Sailing licenses are becoming increasingly indispensable for international bareboat yacht charters. The charter industry is growing at a fast rate, and as a result there have been some unfortunate incidents where inexperienced skippers have put property and lives at risk. Therefore the need for a suitable qualification is being enforced on operators by insurance companies and foreign governments. It is impossible to imagine that a car hire company would hire a vehicle to a driver without a license!
If you are an experienced sailor but do not hold any formal qualification, the best solution is to obtain the International Certificate of Competence. This is universally recognized throughout the yacht charter industry and is now attainable in Australia by taking a practical assessment at a RYA Training Centre. The assessment lasts approximately half a day and can be taken on your own boat or one provided by a sailing school. The test includes questions on safety, collision avoidance, navigation and piloting in coastal waters.
We recommend that you obtain a copy of the ICC Handbook from our friends at Boat Books because it sets out exactly what you need to know.
The assessment is not an exam and there is opportunity for some coaching during the assessment. If an applicant fails the assessment it will then be necessary to complete the (RYA) Day Skipper Certificate Course. This is a comprehensive five day course – prices and details are available from accredited training centres below.
Alternatively, the International Yacht Training course (IYT) for the International Bareboat Skipper Certificate is widely accepted throughout the world of chartering.
A Marine Radio Operators VHF Certificate of Proficiency (MROVCP) or higher is also required in most charter destinations but is a very useful ticket to have even if it is not called for – this is especially so in emergency situations. ABC Online offer this certificate course and the website for enrolment is www.vhfradioonline.com. Otherwise the VHF course can be taken with most sailing schools, Coast Guard or TAFE.
We have a list of sailing schools Australia wide that are offering this course if you need any help.
The International Certificate of Competence can be obtained from these RYA training centres