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Old 10-02-2009, 12:26 PM   #1
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Hi all

Good to be among those with such a wealth of information with regards to sailing !

I reside in South Africa (Durban) I recently completed an SAS dayskipper course and am hooked on sailing, in fact I am wanting to change career to become a yacht skipper.

I am wanting to firstly get experience probably via yacht deliveries, after which I want to go on to do my costal skipper and eventually yacht master, In S.A. there are RYA and SAS courses offered and I have heard from a number of Private Skippers working mostly in the Med that RYA is the course to do, to get into the industry, is this the case or or is SAS certification as recognised ? I don't want to do a course and find out that it is worthless only to then spend more money on another !
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Old 10-03-2009, 03:15 PM   #2
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I suspect that the RYA Yachtmaster is probably the most widely recognised qualification in European countries, if you are looking to work in the industry. It's what I have and as a UK based delivery skipper it does the job perfectly.
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Old 10-04-2009, 01:56 AM   #3
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Agreed. I have my RYA Yachtmaster Ocean and it's pretty easy to land jobs doing either charters or deliveries both in the Caribbean and in the EU.

Best of luck.
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Old 10-08-2009, 03:23 AM   #4
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The Topic Title

Best Qualification For The Job, Seeking info as to best skipper qualification to obtain. reveals an issue on the difference between real life experience and a qualification acquired where very little of that special experience will be acquired.

Acquiring a qualification to become a competent CRUISING skipper, will require far more than the attendance on a course or courses , absorbing written and oral questions; then satisfying an examiner by answering correctly a percentage . Far more than acquiring "X" number of sea miles (as crew on a boat skippered by an instructor).

The recognition by a Government authority of a piece of paper showing courses attended successfully with sea miles traveled may be sufficient to get a job as a skipper. But this alone will not be sufficient to competently skipper a cruising boat. What is necessary is the addition of experience of actually managing a complex machine in environments of varying conditions. This experience is best gained over a long period in the 'skipper's' own boat, in order that a real understanding of the workings of each and every component is gained. Also the experience of sailing, motoring drifting etc. etc .. in poor weather and rough seas. Navigating into strange anchorages and anchoring in ground of unknown holding. The knowledge and experience gained in making running repairs with the minimum of tools and materials. The knowledge of jury rigging. Having the ability to deal effectively with emergencies including injuries. The ability to manage crew so that they also gain real experience safely and enjoyably. The list is endless .................................

The knowledge and experience which tells the skipper that "when there is doubt, DON'T !"
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Old 10-08-2009, 08:49 AM   #5
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Point taken but..... without a formal qualification no-one will employ you. Certificates don't prove competence but do reassure insurance companies!
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Old 10-08-2009, 09:36 AM   #6
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Bruce,

The advice given above is all correct but, at the same time, not quite correct. If you are a South African, you will need a South African qualification to be able to deliver yachts from South Africa to overseas destinations. This rule is not applied by SAMSA (South African Maritime Safety Authority) at the moment but it appears that they are going to start applying it in the near future. Most of the overseas yacht deliveries from South Africa originate in Cape Town. SAMSA informed the SAS office a number of years ago that they do not recognise the RYA qualifications issued by sailing schools in South Africa due to the fact that they issue certificates to persons that do not have enough experience. They are operating as businesses and thus operate to make a profit – unfortunately not always caring too much about ethics.

To get into the delivery business is not going to be easy for you. There are, at the moment, hundreds of highly qualified and experienced delivery skippers in SA with no work due to the reduction of boats produced in SA at the moment caused by the global economic downturn. If you do decide to go the RYA route, you will find a few hurdles in your path that will not always be easy to overcome. In a few European countries the RYA certification is accepted but, when clearing out of those countries, you will be asked for the MCA international endorsement. You have to be a British citizen or resident to be able to obtain it. The SAS certification is SAMSA approved and internationally recognised. I am SAS certified and have never had my certificates queried in any country other than Italy – and I think that was only due to the official not having the foggiest idea as to what he was looking at as he neither spoke nor could read English, never mind Afrikaans.

So, if you are a British citizen or have permanent residence there, the RYA is a good certificate to have. If you are a South African citizen or have permanent residence in SA, the SAS certificate is the way to go. Just remember, it is like getting your drivers licence – you may have a valid drivers licence but no reputable car hire company will rent you a car before you have turned 25 as they regard persons under that age as unreliable and inexperienced. Good luck in your endeavours.

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Old 10-08-2009, 09:41 AM   #7
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Hello Ed,

" Point taken but..... without a formal qualification no-one will employ you. Certificates don't prove competence but do reassure insurance companies!"

Your comment, probably valid in today's world - when employing a skipper to deliver a boat from A to B. However, I am pretty sure that the skipper with both a qualification and a CV full of cruising experience would land the job.

Cruiser Log is essentially a place where the cruising fraternity comes to contribute their experience and information. As a cruiser, I also have many friends who are professional skippers, have learnt a lot from them regarding their passages and contracts. From cruising skippers knowledge from a different perspective.

Richard
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Old 10-08-2009, 01:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MMNETSEA View Post
...However, I am pretty sure that the skipper with both a qualification and a CV full of cruising experience would land the job.
Dead on... having the qualification is just a qualifier... like having a degree for a certain job... but experience is always an equal selling point and if there is a skipper with one and not the other he will probably be passed over for one with both.
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