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Old 08-15-2008, 09:21 AM   #1
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Hi there all you sailors and skippers!!!

I have here an important question, so if any of you guys can help me with I'll be very happy!

I've search the web now and found that there are many places in the world that you can take a fast track RYA Yachtmaster course (that's how the call a course for people with no miles or exp at all before). they guarntee you a full 2500 NM log before the final exams with all the courses practical and theoretical needed for RYA Yachtmaster.

But the prices are quite high, and there're many places to choose from.

So if anyone can suggest me a good place to study and a reasonable price also I'll be glad.
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Old 08-15-2008, 07:10 PM   #2
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Hello Dani,

Questions:-

#1 . Why do you want to be a RYA Yachtmaster?

#2 . Where are you located ? - Are there courses available close to your home base ?

#3 . How much hands-on experience do you have ? - what size boats did you gain that experience?

#4 . How much time do you have ?

#5 . You say " they guarantee you a full 2500 NM log before the final exams" How ? That distance would average around 25 (24 hour) days at sea ?

I can only suggest that a good place to study would be in a location where there is continuous yachting activity in all its forms. As far as price is concerned - the old proverb applies "you get what you pay for".
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Old 08-17-2008, 10:15 AM   #3
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Hi Dani,

Just a quick point but I don't believe that a fast track course really equips you very well - it's a starting point.

Why do I say this? Well 2500 miles if done in a few legs gives little experience of practical pilotage, night sailing in busy waters, close quarters manouvering etc and, if conditions are good, not a lot of real boat and crew management.

Sure, do the course but think about what you want to do afterwards and what you want to prove to others.
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Old 08-17-2008, 02:06 PM   #4
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Thanks for the advice. I'll consider it.*

The thing is that I do have some experiance in sailng and the fast track course itself is not so fast, it stretches for 18 weeks and the mileage is gain after many different short and long legs.*
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Old 08-18-2008, 06:40 AM   #5
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Thanks for the advice. I'll consider it.*

The thing is that I do have some experiance in sailng and the fast track course itself is not so fast, it stretches for 18 weeks and the mileage is gain after many different short and long legs.*
G'day Dani

I am considering doing a Yachtmaster Fastrack out of Gibraltar next year as an early retirement gift to myself.

I have done plenty of daysailing on J24's but have relatively limited experience on larger boats and although I have no allusions as to the value of the course regarding the skills I "will end up with", I am looking forward to spending 17-18 weeks with a small group plus instructor.

Once completed, I am planning to buy a 34-38' Med-based yacht to use as a liveaboard for several years.

There are many schools offering similar courses in Australia (where I live) but even with the cost of the airfare to Europe added on, the course offered by Allabroad is still cheaper.

Mark
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Old 08-18-2008, 02:22 PM   #6
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Hello dir Mark

You are hundred percent right, from what I've checked the courses in Australia are much more expensive (like the FlyingFish) than in Europe.

I saw one good offer, a school called Strait-Sailing in Gibraltar. 18 weeks course, included Trans-Atlantic passage and a month of sailing in the Caribbean.

I plan to take the course in March 09, if I won't find anything better.

By the way I'm from Israel so we have only locals schools who gives local certificate that they claim is worldwide known, I doubt it, but soon I'll have one like anyway. I want to take Yachtmaster course because I like it and want to learn much more and experiance more sailng. I'm only 23 now so I'm thinking maybe to take it seriously...
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Old 08-31-2008, 11:19 AM   #7
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The UK Sailing Academy is probably the best: check out their website and you will be amazed at what they cover - leisure and professional.
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Old 09-01-2008, 11:51 PM   #8
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You can now do this in Antigua, British West Indies with OnDeck. And it's hard to beat the Caribbean as a sailing destination!

To Life!

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Old 09-04-2008, 02:21 PM   #9
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Thanks everybody for the advice!

I've already been in The UK Sailing Academy website, and it really seems that they are the most series and proffesional, have a career service plus their price for the

yachtmaster are the lowest I've seen so far (another thing is that thier fleet of yachts are the largest also).
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Old 09-23-2008, 08:50 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by markje4 View Post
There are many schools offering similar courses in Australia (where I live) but even with the cost of the airfare to Europe added on, the course offered by Allabroad is still cheaper.

Mark
I did an allabroad fastrack yachtmaster. I wouldn't advise it, the couple who run it were incredibly flakey, rude and unreliable. They referred to the weekly courses as the "paying custormers" us yachtmaster chaps were very much second class citizens. One crew (my boyfriend included) didn't have enough sea miles due to a screw up on the part of All abroad and Lyn took them out in stormy weather and seemed surprised when a force 9 blew up and one of the spreaders broke. Having said that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger and we all passed our yachtmaster.

A much better company is Alfer sailing who are fun by 2 of the most dedicated people I know. Fergus and Al (previously an allabroad instructor) are both incredible sailors and teachers. Not to mention the fact that Fergus rescues salty sea dogs in his spare time! http://jumblies.wordpress.com/page/2/

Seriously if you haven't paid for Allabroad yet then reconsider, although if rumour is true then Lyn and Vic may be retiring and handing over the buisness to Vic's son Dave. I hear he is much more reliable.

Whatever you decide you probably know that a fasttrack yachtmaster really is just the beginning and you only really start learning when you have had the opportunity to mess up/gain experience in your own boat!)
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Old 09-28-2008, 10:18 PM   #11
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Whatever you decide you probably know that a fasttrack yachtmaster really is just the beginning and you only really start learning when you have had the opportunity to mess up/gain experience in your own boat!)
Thanks for the info.

Have been to Alfer site and looks/sounds very professional. As a daysailer, I am keen to do an extended training course on a larger yacht to gain experience in the systems (electrical, mechanical, etc) that I will need to handle when I (eventually) purchase my "retirement boat". I will then spend many years as a liveaboard patiently putting everything into practice.

Regards

Mark
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Old 10-15-2008, 01:23 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marianne View Post
I did an allabroad fastrack yachtmaster. I wouldn't advise it, the couple who run it were incredibly flakey, rude and unreliable. They referred to the weekly courses as the "paying custormers" us yachtmaster chaps were very much second class citizens. One crew (my boyfriend included) didn't have enough sea miles due to a screw up on the part of All abroad and Lyn took them out in stormy weather and seemed surprised when a force 9 blew up and one of the spreaders broke. Having said that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger and we all passed our yachtmaster.

A much better company is Alfer sailing who are fun by 2 of the most dedicated people I know. Fergus and Al (previously an allabroad instructor) are both incredible sailors and teachers. Not to mention the fact that Fergus rescues salty sea dogs in his spare time! http://jumblies.wordpress.com/page/2/

Seriously if you haven't paid for Allabroad yet then reconsider, although if rumour is true then Lyn and Vic may be retiring and handing over the buisness to Vic's son Dave. I hear he is much more reliable.

Whatever you decide you probably know that a fasttrack yachtmaster really is just the beginning and you only really start learning when you have had the opportunity to mess up/gain experience in your own boat!)
There are yachtmaster courses in the UK where the instructors wont go out in anything over a force 6.... so how can you be a master of a yacht if you cant handle a force 6 or 7.

The 2,500 mile criteria also does not really do much good as you dont actually have to be in charge or at the wheel in this time. So you can do a yacht master with little time at the wheel. Which again seems not to make you a yacht master.

I am now in the MED and had to do an ICC with the RYA to be able to drive a boat here. It took me 20minutes to do the test which is supposed to be a couple of hours long. It just shows how worthless these tests are..
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Old 12-30-2008, 08:20 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marianne View Post
I did an allabroad fastrack yachtmaster. I wouldn't advise it, the couple who run it were incredibly flakey, rude and unreliable. They referred to the weekly courses as the "paying custormers" us yachtmaster chaps were very much second class citizens. One crew (my boyfriend included) didn't have enough sea miles due to a screw up on the part of All abroad and Lyn took them out in stormy weather and seemed surprised when a force 9 blew up and one of the spreaders broke. Having said that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger and we all passed our yachtmaster.

A much better company is Alfer sailing who are fun by 2 of the most dedicated people I know. Fergus and Al (previously an allabroad instructor) are both incredible sailors and teachers. Not to mention the fact that Fergus rescues salty sea dogs in his spare time! http://jumblies.wordpress.com/page/2/

Seriously if you haven't paid for Allabroad yet then reconsider, although if rumour is true then Lyn and Vic may be retiring and handing over the buisness to Vic's son Dave. I hear he is much more reliable.

Whatever you decide you probably know that a fasttrack yachtmaster really is just the beginning and you only really start learning when you have had the opportunity to mess up/gain experience in your own boat!)
Vic Punch Ex principal Allabroad Dec 30th 2008

It was really interesting to read the above account from Marianne. I am Vic and since Marianne took the course with us I have married "rude and flakey Lyn" and am very happy with her.

History

We started Allabroad in the year 2000 and it was an instant success with a high percentage of returning students. It went from strength to strength and now boasts 6 boats including motor. It is the only school in Gibraltar that has full on site classrooms, offers STCW 95 training and trains all the people working in Gibraltar Port. Not bad for a flakey pair.

For anyone interested, Allabroad has always had its students aims and objectives at heart and still has and has invested a lot in good yachts and facilities. Allabroad is small enough to offer personal service but large enough for your investment to be secure.

I will not comment on Marianne personally it is not Allabroad's policy to do that and even though I am now semi retired and a freelance Ocean Yachtmaster instructor (Mention that just in case any wants to employ a rude an flakey skipper) I still respect that policy. What I will do is try and explain the difficulties instructors can have with students in general.

The yacht master fastrack course is not just about sailing. Students have to live together and get on with each other and in order for them to do that they sometimes have to be taught personal skills as well.

This can include things as simple as eating with your mouth closed, making other people a sandwich when you make yourself one, getting up in the morning in time to help everyone to get the boat ready for the days sailing, and helping to put the boat to bed at night. Some times we get lazy students and wonder why they are there at all but the main thing is we usually pull them through.

It is this dedication to getting people through despite themselves that sometimes gets us called flakey by those who do not see or admit their short comings.

Quite often students do not wish to hear how it really is but we have to make sure all students are happy not only with the course but with each other and that each does their fair share of the work and if one is not we will let them know and if it continues we will let them know with a bit more force.

Bad weather.

Quite often students get frightened in bad weather but bad weather sailing is a necessary part of the course and if you can not handle it you should not be working as a commercial skipper or instructor. When bad weather comes along the skipper needs to inspire their crew with confidence and some just do not have this skill where as others excel in it. Allabroad has no problem with teaching bad weather sailing and will continue to do it safely as always. Accident rate zero.

Mile building

The mile building at Allabroad is split between self skippering and passages with an instructor.

Allabroad is one of the few schools that offer proper self skippering other schools offer it but in fact what you get is an "observer on board" so you do not really self skipper at all.

During their period of self skippering Allabroad students are given a set goal for miles which it is hoped they will achieve. There have been times when students have had disputes amongst themselves and an instructor has had to go out to the boat and sort out the crew. The crew members concerned can take this two ways. They can learn from it or resent it either way we have to deal with it and will to make sure those really interested in working hard to achieve can do so without having to do the work of others less active than themselves.

Allabroad miles are built during shorter trips as recommended by James Stevens (RYA) who made clear at the 2005 conference that long milage trips such as Ocean passages are not good on Fast track courses. Little is learnt during a long passage what is needed is shorter passages with lots of Marina handling etc.

Fast track or slow track.

At the RYA conference in 2005 James Stevens of the RYA stated that statistically there was no difference between the quality of Fast track students and slow track students.

What comes through very clear when you are an instructor doing Yacht master prep is that those coming for a one week preparation course and exam require a lot more work than a fast track student and have a higher failure rate.

Other schools in Gibraltar.

If you wish to check out sailing schools who do Fast track have a chat to the RYA they know how schools are doing, which ones are reliable and which ones have good pass rates. The RYA know which schools are running properly safety coded boats and it should be noted that boats that do Ocean passages should be safety coded for that work and if they are not you could be on one, not insured and not safe so always check, whatever school you sail with check that the documentation is in order and covers the yacht for the work it is involved in. The RYA do not always know a yachts status.

My add.

If any of you guys wish to do residential theory, anything up to Ocean, then you can do it with me in style in a really nice country villa in Spain and get a bit of Astronomy thrown in. Have a look at www.actihol.com

Any one wishing to chat about their courses or any aspect of the RYA scheme can contact me through my site listed above or on this forum. I am always willing to spend time giving free advice or help to those who need it or are keen to advance themselves in the sailing world.

Good sailing to all Vic Punch.
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Old 12-30-2008, 08:39 AM   #14
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Welcome aboard Vic. It is good to have you join this friendly crew.

Thank you for responding on the thread and for doing it so comprehesively.

Grab a beer in our "Tavern" and make yourself at home. We hope to hear much from you here.
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