ethnic Swedes (!) speaking English with each other, because their two dialects of Swedish were inconveniently far apart (Finnish Swedish vs. Swedish Swedish).

In many large German corporations these days, all written communications are conducted in English -- even between Germans.

The fact is that English has become the lingua franca of most of the world -- THE language of cross-cultural communication -- as a result of which, English is the first foreign language most people around the world learn. Not having an English speaker on duty in any kind of establishment which deals with people from different countries, is certainly going to create problems, as English is what non-Portugese speakers -- and not just native speakers of English!! -- are going to expect to be able to use to communicate.
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Old 08-04-2017, 04:39   #67
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Re: Licenses for Americans sailing in Europe

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I once saw some Russian people getting really frustrated in France in a restaurant, because no one spoke English.

I've also seen two ethnic Swedes (!) speaking English with each other, because their two dialects of Swedish were inconveniently far apart (Finnish Swedish vs. Swedish Swedish).

In many large German corporations these days, all written communications are conducted in English -- even between Germans.

The fact is that English has become the lingua franca of most of the world -- THE language of cross-cultural communication -- as a result of which, English is the first foreign language most people around the world learn. Not having an English speaker on duty in any kind of establishment which deals with people from different countries, is certainly going to create problems, as English is what non-Portugese speakers -- and not just native speakers of English!! -- are going to expect to be able to use to communicate.


I agree with you 100% regarding English. I, first, would like if everyone speak English, especially port/airport authorities and officials but insisting and complaining how someone does not speak English in the country where English is not native or official language is bit to far.

I am speaking in English with my own daughter because she is born in England (at the moment she is studding psychology at Winchester university) and I never tried to teach her my language, it does mean that if I go to France or Portugal every one, even port officials had to speak English.

I am cruising Italy France Croatia Greece and I would like if everyone speak English but if they do not I am fine, I am OK with that, it is their country and I will try to communicate in some other way.



I was three years ago in Dubrovnik and went to "Konzum" supermarket to buy some cheese and in front of me was English women with two kids buy cheese as well. I still remember she was asking something like "can I have 5 slices of cheese", and of course shop assistant does not have a clue what this women talking about and of course English women is pissed of in the way something like "how stupid shop assistant does not speak English". she could simply point finger in direction of chees (that was already sliced) and show 5 fingers and problem solved.

Can you imagine if Croat women went in Sainsbury's or Tesco and asked "mogu li dobiti 5 komada sira". They would probably called security.
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Old 08-04-2017, 04:51   #68
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Re: Licenses for Americans sailing in Europe

In Portugal it's easy to spot the expats, they're usually the ones in the shops speaking very bad Portuguese slightly too loud, the Portuguese are the ones answering very politely in very good English

Back on topic a bit - there don't seem to have been any recent requests for some sort of license recently in portugal, though there are accounts of needing something to get the Greek cruising permit - heard one guy used his driving license to see what would happen and it was accepted
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Old 08-04-2017, 04:54   #69
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Re: Licenses for Americans sailing in Europe

My attitude on the licence has been "Better to have it and not need it, then need it and not have it. ASA 104 costs about $1000 for ASA 101, 102, and 104. You have to spend about 6 days of time to get the certification. It's a small price to pay compared to being held up in a country you plan to visit.

The only time I had a problem was on Milos in the Aegean. Port Authority Commander decided to show his subordinates how to handle foreigners. Even though I had my "Bareboat" certificate, he gave me a hard time. Though this in actuality only lasted 10 minutes before he stamped my transit log and wished me well. The agent I used in Turkey also wanted my certification, though I don't know if it was mandatory.
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Old 09-04-2017, 13:34   #70
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Re: Licenses for Americans sailing in Europe

There are a lot of mythes going on this matter. I have also visited almost all of the Med countries, Carribeans and Greece almost once every month, last time a week ago... Including Montenegro and Greece , I have never been asked to show any certificate of competence, not even once. Obviously you may always fall on some officiers in bad mood or ignorant or someone who wants to give you hard time for whatever reason. I always smile and it works
The info on Noonsite also is not accurate in this respect. The reason is that the regulations on this matter are very vague in every country and open to interpretations.
For Turkey, I can say that if you are not in commercial activity and are on yr own boat, normally they won't ask for linence. If they do, the document whatever necessary in yr country is OK. In some country like France, you don't need any licence for recreational boats, then, in Turkey they just say "je suis français" and it's over..For americans, you will need to show (if ever asked) the licence that you need to have in the USA.


Cheers


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Old 10-04-2017, 01:57   #71
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Re: Licenses for Americans sailing in Europe

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There are a lot of mythes going on this matter. I have also visited almost all of the Med countries, Carribeans and Greece almost once every month, last time a week ago... Including Montenegro and Greece , I have never been asked to show any certificate of competence, not even once. Obviously you may always fall on some officiers in bad mood or ignorant or someone who wants to give you hard time for whatever reason. I always smile and it works
The info on Noonsite also is not accurate in this respect. The reason is that the regulations on this matter are very vague in every country and open to interpretations.
For Turkey, I can say that if you are not in commercial activity and are on yr own boat, normally they won't ask for linence. If they do, the document whatever necessary in yr country is OK. In some country like France, you don't need any licence for recreational boats, then, in Turkey they just say "je suis français" and it's over..For americans, you will need to show (if ever asked) the licence that you need to have in the USA.


Cheers


Yeloya

Yeloya, all these practical experiences are valuable and interesting, but don't fall into the logical fallacy of thinking "It never happened to me, therefore it can't or won't happen."

It's certainly true that it is fairly rare to be asked to show a license.

On the other hand, I have been driving cars in England on and off for 20 years, and not one single time, in all these 20 years, has any policeman or anyone else asked to see my driver's license.

Does that mean that a driving license is not required to drive a car in England? There you go.
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Old 10-04-2017, 02:52   #72
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Re: Licenses for Americans sailing in Europe

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So by your logic; let's say I live in a county where you don't need a drivers license and insurance to drive and own a car. I then drive my car to a country where you must have a driving license and insurance, I'm in my right to refuse to cooperate with the police if I get pulled over and I can just say "my car is foreign so I don't have to follow your laws"?
Belgians drove in the Netherlands without driving licences until 1967. That is when Belgium finally introduced driving licences. (Driving tests came later, in 1977).
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Old 10-04-2017, 03:01   #73
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Re: Licenses for Americans sailing in Europe

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No one ask you for local licence, they ask for YOUR (country) licence. I have UK yacht master offshore and in Croatia/Montenegro they do not ask me for Croatian/Montenegro licence, UK licence is more then enough.
Which can be an issue if you come from a country that does not require a license (a yachtmaster's certificate is not a licence) or does not even issue licences...

The ICC solved a lot, even though the ICC isn't a boating licence either. It's just a certificate of competency. For a long time I just went around with a letter from my government stating that I could not have a boating licence is my state didn't issue such, but they now started issuing ICC's (which I got quite easily by signing a declaration that I could sail) thus this solved the problem of chartering a boat in Croatia for me.

When I chartered a boat in Australia I mentioned to the agent that I had an ICC, but he was not interested in seeing it...
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Old 10-04-2017, 04:20   #74
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Re: Licenses for Americans sailing in Europe

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Which can be an issue if you come from a country that does not require a license (a yachtmaster's certificate is not a licence) or does not even issue licences...

The ICC solved a lot, even though the ICC isn't a boating licence either. It's just a certificate of competency. For a long time I just went around with a letter from my government stating that I could not have a boating licence is my state didn't issue such, but they now started issuing ICC's (which I got quite easily by signing a declaration that I could sail) thus this solved the problem of chartering a boat in Croatia for me.

When I chartered a boat in Australia I mentioned to the agent that I had an ICC, but he was not interested in seeing it...
yes you can charter in Croatia, probably in lot of other countries..... because they are after your money not after your papers, and if your own mother signed plain piece of paper and you fill the rest they will give you a boat, but if they wish, technically they can insist on certificate/licence where you pass theory test and practical test in your country before you obtained your "certificate of competency to perform the duties of (yacht) skipper". if your country does not require any certifications than stick to your country or go somewhere else where they do not need any "papers", but do not tell other countries what they should or should not do.
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Old 10-04-2017, 05:40   #75
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Re: Licenses for Americans sailing in Europe

I have to believe there is an international marine organization, something comparable to aviation's ICAO. ICAO signatories respect the registration of other signatories aircraft, and the licences of their flight crews. They also standardize regulations to a great extent.

I suspect the signatories to such a marine organization would recognize each other's proof (or not) of competency to operate that country's flagged vessels. I suspect this may explain why some countries require proof of competence and other's don't. Does anyone have info to confirm or deny?

We've sailed Spain for 24 years and have never been asked to provide evidence of the skipper's qualifications. The only time I've seen qualifications called for are when getting a permit to Cabrera, a national marine park. They ask what type of qualification the skipper has--day sail or motor--and that is the extent of the form's query.
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